Pregnancy

Pregnancy Brain

I have no shame, and that is why I am about to share a couple rather embarrassing vignettes with you. In my 9th month of pregnancy, I can state that I have become an expert in the embarrassing, often inconvenient reality that is Pregnancy Brain. I capitalize those words because it is a real thing–a really scary thing. Did you know that the brain of a pregnant woman shrinks by a third. We don’t lose brain cells, everything just becomes more compact. The effect being that we lose memory function. I cannot remember where I learned this tidbit of information, but I can tell you that it was a credible source.

But I do not remember the source either.

Pregnancy Brain is a joke, a stereotype. And while I heard the joke for years, I didn’t really got it until I was living with it. Two years ago when Husband and I were out cake tasting in preparation for our wedding we ran across a pregnant baker. She was very nice, her cupcakes were amazing, and we ended up ordering our wedding cakes from her. Fast forward a month or two to when I had decided that our original order was not big enough, I went back to the order to add another couple dozen cupcakes to our bill.

Unfortunately the woman working the counter was not our pregnant baker, as she was now on maternity leave. This woman searched long and hard for our original order, but could not find it anywhere in their book. I was a little frustrated, but the woman promised me there was enough time before the wedding, that she would find the original and add what I wanted to it. It took her a couple of days of turning her books inside out, looking for our order, but she did eventually call me to let me know she had found it. It had just been erroneously filed, a phenomenon she contributed to our pregnant baker’s pregnancy brain.

So you see, even before I was pregnant I knew that Pregnancy Brain was real–or I at least knew that people would attribute any sign of forgetfulness or negligence to Pregnancy Brain. But like everything else, knowing and experiencing are different things. Like I promised, here are all the embarrassing things my poor, shrunken brain has subjected me to.

1. The Airport Incident

Husband had been out-of-town for about a week for work. He is a consultant for a tech company, and his job is to make his clients happy. He has about 5 enterprise level clients at anyone time, and he spends roughly one day a week on each client making sure they are getting what they need from him and his company. This is the least technical, most simplistic, dumbed-down version of what he does. Anyway he had been out-of-town for about a week in Minneapolis, or Milwaukee, I can’t remember which (I couldn’t even remember at the time where he had gone, though he did tell me) and I went to the airport to collect him. Besides not remembering where he would be flying in from, there were a lot of things I forgot before heading to the airport. I forgot to change my shoes, so I was wearing my house slippers. Thankfully they were the ones with the rubber soles. That was just luck. I forgot that he had flown out to wherever he had been with some executives from one of his larger clients. I forgot that when you fly out with people, you generally all fly back together. I forgot to change before I went to the airport, but while I was driving their I decided that it didn’t really matter that I was in sweatpants, slippers, a big puffy brown coat, which makes me look like a ridiculous, and unfortunately colored marshmallow, and that I hadn’t combed my hair all day. It didn’t matter because I was just meeting my husband, and while the Portland airport is small, it is still an international airport, and what does it matter if I walk around looking like a zombie mess?

And boy did I look like a mess, but I was excited to see Husband after a week, so I parked the car and headed inside to meet him at the security checkpoint. Now the airport was REALLY busy that night, so when Husband walked through security there was no room for a great and smooch, instead I just fell in step beside him, making our way to baggage claim. I said high of course, but then because I must have felt some semblance of shame over my appearance I started joking about how I looked. I believe I said something to the effect of how fetching I looked, how I knew he wanted to jump my bones right then and there. To his shame, he did not stop me. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I know I talked about having sex in public because I was so ravishingly beautiful in my sweats, and slippers, and uncombed hair. He let me get ALL of that before turning to me and saying, “Honey I would like you to meet…” and introducing me to three top execs from one of his largest clients.

It was a proud moment for me. So proud in fact that I turned beet red while I shook all of their hands and tried not to notice that they were all barely containing their laughter. I then got to stand there with all of them as we waited for luggage. I will be waiting at the curb, in the car next time. Which turns out is what Husband would prefer. He said something about the ease of collecting his own bags and just jumping in the car, but I am suspicious that it is actually the fear of the real possibility that I will embarrass him.

