Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Warning: I'm pregnant and listening to Norah Jones... this post is bound to get sentimental.

Yesterday was my birthday and it was a fantastic day. I took the day off from work and only had to spend ONE hour on a client call, which is pretty good considering the track record of my "days off." Then Ben sent me on a spa day, a treat that happens every year on my birthday and for which I become more grateful for each year as it feels I have less and less time for myself. For two hours, I was massaged and rubbed and relaxed and painted and buffed and paraffined, and I left feeling like a million bucks. And to top off the day, Ben came back from out of town (it really is exciting when I get to see him after he has been gone a few days, as silly as that sounds) and after dinner we shared a few Sprinkles cupcakes that he bought as a surprise. I went to sleep feeling extremely loved from all the gifts and well-wishes that my parents, husband and new family sent -- a feeling that I don't think will ever get old.

When I was little, I used to hate going to sleep overs because I worried about my parents. I'd get anxiety in the middle of the night and would need to see them RIGHT AWAY... and looking back I attribute this to the fact that I was an only child. A VERY loved only child. My family was my whole world, and I always knew that if something happened to my parents, my whole world would go away. And while I still feel the same (maybe more) love for my parents, I also feel an intense comfort and gratitude in the family I've adopted through my marriage. While I feel this way all the time, special days (like birthdays) remind me just how lucky I am to have parents who love me as much as they do, a husband who loves me as much as he does, and an extended family who has accepted me with such open arms and open hearts.

I can't wait to bring Baby E into this family.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Welcome to the Crazy Train

One of my favorite blogs for daily reading since I became a mommy-to-be is by a woman going through her second pregnancy. I liked this blog for a few reason, including the fact that she seemed smart, sassy and posts pictures of her really adorable son. But the main reason I enjoy reading it is that she seems a nice, normal person who every so often is THIS CLOSE to LOSING HER SHIT, and you just know that she has no control over it. Maybe its cliche to blame it on the hormones, but by reading her blog you know that it IS her hormones making her crazy, and dang it if I don't LOVE to see another person's hormone-induced crazy sneak out and bitch slap the nearest person.

Why? Because it makes me feel better for being a little crazy myself. I was watching "Where the Heart Is" yesterday during my lunch break, and I cried THREE SEPARATE TIMES in a 45 minute window. Hell, I cried the last time I watched "School of Rock" because dang it if I didn't feel a strong surge of emotion at the end during the battle of the bands scene... I was just so proud of those little elementary school rockers, especially the nerdy Asian kid who rocked the wicked mohawk.

But the crazy isn't limited to crying by myself while watching TV. I find myself being shorter with co-workers (What?? You couldn't read my mind that I wanted this YESTERDAY??), less interested in seeing anyone socially (If I can't wear my PJs and have to wash my hair, I think I'll skip it, thank you), and worst of all, scaring myself and my husband with odd moments of what I think we can classify as hysteria.

The first time this pregnancy-driven hysteria happened was towards the very beginning of my pregnancy. We'd recently found out about the baby and while we were extremely excited, we were also just getting used to this whole situation. I was sick as a dog with heart burn, nausea and bloating and felt like an alien was taking over my body (Which movie is it where the alien jumps out of some guy's stomach and starts singing "hello my baby?" Yeah, it felt like that.)

So one night, Ben and I are getting ready for bed, and...well, there is no nice way to put it. I farted. I did. I was gassy and bloated and everyone does it but even more so ALL THE BOOKS SAY IT HAPPENS TO PREGNANT WOMEN MORE so if you are acting all grossed out now, get over yourself.

But poor Ben, he hadn't quite acquired the nonchalance needed for having a pregnant wife yet, so he makes a few gagging noises and a few jokes about it and I laugh good naturedly and that should have been the end of it. But instead I laughed good naturedly for a second, and then laughed a little louder. Then, I started laughing hysterically in the "I can't breathe I'm laughing so hard" sort of way and then all of a sudden I have tears running down my face and I'm no longer laughing, but literally sobbing. SOBBING. And. I. Can't. Stop. And every once in awhile, I start to get a hold of myself and I start LAUGHING again which then descends back into sobbing. And Ben is just looking at me, trying to soothe me but feeling WAAAAAY out of his element. This goes on for a good 15 minutes (in which I'm alternating between cackling like an escapee from a looney bin and bawling like a baby) until he finally says, in the most loving and Ben-like way possible, "Honey, you are scaring me."

