Also, apropos of nothing, please note that THIS year’s list of 125 Christmas Gift Ideas Under $25 Dollars is going live today at Style Lush, so be sure to check it out. If for no other reason than to buy yourself some ribbon candy. You know you want to.
And by *Fun, I mean: That sucked.
So last Monday (a week ago), Mr. E, because he is a saint among men, got home from work, ate a ham sandwich, took the grocery list, and went to the big cheap far away grocery store to do the Thanksgiving grocery shopping. He got home about 9 ish, bearing bags of cranberry sauce (jellied AND whole berry) and a smallish Butterball turkey and all excited about finding gluten free chicken broth- I was sitting in the living room and he kept running in to show me things while he put them away, and I really did try to muster up as much enthusiasm as I could for the mini tube of Apricot Face Scrub he had purchased, but right about this time, I was starting to really really really not feel so good.
My “morning sickness” always gets worse as the day goes on, but this was my regular morning sickness with the dial turned up. I sort of staggered off the couch and into the bathroom and that’s when I started to throw up. And I threw up every few hours, all night long, until about 6:30 in the morning.
The first time I threw up, I figured I’d eaten something weird or I had a 24 hour virus or something – it didn’t occur to me at ALL that it had anything to do with morning sickness because when I was pregnant with Eli I hadn’t thrown up the entire time.
But meanwhile, I threw up, all night long.
When Tuesday morning rolled around, I still felt horrible, like I would probably throw up at any moment, but I wasn’t actually throwing up anymore, so instead I just laid around in bed and hoped for death. It was a really fun Tuesday.
As the day wound down, I tried to eat some applesauce, and then I threw up again.
At this point, I was sort of lost as to what to do. From everything that I’ve been led to believe, throwing up is totally normal in the first trimester of pregnancy. My sister in law threw up every morning for her entire pregnancy. And my doctor knew I was feeling sick and I’d never had a doctor act like it was a big deal – they either told me that since I was still gaining weight, I was obviously fine, or else that it was a really! great! sign! of a healthy pregnancy.
And also, here’s something you may already know about me. I am…not good with authority. I am not good at saying “No.” I am not good at making a stink, at standing up for myself, at making demands. I am a rule follower, the quiet one in the corner who often goes ignored. I don’t want to make anyone mad or stress anyone out or cause any problems or make anyone feel….god forbid, UNCOMFORTABLE. I tend to suffer in silence.
So here’s what I did. You’re gonna laugh. But I sat there, sick as hell, and I dug down deep, and I channeled A’Dell. I don’t know who among you has been lucky enough to get to know A’Dell, but I got to hang out with her at The Blathering this year, and let me tell you, the woman? She takes no shit. And there were about seven times when I talked to her or got emails from her or just watched her out of the corner of my eye – that I said to myself “Self, if you ever need someone on your side in a battle, that is the woman to have.” And so I was lying there, absolutely miserable, throwing up applesauce, and I thought “Would A’Dell take this shit? Would A’Dell lie in bed for 48 hours wanting to DIE when they make ACTUAL medicine for this? She SO would not.”
And so I channeled A’Dell and I called the night nurse at Labor and Delivery. I was pretty convinced that they were going to either tell me to 1. suck it up (pregnant women throw up! Deal with it!) or get me a prescription for something over the phone. Instead, they asked me a bunch of questions and then they told me I had to come into Labor and Delivery right the heck then.
And so we bundled up Eli and we drove to Labor and Delivery, and let me tell you, it only took a tiny little detour through the ninth gate of Hell Med Center Emergency Room to make me really really really grateful for my health insurance, for the fact that I didn’t have to sit in that emergency room, that I live two minutes from a great hospital, that I didn’t have a broken arm or the swine flu two days before Thanksgiving. That emergency room at 9 oclock at night was a sight I hope never to have to witness again, and then when we got to Labor and Delivery and it was so…quiet and peaceful and clean and empty and calm and dark…it was like ascending into heaven. I felt both horribly unworthy and profoundly grateful.
Anyway, they made me pee in a cup, and as soon as she SAW my urine, the nurse started shaking her head and beginning the process to get me hooked up to an IV. And then they asked me a million questions and took about nine blood samples and listened the heartbeat and filled me full of IV fluid and then I threw up AGAIN.
So I got a shot of Zofr@n in my IV, I ate some pears a few hours later, the babys heart rate went down, I was pronounced fine, the baby was pronounced fine, and I was sent home with some prescriptions and feeling really proud of myself for finally speaking up and saying “Um, hi, is this ok?” If you can call that speaking up for yourself.
The bad news is that I’ve been hearing about this Zofr@an for two pregnancies now and I kind of thought that the second it touched my lips I’d be instantly transported to some mountain in the Swiss Alps where I’d be running through fields of wildflowers singing “The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuusic” and it doesn’t quite do that for me. But it keeps me from throwing up and I feel less like I want to die as long as I keep on top of the nausea and that’s really all you can ask for, I guess.
The other good news is that the retail price of 3o Zofr@n is $375 dollars and I paid $5, and if I was grateful for my health insurance before, now I am really really really grateful for my health insurance.
