Monday, June 28, 2010

35 weeks

I have been SO busy the last week or so, but it's been a good busy. The kind of busy where I'm actually getting stuff done that NEEDS to be done! I finally got my disability paperwork filled out for when I go on maternity leave which is good. My last day at work will be July 16th (so close!) and I am so ready for it. It's getting harder and harder to sit in a chair all day and even my maternity clothes are starting to feel tight. I pretty much live in leggings and t-shirts now. We have our childbirth classes at the hospital next weekend which should be fun. I'm actually looking forward to it. I don't know if I'll learn much, but I know Mando will and it will be a nice thing to do together to get ready for baby.

Speaking of baby, our room now looks like a Babies R Us war zone. Cayden's crib is completely filled and piled with stuff and we have random baby objects stashed all over our house. It was really starting to stress me out, so yesterday Mando and I took a much needed trip to IKEA to look for some organizing and storage solutions. We bought a new and much larger dresser (which took Mando FIVE HOURS to assemble!) which will be for baby and me. Mando moved our smaller dresser into the closet and he will use that one. We also bought 2 of these for our closet and a 2 drawers for them as well:

I think these are great, and they were on sale for only $3.99 each! They are a good size, pretty sturdy, and I figure I can use them to store little baby things like receiving blankets, baby shoes, sleepers, wash cloths, etc. We are also planning on getting flat bins to store under our bed for the clothes that are too big for him now. So with a new dresser, a closet organizer, and bins I figure we finally have enough space for all the little baby items taking over our house!

This Thursday is my work baby shower that my boss and 2 female co-workers are having for me. It will be small and probably just a quick lunch and combined gift from all of them, but I appreciate it all the same. They have been surprisingly supportive of me as I get further along and uncomfortable and I am glad. My MIL finally picked a date for the baby shower she's throwing... July 11th. I was hoping to have it sooner so we don't have to rush around at last minute to get the rest of the things we need, but it's only a few weeks away. I just can't wait to have everything done and bought so we can start going through his clothes, washing what he'll wear, store what he'll grow into, set up his crib, and organize everything!

I actually feel guilty because I've been so resentful of Mando's family over the past few months. We stopped by his mom and dad's house on our way back from LA this weekend and actually had a nice time talking. We ended up staying for almost 4 hours! I think she sensed how stressed I am about the BIG things we still need to buy before the baby gets here, because as we left my FIL ran out after us and put a few hundred dollars in Mando's hand. Normally this would irritate me because I am fiercely independent and I hate relying on other people, but we truly needed this money and I am SO grateful. We were able to get a new dresser and also a dining room table (we've been eating off our coffee table for months now, LOL!) which was a huge relief. She also said she'd help us with buying a much needed washer and dryer which was the biggest thing I was worried about. I can't wait to be able to wash and dry our clothes in our own house again! When I got home I checked my registry and noticed that someone (aka my MIL) also bought the changing table, pad, cover, and a bunch of other little stuff for us as well. We are so lucky to have the support of her and her family right now.

Pregnancy wise, I am feeling okay. I have a little more energy right now than I've had the past few weeks. I've yet to feel any Braxton hicks or a real contraction (at least to my knowledge) and I can't decide if that's a good or a bad thing. I DID finally notice a few drops of colostrum coming out the other day while examining my boobs which was exciting. The worst thing is the angry red stretch marks that have completely taken over my stomach. Not only are they covering my belly, but they ITCH SO BAD! I seriously can't help scratching them and I've made myself bleed a few times from scratching so hard and now I'm starting to get tiny bumps everywhere. I've covered my belly in cocoa butter and lotion but it doesn't help. I need to get some adult size scratch mittens and take an oatmeal bath.

We have what should be our last ultrasound this Thursday to take a look at Cayden's size and positioning. I hope he's still head down! I have a feeling he's gonna be a huge baby, so we'll see. I know these late ultrasounds are usually off but I'll get a general idea. After that the weekly appointments start. I can't believe how close we are... only 1 month left!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Baby shower!

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who took their time to comment on my last post. I received such positive feedback from everyone here, as well as on Twitter so I know people agree with me. Like I said, regardless of how women feel is the 'better' way to birth, it's not up to us. It's only up to the person birthing, so leave her and her decisions alone unless she specifically asks for your opinion! I will probably do a follow up post in the near future. Some interesting conversations came up afterward, including someone on Twitter making the comment that people who are so in your face about something (ie breastfeeding) come off as judgmental and actually turn women away from what you're trying to convince them of. I couldn't agree more, and I think it's something a lot of activists don't realize. Keep an open mind and an open heart and people will be more willing to listen.

