Just thought you should know…

…that, despite the fact that I am only 7 months pregnant and have had a relatively ‘easy’ pregnancy (people tell me that when I say I didn’t throw up a lot – I could count on my hand the number of times I did),

the physical discomfort of pregnancy does not come anywhere close to the physical discomfort of sub/infertility and getting your period every month.  And I’m just talking about the physical side of things.  If we threw in emotional discomfort, well, that wouldn’t even be a contest now would it?  But we all knew that already.

But just in case you had some inkling way back in there (like I did) that maybe pregnant women complain so much because physically it really is that bad.  Its not.  At least, its possible for it to not be!

(edited to say, this pregnancy has not been symptom free. I’m just recognizing these symptoms aren’t that big of a deal and at least for me, aren’t painful enough to act as if they compare to the physical pain of not being pregnant.  And, I’d venture to say that that’s before any treatment, although maybe all the pain of treatment makes it that much more obvious. Even with the mind fog, constant tiredness that has you going to be before 9 every night, constant hunger-if-i-don’t-eat-every-hour-I’ll-be-nauseous feeling, side-hip nerve pinch that wakes you up at night and makes you walk with a limp, constant peeing and nasal drip, braxton-hicks contractions, and some other weird pains down there I won’t talk further about, in my experience pregnancy is physically easier than not being pregnant.  Pregnant women talk about these things because everyone is always asking you “HOW DO YOU FEEL?” So you tend to analyze every twinge :) )

It is beyond amazing not having cramps every month.  I told Mike the other day that I’m pretty sure not having cramps for 9 months would totally add up to labor in terms of physical pain.  Moms everywhere are probably laughing at me right now, but I think it could be close.  I guess I’ll know for sure in two months :) And then I may eat my words.

That being said…I have a few random points about this pregnancy I’d like to share:

  • Round ligament pain feels exactly like the pain I had ovulating every month.  So much so that early on (probably before 16 weeks pregnant) I actually had our doctor use the ultrasound to look to see if I was ovulating or had huge cysts or something because I had the exact same pain as I did or what I thought was ovulation pain while we were trying! (and before, for the record).  After confirming I was not freak ovulating while pregnant (ahem) she told me she was 99% sure it was round ligament pain.  She said the same high levels of hormones can make those tendons hurt during ovulation as well!  So interesting.  Which explains why the two times I was *sure* that it was lefty ovulating, we confirmed by ultrasound that righty was doing all the hard work.  And I was so confused.  Turns out that was never ovulation at all but tender ligaments.  (And silly me, why I thought I was a frequent multiple ovulator! Twins do run in my family, but I am not the fertile one!)  Mystery pain finally solved!  Turns out I’ve just always had round ligament pain.
  • At a certain point in pregnancy, it appears that your posterior becomes resistant to progesterone shots.  We are running out of spaces that aren’t bruised to shoot into, no matter how slow he injects (last night’s took 5 minutes!).  Just kidding!  Luckily the booty is jealous of my growing stomach and has been matching her pound for pound, so we have plenty more surface area :)
  • I am convinced that handling these shots will only help us during labor because they mimic having to relax during contractions.  Has anyone else found this to be true?
  • I did the blood draw after taking a suppository last week (also known as, a useless blood draw and a waste of money) but I didn’t know that at the time.  Well, my level was 95 and the nurses still weren’t going to change my dosage, even thinking that was a real number (which it wasn’t, as I was later informed).  That being said, being 32 weeks means only 4 more weeks of shots!  Hallelujah!
  • People stop making eye contact with me.  They just look at the belly.  Especially at work.  Its really weird sometimes because I’ll see myself and think, Wow.  I am a pregnant woman.  And though I have known this for a while, now I look like one to everyone else.  And that’s all some people see.  I know because I that’s what I thought at times.
  • Researching cloth diapering has become my favorite pastime.  Like, to the extent that its an obsession.  Mike couldn’t figure it out.  I couldn’t figure it out.  Why was I so enthralled by cloth diapering? (well, despite the obvious, them being cute, me being an engineer and loving to solve/optimize problems).  I think I finally came up with it.  Entering the cloth diapering world is my entrance into motherhood.  I haven’t bought many things for our baby.  But before we were married, I decided I wanted to cloth diaper our babies.  I was so excited about it, I thought, well, as long as I don’t have a baby, why don’t I cloth diaper myself?  So I did. And I have been ever since (If you’re confused by that statement, see this link).  But I have never cloth diapered a baby, as was my original goal.  And for a while anytime anyone would post or talk about cloth diapering I would have such a strong reaction…like that was my idea!  I was supposed to do that with our baby!  Beyond reasonable but that’s how it manifested itself.  And now here I am…or I will about to be as soon as our baby decides to come out.  And its a big moment for me!  A realization that for just this one way that I wanted to mother, I will finally be able to!  And that means I’m really becoming a mother.  Hence the cloth diapering overboard.  Its all profusely gushing out in the only way it can right now.  That being said, I’m seriously done until this baby gets here because cloth diapering itself can really not be that cool, can it?
  • (I said that last week).

I think I had more.  But I forgot it all.  That statement comes out of my mouth way too often now.

  • Ok, I remembered one more!  When I realized I was peeing pretty much constantly at work, I started a game to see if I could use all the stalls in our bathroom over the course of a day (there are 8).   Then I could make a game out of peeing (clearly I’m in need of a little entertainment at work!).  I’d start with the first stall and see if I could make it to the end by the end of the day.  Oh how it would throw me off when someone would be in stall #3 when stall #3 was next on my list!  So sometimes I had to make modifications.  I thought it would take me a while, maybe by the 8th or 9th month, but I’m happy to report that I’ve done it several times at this point!  Probably like 3 or 4.  Good times.  Now I need another game to keep me entertained…

Best reasons to knit while traveling

I’ve been wanting to compile this list for a while now.  Here are the best reasons I’ve come up with to pick up knitting (or crocheting) and then to travel with your knitting hobby!

