Thursday, October 28, 2010

TMI Thursday

If you ask someone who has never been pregnant (and never thought about it) what happens to your body during pregnancy, their answer would go something like this... "Your stomach gets big and you puke a lot."

Oh, how I wish that was all that happened.

How I wish.

Movies leave out a lot of pregnancy symptoms. I'm not sure why, maybe because throwing up constantly is somehow a great running gag (get it? I'm funny). But the truth is that a lot of women don't spend their time running to the bathroom to hawk up breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Most of the time, when a pregnant woman runs to the bathroom, it's because she has to pee. Especially in the first trimester (which I am blessedly almost done with), pee is a big thing. You should never be out of sight of a bathroom, because you will need one as soon as it isn't available. Forget sleeping through the night... it's not uncommon for women to get up and pee two or three times.

Also? Pregnant women are full of shit, literally. Pregnancy will either make you constipated or give you diarrhea (but constipation is more common). Go to any online pregnancy community and you will find scores of women complaining about how they can't poop right. Add constipation into the mix with water retention, bloating, and gas--other common pregnancy symptoms that most people don't know about--and you've got a cranky, cranky lady.

The unending fatigue is my very favorite part of pregnancy. Considering that I had insomnia problems long before I got pregnant, I am no stranger to exhaustion, but I guess it's a real bummer for normal women who are used to working all day without feeling like they're dying of sleep madness. The best part is that pregnancy books and doctors will constantly hound you about exercise--have these people ever been pregnant? The last thing a pregnant woman wants to do after a day of school/work/housewifery is go hit the gym. She wants to take a goddamn nap.

Pregnant women have issues with food. These issues fall roughly into two categories: cravings and aversions. Most pregnant women don't actually want peanut butter with pickles, but it isn't unusual to get fixed on a particular food item. Remember my post about salty potatoes? The salty potato thing has actually passed, but only after I ate baked potatoes for dinner for like... a week.

Food aversions are more nasty. They come out of nowhere, make you sick and then you don't want to eat anything. The pregnant nose is more sensitive than the normal human nose (for some reason), and it's not unusual for food smells to make women sick. Last week, I made fried chicken for dinner, and the smell of the chicken made me gag. There was no way I could fathom eating it after that... I went to Wendy's and had a baked potato. With salt.

Since this is getting long, I'm just going to list some other symptoms no one thinks about: acne, excess saliva, round ligament pain, muscle soreness, poor circulation, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, headaches, insomnia, hot flashes.

Basically? You really don't want to be pregnant if you don't have to.

Monday, October 25, 2010

OT: British Men That I Find Very Attractive

Pregnancy hormones do weird things to your brain. For starters, the pregnant brain can shrink in size by up to 8% (luckily, it bounces back afterwards). It also makes you have some really crazy dreams.

The guy to the left is David Tennant, a Scottish actor whom I think is one of the most attractive men in the world. I'll admit that he's a little crazy-looking (I like that in a man), but what really gets me is his voice. Scottish burrs are undoubtedly the sexiest accents in the entire world and Tennant's got a voice that could move mountains.

David Tennant could move my mountain any day.

So, I had this dream last night and it was totally about David Tennant. WWIII had started, the Nazis were back because apparently Germany just figured that using the same tactics over might work this time, and apparently they had because Germany had taken over all of Europe. The Germans were somehow rounding up Americans and forcing them to go overseas as servants to reward certain Europeans... these people didn't even have to be Nazi supporters, they were just celebrities that the Nazis happened to like.

I somehow got wrapped up in this and ended up being given to David Tennant, which I could not bring myself to complain about. Sure, I'm a libertarian... but, y'know, give me freedom or give me death or just give me to David Tennant. I am totally cool with that last option.

It was all going so well. I cooked meals and did laundry and got to sleep on David Tennant's couch. Awesome! Hooray! He even got to keep the TARDIS from his run on Doctor Who in the basement and I got to see it. I was kind of hoping the dream would've progressed into some sort of sexy-time...

The Germans came back, took me away and told me they were very sorry for the misunderstanding and that I was free to go. They'd found out that I was actually a citizen of the U.K. so I couldn't actually be forced to serve celebrities. I tried telling them that I was totally cool with it... no luck.

Then I woke up.

