Week 20, To find out, or not to find out?…

I’m halfway through!  Holy Hallelujah!  I’m glad to say I’m feeling great in my second trimeter.  In fact, I’m feeling better in this pregnancy’s second trimester than I ever felt with my past two.  I wonder if this is just an illusion though.  Like maybe I’ve gotten so used to being pregnant, that the vivid memory of what it feels like to be normal has faded to the point where I can’t really compare anymore.  Illusion or not, the result is the same, and I’m feeling awesome!  I am now one of those pregnant women whom I used to despise when they said, “I love being pregnant.”  I used to think, “You freaking liar.  You’re making the rest of us look bad.”  Because here I am trying to live through the misery of all of these symptoms, and you say you’re feeling fine, “Maybe just a little tired.”  And now my husband thinks I’m faking it, exaggerating, just being sensitive, or all of the above.  Thanks lady.  Lmao.  I’m not actually to the point where I love being pregnant, but at least I’m not a worthless lump on the couch anymore.

At 20 weeks, the biggest question that everyone wants to know is, “Boy, or Girl?”  With our first baby, Nate and I waited to find out until the baby shower.  We had the ultrasound tech write the gender on a notecard in a sealed envelope, and I gave it directly to my surrogate sisters with instructions to create some sort of reveal at the baby shower.  So at about 8 months pregnant, we threw a coed baby shower/gender reveal party, which included a keg, per my husband’s request.  Everyone wore Mardi Gras beads in pink or blue, betting on what they thought it was.  We all went outside onto the front driveway, where my sisters placed a large wrapped box in front of us.  Once we opened it, a bunch of white and blue balloons floated out of it and up into the sky.  It was magical, and Nate and I both teared up as our family hooted and clapped.  Really, it was an amazing way to celebrate and get the family involved.  Here are some pix.

With my second pregnancy, I was way too anxious to wait.  Also, Nate was going to be gone my whole second trimester and most of my third.  So we ended up going to one of those early ultrasound clinics to find out as soon as we possibly could.  I think it was around 14 weeks.  It was romantic and intimate to just be the two of us and Maverick.  And the ultrasound tech was more family friendly and social, rather than the techs at the hospital who are mainly looking at the anatomy, and the gender is really more of an afterthought for them.  Honestly, I was shocked to find out that it was a girl because I was totally sure it was a boy.  And now that I know her, she is a complete daredevil, tomboy.  So now I know why I was getting that boy vibe.  Nate and the rest of our family were absolutely smitten and in love because now we had one of each<3

So now with this pregnancy, here comes the question again.  A couple months ago, Nate expressed his idea of waiting to find out the gender until the birth.  At first I was shocked and thought he was kidding.  But he seems really passionate about it, arguing that we already have one of each, and baby supplies and clothes for each, so why not?  And here I am thinking that I really don’t need any surprises in the delivery room.  That there’s plenty of the unknown as it is, and that any knowledge that can be available to me, I should know.  But that’s just the pragmatic control freak in me I guess.  And my sweet and spontaneous hubby is always reminding me of the delight a little mystery can bring.  So I am definitely going along with his plan for this baby’s gender reveal.  I’m not always so agreeable to his ideas.  But this one, I can do 😉

Here’s a pic of my 5 month baby bump!

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Week 19, Sympathy Pregnancy (continued)

Last week I was posting about Nate’s sympathy pregnancy, and how it manifests itself first and foremost in weight gain, lol.  But there are a couple other manifestations I wanted to talk about.  Not only does he parallel me in eating for two, but he starts drinking for two as well.  Now, I should preface by saying that Nate is the jolliest drunk I’ve ever met.  In fact, he’s so lovey and adoring that it actually drives me nuts.  I try not to be so hormonal bitchy, but the truth is I’m sitting over here with a plethora of symptoms making me uncomfortable, I’m sober, and I just want to lay on the couch and eat.  Also I’m a little bit jealous.  I’ve completely outlawed wine in the house because I can smell it from across the room, and I start salivating.  It’s just not fair.

So besides wine, or when he actually gets really drunk and wants my attention, then I don’t really care.  Especially because he will wait on me hand and foot.  He will serve me food, seltzer water, cookies, and headache pills whenever I ask.  He will change all the diapers and feed the kids.  He will keep the house clean to his standard, (which leaves much to be desired as far as I’m concerned,) but the intention is there, and it means the world to me when I’m incapacitated.  So he will start day drinking alone at 10a.m. on a Saturday, and I’m like, “What’s the occasion?”  And he’s like, “I need fuel to deal with your neediness.”  And I’m like, “Fair enough.”  And I mean it.  For all that he does for me when I’m pregnant, if that means he needs to have a continual buzz, then I can understand.  Because in all reality, if I could take on pregnancy with a steady buzz, I think all would be right in my world.

