Weight Watcher

On Monday I had my second to last doctor’s appointment before my due date. As usual, the appointment began with the command to pee in a cup whereupon I proceeded to give one of my worst performances to date (I was running late and didn’t have enough time to drink the gallon of water it would take to satisfy those cut-throats). Then came the moment that I have come to dread: my weekly weigh-in. Now, I knew that this wasn’t going to be pretty… my eating habits had taken a turn for the worse ever since I realized that the “I’m eating for two” excuse was about to become null and void. So it was with much trepidation that I stepped onto the scale (FYI: I took off my shoes beforehand and even held my breath just in case I inhaled something weighty, you know, like a dust particle). It wasn’t a digital scale, it was one of those old-school ones where you’re forced to wait in agony while the nurse adjusts it this way and then that, moving to the right every time it becomes apparent that you’re heavier than she had approximated. After 10 hours or so of this torture (ok, maybe it was more like 10 seconds) she settled on my number for the day. Are you ready for this? 160 lbs a.k.a one hundred and sixty pounds a.k.a 73 kg a.k.a seventy three kilograms. All those pounds, mind you, are rested on a very short frame.

AND THEN, to be sure that I was fully aware of my condition, she decided that it would be best to make a formal announcement because you know, even though I was standing right there looking at the scale, she reckoned that it was always best to be crystal clear about these things. “So! You are at 160 lbs”. I gasped… no doubt as a result of both shock and oxygen deprivation (I had been holding my breath, remember?). I think my husband gasped too but I can’t be sure because at this point the room was spinning and my life was flashing before my eyes.

Now, this shouldn’t be worrisome because after all, I am carrying another human being inside of me AND since I plan to breastfeed, I should lose lots of weight, right? WRONG! You people don’t know my body! It is the most uncooperative body that ever existed and it LOVES to hang onto excess. Maybe the breastfeeding thing works for some people but I am 99.9% positive that it will NOT work for me. So unless I give birth to a 30 lb child (hope springs eternal!) I fear that I will never get rid of this pregnancy weight.

Where does that leave me? Well. I’m certainly not going to accept this fate. SO! I’m working on a plan. It’s more of a healthy lifestyle plan than a weight loss plan because I intend to stick with the plan for the rest of my life. I will track my weight loss for a while because I don’t know how else I’d know if any physical changes are happening. When will all this start? About 8 weeks post-delivery which conveniently allows me to enjoy my first weeks of motherhood, thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Look out for the debut of this plan/program/thing next year complete with program details, progress updates (maybe even photos *gasp*), weigh-ins, etc. This might actually be fun and I’m not one to keep all the joy to myself so who wants to get on the program with me?! *crickets*

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I bet you thought I didn’t. But I did. So, there.

Remember when I said that my afternoons were utterly boring and that I was going to take up some sort of crafting activity but I didn’t know what I was going to do because I’m not any good at that sort of stuff but I was going to give it a shot anyway because doggonit I needed something to do? Well. After visiting a few crafting websites and seeing how much crafting supplies actually cost (!) I settled on knitting because A. I already own knitting needles and B. It dawned on me that I had no interest in making soap or candles because shower gel and electricity have served me just fine thus far, thank you. With that in mind, I settled on knitting something for the baby. Truth be told, I was heavily motivated by the possibility that another mom may admire my knitted wear and spread the word to all the other moms on the block that they should all be jealous and aspire to be the kind of mom that I am i.e. the kind that knits, because everybody knows that knitting moms are awesome. I can just imagine myself casually pointing to my warmly dressed child saying Oh that? No, *insert fake laugh here* it’s not designer. I just made it one afternoon when I was bored. Bam! Awesomest. Mom. Ever.      

The beautiful thing about knitting is that no matter how much of a novice you are, you can still make something. Take me for example, I’m completely useless when it comes to knitting, having only ever knitted monochromatic scarves, but after watching a few You Tube videos I made two baby hats with matching leg warmers! See proof below.

Granted, all measurements were totally guessed, one of the hats turned out bigger than expected and she might not be able to wear any of the leg warmers until her 4th birthday — but at least that means that her birthday presents for that year are sorted. Thinking ahead = More mom awesomeness.

