Change in habits

The recent surge in hormones has meant a total overhaul in the daily products around here. A brief review of the changes:

Deodorant: switch from Dove to Degree For Men. Dove is a crappy deodorant anyway, Degree is way better, and the regular men’s scent doesn’t scream “manly cologne.” Which is nice, even though I’d rather smell like a dude than smell, period. I’ve been extra-warm and it’s Hawaii in August, so it’s nice to get out without sweat stains.

Face: Sensitive skin cleanser, no toner, to acne fighting facial cleanser with toner. Apparently my facial oil glands think they’re pregnant too, and are anxious to show off their new form. No fewer than five planetoids have popped out on my face. That “glow” they talk about has to be oil, I know it. I haven’t looked this pizza-ish since late high school.

Speaking of pizza: random craving number one is pepperoni. Raw Hormel, right out of the pack. Sure it doesn’t sit well, but if I’m going to just yak it up anyway, might as well enjoy it on the way down.

Random craving number 2: Fruit Roll-Ups and Gushers Fruit snacks. These don’t resemble fruit so much as they resemble plastics, but they are mighty tasty.

Two things which I used to consume a lot and don’t miss in the slightest: beer and wine. I *theoretically* miss the taste of wine, or being able to order a beer. But then I think about the actual taste, and I go into a full-body convulsion. I can’t remember the desire to drink to excess, nor can I imagine the idea of ever drinking again, even in small amounts. I can’t believe people have to be warned not to drink when they’re pregnant, because the very thought makes my stomach want to turn inside out. Maybe I’m just special.

The last two weeks have redefined my concept of “morning sickness.” I thought it was constant vomiting, and for some I’m sure it is. For me it’s just the perpetual “almost” feeling, like I could throw up, but I don’t. Three or four times I’ve gone over the tipping point, once having to bail out of a conversation with my boss, so that was awkward.

So I’ve got my super-acne products, my men’s deodorant, my pepperoni, my plastic fruit snacks, and my rolling nausea. It’s a hell of a party.


Of Human Bondage

Bonding to one’s child, particularly when you’re the one cultivating it like a prize fairground pumpkin, is an interesting process. We’ve known for sure for three and a half weeks, suspected for the week before that, and at first the enthusiasm was very easy. Some of it still is: mindfulness of everything that goes into my body, never a great concern of mine, is forefront. I haven’t had a caffeinated beverage in a month, down almost cold turkey from a 3-cup coffee/2 can Diet Coke daily habit. I made two gift registries for a baby shower that I probably won’t have, not having much of a social network here, just because it was fun to look at baby things. We even started allocating funds and special savings in order to buy the single best carseat on the market, the Britax Marathon, which costs more than an 80GB iPod. And why not, we reasoned? We’re young and normally frugal with our money; there’s a surplus in the budget now that wine and beer are no longer recreational items. Why not get swept up and go a bit wild? Why not get enthusiastic with paint colors and cute baby items? Why not start researching glass bottles vs. BPA-free plastic ones? Get up, get excited, get funky. Tom, for his part, has remained unflaggingly joyous and has adopted the idea that my belly button is a microphone with a direct line to the baby. It’s adorable.

But the worse I feel, the harder it is for me to feel good and enthusiastic about this endeavor. I know this is normal, and I know it will change once I start feeling better. At the moment, the initial momentum has worn off and I simply feel gross. I want a long, hot bath (forbidden) with a glass of wine (ditto) followed by an enormous plate of ahi sushi (so, so forbidden) and to wash it down with a full-power Diet Coke (shout the answer if you know it), but mostly I just want to feel better. The economy has issued my company a full body blow, and while it’s foolish to take the blame for the state and national economic crisis, that and a second issue at work that I won’t discuss here still smacks of personal failure. Feeling like a failure is bad enough; feeling like a failure while riding waves of rollercoaster nausea is enough to make me want to lie down and hide.

But, I won’t. I have no intention of calling in sick; no one else should have to be called upon to do my job for me. And though I can’t feel him or her yet, I can pull enough strength from the idea that my one real job, my only task, is to do everything I can to make sure I have a healthy baby. It’s not healthy to lie down and give up.

