Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Husband: I have my wife back

After a grueling last three months, I finally have my wife back.

Over the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, she dealt with being so tired she couldn’t get off the couch, so bloated she spent days at a time in pajama pants and so emotionally volatile that we had nine different tissue stations in the house.

But that’s all over now. The period of morning sickness, lack of energy and hormonal mood swings is officially behind her. She’s moved on into the magical land of rainbows and unicorns that is the second trimester. It’s supposed to be “the best part of pregnancy” because the hormonal gang war that was going on inside her body has officially called a truce. 

It was a lot like the Jets and the Sharks, but with far less dancing and snapping.
She has energy again, and she finally broke off her affair with the couch (they were getting pretty close). It’s almost like she’s back to normal, besides the ever-growing bump in her belly that now looks like she ate a volleyball. She’s earned a break. I saw what she went through, and just watching her trudge along (bravely, with minimal complaints) made ME miserable. And that’s only from what I saw. She probably felt far worse than she let on.

There’s a lot to be said for how strong a woman has to be to go through pregnancy. As her husband, I can make things a bit easier by taking on the bulk of the house chores, giving her back rubs, etc., but I’m still not the one peeing every seven minutes or crying every time I see “Adopt a Dog Today” billboards around town.

A face only a pregnant woman could love.

So for you readers who have yet to experience the joys of pregnancy, just know that the first trimester, for lack of a more descriptive term, BLOWS. Moms-to-be won’t feel like themselves and dads-to-be may wonder if their wives will ever return to normal. Those first three months can be frustrating for both parties, but it does get better. It’s like when Frodo had to travel through Mordor, except instead of babysitting Gollum, she's carrying a baby (they look similar at this point in the gestation).

The turnaround has been pretty sudden from how crappy my wife was feeling before to how great she’s feeling now. She got up at 5 a.m. today to work out at the gym and then came back like she had just returned from a Red Bull taste-testing seminar energized with a list of things that we have to do this week. Before last week, cleaning out the cars, working in the yard and tidying up the house were not even on her radar. NOW, she wants to catch up on all the household projects she’s missed out on over the past few months. So starting today when we get home from work, we’re embarking on a week-long cleaning binge. Yay for the second trimester?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wife: Feeling Better!

Well, I know it has been a few days since we last blogged, and I apologize for that.  It is my fault.  Chris has been doing a great job keeping up with the blog while I have been lying around.  I meant to blog last week, but apparently last week, the placenta was finishing up and I had a final wave of nausea and terribleness.  But I have wonderful news.  I think I have written my last blog post about feeling like crap!

Everyone keeps talking about how magical I would feel once the second trimester hit.  And while I still have two more weeks until my second trimester, I am definitely feeling better this week.  Some women describe the second trimester as a “superwoman” type feeling.  I don’t quite feel like Superwoman yet but, I am definitely closer.

Not quite ready to leap tall buildings, but I am able to stay awake past the neighborhood kids!
For example, I have been able to stay up until 9:30 and 10:00 at night.  After going to bed by 8:30 for the last 8 weeks, this is pretty exciting stuff.   Also, my energy level has picked up.  I finally had enough energy today to go work out after work.  It felt amazing.  I have really missed sweating and be-bopping to my iPod.  And tomorrow, I start an expectant moms class called Aquamoms!  Its water aerobics for pregnant ladies!  It’s on Tuesday nights at my gym.  I am excited not only to work out but also to meet other moms-to-be.   I have my maternity swimsuit (which I will grow into) and my aqua shoes.  So I am all set. 

Instead of old ladies, picture pregnant ladies.  The coordination level is really about the same.
I am also starting to show a little.  I have this little bump.  I can see it in some of my clothes and not others.  I have had to switch to maternity jeans.  They are super comfortable.  I was wearing my pants unbuttoned with a Be Band (a special band that hides that fact that your pants are unbuttoned), but once my little belly kind of popped out, the maternity jeans were all that felt good.  My mom took me shopping for a few items to help get me through September.  Since I will mostly be big during the fall and winter, we didn’t want to spend a ton of money of summer stuff.  But we found a few things on clearance at Target and I have enough outfits, about six, to wear between now and when it gets cool. 

At my last doctor’s appointment, my doctor gave me a list of things that I could do.  First, she told me I could drink Diet coke in moderation, which she suggested was 1-2 cans a day.  That sounded like the opposite of moderation to me, so I usually drink one about every other day.  But it’s funny, Diet Coke in a can used to be my favorite way to drink it.  Now, my favorite way is to pour it from the can into a cup.  Drinking it from a can tastes funny.  Also, pouring it from a two liter tastes funny.  And fountain Diet Coke just tastes alien.  But I have definitely enjoyed it.  I am also allowed to have sparkling water.  I mostly try not to drink too much carbonation, but the option is nice to have.