The other thing that happens soon after I get pregnant is that Nate goes through a kind of mini mid-life crisis.  Clearly, he thinks his life is about to be stripped of all fun.  And truthfully, he’s got a point.  At least for the pregnancy and the first year of the baby’s life.  So he comes up with some expensive and unattainable thing that he wants, and starts to obsess over it.  This time it’s a Harley Davidson.  Now, for those of you who don’t know, I practically grew up on the back of a Harley.  My dad and uncle went riding every weekend they could, and my mom and I were almost always on the back.  I loved it.  Nate and I have dreamed about owning and riding a Harley together, and I have always known it would be a reality someday.  SOMEDAY.  Like a day when the kids are in school or with friends, and Nate and I can just take off for a day ride, knowing that our kids are somewhat independent and self sufficient.  Not when they are babies and still in that age where they might accidentally kill themselves if I’m not circling like a hawk.  And especially not when I’m still breastfeeding every two hours.

Okay.  The kids are one factor, but if we really wanted to, we would figure it out.  That’s not my biggest concern.  The two other factors that are non negotiable in my mind are; not while on sea duty, and not until we have a garage.  Even the garage factor I’d be willing to work with as long as we weren’t on sea duty.  Because a Harley is not meant to just be outside every day in the elements.  And we live by the beach where the air is salty and wet.  This would require some thorough and consistent maintenance on the bike, which Nate just doesn’t have the time for.  And if he doesn’t even have time to maintain the bike, how does he think he will have time to ride it???  His argument is that he will ride it to work.  But there’s another thing.  Motorcycles are especially dangerous in the city and during rush hours.  The man just spent the first 15 years of his Naval career jumping out of helicopters as a rescue swimmer.  So I’m like, “For God’s sake, can you please just be safe for like five minutes?”  I don’t need to be worrying about you on the job, as well as on your way to the job.  Give me a freaking break.

So even if we could overcome the absence of a garage, and find the time to enjoy the damn thing, what happens when Nate leaves town for weeks to months on end for work?…. One more thing for me to manage and take care of and maintain?  I think not.  Since we wouldn’t have it safely tucked away in the garage, I would have to move it regularly.  Even if I had a motorcycle license, and I knew the kids were safe to be alone for a few minutes, I would still need the physical strength and confidence to wrangle that beast.  That’s not even going into the maintenance regimen it would need.  Sea duty = no motorcycle.

I try to explain these realistic obstacles to him, and his idea is that we build a garage.  Okay.  Let’s think through this one.  Although I actually really like the idea of the garage, it would be a very large undertaking because we would have to create space where there is none.  We would be digging into the hill under our front deck all the way to the front door, construct the garage, and then recreate access to the front door on top of the garage.  And that’s even IF the city approved it.  So here I am like baffled by this delusion that we could make this happen, all while we are about to have a baby.  Oh, and did I mention that the construction bid was $90,000?  Lmao.

So here I am, the baby-making dream killer.  And my husband, well I guess that makes him the fat, delusional drunk.  It’s all just part of our journey through pregnancy, and it’s not always a pretty picture.  But it’s our truth.

Week 18, Sympathy Pregnancy

I am 4.5 months along now, and it’s about the time that Nate finally admits that he has a sympathy pregnancy, and starts to rectify it.  What is a sympathy pregnancy, you ask?  Well, exactly what it sounds like.  Your hubby or partner has so much sympathy or empathy for what you’re going through, that he starts to develop symptoms of his own.  I kid you not, this is real.  In Nate’s case, his appetite shoots through the roof, and he starts to gain weight.  During my first pregnancy with Maverick, Nate claimed that I was starting to gain weight around the three month mark.  And you’re probably thinking, “Duh, you’re eating for two when you’re pregnant.”  Well, that’s not entirely true.  During the first trimester, you are only really supposed to consume a couple hundred extra calories a day.  That’s like a granola bar or two.  And it’s recommended that you only gain a few pounds during the entire first trimester, if any.  Here’s a pic of month three when I was pregnant with Mav, and I was so skinny back then that, yes, this tiny little pooch was for sure a baby bump as far as Nate and I were concerned…

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So whenever I would point out to Nate that his appetite seems to have grown, he would shoot right back that I am also gaining weight, implying that maybe I’m gaining too much too fast.  And I would think, yea, right.  We’ll see.  So I bet him that at my three month appointment coming up, that my weigh-in would be perfectly normal at the 3-5 pound weight gain recommendation.  At the time, Nate and I were doing a group appointment for new parents called, “Centering.”  It’s very similar to what you see in the movies where a bunch of newly pregnant couples sit in a circle, and the midwife teaches you things each visit like nutrition, what to expect during pregnancy, what’s normal and what’s not, etc.

So when we get to the appointment, I tell all the ladies that my husband has a sympathy pregnancy, and that he’s been giving me crap about my weight gain.  They start yapping at him in my defense like, “How dare you!”  It was awesome.  I got on the scale and weighed in with a two pound weight gain.  I didn’t even try to hold back my, “I told you so,” smile.  I then informed Nate that he will now be getting on the scale.  You see, I knew that my fellow pregnant ladies would not let him off the hook now.  So as the other husbands looked on with pity, he got on the scale.  Turns out that he had gained 8 pounds!  We were all hooting and hollering at him.  I will never forget this winning moment.