With all that being said, I am so happy that my long awaited BABY SHOWER finally arrived this weekend! We had been planning and preparing for months and it was one of the things I was looking forward to the most! It was a gorgeous sunny (HOT!) day in California and the perfect weather for an outdoor event.

There had been some drama before with my mom and sister who were planning it, so I was apprehensive about how the day would go. Basically, I had gone over to my mom's house on Thursday after working all day and driving an hour in traffic with no AC to help my sister make the favors, only to find out that she was asleep when I got there and hadn't gotten any of the stuff that we needed even after I sent her a reminder email earlier in the day. I was so irritated and tired and hot I snapped at her, and she spent the rest of the night in her room refusing to help me make them. So here I am at almost 9 months pregnant with feet that look like water balloons trying to make favors by myself. After several hours, they didn't even come out right so I gave up and left. I was SO ANGRY! My mom was totally taking my sister's side saying how mean I was and she was refusing to give me any credit for being tired, hot, and filled with hormones. The next day my sister tells me that she won't even be coming to the shower, so there goes my host! I flipped out and started crying at work, called my best friend who immediately offered to host and stalked off to Michael's to get supplies to make new favors. She came over that night and spent all night with me to get them done. I love her so much!

The next morning (day of the shower) I woke up and got ready and went to my mom's house to meet my best friend. We finished getting everything together and then headed off to the restaurant to start decorating. My sister did end up coming, but acted distant the whole time. She did act as host and did a great job, and I am so thankful for the hard work she put into the shower. I wish there wouldn't have been all that bad energy leading up to it, but nothing is perfect, right?

After about an hour of decorating, people started trickling in around 12pm and pretty much everyone had arrived by 1pm. The restaurant served lunch (yummy food!) and then the games started. First we played the 'guess how big mama's belly is' game which is actually more humiliating then you might think... Everyone guessed WAYYYYYY too big (off by like, a foot!) which only confirmed my fears that I looked huge. My aunt ended up winning which only confirmed that she is still my favorite aunt :). After that, we played 'the price is right' game' in which my sister held up various baby items and everyone had to guess how much they thought everything costs. The $13.99 California Baby sunblock threw everyone off by several dollars, but my friend Ashley ended up winning! Then I started getting ready to open the presents and the 3rd game was 'baby bingo' where everyone puts down what they think I'll receive and whoever gets a row of correct answers first yelled out 'Ahoy!' (to go with the sailor theme of course). We had 3 winners of this one! After that we all chatted for a little while, and the cake was cut and passed out. Around 3pm we wrapped up and said goodbye to everyone. I was so exhausted! My sister and mom helped clean up and pack up my car with everything and I literally went straight home to the couch where I didn't move for the rest of the day (or the next day for that matter).

I ended up getting so much stuff and I'm so thankful! Highlights were the bedding set that I wanted that my sister got me, the bouncer we wanted, a diaper pail, a handmade baby blanket my other sister got made for me, a moby wrap, and a TONNNNN of clothes! I think I own every sailor/nautical themed outfit on the market right now and I LOVE it!

My beautiful cake! I loved it!

'The price is right' game and items. I made the anchor bucket :)

My mom helping decorate

This was at every table... a little bucket filled with salt water taffy and cute wooden cutouts

The table that held the cake, one of the games, and the favors

The adorable bunting that my sister made. It says 'Ahoy It's a boy!'

My nephew hot and bored. He was so good during the shower though, and fell asleep soon after

The favors that my BFF made with me. They were star shaped rice crispy treats on a stick! Mmmm!

The gorgeous handmade blanket that my big sister had made for me! I love it!

I really want to get everything set up in his 'nursery' (AKA, the corner of our bedroom), but I actually still have 2 showers left. My boss/co-workers are throwing me a small work shower on July 1st and then my MIL is throwing a separate shower for her side of the family. I am actually irritated by this and didn't want to do 2 different showers, but she insisted. My feelings were really hurt that no one from his family came to this baby shower... my MIL and FIL went to Vegas and took my BIL and SIL with them, along with the only family friend that I invited. My other SIL was supposed to come, but she texted me about an hour before the shower saying she couldn't make it. I've been continually disappointed in his family throughout this pregnancy and this just topped it all off. I've barely even seen them and they never bother to ask how I'm doing or show up to anything I try to invite them to. I'm just over it. I will remember their actions once Cayden gets here and they want to see him. She keeps saying they are throwing their own shower, but they still haven't given me a date and I don't want to wait until the last minute to get everything I still need. I'm just really trying to be patient at this point, but it's hard!