Frightening my significant other was never in the plan, so I excused myself to the bathroom where I turned on the faucet so he couldn't hear me and started mentally instructing myself to GET A FREAKING GRIP! I was able to calm down fairly quickly then, but I'm pretty sure I scarred Ben for life. The same laugh/cry crazy started to happen one more time a few months later in the pregnancy but I recognized it for what it was heading towards and put the kibosh on it before I could scare Ben again. If you do however happen to walk into a room where I'm laughing and crying... back out slowly and pretend you never saw me... I'm just showing my crazy.

And, since I don't have any pretty pictures for this post I did a little research and found (for your viewing pleasure) the alien scene from Spaceballs.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Week 19

This week, Baby E is the size of a mango, and nearly 8.5 ounces. What a porker. He (or she) is currently being covered in something that one of Ben's books calls "a white cheesy substance". Yes, that is the technical term Ben's book gave it, but then this is the same book that taught Ben what to do should he be confronted by a BEAR while carrying our NEWBORN and how to make a diaper out of a gym sock and masking tape. You know, those skills that every Dad MUST have.

Anyhoo, the cheesy coating protects E's skin from amniotic fluid. Also, the baby's brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. But, probably the most exciting thing about week 19 is that its only ONE WEEK until we find out if E is a boy or a girl!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jelly Belly

As promised, here is the next round of photos documenting "the great growing belly." I actually promised beer belly photos in week 16, but I'm lazy and therefore you are instead getting an eyeful of my "Whoa -- where the heck did that come from??" genuine baby bump belly from week 18. And as an added benefit you get Dexter, our six month old mutt who isn't quite sure why he is posing for a picture, but is pretty damn sure he looks cuter than the tubby woman who puts food in his bowl every day.

Here he is again, looking at me and thinking "Lay off the Kibble lady..."
Actually, I've decided it is kind of fun to have enough of a belly to feel a little pregnant -- makes it more real and makes my complaints seem more valid, i.e. My back hurts (see my huge belly I'm carrying around?? There is a reason my back hurts) Wicked heartburn? Yep, its all because of THIS (gesture to expanding waistline).

I am still sort of sensitive about it though. Take last night for example. I ran into an old co-worker from a past job, someone I hadn't seen for nearly two years. We were in an ice cream shop (stereotypical, I know. Prego lady craves ice cream) and he was there with his young son. As soon as my co-worker saw me, he jumped up and gave me a big hug and we starting catching up. But... what did he say for the first five minutes of our conversation? I have NO IDEA because all I could think about was how to bring up that I was pregnant because I didn't want him going back to work on Wednesday and telling all our co-workers that I had "let myself go... gained a lot of weight... had acne like a pre-teen..." THE HORROR!!

So finally, a break in the conversation and he asked me how I was. And, with none of the grace of a true PR professional (or just the grace of a NORMAL PERSON), I screeched "I'm having ONE OF THOSE!!!" (gesturing wildly at his son who now has ice cream from the tip of his nose all the way down his neck) I felt like I had no control over myself. It wasn't normal. I didn't say, "Oh, I'm great. Work is good, actually -- fun news, we are having a baby" like I'd practiced in my head. Nope, I pointed out the man's son like he was a pastry in a delicatessen, "Yes, and I'd like one of THOSE for dessert please" as I smacked my lips and basically mumbled "MMMMMM, baby" like some crazy lady.

Yikes. Social grace is apparently one of the things to go when you get pregnant.
Luckily the man's son interrupted soon after and I got to escape back outside to where Ben was waiting with the dogs, where I literally head slapped myself and promised that when we got home I would spend the evening practicing my announcement techniques until I got it right, or at least until I didn't find it embarrassing to be around myself in public anymore.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Week 18

Yesterday was the start of week 18, or for all of you who don't measure time passing in days or weeks (like Ben and I now do) it was the start of my FIFTH month! That means (drumroll please) only FIVE more months to go!! I can't believe how quickly this is all happening, yet at the same time it is taking FOREVER for certain milestones, like finding out if our Edelbrock is a boy or a girl (for those of you counting, I only have 3 weeks until I find out on Nov. 7)

So this week, Baby Edelbrock is the size of a sweet potato. Not exactly the cutest of images (all wrinkly with those weird potato spots all over it) so imagine baby Edelbrock WAAAAY cuter.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Hard Days Night

Since I've been pregnant, I've found that my world revolves around two things: food and sleep. Which leaves little time for much else. That said, once I get off work and get fed, guess what time it is? Time to sleep, which my husband should know at this point but sometimes forgets because he is gone all week and I take four hour naps on the weekend so I can stay awake and "hang" with him until at least midnight.