To celebrate my crazy-ass dream, here's a list of my top five most attractive British men, all of whom are old enough to be my father but I don't care:

1. David Tennant (he can talk to me and make goofy faces all he wants... among other things)

2. Jason Statham (as long as takes me for rides in his BMW and promises not to shoot anyone)

3. Hugh Laurie (he can keep his accent, but he must act like Gregory House, M.D.)

4. Daniel Craig (in a tux, please)

5. Sean Connery (but only when he was younger since he's now old enough to be my father like three times over, and that's weird and/or creepy)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Salty Potatoes

I'm pregnant, and I want some effin' potatoes. I want my potatoes, and I want at least half of cup of salt on them. I do not care how the potatoes are prepared, I just want potatoes and I want them covered in salt. I also want them now.

I want french fries. I want chips. I want hash browns, pan-fried potatoes and potato pancakes. I want mashed potatoes. I want baked potatoes. I just want some sort of potato dish and I want it covered in salt.

You know what's awesome? Baked potatoes. Baked potatoes are effin' sweet. Especially when you put a couple tablespoons of butter on them, and then cover them in salt, pepper and sour cream... and then you mash it all up until it doesn't even look like a potato anymore. So good. So, so, so good. I want one right now, but I'd have to drive across town to the nearest Wendy's and that's expensive. Besides, Wendy's baked potatoes are not much good, for a really good baked potato you have to go a steakhouse. Except when you go to the steakhouse they want you to buy a steak before they give you the baked potato. I don't want the steak; I just want the potato.

Salty potatoes. I want them. Now.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I have an acne problem, and I'm freaking out.

I was the envy of every other girl in my high school (difficult--I went to an all-girls' high school) because of my distinct lack of acne. When I did have a stray hairline pimple or two, I immediately ran crying to my dermatologist. Of course, at the time I thought that I was absolutely disgusting because oh my god the offending zit was so noticeable I could just die.

Let me briefly explain the reason for my blessed, acne-free existence. I have a chronic skin condition called eczema. (If you want to get really technical, you can look at the subheadings of "atopic dermatitis", "seborrhoeic dermatitis", "discoid eczema" and "dyshidrosis".) Dyshidrosis is the especially gross one that insured I had very few friends in middle school. In any case, my skin was naturally so dry from the eczema that I had a hard time getting enough oil on my face to really contribute to acne. (You can have both acne and eczema, I was just lucky.)

Because of the eczema, I am extremely OCD about my skin. The second anything is uneven, red or itchy, it gets examined, picked at, and treated with eight different creams, lotions, oils and ointments. Which is why this acne thing is driving me bonkers.

The pregnancy hormones have helped clear up my eczema... but now I've got this acne problem. I've never really faced this before, and it is driving me to fits. I spend hours a day standing in front of the bathroom mirror, examining myself. Okay, maybe not hours. Maybe like, one hour. It's a lot of time, in any case, definitely more time than I should be spending on examining myself in the mirror.

I first noticed it creeping along my hairline. Then it appeared at my temples and crept down from my forehead to the bridge of my nose. It's trying to put the moves on my right cheek now.

I will not stand for this.

My first line of defense was washing with my pre-existing facial treatment, the Basis bar for sensitive skin. It's just a bar of moisturizing soap, really. This particular bar contains chamomile and aloe vera. Dermatologist-recommended, don'tcha know, even though my dermatologist has never mentioned it to me. It's good soap. I like it. It's good for taking off make-up, too.

Unfortunately, it was doing nothing to keep the acne off me.

In a crazy-hormone-induced fit, I fled to CVS a week and a half ago and scoured their aisles for a facial cleanser that does not contain salicylic acid (which pregnant women cannot use). The only thing I found was this Biore Steam Activated Cleanser. As far as I can tell, it does jack shit.

Really. I'd probably have better luck just using my Basis bar. This stuff seems to do absolutely nothing. I doubt that the steam from your shower actually "activates" anything and I don't feel particularly cleaner for having used it. Besides, it cost me eight dollars. My Basis bar only costs two.

Tonight, my husband made me buy this Boots Expert Anti-Blemish 2 in 1 Scrub and Mask after I sulked in the organic beauty aisle at Target for ten minutes. It has willowbark extract, which is a natural source of salicyclic acid, but you know what? I don't care. It's plant-based and it's so far down on the ingredient list that it probably won't matter, and in any case it's better than me clawing my face trying to get the zits off.

I just used it for the first time, and although it comes out creamy, it is a scrub. Apparently, it can be a mask if you want it to--I'll try that later--but the scrub is nice. I felt very clean and my skin felt even afterwards, which is more than I can say for the Biore (also, the Boots is cheaper). We'll see how this goes, but I have high hopes for Boots.

