Pregnancy: Week 22

Monday, March 20, 2017
Today got to a rough start. I almost hit a car that pulled around me only to stop short in front of me on my way to work. Then I had a coworker literally yell at me for something that was extremely inconsequential. I even let her know that I didn’t mean anything by it and that I had nothing against her.   Needless to say, she took it the wrong way and even yelled at me about it in front of our principal. I know she has tenure, but she was really behaving oddly. I feel like she’s starting to go off the deep end. I know she lost both her father and brother within a month of each other, but that was two months ago. While, it’s tough to get over something like that, even in two months, one would think she could at least learn to behave correctly at work.

It really threw the rest of my day off. By the end of it, I was very emotional and had to try very hard not to act like a jerk to Kyle and jump all over him for everything. I truly hope I managed it because he doesn’t deserve to be treated that way.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
I had difficulty sleeping last night. I kept wondering if there was any way I could have handled that issue with my coworker any better.

I wore a shirt today that is often considered a “maternity style” of clothing. Apparently it was enough to make me look pregnant. I had one coworker who told me that I really “popped” this week. That was fine because I was wondering at what point I would stop looking fat and start looking pregnant. Later on, I was doing lunch duty when a parent asked me, in the most tactful way possible, if I was pregnant. She looked at my belly and asked if she was the last to know something. I told her that I really didn’t broadcast it, but that I was due in July. Then she asked me if I was having twins.

I don’t understand that pregnancy seems to be the only time that people think it’s okay to comment on the size of your belly. It was the third time I was asked if I was having twins. I didn’t take it personally at first because twins actually do run in my family. However, with repetition and the notion that some of these people would have had no idea that twins run in my family and were simply commenting that I was “too big too soon”. I have also been told of people who were “not showing enough”. Apparently, I’m the first sort. But I still don’t see why people think it authorizes them to discuss how much weight you gained. If I wasn’t pregnant, nobody would have thought to tell me how much weight it looked like I put on.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
I didn’t have to stay late at work today, so today felt like a quick, easy day. It’s amazing that a few weeks ago I felt like a full day of work was tough. Now it seems easier when I don’t have to stay late. After work, I really had to push myself to do laundry. The only thing that made me force myself was the notion that I was going to run out of clothes before the end of the week and I wouldn’t have the time or opportunity to do laundry again until after that time. I managed it, but then went right to sleep when I got home.

Thursday, March 23, 2017
I was not looking forward to today. In addition to helping out with an after school club, I also had my dance rehearsal. Needless to say, I didn’t expect to get home until at least 7:30 and I worked from 8am until 6pm with only a lunch break. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to handle it.   I was pleased that I was wrong. I managed to get through the day rather remarkably. It did help that I had some unanticipated breaks in the day. I had a class that was on a field trip. Another class had an assembly. As small as these things seemed, they really gave me the break that I truly needed to get through it.

Friday, March 24, 2017
I was so excited that I was able to weather yesterday, that today was just a matter of wanting to get it over so I could move on to my weekend and take a break. I’m not sure what was going on today, but all of my classes struggled to behave. If it was one or two classes, I would have overlooked it, but all of the were just crazy. It wasn’t a full moon, which actually does tend to have an effect on student behavior. Some of the other teachers noticed it too and blamed the weather.





Pregnancy: Week 20

Saturday March 4, 2017
It’s difficult to believe that I’m now halfway through the pregnancy. My belly is quite large and round already. I’m starting to worry about how much bigger I’m going to get and how my body is going to handle it! I drove an hour away to the nearest reliable mechanic I had at the last place I lived.