So last night I got an extra special treat and Ben took me to one of my favorite restaurants, Fireside Pies. Now, the food is good, but that isn't why I love it. I love it because it has this fantastic patio, which is all enclosed and private, with outdoor heaters and a fireplace and the entire outdoors smells like roasted garlic and OH MY LORD it is a little piece of my own personal heaven.

So we have a lovely dinner and I am full, and toasty and not just a little drunk with happiness when Ben announces that we are going home and putting the crib together. I gave him a look to warn him he was ruining my buzz but he seemed to ignore it. All the way home, I kept hoping for some extreme sense of laziness to hit him (trust me, it happens sometimes) but before I could have my pants unbottoned and shoes off after we stepped through the door, he was in the nursery. Which is RIGHT NEXT TO OUR BEDROOM. And we have VERY THIN WALLS which meant I knew I wasn't getting any sleep. So I humored him and sat on the floor with him in the nursery for a good 15 minutes. And by this point, the glow I had at dinner was a distant memory and after being told to "STOP SCREWING THE SCREW I JUST TOLD YOU TO SCREW" (I'll show you screw you buddy...) I told him I was going to bed and to BE QUIET or set up the crib later.

I mean, lets be fair -- the baby isn't going to be needing it for another FIVE months anyway, was it too much to ask that I get some peace and quiet at 10:00 at night? I'm making a baby here people, its not like it is an easy task like folding laundry or filing my nails (both of which I don't really do, but it looks easy). So I lay in bed and thought evil thoughts until the crib was assembled and then pretended to be asleep so I wouldn't voice those evil thoughts, because lets face it, he was actually doing something useful and I don't want to discourage useful when so many other times I'm begging and pleading for useful.

All that said, when I saw the crib this morning I was definitely glad I'd kept my mouth shut the night before because it looks great. See for yourself -- Tada!

Also, for my own personal enjoyment, please see the huge amount of TRASH we now have in our home from the packaging the crib and dresser came in -- Tada! This guarantees we can't even put furniture in the right place in the nursery until the next bulk trash day. Sigh.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We have a nursery! Almost.

Well, exciting news. Ben and I have always been overachievers, so now we've gone ahead and purchased our nursery furniture a full FIVE months early. But hey -- the crib we wanted was on sale, and anyone who knows me knows that I don't easily pass up that tempting word. And not only did we BUY it, but we already RECEIVED it, as in, it is sitting in our house right this very minute.

Which, would be great except for that we can't put it together because, ahem, the manufacturer is apparently a huge cluster f*ck who routinely forgets to put instructions in their boxes. Their boxes containing CRIBS, which BABIES SLEEP IN, so, yeah, I mean -- lets just throw that shit together, who needs instructions?

Ben was so frustrated he got online to find instructions, which only fueled his anger when he found OTHER frustrated parents-to-be online complaining about the manufacturer not remembering to put instructions in THEIR boxes either (head slap).

We've requested instructions and have been instructed that they may or may not be located in the box labeled "springs" instead of the box labeled "instructions and parts" so I'll post pictures of our beautiful crib tomorrow if the "springs" box pays off. In the meantime, see below these beautifully shot photos of the crib we hope to put together some day.

One Sheep, Two Sheep, Red Sheep, Blue Sheep

Its ironic, the one thing I think about doing all day long is sleep, and when it comes down to it at night, I just can't seem to do it. Going to sleep isn't the problem, its the waking up and then staying awake that gets me... every time. Generally, I wake up thinking about work (go AWAY work!! I've dealt with you for TEN HOURS today, can't I just have a few hours for me time??) and then can't get my mind to shut down long enough to go back to sleep.

It is always worse when Ben is traveling - because then I actually have the option of not staying in bed. Tonight I played Bejeweled on my phone for a few rounds and then decided to get up and grab my laptop. That is when I took this picture of Jackson at the foot of the bed giving me the "you have got to be shitting me" look when I turned on the light. Please notice his scruffy appearance - I spent the evening brushing him, but he only gave me access to the right side - his left side is still all scraggly making him appear to be half Yeti. And don't say anything about his weight -- we are sensitive about that.