Oh, and we had another ultrasound this morning and the baby is totally 100% doing fine and also really likes to wiggle.
The other bad news is that the morning sickness kind of got Thanksgiving. I looked down at my plate of mashed potatoes on Thursday afternoon and I just felt sad. But the GOOD news is that Mr. E? IS SUCH A ROCK STAR. He stayed home from work for two days and he did every single thing that needed doing for a week and he cooked us an entire Thanksgiving dinner AND cleaned the entire thing up and he didn’t even bat an eyelash when I didn’t eat too much of it, and he’s just…he’s the best. Really, there are no words.
Anyway, let’s hope things are on the upswing. I’m very hopeful the morning sickness won’t get Christmas. And if it tries, I’m totally going to sick A’Dell on it.
Now that the whole world (including my next door neighbor!) knows I’m pregnant, everyone keeps asking me the same thing – do I want the next one to be a boy or a girl?
And of course, because it’s me, I can’t answer that question with a simple yes or no.
Before Eli was born, I really really really really wanted a girl. And I wanted a girl until the minute he was placed in my arms, and then of course as I have stated one hundred million times since then, I wouldn’t trade him for all the girls in all the world. I mean, honestly, I couldn’t care less – he could be a girl, a boy, an iguana, or Stuart C. Little, he’s my Eli. He’s not what I had cooked up ahead of time as what I wanted, but luckily, someone else is in charge, because he’s what I got, and man, he’s so so so so much better than what I thought I wanted.
The best way I have ever been to able to describe it is that sometimes I look down at this little blond creature lurking around my knees and I think “Oh. You. Yes! It’s YOU. If I had known you were going to be YOU, I wouldn’t have worried at all.”
So this next time. I don’t know. If I have a boy, I will be thrilled, because it will be a brother that Eli can drink too much beer with some day and who can give him a scar over his eyebrow and I have a perfect boy name picked out and because when I think about NOT having a boy, not having another gummy toothed chicken legged snicklefritz, I feel sad. Plus I already have all the clothes.
But oh, a girl. I am not sure how to say this, but I just…I think of not EVER having a girl and that feels impossible. It doesn’t have to be NOW, but some day I want to buy EVERYTHING in the little girls department of Target and make pinafores and take a little girl to the Nutcracker in a new Christmas dress. I want to share Anne Shirley and Laura Ingalls Wilder and Frankie Landau Banks with my daughter and I’m sure this is some kind of horrible thing to say but I just can’t see Eli curled up with Rilla of Ingleside, you know? So. It doesn’t have to be NOW, but some day. Because I just can’t imagine not having a girl ever.
So if this is a girl, it kind of takes the pressure off. I don’t have to HAVE a third kid, a third kid can be like, optional or a fun accident or whatever!
And I won’t lie, I think it’s a girl. Even though I have a bad track record in this particular area, it feels like a girl. When I talk to the baby, I talk to her, and I call her K Dub, and I remind her that I am totally not going to let her wear any makeup until she’s at least sixteen as revenge for this terrible morning sickness. (although to be fair Eli is totally not allowed to wear any makeup until he’s sixteen either.)
I just have this vision. A vision of five or six years down the road, on a hot summer day somewhere in the great state of Vermont, of a skinny girl in a faded one piece yellow swimsuit, standing on the dock of a lake with a strap hanging off of one bony shoulder. She’s turned half way away from me, this girl with Mr. E’s dark hair and blue eyes, and I can see one drip of water slipping off one dark wet flip of hair, and I know that she is my daughter.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to let go of that girl, even if she’s not mine to know in this life.
I think I kind of just said I want both. Did I say that? It’s so true. I want a girl AND I want a boy. But since I am fairly certain I am not having twins, I’ll just say that it makes no sense and it isn’t really fair of me to say this since I am getting a BABY out of it either way, but I think whatever I’m having, I’ll have to say goodbye to a some one, a dream, one way or another. And I think I’ll be really sad – there is real loss there. Whether you are saying goodbye to skinny boy chicken legs and JKF Jr. rompers, or saying goodbye to pigtails and pink ribbons, it’s loss. It’s still goodbye.
And I hope to remind myself of Eli – of how I look down at him and know that he is just who he was meant to be, just who I need, just as he is. That what I wanted had very little to do with it. That it’s just his Eli ness, really, that matters, not the dresses or the rompers or what books he’ll love, or any of that.
And also? I really can’t wait to meet you, whoever you are.
What is up!?
We got back from Australia on Wednesday and let me say right off the that bat that we only took six pictures because we suck and also I think Mr. E may have dropped the camera half way through the trip. It was a very interesting trip – one thing you might not know about me is that I like to have a lot of space between international travel because what happens is that it turns out that I don’t really like international travel so usually trips to places like Mexico or France start out with me sitting on a plane thinking “Fuck! I hate travel. Why am I doing this?” and then I spend the next 14 days hyperventilating about how I don’t understand one damn word anyone is saying to me and how I just want to be able to order a hamburger on a bun from the children’s menu and why does everyone in this country smoke so much? So it takes like three years for me to forget how much I hate international travel and this is why I space things like this out. Because I hate everything.