Are We There Yet?

I have been pregnant for the whole of 2010. Just about. March to November is pretty much the whole year. The fact that I’ve experienced all four seasons while preggo should at least count for something.

The beginning of my pregnancy caught the remnants of the frigid winter weather and consequently, Winter 2010 will forever be remembered for horrible morning sickness. First of all, let me take issue with that term – morning sickness. Please be assured that there is no such thing as MORNING sickness. You might get ALL DAY sickness or 24/7 torture or round-the-clock nausea but you will NOT get any such thing as a considerate sickness that kindly restricts itself to the morning hours. I don’t know what lying, sadistic, delusional medical professional came up with that term. It is complete hogwash. So, anyway, during Winter 2010, I would drag myself out of bed and get ready for work (Yes! I had a job at the time!) while desperately trying not to lose my stomach contents.  Since it was too early to reveal my pregnancy to my colleagues, I would spend the entire work day putting on a show of physical wellness even when all I wanted to do was curl up in a corner and cry. That being said, Winter 2010 will mostly be remembered for the shock and excitement of discovering that I was pregnant. Those indescribable moments of realization are etched in my memory forever.

Eventually, Spring 2010 arrived and my second trimester brought with it good health and overall happiness. Well, maybe not overall happiness seeing as this was the time the company tanked and I lost my job. I didn’t even get to tell the bastards I was pregnant! I couldn’t help being happy though because the ‘morning’ sickness was gone! Yay! Yes, I was jobless and pregnant BUT I felt great for the first time in weeks. In a fit of optimism and pregnancy-induced euphoria, I spent the Spring of 2010 looking for a new job. As you know, dear reader, this effort proved to be futile, hence the blog. (Side note: This blog saved my life. OK, maybe that’s a bit too dramatic (even for me) but seriously, it not only helped me cope with the drastic changes taking place in my life but it also gave me a creative outlet and a way to connect with people during the long and lonely daytime hours.) 

Summer! I love hot weather. I always have. 88 degrees and sunny is my type of weather. At least it was, until the Summer of 2010. Being pregnant during the summer is NO JOKE. Imagine having hot flashes, fatigue, swollen joints and an increasingly ballooning body in the dead heat of summer. I felt like a beached whale. I became captive in my own home. Imagine! Me! The same person who could spend endless hours in hot and humid temperatures was now a slave to the AC! I felt inherently non-African. Sweltering heat aside though, Summer 2010 will be memorable for the purchase of my very first maternity outfit as well as the purchase of an adorable pink newborn dress since we had just received the exciting news that we were having a GIRL!       

And now, the leaves are turning red-orange-yellow as Fall 2010 kicks into full gear. I am STILL pregnant. It feels like I’ve been on this journey forever and I’m still not there yet. Yes, the finish line is right in front of me but for some reason, these last 3 weeks are fixing to be the most unbearable of the entire pregnancy! My usually cheerful disposition is slipping away. FAST. If this baby doesn’t come soon I fear for random strangers who stare at my mid-section, and girls carrying shopping bags from clothing stores that I haven’t been inside of in the last 9 months, and friends who drink wine in front of me, but most of all, I fear for my poor husband who has to sleep next to an emotionally unstable and potentially homicidal maniac every night. 

Pregnancy has been a great experience and an absolute blessing. But I’m ready for it to be over. Like, now.

Birth Plan

So, apparently, one of the major decisions leading up to delivery is whether or not one will be taking pain medication during labor. Usually, the question is framed in a round-the-bush sort of way like, ‘Have you thought about your birth plan?’ In the beginning, clueless as I was, I used to be all like Well, duh…my plan is to push this baby out, preferably at a hospital and in the presence of medical personnel. Realizing that this was my first time at the rodeo, question-askers would opt for the more direct route and ask ‘Are you going to go all natural?’ At this point, the conversation would deteriorate into a confused monologue (by yours truly) that would inevitably leave me exasperated and the question-asker sorry that they asked in the first place.