On a more positive note, seeing all the tiny baby clothes and all the little items that he's going to be using soon has made me so anxious to have him! I just want to put him in all his snuggly little sleepers and cuddle with him. I am so ready to meet him and see him for the first time. I am DONE being pregnant. I truly enjoyed it for awhile, but the last few weeks have just been miserable. I'm swelling up and gaining weight like crazy. I can't even believe how big I am whenever I see pictures of me. I just hope this baby is huge and I lose a lot of the weight with birth. I'm done peeing every 30 minutes and finding new stretch marks every day. I just want to be able to put my old jeans back on and have a drink on a Friday night! I'm running out of energy fast, and I just hope I still have the time and motivation to decorate his space and get the house ready before he gets here!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

To the so-called 'birth activists'...

Let me just start out by saying that I know this post will probably cause some controversy. I'm okay with that. This is something that has been on my mind for months now and I had to say something. It's not my intention to pass judgement or to label or to generalize. It's simply my thoughts based on my own observations.

Anyone who knows me in real life, follows me on Twitter, or reads this blog obviously knows that I'm pregnant. And yes, this is my first child. Since the day I found out I was expecting I have been doing research... I started reading articles, studying books, I joined online pregnancy communities, and started following all the knowledgeable momma's I could find via Twitter. In this process I noticed something that really upset me. I started seeing these so-called 'birth activists' who would post things on Twitter or respond to other momma's in my due date community essentially saying that anyone who doesn't choose a natural vaginal birth with NO interventions is un-educated, misinformed, and making a horrible choice for themselves and their unborn. Furthermore, you are destroying the planet if you choose to use disposable diapers, you're interrupting the mother-child bond if you choose not to 'wear' your baby and use a stroller, and GOD FORBID you use formula... you may as well hand your child over to the devil himself for all the long term damage you are causing! Now, I know that a lot of these women truly have the best intentions. Most of them are standing up for the women who have OB's who tell them their baby is too big to birth vaginally or tell them that their baby will die if they don't have an induction at 40 weeks. They are supporting people who have been lied to and cheated by the medical community. However, SOME of these women don't care about a woman's specific circumstances. They don't bother to find out why a woman may choose a scheduled c-section or an epidural. They think you should run quickly away from any OB and birth safely at home in the living room. They want to tell you the 'right way' to things, and everything else is dangerous and wrong. These are the women who make me mad.

The other day while on Twitter I read a tweet posted by one of these 'birth activists' saying that any pregnant woman who chooses to to see an OB is making a mistake. Excuse me? While I agree there are many induction happy OB's out there, there are also wonderful, caring, and educated OB's out there (take mine for example...) who want nothing more than a safe baby and mommy. Not every OB is trying to cut your belly open to make it home in time for a 5pm dinner. Just because you may have had a bad hospital experience, doesn't mean that hospitals are evil places who's only goal is to destroy the beautiful and important process of birth. Another woman, after reading a pregnant lady's blog post about bringing makeup and hair products so she could look cute and feel good after birth, took it upon herself to actually respond to this woman on Twitter who she doesn't even KNOW to say that she's DIS-empowering woman everywhere by wanting to look good during birth instead of looking like a sweating angry mess during the most important time of her life. She also called her out because she said she may want an epidural after dialating to 5-6cms. REALLY? Why the hell does this women care that someone wants to put on mascara when everyone in her life is going to be visiting her and the new baby and taking pictures? Just because SHE didn't care about looks during birth doesn't mean that we all feel like way! Hell, I fully plan on showering, doing my hair, and putting on makeup after birth so I can look and feel my best! I'ts an individual choice and it's not causing harm to anyone! And why does she feel the need to judge someone just because she may or may not choose to use medication during birth? As a first time mom, I understand fear of the unknown and if I feel like I'm in too much pain to focus on delivery my baby safely then I will get pain medication to relax and sooth me. This isn't someone standing up for a woman who has been misinformed or lied to or who is choosing to do something dangerous... this is someone who's simply judging another woman's choices for herself and her baby and frankly, sticking her nose in where it doesn't belong. Why do these women CARE? Leave us pregnant woman alone. If we come to you and ask for help, fine, educate us, but do not come to us with your opinions and try to guilt us into thinking that your way is better. Pregnancy is stressful enough. Whatever way a woman chooses to birth IS the right way! I don't care about your views on the subject, that's the truth! And you and your opinion isn't helping anyone... it's making women who don't make that choice feel guilty and that is WRONG.