And surprisingly enough, I can draw strength from the idea that what I want no longer matters, if what I want is at odds with what the baby needs. It isn’t healthy to disappear into your children, and I do recognize that. But for a little while, it’s all about the little being we’ve affectionately dubbed “the sea monkey.” And that makes it okay. I guess we’re bonding after all.


First of all, congrats to Tom’s aunt and uncle on their upcoming move to upstate New York to start the next leg of their spiritual journey. We here at Traveling Monkeys are all in favor of uprooting to a new location thousands of miles from home for no other reason except a good time, so we’re doubly excited that they’re going to pursue loftier things.

Second, early pregnancy is like a 24/7 champagne drunk. The buzzy, wobbly head; the bloated and gassy sour stomach and attendant heartburn; the feeling like you’re going to need to puke but you’re just too dizzy to really see the toilet. Since I’ve been pregnant for like, five minutes, I have no reason at all to be showing. And yet, the bloat and the hormone shifts and such have resulted in my inability to suck my not-inconsiderable gut in, so in certain outfits I do look pregnant. I’m not really thrilled about it, but it does allow me a perfectly valid excuse to only wear pants and skirts with stretchy waists. Throw in a lot of Peeps candy and insomnia and you have my sophomore year of college.

That “pregnancy amnesia” business must really be true. Otherwise I can’t explain why there aren’t strictly only children in the world.


Last week:
Me: I’m not reading this stupid What To Expect When You’re Expecting book anymore. Every article is “You’re killing your baby by doing X! Go live in a bubble!” Terrible book.

Today at the doctor’s office:
Tom: Do you have any books to recommend?
Doctor: Not that What To Expect book. I hate that thing.

Hah! First choice of motherhood: validated.


Things I Learned From My Mom That I Will Teach or Use With My Child, Part 1:

1. Floss daily.
2. Buy lots of Crayola markers and Legos.  What if the kid doesn’t like it?  Who cares!  You can play with them even if they don’t.
3. You’re never too young for good eye cream.

Happy Birthday!

One year ago this week we purchased our first baby, a 2007 Honda Fit Sport.  I’m happy to report that it was a fantastic purchase, one I’d recommend without reservation or hesitation to anyone, and one which came with a low interest rate.

We put an “Aloha!” sticker on the back so people at the beach wouldn’t think it was a rental.  It’s festive.


Q&A: The “You’ve Successfully Peed On A Stick!” Question Series

How far in?  
About 5-6 weeks.

Isn’t it customary to, uh, WAIT to tell people until the first trimester is over, miscarriage risk being what it is?
Well, yeah…but we’re really excited.  And I figure I’d reach out for support and comfort from folks if that happened, and if it’s not going to work out, we at least got to celebrate with our nearest and dearest (and as much of the internet as I can reach) as well.

Were you trying or was this a souvenir of all those wineries?
A little Column A, a little Column B.  We decided to let nature take its course and it did so REALLY DAMN FAST.  We’ll be holding that fact over the little sprat’s head, along with viewings of “Fifteen and Pregnant,” when it’s old enough to date and we need to scare some birth control sense into them.  I’m equal parts stunned that it happened so FAST and deeply grateful that it happened, well, so FAST.  We have neighbors pricing out ART and well, I don’t HAVE 50K to devote to getting knocked up.

Tom, for his part, is walking around saying “Search and destroy, motherf****r!” and making pow-pow fingergun motions in the direction of my abdomen.

Due date?
About two weeks to either side of April 3.

What does Tom think?
See above re: “Pow-Pow!”

How do you feel?
“If it makes you feel any better I have heartburn radiating in my kneecaps.” — Juno.   Yeah.  That.  And more tired than I was that semester of college we decided alcohol was more important than sleep.  Otherwise fine.  No barfing yet.  And thrilled to pieces.

Best reaction?
My sister, Erika:  “You’re pregnant!  That’s awesome!  I’m NOT pregnant, that’s also awesome!”

Honorable Mention: My uncle David.  “I’m having a baby.” “Ah, how lovely.  …Whose?”