My husband and I, until Christmas Day, did not know the gender of our baby. We had the brilliant idea to have our baby’s gender identified at the appropriate time and then had the ultrasound of the baby’s gender printed and put in a sealed envelope that we were not to open until Christmas morning (to be truthful, my Christmas-crazed oversized Elf of a husband who is imbibed with the Christmas spirit year round, had the idea). Initially, I did not want to know the gender of our baby at all before birth, and my reasoning is still the same when I explain to people why I felt that way. I think that the gender of your child is really one of the only true surprises we get in life, that being said, I’ve had a change of heart about waiting to find out your child’s gender until birth. I realize now that it doesn’t matter if you wait to find out the gender at birth or if you find out early because it is still a surprise. We don’t go in to our pregnancies saying “for this pregnancy, I will have a ______” with any guarantees (well, some women do but there is no magic pill to take or button to press to ensure you will get what you want).
This thought process changed for me because of my self inflicted, masochistic ETERNAL wait. Okay, okay…I’m being melodramatic, but imagine the torture I went through! Having an envelope in my house for over 2 months that contained to the true identity of the sex of my baby was, well, much like having a massive dark chocolate bar on display in my home but not being able to eat it- not even a taste because tasting would give away the flavor. Peeking would have given away the surprise. So, for 2 months I would walk up to the envelope, run my fingers across its crisp edges and then make a “Nene nene boo boo” face at the pretty letters scrawled across its face that read “Gender! NO PEEKING” (that was written deliberately to taunt me, I’m sure, by our ultra sound tech). The damned thing just sat there, in a drawer eventually because I got sick of looking at it and feeling deep penetrating guilt for my desire to shred it open, until Christmas morning. Besides actually waiting to meet this kid, waiting to open the envelope has been the most painful wait of my life.
Christmas Eve night I tossed and turned all night long and barely slept at all. Actually, that is not much different from any other night as of late- sleep is becoming a challenging feat- but I was restless with thoughts. My husband and I both whole-heartedly did not have a preference of one over the other- a boy or a girl- either was fine with us. My head was just so filled with thoughts of what my little boy/girl would be like. What will he/she look like? Who will he/she be most like? I was all nerves.
At 7:00 am my husband and I opened the envelope. I can’t help but giggle at how awkward and nervous we were. It was like we were newly dating all over again because we looked at each other and coyly smiled and kind of giggled and then passed the envelope to one another and said “you open it!” and replied, “no, you open it!”. We finally just opened the seal and slowly, very gingerly and with shaking hands, pulled the ultrasound picture out. I was so nervous I sweating and just as the picture was far enough out for us to actually see parts and words on it, we both realized it was blank. Our ultrasound tech had “peek proofed” our picture! She put a big opaque sticky note over top of our picture. All of that tension of thinking “HERE IT IS! IT’S THE MOMENT” was prolonged again when we had to peel the sticky note off. Granted, that took less than a second, but my blood pressure was already up and my blood was pumping, and before the gender was revealed, I started to cry (tears of joy, people). My husband and I saw the gender at the same exact time and after I read the words “It’s a BOY!” I collapsed into my husbands arms and cried tears of joy (though, I could have been crying “why me” tears, knowing now that I was going to have a miniature version of my husband to raise, which is a DAUNTING thought! J).
We were both so excited at that point that we got up from our seats and did a “happy dance” around the Christmas tree and our dogs looked at us quizzically, as if having a tree up in the house wasn’t weird enough for them already, their parents were now squealing and dancing around it (really, people must look very very strange to their pets). About 10 minutes after our celebratory tree-jig, my husband looked at me and said “OH GOOD! Now, if we have a little girl next, she’ll have a big brother to protect her.” Then it was my turn to look at him quizzically. If this psychopath husband of mine thought for one second that, at a very uncomfortable 26 weeks pregnant, I was already thinking about being pregnant again then surely, he must be crazy.
I’m THRILLED to be having a little boy!!!
After we opened our envelope we went ahead and exchanged our other gifts to each other. My husband was particularly excited to give me one specific box. He handed it to me with the vigor of a child and said “Open it! You’ve got to open it!” I couldn’t fathom how special this gift must be to deserve such enthusiasm from him. The box was about 10inches long by 4 inches high and rather inconspicuous. I eagerly took the present from him and unwrapped it. At first, based on the writing on the box, I thought he had to have used an old box to wrap a new gift in- you know, to disguise a very obviously shaped present in a shoe box or something. I thought this because the box said “Super Foot Scrubber” on it and I thought “there is no way he was so excited to give me a foot scrubber.” So, I opened the box and, well, BEHOLD, it was a FOOT SCRUBBER! I couldn’t help but look at him, once again on that morning, like he was nuts. “A foot scrubber? Really? You got me an infomercial foot scrubber??” I’m sure I had that scrunched and scrutinizing eyebrow look on my face because I truly was perplexed. This foot scrubber had suction cups on the bottom of it and it was shaped like a flip flop that sasquatch would wear, equipped with bristles long enough to be whale’s teeth and a pumice stone at the heal. My husband grabbed it out of my hand and began to explain his logic in getting me such a ridiculous gift. He said, still with the enthusiasm of a 4 year old despite my obviously underwhelmed and confused reaction, “YEAH! Isn’t it cool? You stick it to the floor of the tub and you squirt soap in the bristles and you just rub your foot back and forth in it, and it cleans your feet for you! You don’t even have to bend over to clean your feet!!! How COOL is that!?” Still- my face must have been dead pan because he then said “Well, you’ve been saying it is getting really hard to bend over… (his enthusiasm trailed off here, as it suddenly dawned on him that I might think this gift to be totally hokey)…and I just thought, well, this will keep you from having to bend over to clean your feet in the shower… I thought it was a good idea.” At this very moment, I realized that I am going to be in big BIG trouble in the future, because I am having this man’s son, and if his son is anywhere near as cute as he is, he’ll get away with murder. How could I be disappointed by his gift, hokey though it may be, after he explained his logic for buying it to me? He was so excited to give me the gift of not having to bend over anymore (that’s what she said…sorry, I couldn’t help myself!). I guess maybe you have to be his wife to appreciate it, but my foot scrubber was the most thoughtful gift I got this Christmas. And…it works! I am happy to report that I haven’t had to bend over once in the shower, since getting this magic scrubber, to wash my feet at least.
