My momma raised me never to be sick

No really. In many ways my Mom was the perfect Betty Crocker mom. She stayed home with us until we were in school. She bakes bread from scratch. Sunday dinner was often pot roast. Our parents loved us and gave us everything we needed emotionally, physically, and financially. But when it came to sick, the parenting really left something to be desired. For example. When I had my wisdom teeth out, she had a family friend bring me back from the doctor. I’m a shy person, so I don’t insist that we stop to pick up my prescription of codeine. (*MISTAKE*) I come home to find my 11 year old brother also at home, sick. Really sick. With chicken pox as it turns out. My mother believes this is a good combination of affairs, since I’ll be staying home anyway (recovering from surgery) I can take care of my brother. I finally get codeine several hours later, having gotten desperate enough to call my mother and tell her she HAS to go get it for me!

When we weren’t feeling well, Mom would take our temperature. If it didn’t break three digits, she’d do the worst possible thing. She’d say, “It’s up to you if you go to school today. Only you know how you feel.” I rarely, if ever, run serious temperatures. I’d always convince myself I was faking it, and drag my sorry heinie into school. My sister, who had chronic strep infections, actually got to the point where she did the whole doctor thing herself.

When we were sick, Mom would be sure to drop in and see how we were doing at least twice a day. There was no coddling.

All this has led me to be a grownup who cannot believe, without strong empirical evidence, that I am indeed sick. Take today for example. Known facts: I have morning sickness, I have a cold, my back was/is out. I actually called in sick to work today (as opposed to “working from home” which I did yesterday). But I sincerely and honestly believe that I’m just faking it, and that I could be working if I was just tough enough.

Folks, I’ve thrown up three times in the last 24 hours including this morning. Yesterday’s calorie intake was 1) bowl of grape nuts 2) bowl of Cap’n Crunch 3) 10 Teddy Grahams and half a glass of milk. That’s IT. Yesterday, I was awake for a grand total of 8 hours. What, do I have to be hospitalized to really believe that I merit a sick day off work?! Sheesh.

Um, so that’s me now. The good thing is that I feel better today than yesterday. The bad thing is that’s making me feel even more guilty. Ugh.

Second Prenatal Appointment

We went in this morning for our second prenatal exam. There was some… confusion on the appointment. First we were told we were in the wrong office. Then it turned out we were there on the wrong day. But we did the visit anyway. (Note to self: your doctor doesn’t seem like the punctual sort. Make appropriate adjustments.)

The visit itself was remarkably perfunctory. We were given roughly 8 baby magazines (flipping through them — this is a demographic I hoped never to be a part of). They took my bp and weighed me. (No weight gain, but no loss either.) They made me give a urine sample. And then the doctor came in with a portable heartbeat device (my brain is providing me the word sonogram, but I’m not positive it’s right). And there it was — the baby’s heartbeat. It’s very fast, about twice the speed of mine. But it was strong and regular. It actually sounded like machinery, through the interpretation of the device. But definitely there.

He went over my test results (fine, fine, fine, fine, fine). I am apparently toxoplasmosis negative, much to my surprise. My cats must be too, for me not to have gotten it. But that means I need to be even more careful in the garden and around the cat litter. Darn. No changing the litter boxes for me for months! What a pity!

My hematocrit was at 44%. Read it and weep, ladies.

And that was it.

You’re glowing

Saturday was good. I had energy. I spent the morning cleaning the house, wandered over to work at about 1:00, and departed work at like 10:30. Without a curriculum prepared for Sunday.

I stayed up late preparing a curriculum. And I cut my husband’s hair.

Sunday started badly — we overslept our alarm and got ready for church in a world record 20 minutes. (Couldn’t skip breakfast. Baaaad idea.) I had the giggle triplets for Sunday School (the worst combination of my sweet kids — they just want to talk). One of them got me a signed baseball at spring training! It was extremely sweet of her! I ended the lesson (gratefully) by telling them of my delicate condition.

In church, the lady who sits behind me whispered to me during the word for children “Are you hugging a secret to yourself honey? Because you’re glowing.” I was forced to plead the fifth. During the joys and concerns section of the service, our pastor announced that we were expecting. There were cheers folks, right in the middle of the service. The three giggle triplets went crazy over in their side pew. Not a single person was surprised — rather, I think they’d all been hoping and waiting for just such an announcement for some time.

After church there were the congratulations and advice.

But I was in a bad state. I was hungry, thirsty, and tired. Church for us runs from 9:15 to about 1:00 with Sunday School before, etc. And I didn’t really eat or drink anything in that time. Those of you who have been pregnant know that this was a serious mistake on my part.

I decided I could eat mac and cheese. So we went to Roche Brothers (they have good m&c) and bought copious amounts of fruit, m&c, some bread. I was totally losing it. My husband was contemplating all-important bread options, and all I could think of was getting out of there.

I ate some grapes in the car on the way home. At home, I made my meal. I was about halfway through when… well… nature took it’s course. So there I was. Tired. Hungry. Dehydrated. And I’d just puked up my attempt to fix the whole situation. I did what any rational person would do in that situation. I went to bed for three hours. And woke up hungry and dehydrated.