I will say that I did enjoy myself – mostly because Australia is pretty much like visiting LA or America. They have seven dollar lattes, yes, and some weird candy in the grocery store, but mostly everyone knows what you are saying when you ask for ketchup for your fries and it makes a nervous traveler such as myself feel right at home. However I would like to recommend not traveling anywhere farther than your local McDonald’s Play Land when you are six or eight weeks pregnant since one day long ago I decided to go to France when I was six weeks pregnant with Eli and then just now to go to Australia when I was eight weeks pregnant with Noodle Number Two and both of these rotten decisions culminated with me hunched over an airsick bag moaning Hail Marys in my head as I tried not to lose my lunch on the tarmac at LAX. I will forever consider the breakfast served to me by Delta Airlines on my return flight from Australia to be one of the great atrocities prepetrated on me – and all of humanity – for all of time. When the customs man asked me if I had any airline food with me I jauntily replied “Oh, no, I am 100% certain I left ALL my food on that plane” and luckily Mr. E hauled me away from that interaction before I had to time to get “FOR SURE HAS SWINE FLU” stamped on my forehead by the US Department of Homeland Security. Nevertheless it should be noted that after I tossed ALL my chunks at the end of that first flight, my wise and understanding husband elected to bypass the next plane to Salt Lake City and the plane after that to San Francisco and the BART ride to Oakland and the car ride to San Francisco and we rented a car and drove for five and half and hours and then voila we were home and my babyeeeeee was burying his little blond head in my neck and then god laughed and turned the morning sickness up another two notches.
One final word regarding travel and pregnancy – and don’t say I never give you any free advice – because here it is, my best piece of advice of all time. For the love of god, for all that is holy and right with the world, don’t get yourself good and knocked up and travel to a country which routinely serves people BAKED BEANS FOR BREAKFAST. Gag.
After we got back from Australia I had to go have a quicky ultrasound on FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH because my OB decided that right after she noted in my chart that I am on ANTI ANXIETY MEDICINE WHICH I TAKE FOR ANXIETY that she would look for the baby and then she would not find the baby and then she would decide to tell me that she could only see the heartbeat but no baby so maybe my dates were off by a few days or ELSE there was no baby and or if there was a baby the baby would die and I would have a miscarriage in Australia but not to worry because she’s never heard anything bad about their medical care down there hardly ever! Fun!
Also adding to the fun was the fact that I had to give a urine sample during that visit and after I did my business I flushed the toilet and Eli was in the bathroom with me and due to the fact that the toilet flush at the doctor’s office is the loudest toilet flush in the history of known time, he burst into hysterical tears. Then when the nurse was done dicking around with my urine, she gave it back to me to flush down the toilet. I couldn’t hold the worlds heaviest bathroom door open AND flush the worlds loudest toilet at the same timea, so Eli was once again trapped in the bathroom with me, and at the sound of the worlds loudest toilet flushing for the SECOND time, he LOST HIS MIND. The nurse opened the worlds heaviest door to see who was killing a toddler in the bathroom and smacked it right into Eli’s head. So by the time we headed in for the physical exam where the doctor was ready to give me a big list of things to be anxious about, Eli was in a sad state, alternating between silent tears and moaning “I want mommy,” and the only thing that would shut him up was a Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker I had in my purse. He sat next to me, smearing lip smacker across his forehead and into his cheeks and into his chin as he moaned and clutched my hand – I was lying next to him on the exam table half naked with my cha cha up in the air – and this was when they decided to tell me that they saw “No baby!” but Not To Worry I could just probably have a miscarriage in Australia! With their excellent medical care!” On the bright side, the thick coating of Lip Smacker covering Eli repelled tears like water off a ducks back. And he smelled really great for the rest of the day. Just like Dr. Pepper!
Needless to say I am still sick as a dog and we had an ultrasound on Friday THE THIRTEENTH and holy smokes, there’s a BABY in there you guys. With legs and feet and TINY TOES. It is the strangest thing on earth – I am so sick all the time but it never feels like it’s because I am having a BABY. And yet, there it was, noodley as could be.
The morning sickness totally pisses me off – I feel like gak every minute of the day and all I can do is feebly try to calculate when it may have ended or abated or tapered off or quit RUINING MY LIFE the first time around but as best I can tell I think I have like, four more weeks of this, at least, and when I think about that I want to die, and it just pisses me off, I feel like it’s stealing all the stuff I love to do and it’s stealing months of Eli’s life and it got Halloween – we didn’t go to the pumpkin patch and Eli wore his Batman pajamas instead of a real costume and he couldn’t even carve a pumpkin because the one we got him from thhe cardboard bin at the grocery store was half rotten. The morning sickness stole Halloween and it makes me mad and it makes me feel guilty and so now I am concentrating all my might on not letting it steal Thanksgiving. As god is my witness I will make that GODDAMNED burlap table runner or else! But I’m not gonna lie, I think about stuffing and I kind of want to slit my wrists.
All I can say is that this kid? Better be smart AS HELL.