2. The Toilet Paper Incident

I can’t believe I am even writing this, but like I said I have no shame apparently. I was over at my mother’s house, working or something. It was just me and her, and I was on my computer doing something productive I hope. I don’t actually remember. I had been going pee like every half an hour, just like every other day before and every day since. Anyway, we were both wrapped up in our own little tasks, when I realized that my butt itched. Like maybe I had a wedgy or something.

Warning: This is about to get graphic–not gross graphic. I promise everything was clean, but anyway. If you are my grandmother, maybe don’t read the next paragraph.

ANYWAY, I reached back to investigate this wedgy and instead of adjusting my underwear like I thought I would, I pulled out a wad of toilet paper. IT WAS CLEAN, but I cannot tell you how it got there. I have NO memory of putting toilet paper in my butt crack. It was not really a small wad of toilet paper either, it was a medium wad if we want to classify it. I sat at the dining room table, thankfully no one was eating, just staring at this artifact that I had excavated and wondered. To this day I cannot tell you how it happened. I have no memory whatsoever. It is a mystery, one my mother got a good laugh out of. This has happened one more time since. If I had any shame I would delete that last sentence.

3. The GroupMe App Incident

Husband and I decided that we are not going to post anything on Facebook, or any social media platform, until after baby is born. There will be no, “I am in labor,” announcement. But there are people who would like to know and would be respectful of our wishes, so I thought we would put together a group text for when we actually head over to the birth center. So we put a list together of some 30 names, mostly out-of-town family and friends, who would get a group text when things start happening. I then went through my phone and created a contact group. This took me about an hour as I was having some technical difficulty. Turns out my contacts were saving to three different platforms, which created some problems, anyway I don’t want to relive the details–it was all too frustrating the first time.

But when I was done, I was very proud that I had figured it out, so of course I went to brag to Husband. His response was less than enthusiastic. Turns out that he hates SMS for some stupid tech reason, and since I couldn’t share my contact group with him, he didn’t want to go through the hassle of sending one text through my phone. HIs solution was to use an app called GroupME.

I told him that he was being stupid and that I had already wasted to much time on this one stupid insignificant thing. He told me he would take care of it, and I told him that wasn’t going to happen because I knew he was too stressed and busy with work to do something like this. Which means I could have just left it there. I could have had things my way, because he would never have switched the contact list over to GroupMe, and when the big day same he would just have to use my phone.

But then I thought about how stressed he was at work, and how if this would make him happy I would suck it up and do it. It turned out to be more complicated than I thought. GroupMe, for some reason, would not load all the contacts I wanted, so I had to go in manually and add the 30 some people to the list manually.

This is where pregnancy brain comes in. I thought set the settings for the group, so I could add people without it sending out notifications. But that turns out not to be the case, so every time I added someone to the group, everyone I had previously added got a text message. There first people on the list got the most notifications, while those later on got fewer, and it wasn’t long before friends were texting back into the app asking if things were actually happening and then giving me crap for blowing up their phones.

Which I cannot really blame them. But I can blame pregnancy brain for how I handled it. I LOST MY SHIT. I shut down the app and haven’t opened it since (this was a week ago). I got irrationally mad at Husband for making go through all of this. The more I thought about what I had done, the more embarrassed I was. Not that I really had anything to be embarrassed about, but in my Pregnancy addled mind this was the end of the world. I couldn’t stand to be alone with myself I was so embarrassed, so I woke Husband up from his nap and made him come and cuddle me. That’s when I really lost it. I started blubbering like a little child and COULD NOT STOP. Poor Husband didn’t really know what to do, so he just held me and started making jokes at me expense.

He is a keeper.

He asked me if anyone had left the group, which is a very innocent question. Only one person had left the group, but it was my brother (which is no surprise) but somehow that made everything worse, and I was inconsolable for the next twenty minutes.