See, I could care less about his weight gain.  I was just thrilled that we all knew that I was right, and that he finally had to admit that he did, in fact, have a sympathy pregnancy.  Now, in my second pregnancy and in this current one, he doesn’t even deny it anymore.  We just roll with it.  We both gain a little weight, and then at about the 4-5 month mark he decides to get back in shape, while I really start packing on the pounds.  Here’s some pics of month four, five, and six when I was pregnant with Mav…

 

And here’s month four, five, and six  when I was pregnant with Summerly…

And here’s month four of this pregnancy.  I will have to take a pic of month five soon!!

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I have a lot more to say about the effects of a pregnancy on your partner, but my kids have stripped naked, are screaming at me, and are about to dig in the trash if I don’t start paying attention to them.  So we’ll talk more next week;)  Ta ta for now!

Week 17, Oh so sexy…NOT

So Nate is on his travels, and I am holding down the fort at home.  You’d think I’d be used to this by now.  Nate and I have been together for seven years, (married for five), and we have been on sea duty in the Navy for the entire time.  In layman’s terms, he has been gone about 50%-80% of each year.  In the beginning, it was obviously just us.  Whenever he left town, I could do whatever I wanted.  Hit the town with my girlfriends, or go shopping, or go get a mani-pedi.  Then we got little Yoshi.  Then Sasebo.  Then we got married and had Maverick.  Then we bought the house.  Next we had Summerly.  And soon we will have our newest little baby bundle.  So although he has continued to leave town, my lifestyle has changed drastically throughout the years.  Each time he leaves, my responsibilities are evolving and ever-changing.  So I am not used to it at all.  Also, I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to the heartache that I feel when he leaves. I always miss him so damn much.  As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

So it’s been a few days now, and the sadness is waning, and I am back into my single mommy groove.  I’m on top of the chores, the house is immaculate, the kids are eating regularly, brushing their teeth twice a day, and going to bed on a schedule.  A while back in a post about military life, I mentioned that four things happen every time Nate leaves; something floods, something breaks, something moves in, and everyone’s emotional stability goes downhill.  So far the only flooding is the rain outside, and I can handle outside.  Everything broke last month, including the refrigerator ice maker/water dispenser, ($400), the thunderbolt iMac screen, ($175), and a tire on Nate’s truck went flat, ($250.)  Thank God he was home for all of that:)  The critter that moved in was the spider living on the ceiling that I asked Nate to kill, but he failed twice exclaiming, “Damn, that fu*ker’s fast!”  Well, I’m terrified of spiders, but I managed to get him on my first try.  Go me!  And so far, everyone’s emotional stability is level.  I would say me and Bobos are really the only ones crying.  All in all, it’s going really well compared to other times Nate has left.

It is going well, but that doesn’t mean that my version of well is all peaceful and relaxing.  The kids and I had just gotten home from running some errands, and now I have to take Yoshi outside in the pouring rain to hose off her butt because she pooped in her doggy diaper.  I also had to hose off the diaper and throw it in the washing machine.  I then had to perform a more thorough wash in the sink with her shampoo, because yuck.  While I’m finishing up with that, my kids are screaming and hungry.  I start prepping food for them, and throw a Cup-O-Noodles under the Keurig to brew.  I settle the kids down with their lunch, and take my noodles to the couch to enjoy, which was also my first meal of the day.  Nate is on a different time zone, so his daily morning wake up call is early afternoon for me.  He texts me that he had a sexy dream about us, and I am so flattered and happy that his sexy dream fantasy is of my ever-growing pregnant body.  Meanwhile, my fantasy is being able to eat my Cup-O-Noodles while it’s still warm.  He starts sexting me, and I am loving the flirting attention, but I am more than a little distracted.  I am trying to be a supportive wife, although it’s really hard to get in the mood after Yoshi’s poop diaper.

So while I’m trying to think of what to say, Maverick tells me he needs to go potty.  I get up and take him potty.  I sit back down, and Mav and Summerly start fighting.  I ignore them. Then Mav throws a Hot Wheel at Sum’s face and breaks skin.  God, help me.  I comfort her, and drag him kicking and screaming to time-out.  I get back to my lukewarm noodles, and text my hubby back, “I love you baby, but I just can’t right now.”  He then asks for pictures when I get around to it.  And I’m like, “Okay.  I’ll start mentally preparing for that.”  I am flustered and hungry and giggling uncontrollably at the thought of how nice and peaceful his room must be right now.  Back when it was just the two of us, I was all game for some sexting and pictures.  But now it’s just ridiculous.  I try to explain to him that that is the last thing on my mind when he is gone.  And logistically, trying to take sexy pictures while the kids are screaming and pounding outside the bedroom door is just stressful and humiliating.

