As I mentioned in my last post about my real-life pregnancy experience, I thought I was pretty aware of some of the guidelines pregnant women face, but I have been surprised a little. Some of you sweet people of the Internet have encouraged me to write more about that, so here’s volume two!
Things to know: I’m currently in my last week of the first trimester.
Yes, I was aware that when baby was growing and moving around my organs, I would experience more pressure on my bladder, hence the infamous Always Peeing Syndrome that occurs. However, that phenomenon began much sooner than I anticipated. Before I knew I was pregnant, I was like, “Why the F am I peeing so much?” I’m basically a camel, and I survive off of very little fluid, so this was odd for me. Then, in Week 4, when we discovered the pregnancy, I was like, “Why the F would this happen now? The baby is the size of punctuation in a size 12 font.” Blame the pregnancy hormone hCG, which is increasing the blood flow to your pelvic area and your kidneys (source). So, yeah, there’s that.
CAFFEINE AND PAIN KILLERS
You know what you can’t have while pregnant? Ibuprofen. There’s good reason, though. You may not get headache relief, but by giving up the Advil, you will reduce the risk of your baby having its heart valve close prematurely. As you might guess, that would be a bit on the horrible side. My OBGYN says you can still take acetaminophen (Tylenol). AND THEN I SAW ON THE NEWS THAT ACETAMINOPHEN COULD CAUSE ADHD IN KIDS IF TAKEN WHILE IN THE WOMB. Yeah, studies change every year, and most studies are pretty sketchy due to whomever is funding the research, but I want to make sure I’m doing everything I can [so the kid can’t blame me when they hit teen years]. Okay, so no ibuprofen, no acetaminophen — what’s left? Caffeine is one of the more natural ways to curb a headache. Yeah, that old study that you can’t have any caffeine is bunk now, too. But a diuretic? Like I wasn’t peeing too much already!
Since we’re talking about studies and research… My husband, who has that engineer-brain, has been listening to the audiobook Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong—and What You Really Need to Know by economist Emily Oster. This is literally the best information source for pregnancy, planning, and childbirth, in my opinion. As an economist, this mother took a hard, analytical look at all data and sources of every study in the world of babies. Alcohol and caffeine consumption, natural birth, etc. It’s great because she gives you REAL INFORMATION backed by FACTS. I could blow your mind right now, but instead I’ll just encourage you to check it out and draw your own conclusions. Why should you believe me, right?
Dudes, this is the coolest thing. My dog, Káva, totally knew that I was pregnant before we did. Sure, I’m ignoring the fact that dog vomit made me gag for the first time ever (thanks, new Super Nose), the craving to eat just artichoke and jalapeño dip for 4 days straight, and the like. But Káva knew. She had been extra protective and cuddly towards me — and only me — for weeks. She’s usually more independent, and so when she decided to lie right on top of me every day, it was welcomed but unusual. It all made sense once that pee-stick shelled out a blue +.
HOME PREGNANCY TESTS
I just want you guys to know that they make cooler pregnancy tests now! I had gotten cheeeeeeeeap pregnancy tests awhile back just to have. They were standard + for positive, - for negative. When we got two positives in a row, I decided I wanted something a little more expensive just in case I had a crap batch of those cheap ones. I got one that was digital and also gave an estimate of how far along you were. Mine said, “Pregnant, 3+ weeks.” And let me tell you, that was extremely accurate: I was 4 weeks.
I don’t know about you, but I envisioned finding out I’m pregnant, then hopping over to the OBGYN within the week and getting things verified and shit. Nope. I was scheduled to come in at 9 weeks. The soonest offered is 8 weeks, unless you have reason for concern. This may vary with different doctors or practices, but my office does it this way because that’s the first time you can see something worth that ultrasound photo. Otherwise, it’s an undersized crustacean-looking thang (i.e., ‘scrimps’). We were then scheduled for another appointment at 12 weeks for blood tests and screenings for certain syndromes (optional, but I like to know as much as possible, personally). Next appointment is at 16 weeks, with an optional gender reveal (not covered by insurance at 16 weeks), and then your 20 week appointment with the optional gender reveal (is covered by insurance at 20 weeks).
So, that’s some stuff.
At our real estate office today, I received a call about a home that’s closing:
Title agent: I see there are three owners listed for this home; are they all a part of this LLC?
Me: Yes. It was originally…um…I forget the word…that thing where someone dies and leaves their house to their kids…and that’s it, so yes.
If you’re like me, you thought you were pretty educated on some of the guidelines pregnant women face. However, there are a few things I didn’t realize. At all.
Sure, it’s common knowledge that you can’t enjoy sushi or lovely soft cheeses (brie, you are missed) while cooking that bun in your proverbial oven. But did you know that you can’t eat…turkey breast? That’s right. A healthy lunch time staple for the carnivorous just got thrown out the window along with other deli-style/cured meats and hot dogs. Even organic varieties are frowned upon due to their likelihood of carrying listeria, which can prove fatal for a fetus (or grown human, for that matter).
Morning sickness. It’s the cinematic cue to show that a woman is ‘with child.’ Well, whoever came up with that name for it deserves a swift kick in the balls. I say balls because any woman who has been pregnant can tell you that there isn’t a set time of the day to experience this feeling. It can be any time or all the time. And it’s ROUGH. For me, it feels like I’m on a small boat miles out on the Gulf of Mexico. I’m dizzy, I get the sweats, and when I’m about to vomit, I feel hot all over and start salivating boiling hot lava — I mean liquid. I uncontrollably threw up in a very public restroom the other day, and it’s definitely not my 21st birthday at a party college. But what’s cool about nausea is that it’s proof that your baby is developing healthily. Good for you, demon baby.
There is a scene in Saved! that shows the holding-onto-her-youth mom watching a game show and saying the answer to the question. How fast does a mother bond with her baby in utero? Two minutes. Or something. Look, I wanted it to be accurate, but I couldn’t find a clip or quote within three minutes of Googling, so I don’t care anymore. Any way, that’s not necessarily true. And that’s okay! Despite whatever beliefs or faith you may have, it’s totally okay to not feel maternal towards your baby right away. For me, sometimes I feel disconnected like this isn’t reality, and sometimes I cry when I think about teaching the baby what sound a doggie makes. Sometimes I feel really excited about it, and sometimes I will not want to talk about my pregnancy or parenting or planning AT ALL. Don’t ask me lest you be disappointed. THIS IS A WEIRD PHENOMENON, and you’re not required to be SuperHappyExcitedMom.
Okay, well, typing is making me feel sick as shiz. So, more to come at a later time. Maybe in second trimester, which is apparently when the nausea can ease up.
Some people insist on using “presidential” names for their kids, citing that it’s the only way to sound refined and avoid teasing. So, I’m putting dibs on Millard Quincy-Ulysses Felty right here and now. Thanks.