Having now had some time to process all of this, I do realize that I was upset and embarrassed over nothing. I was emotional because I am pregnant and totally brainless when I went into set up the app, but none of that really warranted a full emotional breakdown. I even dreamt about it that night, imagining that one of my best friends hated me now because I accidentally sent her some 30 messages about people being added to a damn group.

Thankfully I am over it all. Though I will not touch that app again. Husband can finish setting things up if he hates sms so much. And I guess my brother just isn’t going to know when his niece is born. Because what sibling leaves another siblings birth announcement group. What a jerk.

It has been suggested that I am overreacting.

There you have it folks: the three most embarrassing things I have done since my brain shrunk by a third. After pregnancy your brain will go back to normal, but by that point sleep deprivation will be so intense that you won’t notice you have a third of your brain back. By the time sleep deprivation becomes less of a thing, we will probably be planning for another baby, which will mean my brain will shrink again, so really it is all downhill from here. At least that is what my neighbor told me. She said her pregnancy brain got worse with each child, and she has yet to recover.

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Life Lately

Life Lately

37 weeks pregnant and counting, which leaves me feeling a little like I am in limbo. The next big thing to happen in my life will be having this baby. That’s it. Between now and then there will be no new career, no new ANYTHING, so I am just waiting to have my baby. This leaves me feeling like everything else I am doing is superfluous. I am just biding my time, but I do not know how much time there is life to bide. So I could wash some dishes, OR I could just sit here and wait to have this baby. Guess which one I am doing…

Anyway, I haven’t just been sitting around–waiting, even if that is the only thing it feels like. Husband and I have had a couple very full months and since I have not really blogged in a while about anything other than the books I have been reading, let me take you back through what we have been up to since Christmas.

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Husband and I celebrated our first Christmas in our new house this year. We went with a couple of friends up to Christmas Mountain outside of Portland to find out tree. The tree farm had a section of natural–as in unpruned–Noble firs, which they were selling at half price. So we got this 11 foot beauty for half of the cost of a regular Noble fir. It turned out to be the most glorious Charlie Brown tree ever. I had to talk husband into it, as with everything else we do not see eye-to-eye when it comes to aesthetics. Why would a Christmas tree be any different? He wanted something rounder, bushier, but I love the look of a glowing tree when you can wrap some lights up the middle of the trunk. I think, in the end, I won him over with our tall and skinny Charlie Brown tree. He didn’t even complain too much about the tinsel. I love tinsel and he likes to remind me of how horrible it is for the environment.

We make a good couple.

Anyway, we got the tree up and then everything got a little crazy. My brother came into town, which means I got to torment him. This is what that looks like:

10392416_10101417889355358_8021633476405384779_nI would like to say he was a good sport and took it well, but he gives as good as he gets. After Corey got into town, we had our first Christmas with my immediate family, which flew by all to fast. It was weird to think that next Christmas Husband and I will have a kid of our own. Before I knew it our first Christmas was over, and on the 26th our second Christmas was beginning. Husbands family all (almost all anyway) descended on us in a flurry. His parents came down from Seattle, while his younger sister, her husband and their little daughter Tulsi came up from California. Unfortunately his older sister Molly and her family couldn’t join us–we missed them. I believe this was our Christmas morning:

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Things didn’t slow down while his family was here either. We had our Christmas complete with a dutch smorgasbord of cheese, chocolate sprinkles, dutch cakes and then onto the homemade fondue dinner, which is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite family traditions. Husband’s mom Padma makes the best cheese fondue, which I love dipping fresh mushrooms into. I don’t even LIKE fresh mushrooms.

While his family was in town we had our baby shower, thanks to my parents and his family who all collaborated to put it together. I have always hated baby showers. I hate the games and the awkward present opening, and since I have never been one to hide how I feel everyone worked together to throw a co-ed baby shower that I didn’t hate. In fact, I loved it. We all got to find out the sex of our baby when Padma cut the cake to find pink icing inside. We then got to eat cake, open presents, and socialize. The only real activity we had was painting onsies and bibs. Our baby now has a years worth of custom designed onsies and bibs. Our friends went to town decorating over thirty of the things and the results are amazing. I would post pictures, but I didn’t take any and I am certainly too lazy to do it now. But there are bibs covered in lobsters, a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh,  and a rather adorable one that both soon-to-be grandmothers decorated together. The onsies are something else. We have a Star Trek one, a Battlestar Gallactica one, a onsie that says Rescue Me!, and a couple that reference some pop culture things that I am not all to sure are appropriate. Hopefully you guys will get to see some of them as she wears them. I hear new parents are notorious for copious amounts of pictures of their children.