So last night was pretty much a complete loss. I sat on the couch and watched the Oscars and Independence Day. I attempted to cajole my stomach to accept small sacrifices. It was skeptical. I felt weak and lazy. But honestly, I *couldn’t* do anything.

I’m feeling better this morning, but it’s an important lesson. Do not allow yourself to become hungry and thirsty, or you will pay for it. Big time.

An Opportune Time

I’ve been waiting for an opportune time to tell y’all something. What is opportune, you might ask? Well, feeling human was a prerequisite. Not being asleep at the keyboard. But the other undefinables of “opportune” seem to slip past me, and the day passes and I haven’t told you. And then there was the clever aspect. I mean, most people manage to be all witty and cute about such things. And in weeks of wracking my brain, I’ve found neither witty nor cute.

Just from that statement there, about half of you have guessed my news, so I might as well clue in the other half.

I’m pregnant.

My husband and I are expecting a child.

We will be parents by Christmas, if God is willing.

And to answer your questions:
*Planned
*Due on my birthday in September
*I’m nearly 10 weeks
*The pre-natal name is Alpha
*We won’t know for sure the post-natal name until the baby is here
*The deciding voter in our little democracy of two (me) has veto’d knowing the gender of the baby before it arrives
*We are excited/terrified
*I’m going to have to masquerade as a less-pregnant woman in order to attend Gencon, but we’re going to try
*Medium morning sickness and heavy sleepiness, but not bad considering
*My mother-in-law already has plans on how to rearrange the house
*We have seen a heartbeat in the ultrasound during our first visit
*I have not yet told work/church (I don’t think I can handle my youth group’s enthusiasm…)

I’d just like to point out that I did my youth retreat AND the all night Rock-a-thon through morning sickness and exhaustion, and I’m very proud of myself.

Morning sickness

Morning sickness is so damn quixotic. Don’t even talk to me about onions. Ever. I barfed Frosted Flakes for heaven’s sake! But Indian food? Man, I scarfed down a whole huge plate of chicken korma. No problem.

Part of me thinks: wow, maybe you’re one of those lucky people whose morning sickness ends early.
Part of me thinks: wow, maybe you’re about to miscarry. Not normal!
Part of me thinks: this whole thing has it’s ups and downs. Yesterday was downs. Today is ups.

After the baby shower, everyone in the office looks at me expectantly. The perverse part of my nature hates that they’re right.

Knocked Up Filter

I’ve added those of you who know my great secret to my “knocked-up” filter, so I can get more sympathy.

And today, I really need it. This has been my worst day yet. The key to its suckage is that right after I ate breakfast (Frosted Flakes — I may never be able to eat them again…), I threw breakfast right back up. Which is weird — usually I only throw up when I haven’t eaten anything and I’m hungry. More dry heaves, if you’re keeping score at home. But we had to get to work, and my stomach was still all woogly. So I left home with nothing in my belly.

The weird thing about morning sickness is that the hungrier you are, the less eating seems like a good idea. The key to not feeling ill is to eat often. So coming in to work, with an empty stomach, I felt AWFUL. I bought a bagel at Dunkin’ Donuts, because I knew that I had to had to had to eat something for breakfast. I stared at the bag with baleful eye for a good half hour, pondering the folly of even attempting to eat it. Summoning my will, I slathered on cream cheese. I took a bite. I nearly lost it again. I set the bagel aside.

Five minutes passed. I took another bite. Still not feeling happy.

Now I’m nearly all the way through the bagel (you never realize how difficult it is to eat a bagel until it’s, well, difficult), and feeling only partly dead. At 9:30 I didn’t see myself making it through today. I still can’t see myself doing any *work*, but it’s possible I will not die in the next few hours. That’s reassuring.

In other pregnancy news, my pants are fitting again. You see, about two weeks ago, all my pants seemed too tight at the waistline. It seems a little early for me to be showing, but apparently there’s something called “thickening” where your mid-section adds padding. Apparently my current adversarial relationship to food (see above) has counteracted that.

Optimism

I always start getting hopeful this time of year. I blame it on the early springs of the balmy Northwest (my dad called to tell me he had just seen a tree in bloom), and on my innate optimism. Sometimes, this time of year, there are balmy days, where you can walk outside without a coat and not turn into a personcicle. Assuming you had less of it than 3 feet, the snow melts, and you can see ground. The days are noticeably longer. They start pulling out Puxstawny Phil, and DC boasts of it’s cherry blossoms. I notice the buds on the trees. Are they larger than yesterday? Redder? When they stand out against a blue sky, you can’t help but hope. They shed their snow and show their colors, and you thing surely, surely spring is coming soon.

About this time last year, I even planted seeds in my garden, in a particularly warm and optimistic patch.

Those of you from New England are laughing. I can hear it.

THIS is the bitter time of winter. In January, you know. You know that the weather is a fluke, and that spring is not here. You know that you need to buckle down to bear the winter as it is. But now, my internal clock tells me we must be nearly done. That daffodils and crocuses await. That the trillians are poking up in their dark lairs.

And my internal clock is dead wrong.

My friends, there are at least two more months of this. The snow will linger, melt, and fall again. The winds will shake the house with their bitterness. The red sugary promise of the tree buds will remain promise for a good time yet. Every week, I will think it is nearly spring. And every week it will not be.

Until that one week, when finally, it is.