Take my sister for example... She was absolutely dedicated from the get-go to make the best choices possible for her and her baby. She spent so much time researching her options for labor, writing a detailed birth plan, taking breastfeeding classes and infant care classes, and she planned on having a 100% natural, intervention free labor. Mother Nature however had other plans. She went into labor 2 weeks early and her son was still breech and after some unsuccessful attempts to turn him, she was wheeled into the operating room for c-section. I just remember the look of disappointment on her face. I could tell she was devastated that after all her time and research and preperation she had to do the one thing that she was trying to avoid... the dreaded C-section! But you know what? In the end she had her son and after time she recovered and now she is an excellent mother to my 8 month old nephew. Despite latching troubles in the beginning, she has managed to exclusively breastfeed him. I couldn't be more proud.

Another example is a new momma that I've been following on Twitter, mammamccann. She had a simliar experience where she planned a beautiful relaxing homebirth experience with no interventions. Unfortunately, she had a condensed labor, struggled with positioning, and was in an extrodinary amount of pain. She ended up with an emergency C-section as well and struggled to let go of the feelings of guilt and shame over a 'failed birth'. Now she realizes that none of that matters, she has her beautiful and healthy daughter with her and she is still able to be the wonderful mother that she wanted to be. (Click here to read her wonderful blog post which oozes with positivity and wisdom. I love her attitude!). My favorite part of her post is below and couldn't sum up my own feelings about birth better:

"... it becomes more apparent to me as time goes by how much is focused on a vaginal birth being 'natural' and 'the right choice'. Women need to feel empowered whichever way they give birth. The birth is not what is important its the aftermath, nurturing your child, loving your child. We should not be judged by the way baby arrived but of our own courage, strength."

(thank you mammamccann for allowing me to share your story! Like I've told you, your attitude is truly inspiring and I hope that others can learn from your experience!)

So why should these women feel guilty just because they weren't able to birth vaginally? It's because the so called 'birth activists' tell them this is how they should feel.

I have been hesitant to write about my own birth plan and parenting choices because I know that most of the 'crunchier' women who follow me will not agree and will pass judgement on me without bothering to understand why I plan to do what do. But you know what? Let them judge me! Here's my plan out in the open for all to see.

I see an OB, NOT a midwife. I looked into midwives and even spoke with some, and you know what? It wasn't for me. I chose to birth in a hospital which was 100% covered by my insurance and where I know I can choose to use medication if I want to (that's right, I said it. I may actually want medication during birth! *GASP*). I did not see the logic of paying almost three thousand dollars to go to a birth center which could potentially end in transfer to a hospital anyway. I chose not to use a doula, you know why? I believe that birth is something that should be experienced by the father of my child and myself... I do not need to pay a stranger to be in the delivery room to support me when my boyfriend is and always has been a tower of strength for me to lean on. I plan to use disposable diapers. I am a working mother who also goes to school, and I do not have time or energy to do 3 loads of laundry a day and I truly think that the prices of cloth diapers are just as ridiculous as the prices of disposables. I am going to breastfeed my baby for as long as it makes sense to me. I could pretend and say that I plan to breastfeed until at least 6 months, but you know what? That is unrealistic. I will exclusively breastfeed while I am still on maternity leave and at home with my baby, but once I go back to work and start classes again, I will probably supplement with formula. Sure, I could pump every 2 hours at work and yes, the law says that I must be provided with a place to pump. But guess what? Leaving my desk to pump every 2 hours in the bathroom or my car sounds awful, and I really don't want to badger my boss about how I need to find a place to pump when I work in a tiny office with floor to ceiling windows and no privacy whatsoever. I will nurse my child when I can and hope to God that my supply lasts for as many night feedings as possible after I return to work, but I won't feel guilty for using formula.

My point is, I have plenty of reasons to do things differently than people say is best. I am NOT a stay at home mom who gets to dedicate all my time to my baby. I am a working mother and I need to support my family financially. I will do whatever is best for me regardless of what anyone thinks or says. So don't judge me. And stop judging other women out there who make different choices than you do. The only important outcome is having a happy, healthy baby. Period.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I love being pregnant... Really!

So after the slight negativity in my last post, I decided to make a new post based on the top 10 things I LOVE about being pregnant. 'Cause although it isn't all rainbows and butterflies, being pregnant is truly a blessing and something that we women only get to experience a few times in our life.