Then Christmas was over, we kicked his family out of the house (lovingly of course) on a Tuesday morning. That evening we were packed and on a plane to Aruba, arriving in time for an international New Year’s Eve. A couple of weeks before Christmas we had decided that we actually wanted a baby moon, and since we had some miles we started looking for places to go. On a whim I thought to talk to my Aunt Nancy who has a house on Aruba. Turns out they were there for New Year’s and invited us to join them. Before we knew it our trip was booked and I am so glad we did it. I got to spend 10 days on a beach with this handsome hunk:

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And the beach looked like this:

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Aruba is very small–something like 6 miles wide and 20 miles long. There is nothing to there, except be on the beach, which is exactly what I wanted. I am a sea otter by nature, so rolling around in the water for hours on end is bliss for me. I didn’t really do a ton of rolling around as I was 7-8 months pregnant, but I was one really happy beach mamma. Neither of us got sunburned as we were diligent with the sun screen, which only made us feel that more content that we did this vacation thing right. New Year’s Eve was a blast–literally. We stood in our PJ’s in my Aunts front yard and watched as amazing fireworks went off all around us. Then just past midnight all the neighbors started making the rounds to wish everyone a happy New Year’s. They were all dressed in their finest, while we stood their in nightgowns and boxers. I am sure they thought it amusing, but after having traveled for about 10 hours, I didn’t really care.

For having done absolutely nothing for 10 days,  I could write about Aruba forever. But I will spare you the jealousy. To sum it up I will just say that the water was perfect, I ate the best shrimp of my life, and I got to have a virgin Pina Colada everyday. Well everyday until I realized they were giving me the WORST acid reflux. So the vacation wasn’t perfect because I had to give up the Pina Coladas, but the good far out weighed the bad.

Before we knew it our 10 days were up and we were headed back home. I still miss the water, the sun, the Pina Coladas, the shrimp (OMG the shrimp), but then we were thrown into the New Year. Husband hit the ground running for work, as January is often the busiest time of the year for him, and I got to work on getting things ready for the baby.  The nursery is almost complete and my “Before Baby” to-do list is dwindling. We replaced my POS car and bought a Subaru. Husband and I are already a Pacific Northwest stereotype, we figured we would complete the image with a car purchase. I have to say having a car where all the buttons work, the breaks don’t grind, and the defrost actually works in amazing. Who knew functioning defrost would feel like such a luxury.

We also got to spend an evening at the Oregon Symphony:

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They played Carmina Burana, which was phenomenal. As we were leaving the concert hall, a woman suggested that I name our baby Carmina, as it is such a pretty name. We did consider it for about ten minutes, as Kashi’s grandmother’s name was Carmen, but I don’t actually like the name Carmen. What are the odds that someone would call our Carmina, Carmen? Probably pretty high. Also there is the fact that Carmina Burana is a set of rather raunchy poems that were originally written by a monk–a sexually deprived monk at that. Probably. Not sure that is something I want my daughter named after.

This has been a rather long, random post. Maybe the next time you hear from me, I will have popped out this baby!

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Life

LIfe Lately

Since it as been a while, once again I figured I would spend a little time catching everyone up on what life has been like lately. There has been a LOT going on. First, we have lived in our new house in Portland for almost a month. It seems so silly that I can say that. When we first sat down and said we were ready to start looking to buy a house, well it was such a nebulous thing. We thought we had enough money saved. We thought we knew what we wanted. And while all of that turned out to be true, it was still a very nebulous thing at the time to think about what it would be like to live in a home that we owned. But then here we are today, living very happily in a house that we own. I feel like after everything we were told about buying a house, how stressful it is, how much work there is to do, we completely lucked out. So much of buying house happens behind the scenes: the realtors, the loan officer, the house inspection, the title company I guess I just didn’t feel too connected to the process.