They fixed my brakes. I needed new pads and rotors and asked for an estimate for my oxygen sensor. The second one put in by the other mechanic clearly was broken too. I suspected that it might be something else that was the problem, but didn’t know what. It turns out that the oxygen sensor is supposed to be a part from the dealer and that the knock off version wouldn’t work. He said he’d get an estimate and get back to me, but that the part was probably going to be about $300. He also said that I needed new lower control arms. That struck me as odd because I had supposedly had a control arm replaced about a year ago. I felt like I wanted to cry. I didn’t know if this mechanic was messing with me or the one I bought the control arm from was ripping me off. I hate not being able to trust people and it’s even worse when you don’t even know who you can trust. With so many reputable businesses around, why couldn’t someone come up with a reputable mechanic chain!?\

When I got home, Kyle treated me to a movie and then I treated him to dinner. It was nice getting to spend time doing something other than my to-do list, but I would much rather have spent it at home sleeping or cuddling with him.

Sunday March 5, 2017
I had to go to work for a few hours today for an open house, but it was a poor choice of date because few parents came. Those that did come had no need to talk to me, so I was able to spend the whole time getting some stuff done. I was starting to feel pretty happy about my to-do list. I updated my resume and even applied to a few jobs. There were two that I needed to fill out an actual application and print up resumes for, so those would have to wait. I decided to set aside time next Sunday to do those.

After I got home, I dropped Kyle off to work and then drove to my mom’s house. I had plans with her to wash all of the baby clothes I got so they would be clean and ready for the baby when it comes. I think she enjoyed looking at the baby clothes more than I did! She helped me remove the tags and especially seemed to enjoy folding the teeny tiny clothes. She also made dinner and I enjoyed myself working on puzzles with them in between loads! I got so caught up in the puzzle that I was a little late in leaving to pick up Kyle from work!

Monday March 6, 2017
Today my principal finally decided to talk to me about the problem with the dance production dates. She clearly had expected me to relent and do whatever she asked me to do. I had absolutely no intention of doing so. She threatened to only pay me half of the money I was promised. I told her that I wouldn’t do the dance production at all if that were the case. I had set up another date with the venue in case she wanted to have a different performance as an alternative.

I knew digging in my heels was the right thing to do. I was glad that I was looking for another job.

Pregnancy: Week 19

Saturday February 25, 2017
We awoke early, both feeling exceedingly groggy as I slowly packed my things and Kyle packed the car. When we were done, we waited for his mom and step-dad to wake up so we could give our thanks and goodbyes. I was full of gratitude for both the kindness and generosity they had shown to us and hoped that I was able to express it satisfactorily.  We drove to my middle sister’s house who lived somewhat in between Kyle’s mom’s house and home. We went out to lunch and talked. I forget that we really don’t have much in common anymore. Or I have less to talk about. Or something. I talked a lot about the pregnancy hoping that her and her husband were actually interested about it. Her husband had too many beers and started making a fool of himself.   We spent our time laughing at him and messing with him a bit.

We went back to their place and talked a bit. We took the tour and I was envious about how well kept their place was. They had also furnished it nicely and decorated it tastefully. They were also renting, but lived in an area where money went further, especially in rent. They were renting a house for the amount that I paid for our one bedroom apartment. Also, my sister and her husband were more minimalists than me and Kyle are. To be fair, our hiking hobby takes up a fair amount of room too with backpacking packs, tents, sleeping bags, camp cooking gear, etc. We both like to read a lot more than my sister and her husband. Even so, I still was desirous of making more room in our apartment. I loved the airy spacious feeling their house had, even though the rooms were small, but comfortably furnished and didn’t feel cramped like ours did. To be fair, all of the walls of our place was full of shelves or boxes piled ceiling high with stuff. I wonder if I can manage to part with enough to stuff to create the same feeling. I also worry that if we had a place with more room, Kyle would just endeavor to fill it with more stuff. I suppose it’s best not to speculate until it’s an issue though!

The drive home was long and hard. It poured rain and stormed the whole way. It took significantly longer and I was fighting sleep for the last few hours. Kyle slept fitfully almost the whole way. The thunder kept waking him up, but he really was only awake for the last hour. We spent that time arguing over how soon to give our baby food, specifically cereal. With all the crap they put in cereals these days, I was really concerned about feeding it to our baby so soon and felt that 3 months was way too soon to give our kid solids. As much as I assumed I’d be anxious to stop having to pump at work and breast feed, I felt like we shouldn’t start them on solids until at least 6 months and should start them on fruit or vegetables first. I didn’t think that grains shouldn’t be introduced until the year mark, but I couldn’t remember why I thought so. Our argument really were more peevish than well-informed and we both resolved to discuss it later. We got home around 10 and I went right to sleep.