I remember the morning I found out I was pregnant. It was December 8th, 2009 at about 6:30am. I had been having really weird cycles for the past few months ... I had been on birth control since I was 17 years old, but lately hadn't been taking it every day at the same time like I was supposed to. A few times I skipped pills and just wasn't being diligent about taking them correctly. In September I missed my period completely. It literally never came! I took a birth control test and it was negative so I just brushed it off as one of those weird things that happen sometimes. Then in October I skipped a period AGAIN! I took another pregnancy test and it was negative again. Now I was really starting to get worried. What if I WAS pregnant, but the tests were still coming up positive? I didn't want to keep on taking birth control pills if there was a baby inside me so I stopped. In November, I got a very light period, probably only about 2 days long (in retrospect, this must have been implantation bleeding). This was actually pretty normal for me because I my periods are normally short and light (3 or 4 days at the most) so I didn't think anything of it. Then in December I missed my period again. Around this time though, I started to feel really funny. It all started in the elevator at work. I walked inside and someone was already there with their lunch from the cafe and I think it was some kind of curry, but I immediately became nauseous. I had to get off the elevator at the next floor or I would seriously had thrown up all over the poor guy. It started happening more and more frequently where I could literally smell everyone's lunches and even things that had been cooked or eaten the day before. My boobs were incredibly sore and sensitive and I was tired ALL THE TIME. I think I knew deep down that I was in fact pregnant, but I had plans to go to Vegas the next week for my boyfriend's 31st birthday so I was REALLY hoping it wasn't true. I knew that I had to take the test before we went on a trip filled with drinking and smoking so I woke up one morning and took the test. Almost IMMEDIATELY both pink lines popped up. My boyfriend was still sleeping, but he woke up when he heard me yelling 'Oh f***!' from the bathroom. He asked was what wrong and I showed him the test and we just looked at each other in shock. The next few days passed by in a blur, but I remember us staying awake all night just talking... were we happy? Absolutely. But we were also both scared out of our minds and had no idea what we were going to do or how we were going to tell people. Eventually we let everyone know, and were pleasantly surprised at how supportive and happy everyone was. After the shock wore off, things progressed and my pregnancy became an exciting and new adventure. Now we couldn't be happier to start this new chapter in our lives and we are so excited to become a family of 3!

So here it is: My top 10 favorite moments and favorite things about being pregnant!

1) Finding out the sex. I'm not going to lie, I was realllllyyyyyyyyyyy hoping for a girl. I come from a family of ALL women (I'm not kidding!) and grew up with 2 sisters so I had no idea what I would do with a boy. I was picturing taking my daughter to get her first mani/pedi, teaching her how to bake cupcakes, planning her first sleepover... you get the idea. However, as soon as I found out that a precious baby boy was growing inside of me all that melted away and new dreams start appearing in my mind. I can't wait to be a soccer mom and drive him to practices and make the team snacks for games. I can't wait to go on camping trips and watch Mando teach him how to fish and set up a tent. I can't wait to surprise him with his first puppy for Christmas and to turn him into a total and complete mama's boy!

2) Feeling him move for the first time. I was 18 weeks and really starting to get discouraged that I hadn't felt anything yet. It seems like everyone I talked to started to feel their babies move as early as 12 weeks (I think these people are either insane or liars now... I mean really, 12 weeks? Do babies even have BONES at 12 weeks??). One night, I was sitting in class bored out of my mind when I felt it: a definite THUMP very low down in my tummy. I never felt 'flutters' or butterflies' like people describe. It was definitely a KICK feeling. After that I started feeling it all the time. Now you'll catch me staring at my tummy for 20 minutes at a time just watching the waves of movement happening below my skin. It never ceases to amaze me and I love feeling my baby grow and squirm inside me.

3) Hearing the heartbeat. I don't know why, but hearing his strong and consistent heartbeat at every appointment makes me light up with joy. Just knowing that I am growing a thriving human being inside me feels like such a miracle. The heartbeat to me is validation that I'm doing everything right and I love the rush of adrenaline I get whenever I hear the rapid thump thump sound coming from deep inside me.

4) Watching my boyfriend's facial expressions whenever he sees or feels the baby moving. I can't even explain how much being pregnant has brought us closer together. Sure, he drives me crazy 98% of the time, but the other 2% are filled with bubbling joy and a feeling of togetherness that I will never forget. I love to stare at him while he's staring at my belly and see the instant look of surprise and happiness when he sees or feels something. I think it's still so crazy to him that his son is really inside there and I know he can't WAIT to meet him!