I think that made the process go by faster, may have even made it seem easier. So before we knew it we were moving and then the move was over and we were just living in our house. Pretty cool stuff. Below is a picture of Husband and I in front of our digs.

we moved photoThe move has been a bit of a change. We now live 30-40 minutes from my parents, whereas before we were only 10. This is more an adjustment for me than it is for Husband. We also actually live in Portland now, versus living out in the ‘burbs like before. I am getting used to living with more traffic, but I am loving living so close to beautiful parks, great restaurants, yoga studios, libraries, cafés. This is reminiscent of my time in Tacoma. I can walk a lot more to a lot more places, and we are about twenty minutes from anywhere in Portland. It is fabulous. We have been going out to eat a lot, exploring our new options. At some point our budget will dictate that we need to cool it on the going out, but then I think we will just be a little more strategic about our explorations. So far we have found a couple of gems. There is a Chinese restaurant about half a mile from us, which is really decent. Then there is a breakfast/thrift store (yes you read that correctly) joint that is super cheap and has biscuits and gravy. There is really too much to list here. Husband and I are going to get fat living here, or at least there is a lot of potential for growth. So we have also been exploring the local fauna. We are two blocks from Pier Park, which is huge. Then across the St. Johns bridge there is Forest Park, which is even more enormous. You could hike there for days. Really. Husband has been packing me and the dogs up and tromping us through the forest. It has been beautiful. He has also been bringing his camera along and experimenting. The first photo I was happy, the second photo is really more like the 50th–I will let you guess how I was feeling.

Forest Park Better Forest Park

So enough about our new digs. The other big news is that we are about 20 weeks pregnant. In just the past couple of days I have really begun to show, and everything about my body is different. Really different. I can’t believe how much change can occur in a body in such a short amount of time. The hormones are something else. I was a little bitchy the other day and when I apologized to husband he said not to worry about it. It was just because I was pregnant.

Between you and me I am not sure I would have been any nicer in other circumstances. Not sure the baby had anything to do with it, but let’s not tell Husband that. It is really nice having a “get out of jail free card.” It is also nice having a wonderful husband. That might be the more important take away.

Anyway, I have a much weaker stomach now. I have never gotten sick over something I have seen before. Once in high school our biology class was taken to OHSU to look at a cadaver. I remember watching the med student showing us the man’s leg and hooking his finger into the thigh and holding up a long rope of material telling us it was the longest vein in the body. It was really cool. But I am pretty sure if I saw that now I would vomit. Last month I saw a fruit fly hovering over my bowl of Greek yogurt and just the thought of having maybe eaten a fruit fly along with my yogurt sent me hurling to the bathroom.

Then two weeks ago when I was sick with a head cold I tried to use my Nedi Pot. Before I used to plug the drain and watch and see how much crap I could flush out of my sinuses. The more that collected in the sink, the prouder I was. Well that sent me yacking. It was unfortunate because I hadn’t yet flushed both sides of my sinuses and I had to go to bed feeling rather lopsided.

I also feel movement in my SI joints, which is really disconcerting, but thankfully that doesn’t cause me to vomit. I really hate getting sick.

On a less disgusting note, Husband got to feel the baby kick for the first time a couple of days ago. I have been feeling the baby move for about two weeks now. It is a weird feeling, and I am not sure I altogether like it. I mean it is wonderful to feel confirmation that there is indeed a living being in there. It is neat to feel more connected to this thing that is happening, but the actual movement itself, the physical sensation of it is a little disconcerting. But it was so wonderful for me to feel that Husband felt the little being move. We haven’t been able to recreate that moment, as the baby doesn’t kick on cue, but we keep trying.

Anyway that has been our life for the past month: moving and ultrasounds. Just like it is hard to believe we are in our own house, it is hard to believe that we will have a baby in just under five months. It doesn’t really seem possible.

 

 

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