Sunday February 26, 2017
I awoke shaking multiple times throughout the morning. Even though we didn’t get in terribly late, the trip took a lot out of me. I slept on and off for a while. I had plans to do many things today. I needed to go grocery shopping, do laundry, and there were a number of things I wanted to do to get our apartment ready for the baby. I wanted to go through a number of my possessions to see if I could get rid of furniture to make room for baby furniture, clear off shelves and drawers so it could hold baby stuff, and just not have such a cluttered feel to our apartment. Kyle has these ideas that the one bedroom was too small for the two of us and our stuff, much less a baby. I personally believe that we just have too much stuff and could do very well if we minimized our possessions. A lot of the “cleaning” we do involves moving our stuff from one location to another. He also has a lot of wants. They’re mostly things that, in my opinion, we can do without. We don’t need a rice cooker because we can cook rice on the stove. We don’t need a crock pot because we have a Dutch oven that we could put on low for the requisite number of hours. Don’t get me wrong, I have no room to talk. I have too much in the way of paper clutter with two filing cabinets full of stuff that I really don’t need or look at. Some of it is necessary, but most of it isn’t. I also have too many books, clothes, and craft supplies. I hope that seeing me clear the clutter will help inspire him to do the same. I also hope to make room for some of his stuff as well.

Alas, depression hit early in the morning and really didn’t leave me throughout the day. I didn’t do a damn thing. Kyle suggested that after such a busy week that I needed a day to just rest, relax, and let my body grow the baby. I told him about the shaking wondering if maybe I had low blood sugar. He suggested that it was a sign of anxiety. While I have had many problems with depression, anxiety really hasn’t been much of an issue for me heretofore. I mean I have awoken shaking in the past, but it never really bothered me as much as it did now. I did literally nothing throughout the rest of the day other than watch tv, read my pregnancy book, and nap. Maybe my body needed it, but I felt upset that nothing got done that I wanted to do.

Monday February 27, 2017
I woke up shaking again. I took some extra time cuddling with Kyle before I got up. I forced myself to get ready for work with sheer stubbornness and willpower.

I went to work wondering if people would notice or comment on my protruding belly. Nobody did, but they all asked how I was feeling, as usual. I still haven’t had any students comment on it yet. The younger ones don’t have enough of a verbal filter to not say what’s on their minds, even if the older ones were too concerned about being rude to say anything.

I felt like my day was more difficult than usual to get through, though in hindsight, everything went well enough. I guess it’s just the goggles of depression with makes everything seem worse than it really is. I did manage to pick up some food at the grocery store. When I got home, I just layed down on the couch and didn’t really move until I got up to go to bed. I wanted to sleep on the couch, but I couldn’t do it. Kyle made us dinner and I gobbled it up. I didn’t realize how hungry I was until I started eating!

Tuesday February 28, 2017
I woke up shaking again. I was also very clearly depressed. I did not want to get up. When I did get up, I did not want to do anything. Everything looked bleak and pointless. I called in sick, telling my principal that I woke up with my hip hurting so badly that I could barely walk. That was partially true. My hip was hurting so badly the night before that I could barely walk. My husband later told me that my hip hurt so bad I was whimpering in my sleep whenever I attempted to roll over to a new position.

I felt miserable and depressed. I decided to take a mental health day for myself, despite the fact that I had a very easy day at work that would have required a minimum amount of work.

I went back to sleep and woke up around 9:00. I wanted to do nothing but read and drift in and out of sleep. I realized that most of my thoughts were about how overwhelmed I felt with everything that needed to be done that I didn’t do over my break because we were visiting our faraway friends and Kyle’s relatives. I guess I needed one day of rest and at least one day of activity after we got back. I made a plan to alternate a chapter in my book and a nap in between every large item or two small items on my to-do list. I guess that was what had been really bothering me. I didn’t complete the to-do list, but I minimized it enough to feel better about it. I also made a plan to attend to some of the items throughout the week. I just put one or two easy items down after work each day. Between those two efforts, my to-do list was cut in half and everything seemed more manageable.