The next day I wake up at 5a.m. to Sasebo dry heaving and about to throw up.  I fly out of bed and try to run him outside, but we don’t make it in time and he throws up on the living room rug.  It’s just a normal day for me.  Later that day I have to clean up all the dog poop on the side yard because it’s been three days.  It’s pouring rain so it’s all mushy wet poop. Ugh.  Later that evening after I put Summerly to bed, Maverick tells me that he needs to go poo poo on the potty.  Finally someone who goes in the damn potty.  Yay!  Except when I flush the toilet, it starts to clog.  I’m literally praying to God to please flush down.  Nope.  Well, we keep our plunger outside by the shed so that the kids never get ahold of it.  Plus the only people who clog toilets are men, and I’d rather them do the walk of shame, than keep that nasty thing in my house.  Well, this is one of those times I regret that.  It’s late, it’s storming outside, and I’m not even entirely sure where exactly Nate keeps the plunger.  So do I get on my rain gear and grab a flashlight and try to find the plunger, or do I just try to shove a handful of toilet paper down into the toilet to get things moving.  These are the choices I am faced with these days.

I continue to pray while debating which choice to make.  I decide to sacrifice my hand, because after all, I’ve been cleaning up poop all day.  With a quick little shove, and a little cooperation from the toilet, it all goes down.  After I thoroughly sanitize everything, I walk back to the couch and glance at my phone.  There’s a text from Nate asking if I’m still mentally preparing.  I am hysterically laughing because my husband always has less than impeccable timing.  I text him back that, “I am literally in a world of sh*t over here, and for God’s sake, just look up some old pix because I’m getting fat right now anyways.”  He laughs and tells me that I’m an amazing mother and wife.  He’s the sweetest.  And that’s what I need to hear.  Because as long as we are encouraging each other during the not so pleasant times, we can laugh about it and enjoy the good times even more.

Here’s some pix of Yoshi and Bobos when we first got them.

And our first picture of Maverick

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Mav playing in the newly renovated front yard after we bought the house

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Pictures of Nate and I remodelling our first kitchen

And our first pictures of Summerly

Week 15 & 16

For the past two weeks, we have all been taking turns being sick.  Nate and Mav were first, and lasted for about three days.  Summerly was last, and got sick after we were all pretty much better, and she only lasted for about three days as well.  As for me, I got sick right after the boys on day two, and I was sick for pretty much the entire two weeks.  So nobody told me that when you are pregnant, your immune system takes a vacation.  Yup, you catch anything and everything that goes around because your immune system is somewhere on a beach in the Caribbean sipping mai tais, while you are a leaky, sniffly mess.  Apparently the baby is taking so much of your energy and stamina to grow, that your body can’t really handle anything extra.  So when you get sick, you are on your own.

To make matters worse, and another thing nobody told me, is that you can’t take much in the form of meds.  Now, I believe they have lightened up since I had Mav, but when I got sick while pregnant with him, my doctors told me to drink lots of orange juice.  I’m like, “Gee, thanks.”  Meanwhile, Nate was pounding Emergen-C, Mucinex, NyQuil, and anything else he could get his hands on, while I enviously suffered on the couch with my OJ.  I finally drew the line when Nate was withholding cough drops from me saying that they were a Category C drug, meaning that they haven’t done enough studies to know if they are harmful to the fetus.  And I was like, “You give me those damn cough drops or you can sleep outside.”  I am happy to say though that this time since I am past 12 weeks, I could have Robitussin.  So that helped a little, but I was still by far the sickest of us all, and for the longest duration.

Meanwhile, we are preparing for Nate to take a work trip.  So we are running a lot of errands to prepare him for travel, and to prepare me to be alone with the kids and dogs and house.  I always prepare a “Before Nate leaves, Honey-do” list.  Things like, replace the fridge water filter.  Kill the spider living on the ceiling.  Wash our 85-pound Labrador, Bobos.  Fix the closet door because it won’t open.  Pick up the dogs’ flea medicine at Petco.  Pretty easy things for my hubby to do, but a little trickier for me dragging two toddlers behind me.

So while he is washing Bobos, I decide to wash our little 8-pound Pomeranian Yoshi.  Then I decide to give her a haircut like they do at the groomers.  How hard could it be?  So I use Nate’s hair shaver tool and get to work.  Nate walks in from washing Bobos, and says, “You’re crazy.”  I’m like, “Oh good, you’re done.  Get down here and hold her for me.”  An hour later, we are still attempting to give her that adorable lion cut hair style that they give her, although we are not really achieving it.  We are taking turns laughing hysterically, and trying to fix the unevenness of her shave.  Ultimately Yoshi ended up looking a little rumpled with some bald spots here and there, and we both have a newfound appreciation for the groomer.  Here’s some pix of the massive amount of hair we shaved off, and her not quite up to par haircut.

Once the bald spots grow back, I’ll take her to the groomer to fix it, lol.  But until then, she’s just gonna have to live with the embarrassment.