News flash: I’ve never done this before. I have absolutely no idea how it’s going to go, whether or not I will demand pain medication. I’ve listened to many experienced moms from both sides of the aisle and I find myself unable to lean one way or the other. Yesterday for example, I was talking to a lady at church who gave birth about a month ago and somehow she worked the fact that she’d gone all natural into the conversation. The naturalistas (let’s call them that, shall we?) ALWAYS find a way to work their accomplishment into a conversation. Any conversation. In this case, I asked her how she liked the hospital (since I’ll be delivering at the same one) and she responded by saying, ‘Well, you know, I WENT ALL NATURAL and I labored at home for 8 hours before I got there.’ Did she answer my question? No. But she was determined to get this little fact across before the conversation was over and I guess this opportunity was as good as any. I don’t blame her – it IS a great accomplishment. But  “I went all natural” bragging rights are not enough to persuade me at this point UNLESS I get a plaque made in my honor and can successfully mention it in every conversation I have till death or menopause, whichever comes first.

And now I’ve noticed that with this question hanging over my head, every pain I have has become a test of whether or not I’ll get meds during labor. So when a backache yesterday rendered me light-headed, on the verge of tears and ready to call 9-1-1, I concluded that my fate in this matter may already be sealed. The backache by the way, lasted 20 minutes tops.

At the end of the day (and any monologue that might ensue following the big question), I must conclude that I’m just one of those annoying people who refuses to commit one way or the other. I’ll make my decision on D-day (where D stands for delivery not doom unless labor is worse than the backache I had yesterday, in which case D would definitely stand for doom).

Stuff I’ll Miss About Pregnancy

This is a blatant effort to cheer myself up. To remind myself that pregnancy is a wonderful thing that should be embraced fully before it’s over. I need this to maintain my sanity. So, here goes: these are the things I’ll miss about being preggo. 

Eating, eating, eating

I have milked this cow for all it’s worth. There is neither a fast food place nor a donut shop that has been spared from my gluttony. Fried chicken with fries for lunch AND dinner? Check. Donuts and hot chocolate at midnight? Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Smores and brownies for breakfast? Done and done. It’s. Been. AWESOME. 

Peace of mind

My womb is a safe place. There are no sharp edges to bump on, no high places to fall from, no snakes, no ninja-baby-stealing-warriors, no catholic priests or any other hazards lurking around the corner. While I’m pregnant and she’s in me, I have the peace of mind that she’s well-protected, warm and cozy. Once she’s out however, all bets are off and for the next 18 years, I’ll be a nervous wreck.

Compassion

The public displays of kindness from complete strangers have been shocking. Especially men. Ladies, rest assured that chivalry is not dead! It’s like something deep, deep, DEEP inside men is awakened when a pregnant woman appears. They spring into action; opening doors with amazing speed, springing up from chairs and gladly donating them, offering to lighten loads even when the only thing carried is a purse, the list goes on and on. I’m afraid that I’ve become quite accustomed to this treatment and will feel incredibly neglected when it ends. 

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I can’t think of anything else to add to this list right now because today is one of those days when I’m so freaking tired and uncomfortable and hormonal and huge that all I want to do is cry. And eat. And maybe read my book. I think I deserve a donut and some hot chocolate. Yes. That’s exactly what I need. My day is looking up already. Yay.

At the Doctor’s

I can’t wait until this peeing in a cup business is over. I have to do this every week at the doctor’s office, whether I have pee in my system or not. As soon as the nurse sees me approaching the reception desk, she starts to fish for that damn cup. And it’s no small cup either. This thing is huge. And intimidating. But every week, she asks me to “Fill this please.” And every week, I fail to do so because has she seen the size of that damn cup? Between the performance anxiety and hard job maneuvering my rotund belly into that tiny bathroom stall, I consistently fail to produce the kind of results I know she’s hoping for. I sheepishly hand the cup back and imagine her looks of disdain piercing my back as I walk away.

