Friday, July 29, 2011

Husband: merMAN!

We have reached the five-week mark with baby Charlie/Susan. Mary is going to work on the brain, spinal cord and heart this week. I figure that’s as good a place to start as any, although I would have gone with hair or big toe, which as we all know is the most important of all the toes.

I’m getting conflicting reports from various books and websites that the baby is either the size of an orange seed (bigger) or a sesame seed (smaller). Whatever the size, it allegedly looks like a tadpole, ginger root or alien from Alien. The tail is an issue. It is 1/6th the size of the entire baby at this point. The tail is supposed to get absorbed back into the body, but if baby decides to keep it, we could have an Olympic gold medalist swimmer come 2032.

Best case scenario: Dara Torres/Michael Phelps. Worst case scenario: This.
And WHO knew harboring a growing human in your uterus was so exhausting? Wife has to actually make an effort to stay up past 8 p.m. every night. She is usually pretty exhausted whenever she gets home, and I fear that she and the couch may soon become one. She was able to take a nap at work today (during her lunch break, dear co-workers at OAD), and I think that helped her make it to the end of the day.

Her symptoms at this point, in order of prominence, are extreme exhaustion, emotional ups and downs, sore breasts (not my fault) and queasiness. To me, it seems a lot like when she was studying for the Bar exam except without all of the anxiety and flashcards.  

I should note she passed the Bar with flying colors.That only lasted about three months though, and this pregnancy thing lasts around nine. If pregnancy were a drug, nobody would take it. Except Manny Ramirez.

Manny's endorsement potential has taken a hit in retirement.

But even with all the negative side effects of being pregnant (of which my brave and tough-as-nails wife is bearing the brunt of), we have a lot of things to look forward to: first baby ultrasound, finding out the sex, feeling it kick, decorating the nursery and telling it the complete adventures of Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Husband: David Wells loves Buffets

We really couldn’t hold it in any longer. Both of us were busting at the seems to tell everyone the day we found out, but we agreed to wait. That didn’t last past 6 a.m. the next morning. We both agreed to tell just our parents with the explicit instructions to not tell ANYONE else (including grandparents). That lasted until never. We told our grandparents later that morning, and of course every other family member found out from there.

After our families found out, we decided to wait until the official doctor’s appointment to tell everyone else. That lasted until Tuesday, when we convinced ourselves that we NEEDED to tell our bosses and office friends, but nobody else. The doctor’s appointment, for the record, is in the middle of August, but we figured 10 straight positive pregnancy tests was a good-enough indicator. We told all of our other friends as soon as we got home from work that day. We have the collective willpower of a kid in a candy store David Wells at Golden Corral.

David Wells: Not pregnant, loves buffets.
A lot of things we read said wait to tell people until the end of the first trimester. I understand why that is, but if you’ve ever gone through this, you know it’s not really possible for first-time parents to hold it in for very long. The excitement is indescribable. Think Willy Wonka fat kid and the chocolate river. Or this kid.

I hear ya Augustus.
In other news, the baby has figured out how to operate the matrix that is wife’s emotional and physical switchboard. She will go from cold to hot, from sad to elated, from tired to…she’s pretty much always tired.

Not pictured: Abdominal discomfort.

Sad commercial? Cue the waterworks. 100 degrees outside? Let me bring you another blanket. Jeopardy just ended? I'll get the bed ready.

The pregnancy books say this is all very normal and part of the "joys" of pregnancy. As the man, the only one of these symptoms that I get to enjoy are wife's swollen ta-tas. 

I have my own pregnancy book (The Caveman's Pregnancy Companion, which I highly recommend), and it's been pretty helpful. It tells me everything I need to know without excessively using words like "discharge" and "ovaries." Basically my job as husband is to pamper my wife to no end until the baby comes. That includes massages, dinners, giving up remote privileges and not judging when she wants a third ice cream cone. Pretty much allow her to live stress-free with little responsibilities outside of putting the baby together. I am 100% capable of that.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wife: Sharing the Good News

So we made the big announcement and everyone has been so wonderful. We called all of our friends on Monday night. It was so hard to keep the news a secret at work. Especially when my friend Sarah told me that her sister had given birth over the weekend. Sarah was showing me pictures of her new niece and it was so hard for me not to blurt out, “I’m pregnant!” But somehow, I managed to keep it all in. That afternoon, I talked to my best friend from high school, Kristi. She is really my only close friend who already has children. Tucker and Emma, her twins are two years old! Anyway, she was so excited for us. We talked for a long time – she reminded me to stay away from the internet during pregnancy. Lots of scary things can come up in Google when you type “is it safe to _____ during pregnancy.” Actually, I can do most of the things I did before I was pregnant. Apparently, things become a little more difficult, but as for now I can keep up most of my daily activities.