Now…if they only made something similar for shaving your legs….
Sleep- It is a very splendid thing. I know this because as of late, I am rendezvousing with it less and less. As you encounter sleep less and less often, you suddenly realize how much you took it for granted when you used to be so well acquainted.
I now experience 3 potty crawls in the middle of the night. This is done in a rather “walking dead” manner. I sling myself out of bed then I zombie stomp my way to the bathroom in the dark so as to not wake up my husband or our doggies, then I pee in the dark and zombie stomp my way back to the bed. All of that would be fine and dandy if I could just crawl cozily back under my covers and rest my little ol’ head on my pillow and proceed to zonk out again, however, getting comfortable is not that easy when you’re carrying a bowling ball around on your abdomen. I have to hoist myself back up on to our very high bed, scootch my butt down far enough on the bed so that my head aligns with my pillow(let me clarify, so my head aligns with my head pillow) and so my butt aligns with my butt pillow which I then have to wedge between my butt and the bed, and so my legs align with my in-between-my legs-pillow, so that the sheer force of gravity isn’t rolling my massive self on top of my ever protruding belly. All of this, mind you, is done in dark while half asleep and with ninja like quietness. By the time I finally get myself situated and settled into enough pillows that you’d think I was the Michelan man, I’m wide awake again and I end up lying there waiting to drift off.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I have been a life long snorer. I snored when I was a cute little girl and I snored on my wedding night, and I snore now. I can’t help it. No one can. The difference, though, between being a dainty lady snorer (well, dainty and lady like is what my old snores used to sound like compared with pregnancy snores) and a pregnant snorer is the volume and the intensity of the snore. I know that my pregnancy snores make me sound like a drunk sailor with a beer gut, sleep apnea and a deviated septum. How do I know this? How does one who is sleeping know what they sound like as they snore? No, not from testimonials made by my husband (though, trust me, he has informed me several times of my snoring ailment) but because I snore SO BADLY that I wake myself up from it. I can be in the middle of a dead sleep and suddenly startle myself back to the land of the living (and, if you happen to be in my company while I’m snoring like this, the land of the “OH MY GOD, what is that friggin’ wretched NOISE??”). Trust me folks, it ain’t pretty.
Not to mention that a pregnant woman has to sleep in one position all night, which is on her left side. Sleeping on your stomach is, for obvious ergonomic and safety-of-the- baby reasons, out of the question, and sleeping on your right hand side runs you the risk of squashing your own Inferior Vena Cava (aka, the biggest vein in your body responsible for returning blood back to your heart for oxygenation) under the brute weight of your massive uterus. So, the left side is what you’re left with. Sleeping in this position all night long leaves me feeling as if my pelvis is an egg that has been cracked and spread apart (you know, like when you whack an egg on the side of a bowl and then pull the two fractured halves away from each other so the yolk and the whites will run out) just with out the cracking/spreading sound effect. My shoulders and chest are left feeling like a crushed soda can because it feels as if someone has pushed down on my right shoulder and squished my chest and left shoulder in on themselves in the process. It is VERY uncomfortable and not the best way to start off your day. I must say, it is a cosmic sick joke that pregnant women don’t get much rest because, if anyone if this world needed to prep and get some genuine R&R before “show time” it would be the pregnant women of the world. I wonder sometimes, who finds this so funny- the fact that I’m sleep deprived already, and my rascal hasn’t even been born yet?
Not to mention, my little rascal has no Earthly concept of time and thus, at various hours of the late night or early morning, begins to do the cha cha on my bladder or practice jabs and high kicks on the wall of my uterus. I hadn’t expected to be awakened by his movements, but they’re powerful little sucker punches. Imagine, for a moment, taking a right hook to the rectum, and you can understand why it might jar you awake in the middle of the night!
I can’t really complain, though (well, I mean, yes I can…but…you get the idea). I’m pregnant and I’m expecting a beautiful baby boy and really, who couldn’t be happy about that? I’ll take the awkward bodily noises and the miserable sleeping patterns. I’ll take the inability to even see my toes anymore let alone the inability to clean them without the aid of a cheesy infomercial hocked product. I’ll take the gas and the itchy belly and the weird matching crusty yellow stains on the chest of my PJ shirts in the morning if it just means I get to have a happy healthy baby boy in the end. Life is full of trade offs. If 9 months of unpleasantries is my penance for a life time of loving my son…I’ll take it!
Until next time, folks- keep those feet clean!!!Preg-A-Saurus Rex