Archive for the ‘ Pregnancy stages ’ Category

Thanksgiving is for the Preggers

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because unlike Christmas, the food is center stage and isn’t encumbered with gift opening, which takes away from precious time spent eating.

Just when I thought I couldn’t love T-day anymore, I realized that it was made for the pregnants and I fell even harder. As soon as holiday and human marriages are approved, Thanksgiving and I are finding the nearest courthouse. I could write a dissertation on my deep and abiding love for turkey day. I’ll spare you, but I will share why when I’m asked what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving, between the mouthfuls of beautiful carbs I’ll be shoveling into my face, I’ll reply, “being pregnant on Thanksgiving.”

Stretchy pants. Seeing as they are already part of my everyday ensemble, I don’t have to waste time packing a change of post meal sweats (pregnant or not, please tell me you do this too?) since the in-laws graciously host us. Can I get an amen?

The gut. Being pregnant means I have the blessed joy of no longer pretending to suck in the gut post meals. I can unabashedly let it hang out, into my expando pants, testing the limits of their elasticity and if they were worth the $12 bargain I paid for them. A side of science with mealtime? A win-win.

Stuffing my face. Listen, it’s a lot of work turning food into a baby and Thanksgiving really gives me the edge I’ve been needing to reach my face stuffing, I mean baby growing potential.

If all goes according to plan, the anatomy of my T-day will look like this:

Post-gorging catnaps: 3

Blind eyes turned to my daughter’s sugar high shenanigans because I can’t get off the couch: 7

Pieces of pumpkin pie devoured: 3.5

Trips back to the smorgasbord: 5

Pounds of mashed potatoes turned into a baby: 4

Vegetables avoided: 6

Times I’ll think I can’t eat another bite but I will anyway: 23

Gosh, Thanksgiving Eve is so much better than its counterpart Christmas Eve. Is it wrong to get goosebumps at the thought of the glorious spread of food that awaits me tomorrow? If it is, I don’t want to be right. Pregnancy has got my back this Thanksgiving with its absence of buttoned pants and expectations to control myself. I happily intend to eat like nobody’s watching.

To my pregnant friends and the butterballs in your belly, happy Thanksgiving!

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An Attitude of Gratitude

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Today, my cup runneth over.

Seeing as it’s Thanksgiving this week, I felt it appropriate to share my gratitude.

I recently wrote about my fears and the doctor’s concerns regarding fluid in our baby’s kidneys. Many have inquired about out latest ultrasound, (thank you for being so thoughtful) and today we saw our little girl. When we glimpsed her sweet little self, we were informed her fluid levels were perfectly normal and no longer cause for concern. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift of her health. Having a baby is such a leap of faith, an uncontrollable adventure, that I am humbled that this worry, this fear, no longer exists. While worry always accompanies parenthood, today, none of it has surfaced. I only feel thankful.

While it may be easy to say, “of course you’re grateful, the baby is fine,” what I mean to say is I felt grateful and at peace before that news came.

As the week wore on and the appointment got closer and closer, I thought I would grow increasingly anxious. Instead, I felt my heart brim with love for my little family and an acceptance for whatever the ultrasound brought. It didn’t matter if anything was wrong, we love this baby. I felt myself wanting to freeze frame so many moments in my head that kept me above the fear, and more thrilled at the thought of the little babe that will soon join our family.

As Harper galloped down the hall, a bundle of loud stripey leggings and crazy curls instructing me, “come on Peter Pan, let’s get away from Captain Hook,” I felt gratitude swell in my heart.

I felt it again as Harper, sporting only her princess chonies (Spanish for undies) and toddler belly, sat on the counter, enraptured in playing sous chef to the Rands making cookies.

And the feeling solidified in my heart as I walked behind my girl and her dad, my love, into the appointment today. I watched her little arm slung around his neck, her spiraled pigtails bouncing to his step. I felt at peace.

Later, as we watched our second baby girl being coy on the screen, I felt a sense of awe at her small little body and the beauty in the leap of faith it is to have a child. With my motherly bias, I knew I’d never seen a more beautiful baby.  Again, I wanted to freeze frame the moment: Harper chattering about the toys she’d share with her sissy boo, the Rands asking sweet follow-up questions about the baby’s measurements and heartbeat, and me tearing up with gratitude for my little family.