As for making some of the lifestyle adjustments to pregnancy, that has not been too bad. I usually drink about 2-3 cups of coffee a day; two at home and one at work. During pregnancy, I can have about 2 cups of coffee per day. So Chris and I switched to Maxwell House’s ½ the caffeine coffee on Saturday. That way, I can still have two cups at home, and one at work (it is a psychological thing). It is not quite the same as Dunkin Donuts...

Now, I have not had a Diet Coke since Friday. Actually, on Friday after the movie, I brought home my Diet Coke that we snuck into the theatre. Then I took the test and saw it was positive. I had to pour that delicious drink down the sink. I won’t lie, it was tough. But I figure I can do anything for 9 months. I haven’t really missed it that much. However, I notice I am getting really tired in the afternoons and I start day dreaming about a nice, ice cold can of Diet Coke. Oh well, only 8 more months until I can taste that yummy deliciousness again and “open happiness.”

I have been taking prenatal vitamins and fish oil, so that was not really an adjustment. Apparently, pregnant ladies are not supposed to eat deli meat (who knew). That one could be made up, but until Dr. J (my OB/GYN) gives me the go ahead, I am going follow that rule. So in preparation for our lunches for the week, Chris and I cooked a turkey breast in the Crock Pot on Sunday. Our sandwiches have been delicious! The only problem was that the turkey breast was a little more expensive than the Great Value Oven Roasted Turkey in the deli meat section. But if that is one of the only things that we have to change, that is okay. And I have been eating a pregnancy super food this week, i.e. sweet potatoes. I love sweet potatoes to begin with, so I take a little half with me to work along with my sandwich and it is so delicious. So that was definitely not a difficult adjustment to make.

My symptoms are pretty much the same except that I need to add a few new ones. I am extremely bloated, but I am peeing all the time. Sometimes I think it’s because all I can really drink is water, but I think it is more than that. I am now waking up at least twice during the night. And at work, my office is all the way at the end of the hall opposite the ladies restroom. So every time I have to go, I have to walk out of my office, past all of my colleagues in their offices (we all keep our office doors open), to go to the bathroom. If some of them don’t know I am pregnant, they will soon as they see me traipse back and forth from the bathroom all day long. I guess I shouldn’t complain too much; it is a good form of exercise. Plus, getting up so much helps me fight the fatigue that has definitely started arriving. Most nights this week I have gone to bed at 9. Like in the bed asleep at 9. Now some of you who know me will say, “That is really not a lot earlier than your usual bedtime of 9:30.” But I have to force myself to stay up until 9. Last night, I started falling asleep on the couch. It was 7:30. Also the emotional highs and lows are continuing. This afternoon at the gym, one of those “Values” commercials came on. You know, the one where the little boy sneaks away from his parents and starts playing the piano at the concert. And the pianist walks out and plays with him. Well I just started crying on the elliptical machine. Thankfully, I had my towel.

All of my clothes still fit! But I guess since its only Week 4, that is not much of a feat. I haven’t had morning sickness or cravings or anything like that. So for now, it is business as usual, as far as food and exercise is concerned. Oh and I made my first doctor appt. My doctor wants to see me at 8 weeks, so my first appointment is August 18. It seems like forever away, but it will be here before we know it!

Now, that I have forced myself to stay up until 9:15, I think I am going to say goodnight. My bed is calling my name.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wife: The News is Still Sinking In...

I have known that I am pregnant for almost three days now. And the news is still sinking in. Sometimes, I run to the bathroom (where yes, I still have saved some of the positive tests) just to make sure that that the pink line is still there. It is. I still have a couple of tests to pee on next week just to make sure. But I won't be posting pictures of those. You'll just have to take my word for it that the line is there.

Chris was not joking when he said we thought it would take us a couple of months to get pregnant. I have only been off the pill since the end of May! I thought it would take a while for my cycles to get back to normal, although I realized very quickly in June that my cycle was normal already. And I will plug the Clear Blue Digital Ovulation Predictor Kit. You pee on the stick every day until you get a smiley face. :) Smiley face = ovulation. So apparently it worked for us. I just thought it would take a few more months. My hope was to be pregnant by October. Oh well, its great news and we are certainly happy. Just a little surprised. According to the various due date calculators, I am about three weeks pregnant (only 37 more to go) our baby is due somewhere around March 28, 2012.

