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Friday, October 22, 2010

Cryin’ in the Car, Oil Crises and Fun With Fluids…

 Cryin’ in the Car, Oil Crises and Fun With Fluids…

Hello again good folks!

I’m beginning to think of pregnancy as a looong timeline measured in a broad spectrum of bodily fluids. Bear with me here…

·         At the beginning of our time line we have conception, and well…let’s be modest here, we all know which bodily secretions THAT involves! (and if you’re really not sure you are invited to join my class at the end of the year for my students’ favorite lesson in “human growth and development”-which is always a real crowd pleaser J)…

·         The next grueling 3 to 4 months on the timeline involve every female hormone under the sun seemingly in competition with one another to see just which one can make your life the most miserable.  Progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, throwadogabone…they’re all coursing through your veins with the fiercest of malice, all trying to “one up” the other on the pain-in-the-you-know-what scale.

·         Every pregnant woman’s favorite pregnancy memory is of the delicate porcelain basin of her toilet bowl and how her twisted face peered back at her in the water’s reflection as she’s about to chuck up the next bodily secretion on the list.  There’s nothing quite as undignified as puking…especially when you do it at the drop of the hat, several times a day, and in the most convenient of locations, like say, the grocery store or the gas station- I’m just sayin’...

·         All of this fun stuff culminates at the end of the time line in one big splashy, squishy and all around wet secretion (please, do not read “That’s what she said” here J).  Pop! goes the water and Out! comes the baby.  And while I haven’t yet gotten to this stage, my female counterparts who are experienced in this level of the timeline assure me it’s quite a “celebration of secretions.” Oh, the joy!

So, I am in week 16 ½ and I find myself here (see below) in the secretion timeline:

            I’m wondering to myself why some women get lucky and have that “authentic” pregnancy glow. To me, where I stand, that “pregnancy glow” is a big fat pregnancy “myth.”  No- allow me to take that back and clarify- for me, the “pregnancy glow” is more like the BP Oil Crisis (BP standing for “Big and Pregnant” in this case). 

            Secretion here? Well, to be exact, the secretion is about two buckets full of oil produced in bulk quantity with swift efficiency by my skin.  Lately, I’ve felt more like I have a burger-joint sized grease slick on my face  than I’ve felt like I have that “fresh morning dew” look that some people describe a pregnancy “glow."  Seriously now- I could probably fry an egg with the amount of oil my skin is producing if I could just figure out how to contain it.  It’s gross. I feel gross from it, like I should make some squishy viscous sound when I walk because of it.  When I wear make-up, mid way through the day, I have this mental visual of what I look like and it’s something like this: a deranged zombie with a bad case of leprosy.  The deranged zombie part? Well, that’s because I’m pregnant and I work with 120 12 year olds everyday , and the leper part? That’s because the slop of makeup, sweat and oil on my face has reached maximum capacity – it has overcome the containment valve- and feels as if it’s going to drop from my face in gloopy, gloppy SPLATS!

I feel as if I should walk around wearing a placard that reads:
                        “Dear concerned public,
                        No wildlife or large bodies of water were harmed in this oil spill” with an arrow pointing up, towards my face.

Needless to say, I’m hoping to get a containment cap on this crisis before we’re all swimmin’ in it!

           “Phantom Tears” are just another bodily fluid I’ve become all too familiar with these past few weeks.  I call them “phantom” tears because these tears aren’t real.  They’re not staged either, like crocodile tears.  I just mean- I don’t know why they come.  My husband pleads with me “Babe- tell me what’s wrong.  How can I make it better?” and my response is a whiney, high pitched squelch, blurted out though bursts of saltwater spatters and gasps for air “I…I…<<sob>> don’t..I…don’t KNOW what is wrong <<squelch squelch, blurt, blurt>>!!” And really- I don’t.  There’s no reason for my crying.  No bad thing- no vicious catalyst - spurred this uncorking of emotion.  The uncorking's just HAPPEN.