1.  Lightweight.  1 or 2 needles and some yarn makes it easy to pack into your purse or bag and you have instant entertainment!

2.  Electricity free.  Not only are you not tied to a power outlet, but you can start it immediately as soon as you sit down in say an airplane seat.  No waiting until you reach 30,000 feet which means instant gratification for all you idle hands out there!  This is also a bonus when, say, you’re without power for a week.  You can knit a lot when there is no power (although it is admittedly harder to do by candlelight).

3.  Breaks the ice.  I have met more people on airplanes knitting in the past 2 years than I ever have before.  People will remark at what you’re making (including flight attendants, and in my experience it always pays to befriend them!) and other people nearby will join in.  Knitting is a friendly activity and apparently everyone likes a knitter!  Once, a man sitting next to me starting talking to me because had two daughters that knit and crochet and we struck up a conversation.  Next thing I know we were talking about nanotechnology and I got his business card because he worked at a national lab that I’ve worked at before and we (the hubs and I) were both considering applying for jobs at!  I also met a local author and exchanged tips with other unsuspecting knitters in hiding. And if you don’t talking to people…

4.  You might as well just put some headphones on while you knit.  That’s cool too.  Once you’ve reached 30,000 ft of course.

The only downsides are that on occasion misinformed TSA agents will give you static for bringing the needles through security.  Print out that TSA information from online and hopefully that will help!

 

And for anyone who’s interested in the sweater I can put updates soon.  I have no idea how this thing is going to come together and I’ve reached a little snag that has me super frustrated but I am proud to report that I could stop where I’m at and basically have a sweater vest!  Pleading with the husband, but he seems to really want those sleeves.  Maybe I can make my March deadline after all…

Who do you let see you cry?

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.” – Washington Irving

We renewed our marriage vows in mass yesterday.  You know, the “Who’s married?  Please stand up so we can bless you and give you an opportunity to renew your vows” type of thing.  I’ve never seen that done before but was happy to participate.  I tried so hard to make it through without crying but the tears started to flow out of the corners of my rapidly blinking eyes when they met my husband’s anyway.

At my shower, as I opened up one of cards from a close friend and the book she got me right after, the involuntary tears started forming.  I had thought I would cry at my baby shower but I had forgotten the reality of it until I was sitting there on the couch, starting to read the words of this little book.  So they fell, one by one.  Happy tears, in front of my friends.  To be in an unbelievable place and sharing it with them.  Happy tears of joy and thanksgiving.

Happy tears.  Then there’s the tears that come when I think about my friend’s miscarriages (I hate that that’s plural) or that come from listening to a song with special significance.  When I read adoption stories that unite selfless love with less than ideal circumstances that showoff our best characteristics in the worst scenarios.  Or the tears that used to come from the unbearable sadness that would hover over me every day, threatening my future life. Or the tears that come when I picture Mary at the cross, holding Jesus, not understanding but blindly following in faith.

Tears that reveal our humanity and our humility.

When I cry these days people say “Oh, its because you are a hormonal pregnant woman, its OK!” as if its not OK to cry otherwise.  Maybe that’s true for some people, but for me, I know I cried plenty beforehand.  Probably even more so.  While I didn’t just waste them on any old situation by overreacting, if they happened to come out while talking about something with someone, I’d try not to be ashamed by them.

In interest of full disclosure, I used to be crazy with the tears.  Again, unintentional, but I’ve been known to cry at just the thought of talking to a teacher when I was younger.  I think I had less control over my emotions then, which is maybe what crying or not crying is related to.  I did it once my first month of grad school and after a hard lecture from my adviser, never again.  I was more frustrated and upset at myself than anything and the result was unfortunately tears.  I understand why tears aren’t good in a professional setting (since they offer a sort of alternate way of communicating that’s not explicit as verbal communication is), but what about in personal relationships?

I think it is a good thing to be so in touch and aware of your emotional state of being that you’re not ashamed to have others know it as well.  There is an openness about it that is respectable, like, I own this feeling, this is where I’m at.  I think a big reason its not more accepted to cry in front of people is because of our nature to just want to fix things.  So people don’t cry because others maybe don’t know how to react to tears.  They are scary, powerful things.  Emotions so strong that they take their own physical shape.  But ultimately, being open is the best way to have effective relationships, even if that means tears are involved, right?

And just for good measure, its humbling, to be seen crying.  Because no one looks good crying, right?  I’m the worst.  Red splotchy face.  Bloodshot eyes.  Instantaneous runny nose.  Kind of hard to hold onto your pride when you’re fumbling for a tissue.

I realize not everyone thinks like this.  In fact, maybe I’m in the minority.  I have friends and I’ve read from others how people don’t cry in front of people or worse, they prevent themselves from even considering thoughts that are bound to elicit tears.  So they just don’t go there, just because they don’t want to cry – either by themselves or in front of someone else.  Somehow I can’t think that’s emotionally healthy but the truth is its such an involuntary thing for me and it comes much more naturally to me to be open and transparent about my feelings that I really don’t understand it when others aren’t. It hurts me more to hold it in (to a fault, but that can be another post….).

So I’m curious, what are your thoughts on tears?  Do you not ever cry or do you just not let people see you cry?  Has infertility or motherhood changed the way you regard tears?  Do you ever see your husband cry? Just wanted to throw that one in there for curiosity ;)