Here’s what it looks like when the groomer does it…

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The next day, we ended up going to Petco as a family to get the prescription flea medicine.  This means we also have to take the dogs because the vet needs to see them to renew the prescription.  Even with the capable hands of Mommy and Daddy, it’s still a cluster with two kids and two dogs.  When we get there, I decide to walk the kids around to keep them entertained while Nate deals with the dogs and the vet.  While browsing, I stumble across doggy diapers, and a lightbulb immediately flares up in my head.  You see, my little Yoshi likes to poop in the house any time Nate goes away.  Like spite poop because apparently I don’t love her as much as he does, or maybe she thinks I sent him away and she’s pissed.  Even when I take her out nine times a day, she will go pee pee every time, but hold her poop until we are back in the house, and then she will go when I’m not looking.  What a joy to add to my plate while he’s gone.

So I wander back to Nate with the doggy diapers, and he’s like, “You’re kidding, right?”  And with a huge victory smile, I’m like, “Not even a bit.”  The idea is that I’m almost positive she won’t go in the diapers.  She IS potty trained, although she likes to pretend she’s not when he’s gone.  The diaper will just force her to hold it until I take her out again.  That’s what I’m hoping anyway.  I guess we will find out soon enough, so wish me luck.

Some more potty news in our house is that we pretty much have Mav potty trained.  Finally!!!  He’s three and a half, so I’m not too far behind for a boy, but man I’ve just been trying for so long.  Right after New Years I told Nate that I was no longer going to potty train Maverick, and that I was just going to skip him and move on to Summerly.  Because that way I can feel validated in that it’s not my parenting, and yay for me that I potty trained one kid, so I’m not a failure.  Well, Nate grew concerned because he knew I was serious.  He started to take a very active role in getting Mav to be excited about being a,”Big boy,” who gets to wear big boy underpants.  And lo and behold, (and as I always suspected,) once Nate got really involved, Mav responded with flying colors.  This is the most amazing and wonderful news in our house.  Especially because we still have Sum in diapers, are about to have a new baby in diapers, and now Yoshi will be in diapers.  I really needed a win, and I got it.  I am just ecstatic.  The things that make moms giddy. LMAO.

Week 14, The Holidays

How many adjectives can I use to describe the holidays?…Amazing.  Stressful.  Loving.  Overwhelming.  Exciting.  Busy.  Full of fun.  Full of drama.  The best time of year.

Last year Nate was deployed September through February, so it was just me and Mav and Summerly making plans to hang with friends and family for the holidays.  What used to be simple and enjoyable activities like taking the kids to the pumpkin patch, was now a totally overwhelming and exhausting adventure.  Summerly was only three months old, (enough said,) and Maverick had completely lost his mind in his attempts to understand why his Daddy left forever.  You see, kids that young don’t have a sense of time or object permanence.  So trying to explain when daddy will be home is not really something they can comprehend.  All he knows is daddy is not here right now, and that was breaking his little heart all the time.  So it was understandable that he was acting out and taking “Terrible twos,” to a whole new level.

By Christmas Summerly was six months old, and Mav was two and a half.  I had turned into the Grinch trying not to be too sad missing Nate, but refusing to put myself through what seemed to be the insurmountable task of unpacking and putting up the Christmas decorations.  Forget about trying to get a tree into the house.  My super awesome neighbors offered to put up some lights on the house, but I politely declined admitting that it was easier for me physically and emotionally to just embrace my Grinchiness and my husband’s absence.

Having explained that, it’s understandable that I went all out this year.  We put up every decoration that I could find.  I learned about Elf on the Shelf for the first time and embraced that with way more enthusiasm than any adult should.  And I proceeded to buy more decorations until Nate finally drew the line when I attempted to purchase a $200 advent calendar from Pottery Barn.  Of course it was overpriced, but I had to have it!  So when he refused to let me buy it, I coerced him into making it for me.  That’ll teach him to say, “No.”  Hah!  Here’s a pic of the Pottery Barn advent calendar.

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We bought the wood and hooks at Home Depot.  I measured, he cut, I stained, he screwed it all together, and then screwed in the 25 hooks with my direction.  I sewed the 25 stockings with red fabric that I already had, and then embellished with the twine loops and white trim and burlap numbers, which I am still in the process of glueing on.  I then topped it off with a copper star and some lights from Target, and whala!  For just $40!

Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have which really doesn’t do it justice, but I’m still super proud of it.

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The trip to the Christmas tree lot had me giddy.  The joy of watching Nate unwrap countless trees until we find the perfect one is exhilarating.  Another couple walks up to look at some trees near us while Nate is bitching and refusing to untie yet another tree that I had just pointed to.  The wife leans closer to me and sarcastically exclaims, “They’re all the same, aren’t they?!”  Nate overhears and frustratingly responds, “Exactly!”  And she and I just start cracking up because we both know that the comment was describing our resistant and complaining husbands, not the trees.  Nate and I finally agreed on a tree that was a little smaller than some others I had my eye on, but I conceded to his pleads for a tree that was under six feet tall.  He also had to convince me that we didn’t need 45 feet of live garland, which took some finesse on his part because I was pretty adamant.  In retrospect, yeah, I was definitely going overboard.