5) Planning/decorating the nursery. I mean c'mon, I'm an interior decorator and party planner if I'm anything and there's nothing that brings me more joy than picking out sailboats to put on the wall and buying coordinating crib sheets for his nautical themed nursery. I can't wait until after the baby shower when I can really start putting everything together and set up all his little belongings! Believe me, there will be pictures!

6) Picking out the name. I'm not gonna lie, this was incredibly frustrating to me at first. Like you all know, I am a PLANNER! I cannot rest until every detail is sorted out in my head, wrapped in paper, and tied with a bow! The second we found out we were expected a little boy I hounded on my boyfriend to start thinking of names. It was even harder for us I think, because he is Mexican and I am white and we had to find something that was racially ambiguous. He initially wanted the baby to be named after him (as did his mother) but I vetoed that idea right away. I've never been a fan of the father/son matching name thing, and I wanted something a lot more original. After weeks and weeks of discussion, arguing, and even tears (on my end) we finally came up with a name that we both liked and was original enough for me. Cayden Corona. I love it more and more each day. It means 'fighter' and if this baby is anything like his mama, he will definitely be a fighter (mentally of course, not so much physically)! Because the name was my idea and I had to do a little convincing to get my boyfriend on board (and yes, his mother still hates it) I agreed to let him pick the middle name. I'm pretty sure he's sticking with Gabriel, but we'll see!

7) Eating whatever I want. Okay, okay, so I pretty much did this before I was pregnant, but now I REALLY don't care and I'm enjoying it while I can! I probably should focus more on healthy choices, but cinnamon toast crunch and cupcakes are just so much easier....

8) Getting to take time off work. I'm at the 'every 2 weeks' stage for appointments now, and I love having a valid reason to leave work a few hours early. Plus, if I'm feeling especially tired or sick I have no trouble staying home that day or leaving work early to rest and my boss accepts it all without a word. I can't WAIT for 2 months of maternity leave... not only will I get to spend time snuggling with my baby, but I get to be OUTSIDE... during the DAY! Something that I usually only experience twice a week.

9) Getting to lay on the couch with the air conditioner turned on watching 'Say yes to the dress' while my boyfriend brings me ice cream. Enough said.

10) Last but not least, DAYDREAMING! This may sound weird, but I love just zoning out and picturing how much our lives are going to change and imagine all the fun things we get to do once he gets here! I am always coming up with family traditions I want to start and vacations I want to take. I pretty much have all the holidays planned out from his first Christmas tree to what I want to put in his Easter basket. I like thinking of how Mando will volunteer to be his coach and I will be the team mom embarrassing him with my homemade signs and t-shirts. I can't wait to help him with his school projects and plan his birthday parties. Basically, I just can't wait to be a mom!

So there you have it! I promise, I don't ALWAYS focus on the negatives. I feel pretty damn lucky to experience pregnancy and I would gladly take all the stretch marks in the world to have this amazing feeling of growing a baby inside me! I can't wait to meet my little boy and hold him in my arms for the first time. Life changing!

Mando building the crib

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The joys of pregnancy....

I know that some people believe that pregnancy should be all rainbows and butterflies and that we should cherish every single precious moment from the time that extra line pops up on the pregnancy test. We should disregard every pain and annoyance because of the blessed miracle that's growing inside of us.

I, on the other hand, am here to say that while that may work for some people, it's not that easy for everyone. In fact, pregnancy can be downright MISERABLE at times and it's OKAY to bitch and rant every now and then! Pregnancy is hard work! I'm young and childless and I'm exhausted ALL THE TIME. I work 40 hours a week and until 2 weeks ago, also went to school. Even though I sit in a chair most of the day, that doesn't mean that it's any easier. I have to coordinate doctor appointments with my un-happy childless boss, get my co-workers to cover for me when I'm not able to be here, wake up at the crack of dawn every morning to make myself look presentable, drive the 45 minutes EACH WAY to work, sit down all day even when my pelvic bone feels like it's splitting in half and the under wire of my bra is digging into my ribcage. I get up every hour to pee and I eat constantly. I have to deal with the comments from my co-workers like 'Wow, you're really getting big there!' and "Pretty soon you aren't going to fit in that file room!'. Lovely. And after all that, I get to drive home in traffic, cook dinner, run any errands that I never have time to do, and clean the house so that I don't go into OCD panic mode. Talk about exhausting. I can't even imagine how hard it is for those women who have morning sickness throughout their entire pregnancy, or are forced to be on bed rest. Maternity leave can't come fast enough...