            For instance, I was driving to work the other morning flipping through the radio stations, trying to find something decent to listen to amongst the plethora of super cheesy morning DJ’s and the smörgåsbord of Michael Bolton songs, when I stumbled on an Oldies station playing the song “I love you more today than yesterday” by the Spiral Starecase (groovy baby, yeah!).  6 years back I watched my cousin (at the time he was less than a year old) during the day while my Uncle was at work.  I grew very attached to this kid- whom I affectionately nicknamed “monkey butt” and whom affectionately still replies when I call him that, even though I’m sure it’s not “cool” anymore.  I used to sing him this song when he was only about 8 months old.  The song is a happy song. It is a song that conjures up happy memories for me.  I still sing him this song. There is no reason for me to be sad when I hear this song.  Yet, on this morning, when the first note hit my ears so did the first phantom tears fall…and boy did they keep falling!  I bawled my way to work.  Sitting at the red lights I could feel the stares of the other passengers on me while they were probably muttering to themselves “Great, I’m sharing the road with a train wreck…” and if I weren't in such a sappy state of mind, I might have snapped at them with the voracity and yappiness of a Pomeranian on a bad fur day  (as has been happening a lot lately!) and given those bad-mouther's a piece of my mind.    

Pregnancy has involved some bodily oddities for me, for sure, but that's not to say it hasn't come with out some joy.  I felt my baby kick the first time about a week and a half ago.  Admittedly, at first, I was quick to pass the kicking off just a sign of another oncoming  pregnancy secretion (or really, just a bad side effect of the refried bean burritos I'd been eating) but this wasn't "trouble a'brewin' "- it was different.  It was a rapid and uncoordinated THUMP THUMP BUMP THUMP in my lower abdomen and it lasted for about 7 or 8 seconds.  For the first couple of seconds it seemed indistinct and commonplace (like I said, as common as gas is when you're pregnant which is pretty much all the time), and then I noticed an intensity and oddness in the sensation and suddenly it dawned on me that this was my baby.  My baby was in there doing what felt like bicycle kicks!  Ever since that day I've felt it do this everyday and it's wondrous every time it happens.  There really is a tiny person inside of me! And when I think of my situation in that light, all the other pregnancy annoyances really aren't that bad.

Until next time, folks- remember "lather, rinse and repeat" are the instructions found on the back of shampoo bottles- not on face wash, so be thankful you're not the one following them when you scour your face. And like baby does, KEEP ON KICKIN'! 

Preg-A-Saurus Rex

P.S. Check out the "music video" for "I love you more today than yesterday."  I youtubed the video for toots-n-giggles and the lead singer is eerily identical to my brother-in-law...I'd LOVE to see him in this guy's suit!!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The First Four Months

Hello! My name is Jennifer.  I'm new to the "blog-o-sphere" and I'm not sure where to start, so I'll start with a few facts:
 I'm married to a 6'4'' Opera singing, Journey FANATIC Swede who just so happens to also be the love of my life
I'm a "dog mom" to two beautiful rescue Pit Bulls named Gertrude Irwin (after Steve Irwin) and Vladamir           Poochin (named for a famous Russian or something...tehetehe) Gertrude is a sleep-aholic and Vladimir is a lunatic who swears he is a member of the Russian army on a secret mission (does anyone else make up fantasy worlds for their dogs to star in?)
I earn my living by (poorly) imitating Bill Nye the Science Guy on a daily basis in my classroom. My students laugh though I'm never quite certain if they're laughing with or at me...
My mother is blind and most people ask if I got away with a lot as a kid because she couldn't see me.  I
respond by telling people that the myth about one's other senses growing stronger to compensate for one that doesn't work is true. My mom can hear you stick your tongue out at no, I didn't get away with much
I have one sibling- my life long best friend and my sister, who can indeed vouch for me with the mom    story. I often wonder if older siblings feel as I do about their little brothers or sisters... do you, too, still view  them as kids?  I l have a propensity still to bug the living tar out of her every time I see her and it never    
gets old. I'm looking forward to being 90 and still making farting noises at her.
 If it is made of chocolate, chances are, I'll eat it- although lately the same could be said for sauerkraut and refried beans...
Which leads me to my last "fun fact."
       I am Preg-A-Saurus Rex! (about 4 months along to be exact)

So what? Big deal! you say.  Billions of women have been pregnant throughout the course of time.  That's all fine and dandy and true...but I've never been pregnant before and therefore, I feel compelled to document this hijacking of my body and sanity because it is fascinating and also because when I'm "me" again I want to look back and say "what a long strange trip it's been" with proof to back it up.  