The next day we headed to Target for some more lights and extra ornament hooks for the tree.  On our way there we were forced to take a detour because there was a police motorcade coming through.  It was the longest motorcade I had ever seen in my life, and I was convinced that it was for sure the President…or maybe Oprah! Lmao.  There were about five Sheriff’s busses leading the charge, and an endless stream of Explorer SUVs blaring their lights and sirens, literally as far as my eyes could see.  I was like a puppy sticking my head out the window trying to count the cars as we were directed in the opposite direction to take the back way to Target.  As we approached the light to pull into the parking lot, the sirens started sounding louder and seemed to be getting closer, although we had just driven away from them.  All of a sudden there were those Sheriff’s busses right in front of us!  They had driven around the block, and were now pulling into the Target parking lot from the other side of the intersection.  Nate grumbled under his breath, “What the hell is going on??”

Right then I am reminded of a conversation I had had with my neighbors last year after I had unknowingly gone to Target at the tail end of this event, and wondered why there were so many cop cars around.  They explained to me that every year at Christmas, San Diego Sheriff’s Department hosts an event called Shop with a Cop.  The event starts with numerous volunteer uniformed officers from a variety of agencies who show up at SeaWorld to have breakfast with 300+ underprivileged kids in San Diego, and then escort them in their various police vehicles to Target where they each get to spend a $100 gift card for Christmas.  This all comes from grants and donations.

I start explaining this to Nate as we are ushered to park in front of the Ralph’s parking lot, since the Target lot is cordoned off for the officers.  There are hundreds of varying police vehicles including the Sheriff’s busses, swat vans, motorcycles, cops on horses, and don’t forget the helicopter circling above us.  There are kids on the vehicle intercoms of the police cars singing Jingle Bells, and shouting Merry Christmas!  As if it couldn’t get any more festive, then comes Santa and Mrs. Claus in an old fashioned, antique looking police car.  As I am taking this all in with wide-eyed wonder, Nate has been huffing and puffing and says, “You’ve gotta be sh*tting me.”  He tells me we are going home, and I nearly rip his head off vehemently arguing that we are absolutely not missing this.  So he begrudgingly loads the kids into a cart, and we make our way into the store.  Nate is still bitching and grumbling about the crowd and how we’re, “Never gonna get out of here,” when he stops cold because he notices that I’m crying.  He asks me what’s wrong, and I respond, “It’s just so magical.”

It really was a beautiful event to witness, full of Christmas cheer and the spirit of giving.  But also I was clearly a hormonal mess, so happy that my hubby is home this year, and fully enjoying everything Christmas has to offer.  So all in all, I had an amazing holiday season, all the crowds and stress and family drama included.  Also I am thrilled that my hormones have been driving me around happy land, rather than bitchy, angry town.  And I’m just gonna enjoy it while it lasts, lol.

Here are some pix of our holiday festivities.  I was too busy crying to take pix of the Shop with a Cop event, and too distracted haggling with Nate to take pix at the Christmas tree lot.  But there are some other pictures of things we did.  Like wandering around the Irvine Spectrum and riding the carousel.

Visiting the always hilarious Ocean Beach Christmas tree.

Dressing up for Nate’s command Christmas party which was a Great Gatsby theme.

Visiting Santa, of course.

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Decorating the Christmas tree.

And finally, opening presents Christmas morning with family.

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Week 12 & 13

I’ve made it through the last two weeks of my first trimester!  Not only does this mean that my first trimester symptoms should be fading away soon, but it also means that my odds of miscarrying drop down to less than 10%!  I honestly feel a weight that I didn’t even know was there has lifted.  What a relief.  So let’s recap how the first trimester went, shall we?…

Well, I know I explained the nausea and headaches in painstaking detail.  Oh, and who can forget the constipation?  That was my triad of death, as I bluntly referred to it.  I did have a few other symptoms that were obviously overshadowed, but were certainly still there.  For one, my skin is sensitive and tender all over.  Especially the boobies!  I will develop blisters on my feet from wearing Ugg boots of all things.  Forget about wearing heels.  Clothing and jewelry rubs and irritates my skin to the point that I get rashes everywhere; armpits, hips, ankles, wrists, in-between my toes and fingers, and of course the most uncomfortable is the panty line, ouch!

I can’t regulate my temperature for sh*t.  All the blood is rushing to my growing uterus and baby, so my extremities are freezing.  My feet are like ice bricks all the time.  And then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I’m having a menopausal hot flash and stripping all of my layers off as fast as I can.  Literally, a hot mess.

Feeding myself is a constant surprise because I’ll be craving orange chicken all day, and then after happily chowing it down for dinner, I can never have it again for the rest of my pregnancy because the thought of it makes me sick.  So figuring out what I can manage to eat on a daily basis is a challenge.  I am thankful though that it’s not as bad as my first pregnancy because I couldn’t eat chicken AT ALL the entire time.  Seriously, not even a bite.  And my weirdest craving was dipping a corn dog into soy sauce.  I really can’t believe I did this, but I’m telling you that it was absolutely delicious at the time.

