Saturday, April 30, 2016

Week 20

Wooooooaaaaaaah we're half way theeerrreee oooohhhhh livin' on a praaaaayyyyyyeeerrr!!!

Anyone, anyone? Bon Jovi? No?

Sigh... oh well.

Only one day late with my week 20 post! That's an improvement, right?

So, week 20... let's see. It was a pretty good week overall. Though I've had a resurgence of fatigue and a strong need to nap a few times a day over the last week, I've also had days where I felt totally energetic and normal, and I've managed to accomplish a fair bit on those days, so I consider it mostly a win.

For example, on Sunday of last weekend my husband and I took the dog for a 12.6km hike in the Whiteshell. It was beautiful, just strenuous enough to tire the dog out for a day or two, and left my calves and quads feeling like they'd done something. (There was a lot of steep-but short-up and down on the hike as we followed the cliff strewn lakeside trail around Hunt Lake and Westhawk Lake.)

The day before that I managed to go for another run and it felt better than the last one. I felt pretty good for the first half mile and then started to feel Speck jouncing against my bladder, which was... uncomfortable, but not painful, so I kept running for a while and then eventually walked my way home. Slow improvement. I'll take it.

Tuesday was the day of eating ALL THE THINGS. It could partially be due to me recovering form the hike, but DAMN. I ate two cinnamon rolls for breakfast, had a homemade energy bar for a snack, two portions of lasagna plus another cinnamon roll for lunch, and then another two portions of lasagna, plus a salad, plus garlic bread for dinner! Holy bottomless pit, Batman!

Then on Wednesday Speck very clearly requested brownies. So, I made brownies. From scratch. They were actually pretty good. But what's up with the sugar cravings, Speck? That's not usually how we roll. (As an aside, Speck celebrated the consumption of brownies by breakdancing in utero. At least I assume that's why I was getting punched and kicked every few seconds for about 20 minutes.)

All that food has been fueling my creativity though, and over the past week I've managed to add over 20,000 words to my latest novel. So that's a major win! I'm hoping to finish the first draft by the end of this weekend. I am greatly enjoying this return to creative capacity, because I had been feeling terrible about how little progress I'd made on my latest works in progress for the past few months. This is much more like it.

So for some reason I feel like I'm looking more barrel chested than pregnant, but certainly I'm noticeably... different. Anyway here's the week 20 pic so you can see for yourself:

And here is proof that I actually went hiking during week 20:

That about sums it up on the week 20 update. Oh, just for a splash of TMI it's been a pretty gassy week. I hear that's pretty normal though. Pregnant ladies fart a lot. Go figure. See you next week where we may have... pictures of Speck! That's right, our very first (and probably only) ultrasound is on Monday. We won't be finding out the sex but we're still excited to see the little one. And we're interviewing a doula today, but that's technically part of week 21 so I'll tell you all about it next week. 

Ok. I'm done now. Seriously. I mean it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 19

Well, we had family visiting from last weekend until this Thursday so I got a bit behind with my blogging. Also, I wrote a rather long entry for my usual blog about why people shouldn't get so worked up about who uses which public toilets, if anyone is interested in reading that. Then the weekend was busy with actually taking care of myself (read: going for runs and hikes), and writing fiction.

So, back to that whole pregnancy thing.

Shall we do bullet points? Everyone loves bullet points, right?

In week 19:

  • I may* have said things to people that I wouldn't normally have said and then felt like an asshole immediately afterwards
  • I may have laughed 'til I cried at things that were said that really weren't that funny
  • I definitely discovered a non-alcoholic radler that I believe will be a great aid in getting me through the hot and muggy months of summer (it's the Krombacher Radler if you're a fellow pregnant lady and are in the market for a non alcoholic beverage that's still tasty)
  • I may have caved and bought nursing bras that fit but have room to grow in hopes that I won't have to buy bras again by the end of this pregnancy (I do not have the budget for buying bras repeatedly, but I could no longer make do with my old ones)
  • I may, in my quest to find bras, have tried on some maternity jeans at a maternity store and found them comfortable, but ultimately doomed to fall down as my bump is not yet large enough to hold them up... plus they were 125 dollars and pardon my french but, "Fuck THAT"
  • I may also have been reminded during said quest of why I loathe shopping and why I hate dealing with sales people when I told the woman at the shop for the THIRD time that no, I was not interested in their stretch cream no matter how many times she wanted to suggest it or try to hand it to me while I was trying on bras. Holy crap people! I can only assume the poor woman is working on commission, and I don't blame her for the obnoxious requirements of her job, but I've dealt with car salesmen who were less pushy on the upsell. Please keep your hands out of my changing room thank you very much!
  • I may have impressed myself with my ability to not lose my shit on said saleswoman despite my demonstrated lack of ability to keep my cool earlier this week
  • I may never ever go shopping at Thyme maternity again in my life if I can avoid it
  • Online shopping and thrift shopping are my friends; no one pushes you to buy anything in a thrift shop and adblocker silences the most annoying bits of online pushiness 
* "may" in the context of these bullet points indicates a thing that definitely happened, we are disregarding the true meaning of may here for no other reason than that it amuses me to do so

Alright, I think that about sums up week 19. Only a tiny bit of kicking this week, plus one more chance to hear Speck's heartbeat at my latest prenatal appointment. All seems to be well. The anatomy ultrasound is one week from today and while we won't be finding out Speck's sex, we're still very excited to have a chance to see Speck and hopefully get some pictures (not to mention verify that all of Speck's crucial organs are in place and functioning, etc.).

Here's the 19 week bumpie for your amusement:

Note the new, well fitted bra! Artemis clearly wanted to join in on the fun, and while I'm starting to feel like I always look pregnant instead of only right after a meal, we still haven't reached a point where I look pregnant with all my clothes on, but I think the naked bump is coming along nicely.

For reference here's comparison between week 5 (when we first confirmed I was pregnant) and week 19.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 18

Sorry to be posting a few days late this week, but life has been trucking right along despite my best efforts to pause time.

Had to file taxes for Canada this week, which took up a whole day's worth of productive energy, and I spent another couple days working on fiction and prepping for visitors. Then visitors arrived. All of this is good, but it has delayed blogging.

So, week 18. What was week 18 like?

Mostly, it was high energy and productive and I felt like my normal self. That was awesome. One or two naps were had, but I mostly didn't feel like I was exhausted or ill. So I consider week 18 a win in that regard.

Other things that have been going down with pregnancy this week?

Let's see...

Kegels: I mostly forget about them and then randomly remember to do them, but I've read a few reminders to do them in the coming weeks. Apparently getting them strong now can prevent incontinence later, not to mention make labor and delivery easier.

Movement: Speck has been kicking and punching a bit this week. I had thought that I had felt flutters last week, but been unsure. This week though, I had a few definitive strikes that were unquestionably Speck saying hi. Hi, Speck!

Having one's belly rubbed: A good friend of mine rubbed my belly without asking, in the midst of a hello hug, and I barely refrained from punching him. And this is a person I'm quite fond of. This leaves me with dire predictions about how I will react to strangers rubbing my belly. One of my pregnant buddies has agreed that she will bail me out of jail for assault if I will do the same for her. Not sure how well that will work out, but fingers crossed.

Sleeping: A few weeks ago I had been waking up multiple times a night and assumed that it was because I had to pee. Then I tried putting a pillow between my knees and found that I was able to sleep almost all the way through the night. I was so thrilled with the success of this trick. This week something else must be messing with my sleep because I again find myself waking up multiple times in a night despite my knee pillow. So now I'm wondering if I need to add other pillows to the mix. Any ladies have suggestions?

Feeling pregnant: I don't seem to be showing a great deal more, enough that my husband and I both think I look definitively pregnant, but not so much that anyone unfamiliar with me would suspect anything, I think. And yet... I "feel" pregnant this week in a way I haven't before. My abdomen feels full of something other than food and my belly feels distended in a way that's not just bloating.