This Thanksgiving, I know many people will place family at the top of their gratitude lists and I, more so than ever, will unequivocally be one of them.

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We Meet Again Third Trimester

Monday, November 19th, 2012

28 weeks/6 months

My baby is the size of a head of cauliflower, my uterus is the size of a basketball, our pets heads are falling off! Ladies and gentlemen, we’re officially in the third trimester. Let’s all stand up and give it a well-deserved slow clap.

This means it’s countdown time. Okay, maybe that’s a little premature, but I’ll be honest, the third trimester is my favorite. Sure, it’s the most brutal, but it brings me closer to the end, which means I’m one step closer to snuggling a fresh baby from heaven.

Maybe I’m crazy for loving the third trimester. I mean, let’s look at the facts and let them speak for themselves.

The first trimester is marked by bloating and nausea but it pales in comparison to the excitement of discovering you’re pregnant and telling your people you’re having a baby. Plus, reacquainting yourself with shiny hair and superior nail growth is always a win.

The second trimester usually gets the best rep and it’s noteworthy “go tell it on the mountain” characteristics include an energy resurgence along with belly be poppin’ and booty be poppin’ adorableness. Basically, it’s the trimester that makes a girl feel like Beyoncé. “All the ladies if you feel me help me sing it out…”

The third trimester is characterized by what feels like and quite possibly could be, the jolliest and fattest Santa sitting in the ol’ uterus. Phrases like mucus plug, leaky breasts, dilatation nation, start to enter your vocabulary. Sexy time gets awkwardly creative as you progress from the more manageable fruit and veggie comparisons (cauliflower) to the more daunting, and unbelievable, pumpkin and watermelon. You’re on level red severe risk of stretch mark attacks and suffering from a serious case of waist envy. Most important of all, it’s impossible to dance Gangnam style with your toddler without peeing your pants from all the super classy jumping around. Have I sold you on trimester tres yet? Yes? Nailed it.

Despite all of the above “pleasantries” this last part is my favorite because all of it just brings me closer to a baby. It’s all part of the “having a baby” deal and I’m okay with turning into (for a limited time) a blubbering bowling ball filled with gas. Hit me with your best shot, third trimester. Bring on the hemorrhoids, the Braxton Hicks, and the belly gawking and belly droppin’. This mama bear can’t wait to meet her baby.

Image: Watermelon belly comparison via PonomarenkoNataly/

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The Bikini and the Belly

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The other night while perusing some literature, People Magazine, really academic stuff, I came across a spread of celebs baring their pregnant bellies in bikinis.

Let’s talk about the bikini and the belly. I know, I know, it seems like torture when the holiday that honors both the noun and the verb “stuffing” is right around the corner, but with plenty of people experiencing snow this week, and my home state of Arizona reaching a bone chilling 63 degrees, I thought we could dream about Kokomo. Don’t worry, we’ll get there fast and then we’ll take it slow.

Why is it that at times, women, myself included, feel the need to hide their pregnant body? It’s as if they think a mere glimpse of their shocking condition would scandalize others. Listen, teaching high school while pregnant, which I’ve done, will scandalize anyone enough to realize no matter how many muumuus and mom maternity jeans a lady wears, she’s not fooling those hot and bothered teenagers from knowing she’s done the deed.

They know where babies come from and they have a lot of questions or a lot of things to say when they think you’re not listening about you’re being knocked up. Being a pregnant teacher solidified for me that we’re over the days of hiding the bump from the masses. But are the masses ready for the bikini and the belly?

Please divulge, do you feel bold enough to bear all of your pregnant belly glory poolside? Did I miss the memo that all the ladies be doing it and nobody cares if your stretch marks be showing or your lady business be a little less than manicured? Is every pregnant lady confidently strutting her stuff on the beach while SISQO’s assault on the English language, the thong song blares from the boom box slung over her shoulder?