And last, but certainly not least, hormones.  One day I am infatuated with my hubby and my life and just straight jolly all around.  The next day I am a raging, short-tempered, no patience, hormonal, snappy biatch, who can’t stand anything and everything that my husband does or says.  At lease this time we know the drill because I can now say to him, “Please just don’t speak to me right now because everything you say makes me want to strangle you.”  And he will sweetly respond, “Yes, Dear.”  But if I had tried that my first pregnancy, he wouldn’t have been so understanding, and I certainly didn’t have the insight to know that I’m being hormonal, much less how to deal with it.

So all in all I’m feeling pretty accomplished to have made it through the first three months.  I am looking forward to the next trimester which will have  whole new slew of surprises, one of which will be feeling my baby kick and dance around in my belly.  As much as I might vent and complain about the never ending discomforts of pregnancy, I am really enjoying this, and so excited for what’s to come!

PS, here’s a pic of my baby bump, and the rest of the pix of Elfie McJingles on his nightly adventures.

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Week 11

So 11 weeks means I’m almost done with my first trimester, Woohoo!  Although the nausea shows no signs of waning, and the headaches are almost every single day.  I will remain hopeful that these two symptoms will soon be over, or at least less frequent.  Another symptom that just popped up has been ruining my life for the past week.  It’s honestly kind of embarrassing to write about, but at this point, I just don’t give a sh*t.  Literally, because I’m constipated.  Another wonderful pregnancy symptom that no one wants to talk about.  So not only is this to be expected in the first trimester because of hormones, (as always,) but it’s compounded by the anti-nausea pills that I’m taking almost every day.  So that’s just a lose, lose situation.  Oh, the joys of pregnancy.

Again, not the demure, lovely thing people think it is.  I am a hot mess over here with an ice pack strapped to my forehead to soothe the headache, one hand over my mouth as if that will prevent me from vomiting, and then my other hand clutching my stomach because of the cramps caused by the constipation.  Or maybe the cramps are a result of the large amount of Miralax I have recently ingested.  Let’s hope, because if that doesn’t work, I have been instructed by my doctor to use an enema.  This is humbling to say the least.

Well, of course the Miralax doesn’t do the job.  Fantastic.  So when I am finally desperate enough to send my hubby out to pick up an enema, I am in complete shock when reading the directions.  As it turns out, you can’t just insert the liquid while sitting on the toilet.  Oh, no.  You have to basically do a downward dog position while on your knees with your face to the floor, and then hold that for five minutes after inserting the liquid.  FML.  My sweet and compassionate husband asks if I need his help and I am mortified.  I basically scream at him, “Absolutely not!”  I am reminded in that moment of the movie, “This is 40,” where the husband asks the wife to check to see if he has hemorrhoids.  I guess this is normal life for us now.  But still, I will endure this humiliation by myself, alone, thank you very much.

Although here I am writing about it, so I guess I have completely thrown my pride out the window.  This is actually a good thing though, because if I remember correctly, there is no being shy in the delivery room.  If you were a conservative person before, pregnancy will swiftly strip you of that.  It was really hard to swallow at first, and here I am pregnant with baby number three, and still feeling humiliated and betrayed by my own body.  As annoyed as I am about this, I have to remember that this made me a more compassionate person, and a more patient mama.  So cheers to me and my enema, and looking forward to what surprises might come next.

 

P.S.  We have been playing Elf on the Shelf for the very first time, and I think I am having more fun with it than the kids.  We’ve named him Elfie McJingles, and here are some pics of his nightly adventures!

Week 10

That’s right, we are pregnant!!!  And I’m very happy to report that this pregnancy is kickin’ my ass.  The onslaught of first trimester symptoms are in full effect.  I am exhausted, of course, but powering through it like the veteran mama zombie, (mombie,) that I am.  I am getting headaches so frequently that I am forgetting what it feels like to not have one.  And the worst of all is the nausea.  It is debilitating and shadows me all day. Even in the middle of the night when I wake up to pee for the fourth or fifth time, (another first trimester delight,) it rears it’s ugly head and I rush back to bed in hopes that I can sleep it away.

So I beg the doctor for something to help, because I need to be a functioning human most of the time.  She gives me something different than what I was taking my previous two pregnancies, and it turns out that this stuff is combined with a sedative.  So here I am taking it first thing in the morning before work, and wondering why everything is so hard; driving, thinking, standing.  I remember being tired with my previous pregnancies, but not like this.  I’m living my days on auto pilot and not even remembering chunks of it.  Mombie.  Finally my girlfriend puts it together and enlightens me.  Thank God for that, because trying to function under a sedative was as difficult as trying to push through the nausea.  The doctor prescribed me something else, and also something to cope with the headaches.  So now that my two worst symptoms are somewhat manageable, I feel like I have rejoined the world again!  Woohoo!

The main reason we delayed the announcement is because we wanted to get that first eight week ultrasound to confirm that there is, in fact, a baby in there this time.  As most of you know, we suffered a miscarriage a few months ago.  It came as a complete and tragic shock, and therefore made us very skeptical when looking at the positive CVS brand pee test.  For my last three pregnancies, that pee test might as well have been written in stone.  But since one of those resulted in the miscarriage, this time we needed more proof.  And even after two ultrasounds, we still had to make a conscious decision to believe it. I’m guessing that that’s probably normal though.  So now that it’s been 10 weeks, and I am nearing the end of my first trimester, and can no longer button my jeans, we feel confident in sharing the news!