I guess I've always had issues with hitting dreamland. I would like to categorize myself as fairly chill, but I had issues even as a child. I don't remember what age I was, but I have been stressing since I was at least in middle school, if not earlier. Back then, I remember it was about doing something wrong and being sent to the "Trojan Pride Room" aka nice word for detention. Which would make sense if I was the hellion child of the fourth grade, bringing smokes to school and flipping teachers the bird, but I was a fairly mild mannered kiddo. I think even back then, my brain just needed something to chew on regularly, especially when I really just wanted to go to sleep.

I met with a nice lady who tried to reason with me (silly lady) and eventually decided that since I was holding on to my fears of the Trojan Pride Room like a dog with a bone (sorry, but Jack is still giving me the EYE from the bottom of the bed) she would teach me some relaxation techniques to help me sleep. Not counting sheep (which for the record, visualizing sheep only wakes me up more b/c I have to concentrate on exactly what the sheep look like, the movement, how many, why one sheep may be smaller than the others, etc.) but what she called "organizing my closet." It is a simple exercise where you visualize a closet with lots of shelf space and hanging areas, and you slowly but surely think of everything on your mind, and put each item in its place in the closet. And when you are all done emptying your mind, you close the closet door and walk away. In theory, you should be asleep before you shut your closet door or soon after, but sometimes it takes me a few tries. Especially now that I'm older, and I still use the technique, I come up with things that I didn't even realize were on my mind, but once they are fully OUT THERE I have to mull all of those issues over before I put them on their shelf. Sometimes I end up more stressed than when I was having a hard time sleeping, but those times are few and far between.

So there is something that I learned in the fourth grade that I'm still using today. Although not tonight, because instead I chose to turn on the light and anger my happily sleeping dog. And, I did that because I'm a little afraid to think about what might be lurking in my mind that I need to organize in my closet. To date, I've spent my entire pregnancy just bouncing through life feeling thrilled with the knowledge that we are going to have a baby. A sweet, cuddly, loving and sometimes irrational baby. A really well-meaning and caring friend recently sent me a subscription to Parents magazine, and the first two issues I sat down with and devoured immediately. There were so many tips, so many products, so many warnings. And this magazine had it all, from pregnancy to school-aged children. And in the back of my mind, I think I'm starting to realize that I'm not having a baby - no, I'm having a baby, that will grow to a toddler, that will eventually go to grade school, that will soon be a teenager and HOLY SHIT WHAT DO I DO WITH A TEENAGER!?!?!?!?!?!?

I'm still thrilled that Ben and I are having a baby. He is going to be an amazing father, and I don't think I'll do too shabby of a job either. I can't believe how lucky I am that I have a life growing inside me. I'm just starting to realize the weight, not just the joy, that comes with this little package.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy News!

Happy news - blood tests are back and everything is looking good. This fairly routine test at 16 weeks looks for markers that would raise the risk for neural tube defects (such as Spina Bifida or a missing brain and skull). Additionally, they tested for levels of hCG and estriol, giving me my personalized risk factor for Down syndrome, which is low for my age range.

All in all, I have a less than 1 in 5,000 chance of having a baby with Down Sydrome, and a less than one in 3,300 chance of having a baby with Spina Bifida -- which are both really really good news. Yeah for a healthy baby Edelbrock!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sweet Mr. Edelbrock

Because I was trying to not publish about my little secret until I was "out" I didn't get to share any of the funny, shocking or sweet things that happened in my first trimester. We'll be revisiting some of those stories as we go, so try not to get too confused when all of a sudden you are reading a post and it happend THREE MONTHS AGO. Just go with it.
So this post is about my incredibly sweet Mr. Edelbrock. Who, poor thing, didn't get credit for his sweetness when it happend. First - he bought a book. And even better, he read the thing. Despite being busy with work, travel and school, he found time to read "The Expectant Father" (or at least skim it and let the rest happen by osmosis). Here he is mutli-tasking and making me proud:

The next very "good-husband" moment (there are tons, but just highlighting a few) was when I got a suprise delivery of roses to my office. They were bright pink and lovely - lasted for probably two weeks which is unheard of since anything I touch immediately dies (in the plant variety that is). So, I'm ooh-ing and aah-ing over how sweet Ben was to get me flowers, but when I talked to him I was floored.