The only other pesky pregnancy symptom that lasts throughout but that I have managed to keep at bay is….constipation.  I know it’s an awkward thing to discuss, but in case there is anyone who might be pregnant or thinking about it out there, I will let you know how I conquered this terribleness.  After a couple of miserable days, I had to stay home from work because it was so bad.  So Chris, my amazing husband, went to the grocery store and got Benefiber, Fiber One 80 Cereal, prune juice and apple juice.  When he finished checking out, the check-out lady said, “Good Luck.”  Thankfully, the Fiber One 80 cereal did the trick (with a little prune juice).  Since that terrible day, I have been eating two bowls of Fiber One 80 cereal every day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon and I have not had a problem since then!

Cannot recommend this stuff enough - it is delicious and helps keep that pesky problem away!
 My next appointment is this Thursday.  We should be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat on the Doppler.  And we will get all the results from my blood work.  But for now, the timer just went off and I am about to enjoy some yummy Tater-Tot Casserole!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Husband: Big Baby

There’s a slight chance my wife could be giving birth to the next Shawn Bradley. Not only because little Charlie/Susan will undoubtedly inherit my
lack of basketball skills, but because Mary Jane is a carrier of the “extraordinarily tall person” gene.

We both come from pretty tall families. Last time I measured, I was right at 6-foot-4. That would put me at well above average in every country except for Yugoslavia, where 7-foot clones of Vlade Divac roam the land in search of shaving cream and fresh razors. 

Vlade Divac: Above average height AND facial hair.
My wife is 5-foot-10 and has the ideal height and beauty of a super model. Her mom’s the same, and her dad’s right at 6-0. Her grandfather is 6-4, possibly taller. My brother is 6-0, my dad is 6-0 (and three quarters, he claims), my uncle Mike is 6-3 and my grandfather is at least 6-3. So height runs in both of our families. None of us will be dunking from the foul line anytime soon, but we can reach the spice cabinet without much trouble.

None of that may seem too extraordinary…until I tell you that my brother-in-law checks in at an even seven feet tall. Before you ask, yes he did play basketball. My guess is his two least favorite questions in life are "Wow, how tall are you?" and "Do you play basketball?" I don’t think Philip really cares that he’s that tall, but that doesn’t change the fact that our kid could be looking him in the eye in about 18 years.

Whatever chromosomes lined up to make Philip as tall as he is definitely came from my mother-in-law's side of the family. There's another 7-footer on her side, and my wife's grandfather is a big man with some of the biggest hands I've ever shaken. Of course, God probably blessed him with those hands knowing that he would raise three daughters. When your daughter brings home a questionable young man, a father's first line of defense is a firm “Your hand is still intact only because I haven't broken it yet, so don’t you try to pull any sh*t with my daughter” handshake. I'm sure he sent at least one ill-meaning teenage boy home with sore knuckles. The same can be said about both of my grandfathers, who are/were both over six feet and raised multiple daughters themselves.

The bottom line is that two 7-footers have been yielded by my wife’s side of the family within three generations. When we first saw the baby on the ultrasound last week (which was incredible, please see Wife’s last post), the first thing I felt was a huge surge of joy. Then I wondered why the head was so big (probably to fit the huge brain it inherited from my attorney wife).

According to the ever-expanding fetus-to-fruit comparison list, little Charlie/Susan is the size of a prune right now, but will be the size of a lime by the end of next week. While it may not be able to ride a roller coaster yet, it’s already tall enough to play second base for the Red Sox.

Dustin Pedroia suffered from a severe Wheaties deficiency as a child.
I'm aware that I'm writing all of this as if little Charlie/Susan is going to be just little Charlie. I know that our baby girl could be just as tall. I think my wife is worried that we could have an abnormally tall daughter. Well I work with the Duke volleyball team and Duke women's basketball teams, and most of them are six feet or taller, some up to 6-5. I am NOT saying that if we have a tall daughter, she's destined to play volleyball or basketball or any sport if she doesn't want to. What I'm saying is that all of those women on the volleyball team are great representatives of the university, and they're all going to earn degrees from one of the top schools in the country. Our kid doesn't have to be defined by its height. MJ's brother, even though he's seven feet tall, isn't playing in the NBA. He's in LA working his way into the movie industry as a director and/or writer. That's what he wants to do with his life. Who cares if he's tall.

The point, I guess, is that it doesn't matter if our baby is short, tall, skinny, fat, boy, girl, whatever. It can be anything it wants to be.