My depression slowly faded throughout the rest of the day as I read and napped and got stuff done. Kyle was also amazingly supportive. I was need more physical affection than usual and he was very compliant in helping.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Today was so warm, that it felt like spring. I had sort of a feeling of freedom. Like a fresh air had blown life back into me. It was still difficult to get out of bed, but I found that it was easier than yesterday even though I woke up shaking again. Not that that’s saying much, but I managed to get up after hitting the snooze bar for an hour.

Work went well, as usual. I had a problem with my principal over the performance dates for the dance production.   She had apparently assumed that we were going to add an additional performance without telling me. It wasn’t on the schedule that I had given to the students months ago, which she had approved. I had plans that couldn’t be broken on that particular day. I felt betrayed because I wanted to please her, but I couldn’t break my plans. I was frustrated that she had not notified me of this in any way and just assumed that I would somehow magically know about it and push all my plans aside to do it. She had a parent waiting for an appointment, so our conversation was cut short. We made an appointment to discuss it more on Monday, but I was seething about it for most of the day. I just reminded myself that this is one of the many reasons why I was looking for work elsewhere for the next school year. Unfortunately, that thought didn’t placate me much. I had decided that I am going to dig in my heels about this particular issue, something she hasn’t seen me do before.

As I was driving home, I noticed that my lower belly was hitting my legs as they moved to hit the pedals. I can’t believe I’m getting so big already! I know I was partially looking forward to looking pregnant, but I was also partially dreading it too! My belly is definitely visibly protruding and starting to border on looking more pregnant than fat.

Thursday, March 2, 2017
I was looking forward to a shorter day than usual at work. My rehearsal for the dance production had been canceled because the stage was being used by another group. My classes mostly went well and my day moved quickly. During my last class I distinctly felt the baby kick for the first time. People weren’t kidding when they said that I’d know it when I felt it! I was so excited! I had been waiting for the first kick for a while!

I stayed a little late to catch up on extra work. I picked up another fast food dinner and went to sleep when I got home. I had about a three hour nap before I had to wake up and pick up Kyle from work. I hung out with him for about an hour before I went back to sleep.

Friday, March 3, 2017
I slept so much last night and woke up on my own at 4am that I couldn’t fathom why I felt so tired at work today. I got a text from Diego. He just said that he saw me driving to work (we take the same route for about a half hour) and that it was good to see me, even from a distance. I mentioned it to a few of my coworkers and they advised that I just don’t answer back. One even recommended blocking his number. I decided to not block his number. If he ever gets in trouble with immigration, I have already decided that I will help him. Just because he was a shitty boyfriend, doesn’t mean he deserves to be deported just because his paperwork hasn’t finished going through yet.

I got through the day reasonably well, but I was glad that it’s Friday. I did not feel any subsequent kicking from the baby. I started to worry that something was wrong. I wondered if I imagined the kick, but no, it was very distinctly a kick.

I drove an hour away to visit my friends. They were having some sort of celebration of motherhood for me. It was really neat. We hung out, ate food, and everyone offered advice that they had never known when they had their kids that could not be found in books. Some of the advice I didn’t quite agree with, like how bedtime had squashed the spirit of one of their kids, but most of it was useful. Here are the things I can remember from it:
1. Some kids show a physical sense of humor long before they have language.Talk to them as adults sometimes, but also remember they’re kids.
2. You should be prepared to bleed vaginally for two weeks after the birth.
3. When they get older remember you are the expert on your kids. You know what’s best for them, so don’t back down when people tell you you’re doing it wrong.
4. To prevent nipple pain and chafing, start now by running brushes of various harnesses over the nipple now (like start with a small toothbrush).
5. Don’t worry too much if your kids aren’t doing what the books say.  Each kid is different.