All that being said, I decided to make this post about the not-so-fun parts of pregnancy. The things that suck the most, and the things I miss about having my own body... It doesn't help either that I seem to have every single symptom that the 'What To Expect' author could think of, PLUS SOME. So here's a lovely list of my top 10 most hated pregnancy symptoms.

1) SLEEPING ON MY STOMACH. Holy hell, how I miss this. I was a very dedicated tummy sleeper pre-pregnancy. In fact, I am pretty sure I couldn't fall asleep unless I was positioned that way. And I wasn't the kind of person who would change positions all throughout the night either... I literally slept on my stomach all night every night. I had to give this up around 18 weeks because I started feeling like I was sleeping on a rock and squishing my baby. I am now 32 weeks pregnant and I can say without a doubt, this is what I miss the most.

2) Not eating for hours at a time. I could skip breakfast, eat a light lunch, and make a late dinner and be perfectly okay. Now, if I'm not grazing (that's right, like the cows do) at all times I start to get that feeling in my throat like I'm about to puke. And I'm pretty sure horns literally pop out of my forehead if I don't get 3 square meals a day... this TERRIFIES my boyfriend. Because of all that (and my insatiable craving for cupcakes) I have gained a lovely 40 lbs already at 32 weeks.

3) Peeing ALL THE TIME. OMG! You hear about this your whole life, but you can never be prepared until you're 30 weeks pregnant and waking up every hour trying to roll your ass out of bed to run to the bathroom. Not to mention the fun little 'accidents' that occur every time you cough, sneeze, or laugh too hard. And I thought being pregnant meant I DIDN'T have to wear a pad for the next 9 months...

4) Heartburn. Oh lord, the burrrrrrrn! Like an evil green dragon has taken up residence in your throat and shoots a long flame upwards anytime you indulge in marinara sauce or a Snickers bar.

5) Stretch marks. Let me tell you, I was prepared for this one. My mom got them, both my older sisters got them, and I KNEW I was going to get them. That didn't stop me from bursting in tears the first time I saw the ugly red lines appear on my once smooth belly. And you are sadly mistaken if you think they stop there. Oh no, I have stretch marks in places you couldn't image. Thighs, hips, belly, calves, behind the knees (???).... The list goes on.

6) Swelling. I no longer have ankles. Enough said.

7) Not being able to catch my breath: Picture me having to give a 3-5 minute speech in my child development class at 28 weeks and literally stopping every other word to take a breath like I'm nearing the end of a damn triathlon. Cute right? Even cuter is trying to train my replacement at work for when I'm on maternity leave and gasping for air after the first sentence. My boyfriend also thinks it's sexy when I'm huffing up the stairs to our apartment every day.

8) My boobs. Oh how I miss you 34C's! I will never forget how perfectly you fit in my cute lacy Victorias Secret bras. It all started when I turned into a f'n Thomas guide with blue veins creating a map resembling Orange County. That's when I upgraded to a 36C. Then 1 month and $100 at Victorias Secret later, I realized that my expanding rib cage was nowhere near finished with me yet. That's when I upgraded to a 38D. Pretty soon the under wire was making angry red indents in my skin bringing tears to my eyes at work and that's when I got smart and started buying cheap Target bras and an extender. Now, at 32 weeks pregnant I am a 38DD ladies, and that's BEFORE my milk has come in. Needless to say, Victorias Secret is fast becoming a distant memory...

9) Baby brain. I may or may not have put the Oreos away in the silverware drawer...

10) Maternity clothes. I always imagined being one of those adorable girls in the cute little dresses and empire waist tops to show off my baby bump. That all came crashing down when I realized that my thighs unpleasantly rub together when wearing those dresses in the summer heat and those empire waist tops don't cover half of my boobs. I literally spent $200 at Motherhood Maternity for clothes I don't even really like, and I still spend 99% of my time in leggings and X-Large t-shirts. And who the hell decided it was okay to charge $40 for the world's ugliest one piece all black maternity bathing suit? (If you're wondering why I'm not one of those cute girls to rock my belly in a bikini, see #5).

So there's my list! And so you know I'm not lying about the stretch mark thing, here's the latest picture of my ever expanding pregnant belly!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Oh how I love holiday weekends. Especially when they include a paid day off of work!