It’s true, my jeans are already a lost cause.  With your first pregnancy, you don’t really show until about 5-6 months.  And most people still won’t say anything until 7-8 months just in case.  With your subsequent pregnancies however, your body is like a balloon that’s already been blown up and deflated before, so blowing it up again is much quicker and less resistant.  Your body remembers.  My first pregnancy I refused to buy maternity clothes, and somehow got away with it.  My second pregnancy I bought the clothes, but held off wearing them until the 5-6 month mark.  This time I unpacked those maternity clothes right away, and am almost looking forward to just surrendering to the inevitable.  I guess you could say that I am embracing the good, the fat, and the nauseous.  Because after all, I will have another sweet darling little baby out of it. ❤

Postpartum

My cousin asked me the other day if I had ever had postpartum depression, and what it felt like.  I automatically responded with a, “No,” because that’s what society has trained me to say.  Because the reality is that you just had a brand new miracle introduced into your life, and besides that, your life was already pretty good to begin with.  What the hell do you have to be depressed about?  Well, I honestly believe that every woman suffers from postpartum to some degree.  I mean, chemically, your hormones are completely whackadoodle.  How could there not be an emotional response?  But I really want to focus on the emotional triggers because, let’s face it, they are overwhelming.

Before baby I was lookin’ pretty cute in my skinny jeans and form fitting tops that were usually purchased from Nordstrom.  Especially with the perfect pair of summer wedges to compliment.  It was normal to wash, blow-dry, and straighten or curl my hair every day.  It was normal to apply makeup every day, and to match my eyeshadow and lip color to my outfit.  I would visit a salon regularly to get my hair highlighted, and occasionally get a mani-pedi, or do it myself.  I HATE chipped nail polish.  Or I should say I had the luxury of hating chipped nail polish.

Because nowadays, getting a mani-pedi is the equivalent of flying to Europe.  Even having the time to do it myself is nearly impossible.  Those skinny jeans are probably hiding in the dark depths of my closet, because they haven’t fit my not-so-skinny butt since the first time I got preggers.  I probably threw away all of those form fitting tops in a blind rage.  The heels are still there, but just collecting dust.  Because once you get pregnant, you lose your equilibrium and balance because your center of gravity is constantly changing, and you don’t get it back until like a year after having the baby.  I normally don’t take a shower until I can’t remember the last time I took a shower.  There is no blowdrying or straightening.  Most of the time I just pile it into a messy knot on the top of my head without even brushing it.  Makeup, yeah right.  And the highlights are so grown out that I’ve just been calling it ombre, as if it were intentional.  And I’m not even going to describe the clothing that I now think is acceptable to leave the house in.

So the point I’m trying to make here is that the person you once were before baby, is forever gone.  Your whole identity before baby gets flipped on it’s head, from the way you looked, to the way you acted, and you pretty much have to start over.  That’s depressing.  I was always a patient and friendly person who didn’t mind if the line was long, and who enjoyed chatting with the store clerks.  Now, I can’t get out of there fast enough with two screaming babies.  And don’t you dare ask me if I want to sign your petition.  I’m always running and sweating trying to get everything done, yet still don’t ever seem to be moving fast enough.  I feel like a slave.

Postpartum has little to do with the baby, besides the fact that it’s a succubus draining you of every bit of life-force you have to give, and then some.  Literally, if you are breastfeeding, the baby is sucking all of your nutrients out, and you are left with whatever is left.  Which isn’t much because you barely have time to eat.  Or pee.  Or sleep.  And I already explained that showers fall lower on the list.  And the house chores like laundry… Well, that’s why I’ll leave the house in sweats that are covered in my children’s bodily fluids.  Because if the choice is to do laundry, or calm the screaming baby, I will chose that angry little human because I love it more than life.  However, even though I will make that choice a hundred times over, doesn’t mean that eventually it feels crappy to wear dirty clothes.  Or only eat the cold scraps of food that the kids didn’t finish, rather than making myself a nice warm meal the way I used to.  Or pee in private and when I need to, rather than holding it until it hurts.  Or sleep when I’m tired, or even at all for that matter.  Remember that sleep deprivation and starvation are actually used as torture tactics.  So no wonder I’m feeling depressed and bitchy.

So Mamas, let’s vow that it’s completely normal to have postpartum, and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.  We are dealing with some pretty debilitating conditions sometimes.  And what we knew of ourselves is being tested at every level.  I thought I was a patient woman until my infant son screamed for three hours straight, and I was completely unable to console him.  I felt like a failure.  Now that I look back, I think I was pretty kick-ass to have dealt with him with the compassion and patience that I did, while at the same time feeling like complete crap physically and emotionally.  Postpartum is real, and it sucks.  But you will get through the other end and feel so so so much better.  Let’s just hope we can get in some more regular showers in the meantime.