Here's this week's bump picture:

Maternity clothes: And finally, it may be time to track down some maternity clothes in the next few weeks. The hair tie trick is keeping my pants on for now, but I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to get by on my regular pants, and my bras are pretty much done for.

That's it for this week, I think. See you at the end of week 19! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Why Gender Shouldn't Matter

In the world of pregnant women, there is one question that seems to come up over and over and over again, whether with complete strangers or good friends.

"What are you having?"

I plan to answer this with, "We think it's a human, but I'm still holding out hope for a dragon."

Of course, that's not what people are asking about. They're asking about gender. We have an odd societal obsession with the genitals of unborn humans.

As it happens, my husband and I are on, what is known in the world of expectant parenthood, as team green. Which means that we will be waiting to find out Speck's gender until birth. Why? Because, a. it seems like it will be a fun surprise and b. we don't really care what the gender is.

Honestly, finding out via ultrasound or finding out via birth is a personal decision that is tied to a lot of factors, and I don't think there is any right or wrong way to do it. We decided to wait. That's all.

But I won't lie, part of why I want to wait is that I don't want close friends or complete strangers to tell me all the things my future offspring "will be" or "won't be" because of what's between its legs. Statements that start with "girls are" or "boys are" drive me nucking futs.

Allow me to explain...

I was always a tomboy.

I heard that word used to describe me over and over again throughout my youth. I had two older brothers who liked playing with fake guns, and I was included in their games as soon as I was old enough to stand up and support the weight of a fake six shooter on my hip. Granted, they always made me the bad guy (that's what little sisters are for, after all) but I they always let me play, and I loved it.

I play fought, I learned to fight for real, I played contact sports, I learned martial arts, I beat up boys on the playground who were sexually harassing girls (to be fair, I did that before I learned martial arts, once I learned a true martial art, I stopped fighting people outside of sparring). I wore my brothers' hand me downs. I romped through the woods with my dogs, climbed trees, played in the mud, and rough housed with with animals and friends. I never wore skirts or dresses if I could avoid them. (Sometimes my mom would insist that I dress up, but I resisted as thoroughly as I could.) I wanted nothing to do with makeup except on rare occasions when I applied it more like paint, and I had more male friends than female because we generally had more in common.

My parents never tried to steer me away from this behavior aside from the aforementioned attempts to get me to dress up for special events. My mom, who enjoys fashion and makeup and a few other more girly pursuits, is also a farm raised badass who can hold her own in a bar fight when pressed, and my dad was ecstatic to have both his kids show just as much love for men's lacrosse as he had always shown.

Playing in the woods behind my house at the age of 10. The spot of ice that is cleared off is a direct result of me rolling around in the snow.

Here are the two dogs that usually accompanied me on my outdoor adventures. 
Note that I'm wearing a baseball cap in both these pictures. I wore that thing every day for three years and was often assumed to be a boy because of it.

I played one season of women's lacrosse in 4th grade, and was so disappointed that there was no body checking that I quit and signed up for the men's league the very next season. My brother was quietly mortified that we would be on the same team. Not because I was a girl, but because I was his little sister. Little sisters were not cool things to have around at that age. My father was thrilled.

I played men's lacrosse through to the end of high school.

In high school, when most parents are busy fretting over what their children are doing with the opposite sex, my parents didn't worry about my brother or me. Once, when I had been invited to go away for a weekend with my at that time boyfriend another parent inquired of my father, "Aren't you worried he'll try to take advantage of her?" My father laughed and said, "I feel very sorry for any boy who tries to take advantage of Virginia."

In college I played rugby (women's, because there was just as much tackling as in men's) and was the friend that all my floor mates called on to walk them home at night because they were worried about walking home alone in the dark.

Over the years, I have become more interested in clothes (though only slightly) but still loathe makeup. I continue to practice martial arts, but have mostly left contact sports behind because I no longer appreciate the risk of concussion. Instead I've adopted rock climbing, trail running, backpacking, and as many other outdoor pursuits as I can cram into my life.