Friday at work we were all hoping that we'd get off a few hours early. Our boss was gone, the VP was gone, and it was just us 3 girls working in Customer Service and our brand new CEO. Too bad none of us felt comfortable enough around him to ask if we would be getting off early. The day dragged on and on and of course we had no work to do because everyone else had already gone home for the holiday weekend! We kept hoping the CEO would surprise us and tell us we can go home, but that moment never came and we worked all the way until 5pm. Boo! After work, I came home and Mando and I made tacos for dinner. YUM! I will be posting my mom's recipe for taco meat one of these days... you really can't beat it. My Mexican boyfriend even agrees! After dinner we took a trip to my favorite place in the world... TARGET! I am so incredibly lucky to have found a photographer through Craigslist who's looking to build her portfolio and offered to do a free maternity shoot for me as long as I give her rights to use my pictures on her website. Of course I jumped all over that! So we have our shoot this Thursday night around sunset in a gorgeous woodsy/flowery area near my house and I needed an outfit to wear. She recommended I get a flow-y type skirt and a sports bra type of top to show off my bare belly so off to Target I went on a search. Luckily, they had everything I needed so I didn't have to spend my entire weekend looking for something to wear. I ended up with a black top and a gray skirt that goes to my knees. I'm hoping to also take some pictures in my yoga pants (way more my style), but we'll see what the photographer says. When we returned home we just ended up relaxing and watching a movie and then going to bed.

Saturday morning we woke up and I was instantly bored. Since becoming pregnant I find that I wake up with all of this manic energy and I need to be DOING SOMETHING all the time! This drives my boyfriend crazy. I decided to take a trip over to my momma's house and visit for a little while, so we got ready and drove over there. We mainly spent the afternoon playing with my baby nephew (<3) and hanging out with my mom, sister, and her friend who's visiting from England. We had lunch and talked for awhile and then around 4pm we drove back home. Mando had plans to go to a friend's house to watch the UFC fights and BBQ so he left pretty much right after we got home. I took a nap, watched the Laker game all by myself (WE'RE GOING TO THE FINALS BABY! WOO HOO!) and then went on the computer and worked on the baby blanket I'm knitting. Mando got home around 10:30 after stopping to get me cinnamon rolls (I had a craving...) and then we watched Avatar before bed.

Sunday I slept in a bit and lounged around the house. Pretty soon I was bored again and decided that now was a good time for Mando and I to clean the whole apartment (he was thrilled of course) so we scrubbed and dusted until every surface shone! After that we went out to lunch at Red Robin and then went to see Sex and the City 2. I was so not impressed. I LOVED the first movie, but I thought this one was just so cliche and way too long. And I didn't get why the whole movie randomly took place in the Middle East... Anyway, after the movie we ran some errands and returned some things that had been sitting in our room FOREVER, and then came back home around 7 or 8. I don't remember what we did after that, but I'm thinking just watched TV before bed :)

Yesterday for Memorial Day I slept in until 11:30am, haha, and then woke up RAVENOUS. I had been craving carne asada nachos from this place in Costa Mesa (quite a drive from our area of residence!) and decided that I HAD TO HAVE THEM. We drove all the way down there for the blessed nachos and then straight over to my momma's house again for some quality family time. We watched the Hangover and ate nachos and played with my sick baby nephew. Then I had the urge to bake (this always happens when I go to my mom's house... she has every kitchen gadget known to mankind... ice cream maker, espresso machine, bread maker, and every stainless steel KitchenAid appliance invented) and decided to make some oatmeal raisin cookies. They came out yummy, but I overbaked them a bit so they weren't as chewy as I would have liked. I'll post a picture blog soon with the recipe, I promise! After that, my mom BBQ'd some steaks and made corn on the cob and baked potatoes. We ate dinner and then went back home to relax before an early bedtime!

Today I'm back at work, which sucks, but I feel very well rested so I'm trying not to complain. It's been pretty slow at work, but the day is going by surprisingly fast so I'm a happy camper. I'm looking forward to my maternity photo session on Thursday and realllllly hoping the pictures turn out good. I am SO not photogenic. I also joined an online book club via Twitter which I am SO excited about! I've been wanting to join a book club for ages and I really hope this one works out and is active! I also convinced my mom to join a scrapbooking club with me and we'll start going in June. I've had hundreds of pictures and mementos from Mando and I's first year together and I've been wanting to put them in an album forever! I also want to start making a baby book for Cayden so that will be my next big project! I'm loving all this energy and creativity that comes along in the 3rd trimester. I never feel like I got it in the 2nd trimester, so I'm enjoying every second of it now!

Until next time!

31 week belly!