Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What IS that?!

So I'm wandering around the house the other night making myself some dinner and I keep smelling this... thing. This weird, musky odor, like a combination of old man sweat and semen. I checked the garbage, cleaned the litter box... I could not figure out where it was coming from. So I started checking my clothes (you never know what you might've sat on) and that's when I discovered it.

The smell was me.

OH MY GOD, PEOPLE! I SMELL LIKE GEEZER AND SPUNK! When did this happen? Have I always smelled like this? Have people been too polite to tell me? I know that "pregnancy nose" means that I'm smelling it more intensely than the general population but Jesus be, it's nastacular!

Of course I ran to Google the shit. (What did we do before Google?) Smelling weird? Another preggo thing. For some reason, women's scents change when they're knocked up. Some women report that their down there smells a touch off, some bathe several times a day. I've definitely noticed that my toots are a bit more piquant than usual ("What the hell is that smell?! Has somebody been eating cabbage?") but I feel a little better knowing that that it's not just me.

That said, if I reek? Let a girl know.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I just wanted to take a quick break from the sarcasm to address a concern.

I probably should have said this in my first post, but I want to make clear that everything on Flabbypants is meant to be humorous. While everything I write is based in some way on a genuine fear, everything should be taken with a grain - or barrel - of salt. (God I love salt...) This blog is in no way meant to make light of pregnancy; I'm strictly here as an entertaining read.

I am extremely grateful for my soon-to-be-born Possum and I do worry that my blog persona gives a different impression. I tend to assume that the only people reading this are friends and family - people who know that my writing voice is very, very different than the real me. My true, tender feelings are things that I save for my private journals. Flabbypants is meant to be about the universal pregnant-lady fears (getting fat, never pooping, feeling sorely undersexual) and taking them to a whole other level of neurosis. Nothing here should be be taken at face value.

While it's true that I only gained one pound during the first trimester, I hoped that earlier posts would make clear that there was no dieting involved. (Hello there, pots of mashed potatoes.) And while I do exercise daily, it has less to do with maintaining my figure and more about making labor as smooth as possible. But writing about those things isn't nearly as fun to mock as, say, my gigantor stomach. Do I get freaky about my weight? You betcha. But do I get FREAKY about my weight? Not even remotely.

Will I continue to bitch and blog? Of course. The site is called Flabbypants. But for those who worry that I've gone off the deep end, come have lunch with me sometime. Just don't forget the mashed potatoes.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

So we all know that my stomach is huge. (Has that topic been covered? Did I mention?) But as big as it is, at my last weigh in I was still only one pound over my pre-pregnancy weight. This naturally led me to assume that my baby was made of helium. Call it vanity, call it insane (old habits die hard, peeps) but I've clung to that "only one pound" like Paris to her Bible. One pound feels sensible, manageable. And in a body that feels completely out of control, I relish manageable.

I weighed myself at the gym today.

Oh boy.

That second trimester weight sure creeps up quick, don't it? While this is probably mostly baby fluid (and not the platter of nachos I murdered last weekend or the half a box of Newman's Chocolate Sandwich cookies or...), I'm sad to report that my precious one pound has gone the way of the dodo. WHICH IS FINE. Which is absolutely normal and fine.
But if you think I didn't make a beeline to the nearest personal trainer you don't know me at all.

While I've always been quasi fit, I've never been what one might call "bikini ready". Us McKinney's are not known for our abs of steel. (That, combined with my general distaste for all things abs-ercizy, is probably why Possum has been blessed with such roomy digs.) I told the trainer that I needed to strengthen my abs but crunches were out since I'm not allowed to lay flat on my back. Luckily I was not Brian's first pregnant trainee. Actually, he knew more about being pregnant than I did. He kept remarking how happy I must be now that I was past the "placental protein phase". I just nodded. Then Brian put me on a ball (on my back! Gah!) and had me do these super tiny crunches that looked really easy when he did them. He wanted me to tighten my tush and kept saying things like "Tighten your glutes! Go ahead and tighten your glutes!"
Sadly, I WAS tightening my glutes.