In the meantime, I'm just going to keep slathering myself in concealer. Slathering. Myself. In. Concealer.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Congratulations... you're having a dinosaur!

I dragged my husband to our first prenatal appointment on Tuesday. It was awesome (except for the terrifying part at the end).

Anyway, we showed up at the Clinic a little early to fill out paperwork. The only paperwork involved was this little survey that asked a) if I were being abused, b) if I was a drug addict, c) if I was an alcoholic, d) if I were dying of a genetic condition, etc. I swear to god, there was nothing positive on that survey. I did have to check off some of the things (being neurotic and at risk for diabetes--thanks, mom!) but some of the questions were just really... really?

It got better when we actually made our way into the exam room and the nurse started asking the standard pre-exam questions, which include doozies like, "do you currently have any personal safety issues?". That's Clinic-speak for "are you being abused?", and I was kind of nonplussed because my husband was sitting two feet away. Really, lady? If he was beating the crap out of me, would I tell you about it right now?

Then my doctor came in, and we got down and dirty right away. I don't think even five minutes went by before the ultrasound wand was up my junk.

And this is what we saw! THAT'S A BABY IN THERE, Y'ALL. Specifically, it's a nine-week-old baby. It's got a big head and it's got arms and legs. Well, I guess that technically it's got arms and legs... at this point they're more like tiny little stumps with joints. But it's definitely a baby, and it's got a heartbeat (175bpm, like an effin' hummingbird) and it wiggles. Seriously, guys, it wiggles.

I also think it looks kind of like a baby dinosaur. Actually, it does look considerably more baby-like than some early ultrasounds I've seen. I guess that's a good thing.

So... that was the fun part. We got a free bag of stuff... the stuff wasn't very interesting (flyers, parenting magazines, a coupon for free birthing classes, pamphlets on what to eat/not etc, boring stuff like that). The bag is pretty cool! It's one of those cheap reusable shopping bags, except it's Clinic blue and it's got "Fairview Hospital Birthing Center" written all big on it.

Look at me, excited about a cheap, free grocery bag. I can take it shopping and everyone will know I'm pregnant! Not that they couldn't figure it out by the size of my stomach and the contents of my cart...

Anyway. The terrifying part. I know you want to hear it. I got a flu shot and then I had to go over to the lab and get blood drawn...

...I do not do well with IV needles. Vaccine needles are fine (as evidenced by the flu shot above), tattoo needles are great, sewing needles are perfectly harmless. IV needles? Forget that shit, I'm out the door and halfway down the block. I have blood-injection-injury phobia, and I will do anything to avoid IV needles. When I was 18, I tried to punch a nurse for attempting to give me an angiogram (true story, and no, I didn't actually make contact... I only succeeded in shoving her. She was a bitch anyway and had it coming.)

Even more terrifying is that the last time I had to have blood drawn, the tech spent fifteen minutes rooting around in my arm, searching for a vein. Really. Fifteen minutes and three needles before she actually hit something. Apparently I have deep veins or something and the needle she was using wasn't long enough. (That's just what I needed to hear, that she had to stick a bigger needle in my arm.) The tech also kept asking if I wanted lay down because she thought I was going to faint. I don't faint, I panic, and her repeated asking of "do you want to lie down?" was just about enough to make me rip the needle out, throw it at her and then run like hell.

So yeah, the last time I went to the lab did not go all that well.

This time, I got this tech with some sort of heavy eastern-European (or maybe Russian) accent. I couldn't really understand what she was saying, but I am not the most communicative when needles are being stuck in my veins anyway. I managed to get out the story of what happened last time, and when I finished she gave me this look, stuck a little butterfly needle in the top part of my arm (not the elbow, like last time), immediately hit a vein, took about six vials of blood, bandaged me up and shooed me out the door. It was like magic. It lasted three minutes and she never asked me if I wanted to lie down even though I was shaking and making tiny noises of distress. I am never going to the lab again unless that lady is working. Ever.

My next appointment is at the Independence office for a NT scan. The NT scan determines the chances of your kid having Down syndrome or other chromosomal issues based on the amount of fluid that accumulates at the back of the fetus' neck. I'm not expecting any problems... I just want another ultrasound. :) I also think there is... gulp... more blood work involved. I wonder if they'll let me drive back to the Strongsville office to wait for eastern-European lady?