Our families are very excited. My mom has been hoping for this day to come for a long time. I used to joke that I needed to hide my birth control pills from her (in case she decided to tamper with them). My dad is excited too. I think he is probably in the same surprised/shocked/excited stage that I am. I reminded him that he was going to be a granddad and he said, “Wow that hit home.” Chuck and Cindy are excited too. I think most everyone assumes that the baby will be a boy, even though it is way too soon to have any idea. And I think the baby is currently about the size of a sesame seed (and apparently looks like a dinosaur).

We haven’t told any of our friends yet. I wanted to wait until after we got the “official” results from my doctor. I am going to call her tomorrow to see if I can come take the blood test just to be sure. And I guess schedule my first pre-natal visit for some time in August. All the books we have (both of them) recommended waiting to “announce our pregnancy” until the end of the first trimester. Apparently, the first trimester is the riskiest time, where we have our greatest chance of miscarriage. But this only occurs in about 10-20% of pregnancies. And there was just no way I could keep this in. It is my first pregnancy and I just want to share it with everyone as soon as possible. So as soon as I have the official results, we will be calling all of our friends and posting the link to the blog on Facebook.

Oscar (our Border Terrier and King of the Castle) is excited. I think he will be an excellent big brother. But more on Oscar's reaction and how he is handling all this later.

Right now, I am feeling fine. I don’t really have a lot of symptoms, except that I am a little emotional. During the closing hymn at church this morning, I started tearing up for no reason. If people had not been around, I would have started crying pretty hard. And I feel a little tired, but nothing too bad. I just hope I have a nice normal pregnancy. My biggest fear is gaining a million pounds. But hopefully, I can keep that under control. My mother and mother-in-law both look back on their pregnancies completely differently. While I don’t think pregnancy is going to be the happiest time in my life, I think that if I eat well, exercise, and get plenty of rest I’ll be okay. I know I will write an entire post soon on my pregnancy weight gain fears. But for now, I’ll just take Oscar on another big walk.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Husband: What has no thumbs and a tail?

What has two thumbs and is about to be a father? This guy. What has two thumbs and is growing a baby in her womb? My wife. What has no thumbs and a tail? Our unborn child.

My boys can swim. My proof is the bean-sized embryo in my wife’s uterus that’s currently turning into a baby (think Transformers). Technically, we’ve been “trying” to have a baby for only about a month. That followed a month of “not not trying” when my wife stopped taking her birth control. With everything I’ve heard, it takes most people several months, sometimes up to a year, to finally break through. We, apparently, are a pair of Fertile Myrtles.

We used the “Blitzkrieg” technique. Our strategy was to send in as many troops as quickly as possible to force her egg into submission. 

Blitzkrieg (German, "lightning war”) is an anglicized word describing all-mechanised force concentration of tanks, infantry, artillery and air power, concentrating overwhelming force at high speed to break through enemy lines, and, once the latter is broken, proceeding without regard to its flank.
Now if you replace “tanks, infantry, artillery and air power” with “sperm” and “enemy lines” with “egg wall”, that’s what we did. And it worked.

We both found out yesterday. We had just gotten back from watching the last Harry Potter movie (awesome), and I walked our dog Oscar out back to use the bathroom. After battling with him for about 10 minutes (standard, a story for another post), I gave up and came back inside. MJ was standing at the kitchen sink with a smirk on her face. She said, “I think I’m pregnant,” and showed me the pee stick in her hands. 

She didn't look quite as pissed.
These pregnancy tests, if you’re not familiar with them, are about as simple as they can get. Pee on one end, wait a minute and look in the window to see if you have a baby. The instructions are clear: one line is NOT pregnant, two lines is VERY pregnant.  What I saw was about 1.000000000000001 lines. I seriously had to hold it about 2 inches from my face (yes, pee-soaked pregnancy test inches from my mouth) to see the second line, but it was there. Skeptical (but smiling and hopeful) I told MJ to go take another test to make sure. She failed to save any of her pee though, so we had to wait. Eventually, two more tests showed the same result, and a fourth test (another brand) the next morning confirmed. In hindsight, I probably should have given her a standing ovation because going 4-for-4 is a good day for anybody (think Derek Jeter).

I think it’d make this process a lot more fun if these preg tests had some bells and lights (think slot machine). Speaking of slot machines, my brother sent me a text today – “If yalls baby was conceived in vegas u have to call him or her carlos.” We went to Vegas for a wedding about a month ago. You can always rely on Zack for some comedic relief.

So of course we already have some books. They have pictures (awesome). Apparently our baby is pretty close to what I’d call the “Your baby now looks like a dinosaur” stage. 

 Your velociraptor at one month.

Just a hunch, but her take on these events is probably a bit different from mine. You'll probably hear from her soon, although it looks like the baby is already sucking the life out of her. She is asleep on the couch.