After I recovered (and after vowing to spend the rest of my pregnancy getting my ass in shape) I did what any sensible, weight-obsessed girl would do: I went out for gelato! A friend and I have been on a hunt for the city's best, so today we headed to the Upper West Side to check out Grom. Grom is known for two things: sourcing all their ingredients from Italy and their ridiculous lines. As I am the type of person who's seduced by things like overpriced ice cream and half-hour waits, I totally enjoyed it. I had the pistachio and their "extranoir" chocolate. Was it as life-altering as the reviews said? Maybe not, but I haven't tried the sorbet.
(Just don't tell Brian.)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I've got pics of the belly if you really want to see

People are now offering me their seats on the subway. I am officially pregnant.

I know I keep harping on this, but I can't get over the size of my stomach. Yesterday a woman asked me when I was due and when I told her I swear to Christmas she did a double-take. I mean, I'm not Salma Hayek - yet (have you seen her lately? I think her baby is growing out of her boobs) but this kid is definitely making himself comfortable. Speaking of, I think I feel him moving around. All the websites describe the baby's movements as a "fluttering" feeling or like having butterflies in your stomach, but mine's more like a soft kicking. Usually. Sometimes it gets a little more demanding. (Which, according to my husband, comes as no surprise.) I'm not sure if this is normal but unless it gets crazy intense or there's bleeding - WHICH THERE WON'T BE - I'm not going to worry about it. Did you all have the fluttering? Is my kid a ninja?

My appetite is still raging. My food schedule now goes something like this: breakfast, lunch, snack, pre-dinner, dinner, snack. This is why I go to the gym and climb the twelve flights to my apartment every morning. (Winded! So very winded!) True, most of my gym time is spent running back and forth to the bathroom, but at least I feel like I'm doing something. Even if it's mostly just peeing in a different locale.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I have not abandoned my post or gone into labor - just squawkingly busy. A post is coming, I promise.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fatty boobalatty

It’s week 14. (Am I allowed to call it 4 1/2 months yet? It seems so much cooler than 14 weeks.) I’m down to one pair of regular pants and a pair of shorts but I think it’s time to admit defeat.

It’s time to break out the maternity jeans.

Yes, they are comfy. Yes, they have that soft band of fabric around the middle which effectively eliminates the dreaded “muffin top”. What they are not is flattering. Unfortunately I’m at that stage where I’m not quite big enough for real maternity clothes but I’m going to cut off circulation to Possum’s important parts if I keep trying to shove my belly into my old jeans. I imagine it’s similar to losing a bunch of weight and not fitting into anything you own (except with way more constipation and crankiness). I know I need to bite the bullet and just buy a bigger normal size but the Superthrift in me refuses to spend money on something I know I’ll outgrow in three weeks. Speaking of, this kid is taking up a lot of valuable real estate. He - I’m using “he” so I don’t have to do that aggravating “(s)he” thing every time, not because I know something- is only 4 ½ centimeters big, yet by the looks of things, I’m carrying a small elephant. That’s one of the things that nobody tells you when you get pregnant: it’s not all baby. I don’t know what the hell it is, but I will tell you this –

It has taken control of my bowels.

That’s another thing nobody tells you: You stop pooping. I mean, MY GOD. They say it’s because your body is trying to suck out all the nutrients but holy jeezum, I'm going to birth a linebacker this keeps up. I’m officially on the octogenarian diet – 4 liters of water a day, shredded wheat, prunes, hot water with lemon, tea (supplemented with several unmentionables that will go… unmentioned) and... nothin'. Nobody told me about this! Nobody!

They also didn’t tell me that I’d develop this weird saliva thing. Oh yeah, not only am I no longer pooping but I’m constantly battling this film in my mouth. I’m sure it’s due to all the excess spit I seem to be producing. (Oh that? Yeah, nobody mentioned that either.) And don’t get me started on the unusual wrinkles. I used to have a large crease across my stomach from my pot belly that was the bane of my existence. Well now that’s gone, only to be replaced by a whole new crease across the top of my belly, right under my boobs. This is clearly caused by the new, very high belly I now possess that feels nothing like an actual, human belly and everything like a prosthetic. (Every time I bend I feel this ridge-like thing under my tits that feels exactly like a fake pregnancy belly. You’d think somebody could’ve told me…)

Here’s something that somebody did tell me, but I can’t quite believe it. Apparently my appetite will increase throughout the second trimester.