 Rock climbing is one of the few things my parents wouldn't let me try when I was under 18, but not because I was a girl, they wouldn't let my brother try it either, they just thought it was dangerous. I had to wait until I was in my 20s to start, but it was well worth it.

I have a problem. I won't let anyone else be stern when I'm in a canoe. Thankfully, my husband tolerates this personality quirk and is an excellent bowman. 

The precursor to me getting into trail running was me getting into triathlon. There were only 37 women in this entire race of 350 people. But to be fair, this was Japan, where sexism is still firmly planted in the 1950s.

I love camping, and I mean real camping, not "I parked my car near a fire pit and made gourmet meals for three days" camping, but "I walked into the wilderness for a day or more, set up a tent under the stars, and listened to the sounds of wildlife rustling the trees as I fell asleep" sort of camping. The kind that requires not showering for a week or more. The kind that takes you as far away from civilization as it is possible to get.

Me at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, watching the Colorado River flow by, in the midst of a 10 day backpacking trip that I led every year for three years. If you want a "shower" you have to hop in the river. It was my favorite part of my last teaching job.

Most of the things that I enjoy, most of the things I've enjoyed my whole life, are not associated with being feminine. That's what tomboy means after all; "a girl who enjoys things that people think are more suited to boys."

Me and a whole host of fellow gaijin dressed up as samurai for a battle re-enactment in Japan.
This is the closest thing I have handy for a martial arts related picture. So I'm throwing it in here.
One of these days I'll drag out the pictures of me training karate.

When I was very young, I didn't care if what I liked was tomboyish or not. I liked what I liked and my parents never said, "no, that's not for girls" so I went about my business. When I got into middle and high school I clung pretty strongly to the tomboy identity, mostly because it suited me, but partially because I thought liking "girly" things would make me into someone else--specifically someone like the mean girls at my school who insulted people for wearing the "wrong" brand of clothes.

Eventually, I came to accept that I could like as many "girly" things as I liked, just as I could like as many "manly" things as I liked, and neither of those things made any difference in who I was except that it made me happy. So, I wear dresses voluntarily now, but not often, because I still prefer not to wear anything that will prevent me from kicking an opponent in the head. (I'm totally serious. You should come pants shopping with me sometime. I do high kicks in the dressing room to make sure that the pants in question are acceptable.) I wear perfume because I like the smell. I like dressing up and wearing heels in order to seduce my husband on occasion. I love to go dancing. Some "girly" things are just fine. (Well, they're all just fine, but I only enjoy some of them.)

But if you ask me what I want to do on the weekend, the answer will never be shopping. It will most likely be something that involves disappearing into the wilderness. If you ask me to gut a fish, I won't hesitate. If there's a fire that needs to be built, I'll volunteer. I can set up a tent twice as fast as my husband, and I have more experience leading outdoor adventures than he does, and that doesn't bother either of us. I can also crochet a hat in less than an hour, do stage makeup like a pro, and put on a traditional kimono by myself.

So what's my point?

Well, I guess I'm just presenting myself as a case study. I am a female who vastly prefers a lot of the behavior that is typically associated as masculine. You can make a lot of arguments for nature vs. nurture, but I've talked to a lot of women and know many of us who come from all different circumstances that prefer these behaviors to those associated with "feminine." Not all of us had older brothers (or brothers at all) most of us had parents that were accepting of us no matter what, but some didn't. And I also know women who never leave the house without makeup, wear heels every day, and love to shop, but could also kick your ass with one hand tied behind their backs because they spend four days a week training in a martial art. People don't fit neatly into boxes.

I also know many men who do not fit the "masculine" mold. They prefer more "feminine" activities. Some of them love shopping, some of them love fashion, some of them love make up and hair, some of them don't enjoy sports, some of them love to cook, some of them love crafts, some of them "get emotional."