I’ve always been more on the bashful side when it comes to showcasing the nudie bump, not a picture exists (got to keep my future political career (ha) squeaky clean) but their bikini bumps made me question my previous choice. Sometimes the stars get it dastardly wrong, like this album of their painted bellies confirms, but in bikini v. belly, I think they got it right.

When I saw their bellies, tall, small, huge, it just seemed right. Logistically, it just makes sense. The last thing a lady wants when carrying around a sweet little space heater in her stomach is to wear more clothing. In fact, bikinis should be allowed as maternity street wear. Especially for those mamas doing el numero tres trimester in the summer. There’s a special place in heaven for them.

The pregnant bod is beautiful. It’s amazing. Daring to bare it in a itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini is a pregnancy must this go round. “You ain’t fat, you’re beautiful,” as the cinematic masterpiece Corrina Corrina teaches. Never are these wise words more applicable than during pregnancy. Celebs should not be the only ones showcasing their pregnant bods at the beach.

Girl, turn around! Stick it out! Even white boys got to shout, baby got belly!

Just kidding. But seriously.

Photo: Beautiful pregnant woman underwater blue pool relaxed, via Shutterstock

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Step Into My Locker Room

Monday, November 12th, 2012

27 weeks/6 months

“You don’t even look pregnant!” she said to me as I awkwardly mumbled an over-share reply along the lines of, “Oh yeah, I am. My hemorrhoids are raging, and the baby sits on my bladder so I pee every 47 seconds.”

Doh! Not my finest response, but I just never know what to say when people tell me I don’t look pregnant. I suppose it’s a compliment? Really though, it makes me feel a teeny bit, okay maybe a lot a bit inadequate.

In my twenty-seven years of being a lady, I thought women didn’t compare sizes of any particular body part like men. Sure, I might notice a woman’s bosoms, but there is no locker room runway show of the business to prove bigger is better. At least that’s what I thought…until pregnancy. During the nine month grow sesh, belly size is a main topic of conversation.

Size doesn’t matter they say, but really, when it comes to pregnant bellies, it does. Judging a pregnant woman’s belly size is akin to judging a man’s family jewels. Just like the frank and beans has become a sign of manliness, for mothers, the belly is the ultimate symbol of womanhood.

When it comes to belly size, my genetics make me “a grower, not a shower.” Yes, I realize this crass euphemism really refers to a man’s solider, but let me try to explain. And please, for the love, don’t that saying. Especially you, mom.

A “shower” for men refers to one who doesn’t have much size difference depending on the different um, states of his one-eyed snake. In relation to pregnancy then, this is the lady who looks pregnant pretty much since the day she thought about getting pregnant. She shows early, grows early, and pretty much glows early. She is my envy. She’s got that adorable basketball belly that the people can’t help but love and rub.

On the other hand, a “grower,” a bit more obvious, refers to a man’s schnitzel that really grows when the troops have reason to raise the flag. Being a “grower” in pregnancy means for the first couple of trimesters one’s belly may not be much to look at (we’re not talking about shrinkage here), but give your “mama nine months to make ya” and that belly will make other women feel like mere girls in comparison.

Being a “grower” though makes me long for a little early belly action, for just one stranger to inappropriately rub my tummy because it’s so darn cute. I want people to let my ample belly cut in lines and not give me dirty stares when I use the “expectant mother” parking. I want those pregnancy perks before month nine.

Alas, with pregnancy, women are constantly sizing up each others bellies. The funny part is though, just like with dem manly parts, belly size is pretty much genetic. The pregnant belly is a fascinating member of the body part family. It can stretch beyond the imagination as with Nadya Suleman or Kate Gosselin. Or as TLC’s show “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” tells us, people can carry babies full term and not even know they’re pregnant. The magnificent pregnant belly boggles the mind with its variety.

I never got the manly wiener comparisons before pregnancy, but now I get why feelings are hurt and moods are ruined if the pied piper is insulted. It hurts a little to think one is less of woman based on uncontrollable genetics. One can’t help it if their belly comes with its own zip code from the day of conception, or alternately, if their child prefers a good game of hide in seek in the womb.

Pregnant ladies should not compare. We all need to get off each others backs bellies. Or at least let all bellies, big or small, have their moment on the locker room catwalk.

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