Okay, that is simply NOT POSSIBLE. As someone who has seen with her own eyes the damage she can inflict on a pot of potatoes, an increase in appetite is simply unacceptable.

This kid is going to be huuuuuuge.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Being a self-employed type means going without a few things. Things like incompetent bosses and free coffee. And insurance. Luckily New York offers assistance to those of us unwilling (or unable) to work for The Man in the form of various COBRA-esque programs. Of course it costs a fuckload, but after a few eye-opening visits to my local free* clinic, that $500 a month (soon to be $800!) started to seem like money well spent.
Especially after getting this thing in the mail.
Yes, that's $3,020.00. This is the bill from one blood work session. I get poked roughly twice a month, between gyno visits (to check my thyroid and peek in on Possum) the the hospital (required genetic testing, now that I'm 35 and of "advanced maternal age"). I know that people have babies without insurance but honest to Pete, I don't see how. If I had to pay this every time I had to see the doc, my pre-natal care would go right out the window.

*A total misnomer! Not at all free!

Friday, June 8, 2007

This is my life.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Please note, I do realize that I spelled insufferable "unsufferable" in the previous post. Clearly this is what happens when you grow up watching too much TV. (Thanks to all for overlooking the typo.)

*Please note, this entry will be of absolutely no interest to those who don't have kids.

There were many comments (MANY COMMENTS! MANY COMMENTS!) addressing the peanut butter thing on yesterday's post. Apparently consuming pb while pregnant may contribute to peanut allergies in your kid, which seems counter-intuitive to me. Shouldn't the stuff the mom eats make the kid less sensitive to it later in life? Like, "If it's okay for mom, it's okay for me"? But what do I know. Still, I have strong doubts that peanut consumption is causing sudden allergy increase. (I do have other theories... By the way, the official ruling is now no peanut butter until three. THREE. Weren't we all raised on the stuff?!)

There's an interesting article in this week's NY Mag about television's effects on young'uns. (FYI: I used to be a huge fan of Amy Sohn until she got married and had a kid. Now I find her unsufferable. If I become unsufferable, please let me know.) I spend a significant portion of my day with a 3-year-old (who's allergic to peanuts, speaking of) and he is not allowed to watch TV. At first I thought it was crazy - after all, I was practically reared by the electric box - but now it doesn't even enter my mind to turn it on. I have to say, the few times I have caught it, it seems different. Faster. More character (ahem, Elmo, ahem) driven than educational. I'm not sure I like. My love of television is well-documented (Top Chef starts July 13) so let's not even pretend that I'll be uber-mommy, but maybe Netflix has the old 70's Sesamie Street and Electric Company episodes? Has raising kids always been this rigid?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Food, glorious food.

Tomorrow starts the beginning of my fourth month, but I'm still in my first trimester which is really confusing. According to my brain, the first trimester should be the first three months, not the first three months and one week. That week, that one week, is keeping me in limbo, peeps! See, for people like me (neurotic, freak-prone people) the first trimester is the sketchy time, the uncertain time, the time when Things Can Go Wrong.


(See that? Just a touch, a taste, of what goes on in my brain on a daily basis.)

I must admit, this first part's been a relative breeze. Aside from some strong-ass food aversions (hot dogs, I'm talking to you) and some even stronger-ass cravings (more on that later), I've felt pretty damn normal. Well, I've felt pretty damn normal ever since I added back caffeine. I know, I know, caffeine is bad. It stimulates the baby! It leads to early miscarriage! It crosses the placenta! (I'm not sure what that means, but I guarantee it's bad.) Don't think I haven't wrastled with the guilt. I tried, believe me I tried. I went six months without it before I got knocked up and let me just say, those six months suuuuucked. Even so, I managed to make it a few weeks post-knock up without it but for the sake of my sanity (not to mention my marriage), IT NEEDED TO COME BACK.

And I am so, so glad it did.