These people are not all, or even mostly, homosexual. There are plenty of heterosexuals who fall outside of gender norms. Why? Two big reasons: 1. gender and sexuality are not the same thing, and 2. gendered behavior isn't really a thing. It's a long standing fiction that we use to normalize behavior in a society, despite the fact that a lot of these associations are very hurtful to both men and women alike.

In my particular case, I don't "feel like a man" and I don't wish I had a penis. (The damn things strike me as terribly awkward, and I'm very happy in my own skin as a woman--though I would give up periods in a heartbeat if I could.) That is some people's experience however, and a valid one, but it is not mine.

But I hate the assumptions that people make based on gender, in both directions. I hate that we expect men not to cry, and that we expect women to want to get their nails done. I hate that we assume women will enjoy cut flowers and shopping, but we are shocked if a man hasn't kept up with the latest football scores. We assume women want to be mothers but that men are only reluctant fathers. (Did I mention the part where I never wanted kids but my husband always has?)

Why are any of these things the assumption? How many humans do you know who actually fall neatly into these categories? And before you answer, stop and really think about it for a minute. Can you think of people you know well, who really truly fit the gender mold with zero exceptions? Even the "girliest" women I know have some interest, skill, or trait that would normally be defined as "masculine" and even the burliest and most "masculine" men I know I have at least one interest, skill, or trait that most people would consider "feminine."

Humans are complicated creatures. We all have a variety of interests and talents, and the labels of "masculine" and "feminine" are simply externally imposed limitations. No one is helped by them in the long run. In the end they hurt both men and women alike.

So, as I sit here, feeling the odd flutter in my abdomen that could be a baby kicking or could just be gas, I think about what it would be like to have a boy, or what it would be like to have a girl, and I ultimately think: it makes no difference at all. This human will be an interesting person. This human will have an unpredictable combination of traits from my husband and I. This human will have interests, skills, and traits that are completely unfamiliar to me. Getting to know this little human is going to be one hell of an adventure.

So why does anyone care about its genitals?

Friday, April 8, 2016

Week 17

Well, this post got delayed a bit because today was all about filing taxes. Blargh... but at least I managed to get my US taxes filed.

So, week 17... have I mentioned yet how weird the gestational age for babies is yet? So, I just finished week 17 today which means I get to say I am 17 weeks pregnant, but that means I'm now in week 18 (which makes me wonder if I should post on Thursdays instead of Fridays), and to top it off, weeks one and two were largely spent being... not pregnant, so Speck was conceived 15 weeks ago, but we call that 17 weeks. All because so few women know when they ovulate. It really throws off doctors when you know when you ovulated. They just want to know when your last period was so that they can time everything based off of when you should have ovulated if your ovaries were like clockwork. If you know when it actually happened that just complicates things.

Anyway, week 17... where was I?

So, first things first, immediately after my week 16 post I took a 2.5 hour nap. Speck is definitely growing. (This week Speck is supposed to have doubled in weight, so I guess that's not surprising.)

Also, in the first few days of week 17 my left boob was hurting way more than my right boob and now... tada! Like some sort of sick magic trick my left boob is noticeably larger than my right boob. WTF body? No one needs non-matching boobs. Why ya gotta go there?

Despite the uneven dispersement both boobs are much bigger than they were a few weeks ago and... not nearly as perky as they once were. Damn. A brief moment of silence for the perkiness of my breasts, if you will. *silence*

Thank you.

Moving on.

Some decidedly good things from this week: My hubby got his hands on not one, but TWO free strollers that we are totally going to use and thus save ourselves a few hundred bucks. He found a jogging stroller and a high end strolling stroller. Freaking sweet!

I've started researching hypnobirthing and so far it doesn't seem nearly as hocus pocus as the name would have you believe. Seems mostly focus on meditation, relaxation, and the power of positive thinking, all of which are things that I use in other facets of my life, so I don't see why birth should be any different. So that's cool. (I found videos from a place called the Calm Birth School, and points to the lady who runs for choosing a way better name than hypnobirthing. Hypnobirthing sounds like a stage magician is going to knock me out and then snap his fingers to wake me up after I've pushed a watermelon out of my vagina into a black top hat. Calm Birth sounds like you train to not freak out during childbirth. Sounds great. Who wants to freak out? Not me. Calm sounds lovely. Sign me up.)