Liz: Thanks for the flowers honey - they are beautiful!!
Ben: Did you notice? There are eight flowers, for eight more months until we get to meet our baby.
Liz: (Picking up jaw off floor) That is the sweetest thing I've ever heard... and of COURSE I realized that there were eight rosebuds... (er, had no idea, didn't count the roses or look for any kind of symbolism in the flowers. It was then I realized my husband was much deeper than I am, despite his love for Family Guy and burp/fart jokes).

As evidence, please see exhibit A: Eight beautiful flowers:

Week 17

We had our third appointment last Thursday with the doctor. Last time we went in, my doctor was delivering a baby, so I met with the other guy in the practice (who I actually liked a lot). So a few nights before the appointment, I had this weird dream that I would go in and they would introduce me to a third doctor who clearly just DID NOT KNOW JACK about having a baby.

I wasn't too far off. I just skipped seeing a doctor at all! Both doctors in the practice were doing a c-section, so I was there on my own. The nurse practictioner, who Ben and I both like a lot, told us that we didn't need to wait, this was just a routine "check my weight, my blood my pee" and go. So we ended up asking her a few questions and then scheduling our next appointment and heading out. Ben and I joke that we will want Mary (our nurse practitioner) in the delivery room because we know her best, and if she wants to bring along one of the docs - that would be okay too.

So no really big updates from the third appointment. My blood work is to determine if we have genetic markers for any of the scary diseases such as cystic fibrosis, and we should hear in a few days. The fun news is that in just a few short weeks - Ben and I will get to know if baby Edelbrock is a boy or a girl!! Now THAT is going to be a fun appointment.

Oh - this week baby Edelbrock is an onion. And is doing lots of cool stuff.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Photos of myself. Fun.

So I haven't posted any personal pictures on here yet because, well, I'm not really feeling "photogenic" at the moment. Sure, being pregnant is a beautiful thing, your body is great, blah blah, but instead of feeling like a bountiful, beautiful woman, I feel like a frat guy who spent one too many nights at a keg party and have a lovely beer belly to show for it. Plus, I'm too lazy to be one of those folks who takes a picture every week. I'm lucky that I'm 16 weeks in, and I have TWO (count 'em) TWO photos of myself (gasp). I'll have Ben take an updated one this weekend, but here are the first two.

This is at around 4 weeks with my natural little belly that I have because I AM A WOMAN dang it.

And this one is 12 weeks. You'll notice, belly a little bigger - chest grown to freakish proportions. Lovely.

You'll see what I mean by beer belly when I post the 16 week-er.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

16 Weeks

Well, baby Edelbrock is doing some cool stuff this week. Not just moving its ears into place like last week, but some heavy lifting, like building muscle and starting to wiggle around a lot more. OH! I also just read that it is starting to be able to hear our voices, so if you talk to me, only say nice and loving things. If you have to say something snarky, please IM, email or text me.

I haven't felt "the quickening" (baby moving) just yet, but sometimes I wonder if I have felt it and I just didn't know it. You always wonder how women can be pregnant and not know it until they deliver the baby? Well, apparently movement at first can feel just like a little gas, so I could have DEFINITELY felt him/her move already and I just didn't know it. My lucky husband.
So, here is a pic of baby Edelbrock this week - the size of an Avacado. He/she is also doing these things: Ttiny bones forming in baby's ears mean the little one can now pick up your voice. Eyebrows, lashes and hair are starting to fill in, and taste buds are forming. And, if you're interested, an ultrasound might be able to determine gender.
My next appointment is tomorrow, and I don't think we get the ultrasound to figure out if baby is a Mr. or Miss until 20 weeks, but if anything cool happens tomorrow, I'll be sure to blog it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

15 Weeks

Baby Edelbrock is a naval orange now - I just want to see the little bugger again. I don't think I get to do that for another five weeks, so until then, I'll just continue to visualize my baby as this week's fruit.

What Baby Edelbrock is Up To This Week: Continuing the march towards normal proportions, baby's legs now outmeasure the arms. And, finally, all four limbs have functional joints. Your fetus is squirming and wiggling like crazy down in the womb, though you probably still can't feel the movements.