For the last 4 months I've found myself as a foreigner in a strange and oftentimes hostile land.  Pregnancy is a surreal thing.  Those pregnacy-phobes who call this 9 month period a "parasitic state" kind of have a point.  Don't get me wrong- I'm thrilled to be expecting a baby and I get all ooey-gooey thinking about my baby- but this thing has taken over!  Anyone out there who watches "The Office" may recall Dwight's comments on Pam's pregnancy..."A tiny 3oz fetus is calling all the shots.  That's bad ass!"  The only other times in my life when I have had to vomit uncontrollably, had constipation so bad I thought I'd need a Draino enema to clear the plug, or felt narcoleptic-ally exhausted is when I've had some sort of funky stomach bug or my body was in some other state of disease (that or, I was sitting through my undergrad education classes, but that's another story =)).  But pregnancy is a time in woman's life when she temporarily loses control of her bodily faculties and surrenders them to a tiny being growing inside of her.  Sounds a lot like science fiction to me...

The whole of the pregnancy experience is delightfully weird- from the finding out to the birth of a child.  Think about it. To find out one is pregnant one takes a stick and proceeds to urinate on the stick and then waits for it to tell a fortune with a simple sign (be it negative or positive).  That kind of stuff sounds like it comes from Esther the Witch's  book of spells... 
     " 'Ye take one stick, and in the wee hours of the morn, just before dawn, 'ye passes water on the stick.  3 minutes time must go by before 'ye knows the truth, no more no less, lest 'ye risk disrupting the spell. If it be crossed then 'ye is expecting and if it be not crossed then 'ye is barren and must repeat the spell in one month's time..."

Cravings are something we think we've experienced before pregnancy.  Which woman hasn't had a PMS induced carb frenzy strong enough to scare the nuts out of a Snickers bar? But those cravings are mediocre child's play compared to the ravenous hunger screeches exploding inside a pregnant woman's head.  About a month ago I felt a stabbing, pleading and growing craving suddenly (at 9am) for a bratwurst slathered in sauerkraut.  The craving proceeded to beg at me all day long.  While teaching my students about Newton's 2nd Law of Motion all I could think was "Bratwurst. Sauerkraut. Spicy Mustard." (If I push the bratwurst in to my mouth with a force of 20N and the bratwurst has a mass of 1kg then how fast will the bratwurst accelerate?) 

On my drive home from work the craving was relentless.  Now that I was free from the confines of my  lesson on forces my mission became to find a brat and kraut. I called my best friend to discuss my one-track mind when she had a stroke of pure genius- Costco! Costco sells brats and kraut! Costco is on my way home from work! EUREKA! I can't describe the pang of joy I felt as I parked my car in the lot outside of Costco and marched with extreme purpose to the concession counter and asked the counter guy for a 1/2 lb bratwurst with extra sauerkrat.  The relief! The sweet beautiful relief of devouring a bratwurst covered in spicy mustard and sauerkraut in less than 2 minutes flat. I think I scared the counter guy actually...I caught him staring at me with that look on his face that someone gets when he finds a dead roach in his underwear drawer. I didn't care, though- I had finally achieved my personal version of bliss. Let me tell you, pillow talk has nothing on finally satisfying a pregnancy craving!

So here I am...almost half way through the whole ordeal.  Half way through the joyful and relentless process of creating a whole new life.  So why not document it?  I hope you enjoy reading my perspective on the process...

Until the next entry (hide your sauerkraut, kids)!

Preg-A-Saurus Rex