Week 17 also included a couple more days where I got up to eat breakfast and then immediately needed a nap (not great, but I like naps, so not bad either). However, it also included a strong resurgence of creative energy, and I was finally able to keep working on the sequel to the novel I released last January! That was a huge step in the right direction and one that made me feel much more like my old self.

And in perhaps the most exciting news from this week: I WENT FOR A RUN TODAY!!! It was the first run that I've been on since getting pregnant and it was short and mellow, but felt really good. Plus, I have every intention of repeating it starting Monday (we're gone all weekend) and I hope this is the start of me getting back into distance running before my body decides there's too much baby in there or something.

So, that's about it for week 17. Here's a shot of the fur baby out on one of our muddier walks this week. (Walking the dog continues to be one of the best parts of my days.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Let's talk body image...

One of the things that I love about the online pregnancy group I'm part of on Facebook is that every Wednesday (since it's hump day, and hump rhymes with bump) all the ladies in our group grab their cell phones and snap mirror selfies of themselves to post to the group.

For example:

I love this weekly event because it's a great celebration of what everyone is going through and an appreciation of the amazing feat that our bodies are accomplishing. We're making new humans for fuck's sake! That's incredible.

What makes me sad is that a number of women have mentioned that while they're happy to post to our Facebook group full of fellow moms who are all due in the same month, they would never dream of sharing their bumpies on their public pages. Even sadder, some of the ladies don't even want to post to our thread even though we have a very solid diversity of body types already represented and I've only ever seen kind supportive statements in response to all the bump pictures.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think the women who don't wish to post their pictures are doing the wrong thing for not sharing their photos publicly, and I totally understand their reasons for keeping these pictures to themselves/our lovely and accepting group of soon to be moms.

The part that makes me sad is that we live in a society where I can understand why women don't want to share pictures of themselves on the internet, especially while pregnant. That's the fucked up part. The part where there are people in the world who judge your body harshly any time you show it publicly. The part where people feel that not only are they free to judge your body, but that they feel free to make you feel bad about your body. And, especially, the part where that judgement is far more heavily applied to women than to men.

All of that angers and saddens me.

Why does anyone care what my body looks like? Why does anyone care what anyone's body looks like?

To quote Erin McKean: You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female.”

And yet, isn't that how many of us feel most of the time? Like we owe pretty to the world?

Why do we seem to feel that it's not ok to share pictures of ourselves when we're not looking our best? Why are we ashamed every time we think we've fallen short of society's beauty standards? Why do we obsess over numbers on a scale or the tags on our jeans?

It's funny, I haven't weighed myself anywhere but the doctor's office for about 10 years now and I have to say it's been pretty damned freeing. I judge my health by how long I can run without getting out of breath, by how limber I feel, and how many pull ups I can do or how hard I can climb, and only once a year do I ever discover how much mass my body contains (as exerted on by earth's gravity).

But even still, I'm not immune to feeling like I need to edit my appearance. I took four versions of the selfie posted above and only posted the most flattering.

And I've still found that pregnancy has made me way more self conscious about my body. I hate that there are clothes that I own that don't look good on me anymore, that I can't fit into my tight jeans, that my flat stomach is long gone (and I may or may not ever get it back post-baby), that my boobs are actually bigger than I want them to be, etc. etc. etc.

I feel like I shouldn't care about any of this, but I do anyway. The feminist in me cringes every time I assess my own looks... and then there are moments where I think, "actually, I look pretty hot for a pregnant lady." But even that is a judgement that isn't worth making. Hot for a pregnant lady? Why does that even register as a thing I should think about?

I'm making another human, who cares what I look like?