And then after all the peeing and resulting shame from doing such a subpar job, I have to get weighed in. Why they insist on weighing me every single week is beyond the scope of my imagination. How eager they are to get me on that scale! Those sadistic nurses. Every week, I ask them if I should take off my shoes before I step on the scale. And every week, they look at me like Sure, like that’s going to help you honey. They OBVIOUSLY don’t understand that my flip flops are heavier than they look. But because of the look they give me when I ask, I don’t take my flip flops off, I just deduct 50% from whatever weight gain figure they give me to account for the flip flops. Apparently, I’m the only person who still cares about getting accurate results.

Tomorrow at my weekly appointment, I have a good mind to stage a revolt demanding smaller pee cups and no more weigh-ins. And strawberry filled donuts in the reception area, because the least they can do is nourish us as they systematically chip away at our self-esteem.

Search!

The last thing I want is for anybody to encounter disappointment when they visit this blog. I have no doubt however, that disappointment is exactly what one particular individual was filled with when he (I’m pretty sure it was a he) conducted a particular web search on Tuesday. Take a look below…

 

Before we get to the obvious problem with the image above, God bless WordPress for providing this very useful service. Look! Two people searched for The Green Calabash. Two whole people! I’m moving on up in the world, I just know it. 

Now, on to the issue at hand: my friend who searched for “Indian women showing breast nipple”. First of all, this guy wanted to see multiple Indian women but was ready to settle for just one breast nipple. Talk about aiming low. I mean, they come in pairs so he might as well have tried for a couple of nipples. In any case, in what context would a group of Indian women be pointing at one nipple? I sure can’t think of any. Then, notice that he was very specific with his search, indicating that he wanted to see a “breast nipple”. Clearly, he was taking NO chances with his search – who knows what other types of nipples might have popped up! So imagine his shock, confusion and subsequent disappointment when he clicked on the link to this blog only to find NO BREAST NIPPLES! And not even ONE Indian woman! How sad he must have been. I can only imagine that he searched hurriedly from post to post hoping to catch a glimpse of just one breast nipple. Alas, we only talk about breasts in the context of lactation here and don’t even have pictures to back up our discussions. (Let alone Indian women to illustrate our points)

I would like to take this opportunity to formally protest my blog’s presence in the aforementioned search results amidst what I’m sure was VERY sordid company. I tried to do a little investigation before posting this entry to see if this blog would indeed pop up using the same search terms but gave up after going through a few pages. This means that our friend is extremely patient as he must have gone through a number of search result pages to finally click on this link. He was either extremely patient or extremely bored. OR extremely desperate to see just one breast nipple shown by a bunch of Indian women.    

PS -> I warned you that this might happen.

Cry Me a River

Have you ever just felt the need to cry it out? Like the only thing that could possibly relieve your frustration/sadness/anger/irritability was a serious, woe-is-me crying session? Well, I have. And I’ve found that in the absence of my usual soothers (wine, caffeine, WINE, etc) crying has become my preferred stress reliever. Besides, nobody is better at feeling sorry for me than I am. I’m incredible at it. All I have to do is think about how severely miserable my situation is for a few seconds and the floodgates burst open. And we’re not talking about a silent, gentle stream of tears here. No way. My situations are SEVERE! And as such, they warrant full on sobbing sessions. 

My situation on Sunday, dear friends, was severely miserable. I had heartburn all day, I couldn’t find a comfy position on the couch no matter what I did, I couldn’t watch any good scary movies because hubs was away on a work trip and watching them would have meant sleeping with all the lights on plus a wooden stake under my pillow and finally, I couldn’t enjoy my donut or my Pad Thai or my Mongolian Beef because of the heartburn. So there I was, denied of every basic need that I needed to survive (I use the term ‘basic’ loosely here). AND THEN as if all this was not enough, when I glanced at the kitchen sink at the end of the day, I realized that since hubs was away, I WOULD HAVE TO DO THE DISHES! That was the last straw. At 9 pm, I stood in the middle of the kitchen and had a long, hearty sobbing session. 

And my, oh my, was it therapeutic! As good as I am at wallowing in self-pity, I’m even better at pulling myself back from the brink of utter despair. I can be simultaneously sobbing AND telling myself that it’s going to be ok (which in my humble opinion, must be some kind of superpower). The crying worked and afterwards I felt great. So great infact, that I decided not to ruin it by doing the dishes.

Crying. Is. Awesome.