Don't worry, the doc okayed it. I only drink one cup of tea a day. I figure that little pleasure makes up for all the things I can no longer eat. The short list:

- Hot dogs (which is fine by me)
- Deli meats (also fine)
- Soft and/or unpasturized cheese (Noooooooooo!)
- Sugar (wha-?!)
- Salt (WHA-?!)
- Sushi
- The aforementioned caffeine
- Booze
- Peanut butter
- Undercooked eggs
- Undercooked egg whites (so long, cookie dough)
- Artificial sweeteners

And the list undoubtedly goes on, which is just too depressing to contemplate. Speaking of food, the cravings? They are ridiculous. Again, the short list:

- Almond butter on burnt toast
- California rolls
- Baked beans
- Eggo waffles
- Chicken In A Biscuit crackers

They say you crave the stuff you ate when you were a kid, but if that were the case I'd be consuming Spaghetti-O's and Kool-Aid by the truckload.

That said, I can no longer be trusted around a pot of mashed potatoes.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

How the hell did this happen?!

That's right, hallelujah, I finally got myself knocked up. After months and months (and months and months) of worrying and whining and some occasional flat-out freaking, SUCCESS! Honest to Pete, I don't know how anyone does it. Getting pregnant ain't easy, no matter what those junior high sex ed teachers told you. (Maybe it's easy in junior high, but after 35? Bitches, please.) When we were first toying with the idea of me going off the pill, a friend of mine gave me some advice: "Start trying now because believe me, it can take awhile."
While I'm not saying that I completely dismissed her warning... oh who am I kidding, I completely dismissed her warning. I mean, doesn't everybody think it's going to happen instantly? You go off the pill, slap on the Manilow (I mean Coltrane. Shit, who do people hump to these days?) and bing, bang, boom - baby.
Or not so much.
I'm sure for some people it happens that way and more power to 'em. I've just never met one of those people. And thank God, because if I had, I'd probably have gotten really grouchy and defeated and given my husband one more thing to have to talk me down from and honestly when it comes to dealing with me, he doesn't need anything more on his plate. Anyway, it took awhile is all I'm saying, so we're pretty freaking psyched.
A friend of mine (a different one this time) once asked me if baby-making sex felt different than regular sex. Like was it more romantic and joyous because of the whole "creation" aspect of the act.
See, the thing about trying to get pregnant is the trying part. "Trying" generally implies focus and determination - or in my case, a thermometer, a boatload of ovulation strips and some less-than-spontaneous love making. (I really, really hate that term, but my mom's going to read this and the use of the f-word felt decidedly awkward in a non-profanity context.) You know that scene in every romantic comedy where the man comes home exhausted from work and the woman comes running at him, screaming that they have to do it NOW-NOW-NOW? Shockingly accurate, that. I'll save you the anatomy lesson but trust me when I say that the "window of opportunity" closes mighty quick. It's all about timing and temperature and eggs and "even at your most fertile there's only a 20% chance of conceiving" andandand... Which is why we'd decided to adopt. At first we were looking at China but they've gotten really nutso with the rules (you have to be married for five years, no more single mothers or gay folks. You can't be fat or older than 45 or on medication for any psychological disorder. And you must make at least $80,000 a year after taxes). We also thought about Haiti but they require a Statement of Faith so that was out. But then we learned about Ethiopia (good orphanages, lots of care) and it seemed like a perfect fit. So we made an appointment with an adoption agency and called our families to share the news.
And then for some reason, I took a pregnancy test.
I still don't know why I did it. I didn't feel pregnant. My period wasn't even late. But I did have a whole lot of pregnancy tests lying around.
See here's the thing - I'm notoriously cheap, but unfortunately pregnancy tests are not. So (being a Superthrift) I found a place online that sold them in bulk. Unfortunately the tests didn't come with all the little perks that regular tests come with.
Perks like packaging and instructions.
So our joyous moment was put on hold while I sat at the computer trying to decipher whether two pink lines meant the same thing in Spanish that it meant in English.
It did.
So here I am, about to jump into the second trimester (more on the first trimester to come, trust me) and happy as a clam when I'm not bawling or freaking the fuck out. You know the scene in every romantic comedy where the pregnant woman turns into a moody little bitch?
Shockingly accurate, that.
*Blogger's doing that thing where it won't put breaks in between paragraphs. I swear I'd stop paying for this if it wasn't already free.