More importantly, I'm a human being, complicated, with flaws, but ever striving to improve myself... I write books, I run long distances, I read a lot, I climb mountains and cliffs, I travel, I play with my dog, I try to make people smile, I try to understand others' perspectives, I try to be kind, I make things with my hands, I try to be generous, I swim, I adventure, I explore, I am curious, I ponder things...

WHY THE FUCK DOES IT MATTER WHAT I LOOK LIKE? To me or to anyone else...

I would argue, as Erin McKean does, that none of us owes pretty to anyone. If you want to strive for pretty because it makes you happy, go for it, but it's not something you should feel obliged to do. And whether or not you hit that arbitrary and ever shifting mark should never make you doubt your self worth, or your place in the world. You are more than your looks. So if your looks aren't living up to other people's expectations feel free to tell those other people where they can shove it. And, in the meantime, enjoy the hell out of being you. You've earned it.

In celebration of being me, I ate a large domino's pizza entirely by myself this week. I ate the cookie too, and I have zero regrets. Zero.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Week 16

This week was a bit of a blur. Pregnancy symptoms were mild, although today was another day where I slept for 9.5 hours, then got up and immediately felt like taking a nap. But I haven't had much nausea since its brief resurgence last week and I've only had a bit of cramping, and my boobs aren't as sore as they have been (though boy have they itched! What is UP with the itching?)... basically, itchy boobs aside, I don't really feel pregnant right now... and were it not for hearing the heartbeat last week I think that might be making me nervous. (If you spend enough time on pregnancy forums you wind up reading all about missed miscarriages and all kinds of other crazy stuff to keep you up at nights...)  I don't look particularly pregnant either, though I'll be adding a bumpie to the end of this post anyway, just for posterity's sake, and for my mom. Hi, Mom.

I met with some other local women who are all due in September the other night. It was nice to talk to ladies going through the same things at the same time, and I think it'll be good to know other mom's with kids the same age... but the actually having children the same age thing seems so distant right now that it's hard to think about.

And that's the struggle isn't it? It's still not easy for me to picture myself as the parent of an infant, or toddler. I can picture the teenage years pretty easily, but everything else...

People are always stunned when I say that. Most parents seem to dread the teenage years. I don't know if it's because I made a living from working with teens for so long, or the fact that I had a pretty good relationship with my own parents as a teenager, or just the fact that scathing sarcasm is still such a big part of my sense of humor... but the idea of having a teenager doesn't bother me in the least.

A toddler on the other hand? Or a baby? That is the stuff of nightmares. No control of their own bodily functions, emotions, or reactions. Low level communication skills. Inability to appreciate the perspective of others... not looking forward to that part.

But everyone tells me kids are cute and lovable at that phase...

I have yet to confirm that with any concrete evidence. I know a very small handful of children at that age who strike me as cute and lovable. The vast majority strike me as jerks. Can you see why I've been reluctant about this whole reproducing thing?

I'm terrified I will produce a jerk. A total Jerk-baby-poop-and-vomit-monster-of-crying-tantrums-and-doom. That's what I'll be stuck with, with no way to send it back.


Speck is supposed to be the size of a pear now.

Does it look like I'm hiding a pear in there? I think that's probably just the pizza I ate last night...

I don't think this sports bra is going to fit for much longer, it's starting to feel pretty... constricting. Might be time to buy some new ones but... argh I don't want to spend money on stuff that's only going to fit for a limited time. Of course, that assumes that my boobs will get smaller again when I'm done with the whole milk production thing. I guess that's a big assumption, but it seems like it's mostly the norm... maybe. I don't know.

I don't know about any of this.

And now, even though I'd planned to write more things, interesting things, I'm suddenly really tired again and feel like taking a nap. Damn. 

Well, I suppose nothing could be more a more accurate representation of pregnancy than for me to leave you here because I need to go sleep for a few hours. The pregnancy websites did say that this week Speck will be having a huge growth spurt, doubling in weight. That could explain my sudden drowsiness.

Well, no use putting it off then. The creature inside me demands that I rest. So I rest I shall. More next week! 

**Today's post brought to you by: the ellipsis... Not sure why I used so many of them...**