It was fun and interesting, but I didn’t realize how late it had gotten. I ended up leaving at 11:00 and got home around midnight. I am not looking forward to having to wake up early tomorrow morning. I have to leave at 7am to drop off the car to the mechanic.


Pregnancy: Week 18

Friday February 24, 2017
I awoke around 9 and kept myself occupied until the others woke up. Kyle had to go to the last place he lived and pick up the remainder of his possessions. There were just a few boxed filled with books and comics, so they should easily fit in my car. He was going to store them in his mother’s house until we were able to visit again and retrieve them. On the way there, we stopped at his dad’s house. He described his visit as necessary to keep his dad happy to keep his property from passing to an officious aunt when he dies. To be fair, his dad was an abusive alcoholic, so the fact that Kyle had such intentions wasn’t terribly reprehensible. When we got there, his house was in terrible shape. The living room looked livable. It had an old tube tv, a wood stove, a couch, two chairs, and a coffee table. The floor had worn carpeting and the walls were a shade of green that varied in darkness in different sections of it. That was nothing compared with the rest of the house. There were sections of plywood laid over other sections of plywood. The only working sink was in the bathroom and it was full of dishes. There was no stove and no refrigerator. There were two “bedrooms” that were clearly a work in progress. One had laundry hung from the walls. When I later went to the bathroom, I discovered that there was no door.

His dad talked about his indifferent state of health. He claimed to have given up drinking, but the large plastic bags full of beer cans gave lie to his claims. Still, he was clearly not drunk at the time. He welcomed us very heartily and professed happiness to see Kyle and meet me. When I told him I was pregnant, he seemed surprised. Kyle shot me an angry look. I either didn’t realize or remember that I wasn’t supposed to tell his dad about the baby. His dad spent an hour going over old photos and talking over some past good times when Kyle made our excuses and we left.

We retrieved Kyle’s books and drove back to his mom’s house. Our appearance created a bit of a stir. His aunt was there decorating cupcakes. I knew there was going to be a baby shower for us thanks to the carelessness of one of our mutual friends. We had decided to keep my knowledge as unknown as possible. Kyle, his mom, and the mutual friend knew that I knew about it. To help in their efforts, I had made plans to meet a friend who would not be attending the shower. I had known him in college as Steve, but he was now going by the name of Sabrina. I was curious and anxious to see how his transition was going. I mean ‘her’ transition. I had known him as Steve for so long it was difficult to make the transition in my mind from ‘him’ to ‘her’. I did my best, for her sake, but it was still difficult. When I first saw her, she still looked like Steve to me. I noticed a few subtle changes. She was wearing skinny jeans with boots that looked slightly too feminine for a male to wear. She was also wearing a baseball cap with her hair pulled back in a slight ponytail. It was not long enough to be pulled back completely. Despite these changes, which I knew were a big and scary step for her, she still looked decidedly male. She had never made a good looking male, but she didn’t look like she was going to make a good looking female. I felt for her because I didn’t think she quite realized that looks were a lot more important as a female than as a male.   Even though I’m not a terribly girly girl, not interested in clothes or makeup, I longed to offer advice for both make-up wearing and dressing for her body type. I wanted to be as supportive as possible, but I didn’t know if offering to help would be more supportive or if just acting like she was a woman and knew this stuff all along would be better. In the end, I was afraid it would be considered rude, so I kept my mouth shut.

I debated with her whether or not I should be punctual to my 7pm return or if I should arrive a little late. Sabrina stated that I should act however I normally would if I didn’t know about it. If that were the case, I would try and return as punctually as possible. We hugged goodbye with my parting words, “take care, man”, which I beat myself up over the whole way to Kyle’s mom’s house.

When I arrived, there were only two additional cars in their driveway. Kyle berated me for being on time. Someone had arrived shortly after me, so I hid in the bedroom until sufficiently more people had showed up. While the only request I had was that we had a co-ed shower since we had so many male friends, it was treated like a regular shower complete with games and prizes. The food wasn’t really to my taste other than the cupcakes and veggie platter. It was mostly meat and I really didn’t want meat all that much throughout this pregnancy.  It was sweet and cute how all of the kids enjoyed playing with each other.  I really didn’t know many people there, but thankfully most of the time was spent opening gifts and acting grateful.  To be fair, most of it wasn’t really an act.  People were extremely generous with their gifts!

Pregnancy: Week 16

Saturday February 4, 2017
I got up early and took my car to the new mechanic.  I sat there for about an hour and half working on my knitting.  The final total was $10 less than was estimated.  As I drove away, I was happy just to see the check engine light was off for the first time in months!

Kyle and I decided to go to a winter hiking gathering.  On my way there, my chI wasn’t up for much hiking since I get winded doing smaller things than hiking.  I guess I’m breathing for two!  We decided to go because there were a bunch of bonfires and a cookout in addition to the hike.  The food was delicious, but I didn’t expect to see Tim and his girlfriend there.  I should have been prepared for the pain in my heart I get every time I see him.  At least talking to him keeps him from hurting me further.  Kyle, who knew him a bit, wasn’t deterred from talking to him.  I hung out with some friends and knitted while they talked. Tim congratulated Kyle on our marriage.  Apparently someone saw the pictures on Facebook, but didn’t read the captions! And nobody had informed Tim of my pregnancy.  Several of our mutual friends knew, so it was surprising that nobody had told him. I was wearing a very shapeless dress, so it wasn’t obvious.

I was determined to have a good time at this event to show myself and the world that Tim wouldn’t ruin my fun.  Kyle commented on how much I was smiling all day long, but I didn’t explain why.  I attempted to go for a short hike, but was so winded that Kyle had to walk me back to the bonfire area and talked me out of doing any further hiking until after the pregnancy is over.  All in all, it was a good day!

Sunday February 5, 2017
Kyle and I attended a childbirth class today.  Apparently in the past, these classes were held over a series of evenings.  This was a one day only class.  They covered a lot of topics in a short period of time.  One thing that really stuck out for me is that while many people say they were in labor for 18 or 24 hours, usually the first 8 hours at least consist of some short, mild contractions that have a fair amount of time in between.  The whole point is to gradually get the cervix to open wide enough to give birth.  There is a magic number where they won’t even really admit you into a room until you’re dilated enough.

I also learned that the actual part of pregnancy where you’re actually pushing lasts maybe 30 minutes.  I’m still afraid of the pain, but I’m feeling a bit calmer about it.  I still have a long time before I actually give birth.  Almost everyone else in the class was in their third trimester and were due in March and April except for one who was expecting twins in May and was likely to give birth early anyway.  I felt a bit out place, but I was happy to cross one more thing off of my list of things to do before the baby arrives.

One thing that I was disappointed about was that while there was mention of breathing techniques, none were actually taught.  Thankfully, all of my meditation training will come in handy.  Even so, I was unsure if there’s a right way to do it and I still feel pretty unsure.

Monday February 6, 2017
I had an appointment with my new primary care physician.  While I waited, I looked at some of the flyers in the room.  There was a recommended reading list and I was familiar with half of the books on there and had read and enjoyed three of them!  It made me feel like I was in the right place.  Then I discovered that they had me down for an annual exam (a.k.a. a pap smear), which we both found amusing considering I’m pregnant!  I had a long list of symptoms on the sheet they had me fill out when I first arrived.  I had explained to the nurse that most of them were because of the hypothyroidism and pregnancy.  She had not told the doctor that.  The doctor seemed visibly relieved that I was only there because of my back/hip problems.  She checked to see if it affected my muscles or any tingling and numbness.  Because it didn’t and she couldn’t take an x-ray she could only offer me advice. She recommended me sleeping with pillows to elevate my legs to allow for a more comfortable hip and back position and suggested taking whatever my gynecologist recommended for pain.

Tuesday February 7, 2017
I discovered that now that everyone at work knows I’m pregnant, everyone asks “how are you feeling?”  That’s apparently the standard question for pregnant women.  I didn’t mind it, but I have no complaints and everything is going well so far!