Sunday, August 30, 2009

Class of 2009


“Please honey, I need you there,” I whined to Mike, who was sporting a pained face at the mention of the word breastfeeding. “I talked to my girlfriends and they said that all the husbands attended,” I went on forcefully, making a mental note not to share I’d only asked three of them and of those, only two of their husbands had partaken in the nursing adventure…oh, and none of them had been to happy about it.

“All right, fine – I’ll go …but just for you,” he said reluctantly, then sulked toward the computer to see if indeed, the class description mentioned that Dads-to-be were required by some secret code to put up with yet another slightly uncomfortable part of the whole having a baby situation.

And so it came to be that, a whole three hours later, Team Choate became members of the class of 2009, graduating from both childbirth and nursing classes. Does it mean we’re prepared? No, but a slight improvement from where we were just a few weeks ago. More confident? Sure, in that looks good on the outside yet shaking in their boots on the inside kind of way. Scared? Definitely. Thrilled with anticipation? Most definitely. So here’s to knowing that education is power and in 3.5 weeks or less, we’ll see if any of it stuck! There is still that whole application to real life thing required…darn!

Class highlights:
• Poor Mike sniffling during the entire first childbirth class due to an allergy attack while students kept checking to make sure it wasn’t the video that was sending him into a tearful fit
• The look on Mike’s face when, without warning, the woman demonstrates how a Mom is required to deliver the placenta (the face cannot even be described in words, but the thought of “holy crap, ewwwww and wtf?” come to mind…
• Learning to always point the winkie down in the diaper or pay the consequences
• The baby models and the fact that Mike and I made them dance and created accents for them
• Experiencing how important it is that both Mom and Dad have a mint supply on hand for all those fun breathing activities, particularly when Doritos was the choice of snack during break
• Remembering to clean the circumcision area only with water and Vaseline and the umbilical cord with alcohol, taking specific caution not to mix the two – ouch!
• Swaddling – there’s just something entertaining about making a human into a burrito
• According to Mike, the look on my face when women were describing their minor pregnancy symptoms compared to hyperemesis (sorry, my empathy radar has lowered)
• Noting the crazy amount of boys being born this year! Of the nearly 20 or more in each of our classes, over 70% all said they were having little guys
• Mike accidentally more than whispering, “how degrading!” when the video woman that didn’t take an epidural uses her husband as a table in the middle of the hospital hallway
• The fake breasts looking and feeling very similar to Pound Puppies
• The amount of copious notes Megan took during the sessions (some things never change)
• The passing around of the forceps and the amount of shock and horror on women’s faces
• The filing and line forming of endless amounts of women for the powder room on class breaks
• The whispered fights about baby names when the lecture is getting a bit dull
• Watching pregnant women heave themselves off the ground after 10 minutes of meditation
• Snack choices among pregnant women during class after getting a 15-minute lecture on healthy eating (think Oreos, chips, Pop Tarts, etc.); you can almost hear them thinking, “what does our non-pregnant teacher know anyway???”
• Mike reading “get in Mom’s face” as one of the coaching tips and asking, “doesn’t this lead to more black eyes than helpfulness?” Note: Megan nods yes

So here’s to you Menorah Medical, for giving us an inkling of hope that we too can do this whole delivering and feeding of the baby thing so many people have told us horror stories about. And to the happy couples we met during class, may you enjoy every moment of bringing your little miracles into this world. Hats off to class of 2009!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oh the Drama: How SinuCleansing Led to Hormonal Meltdown #3


“I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!” came my not-so-muffled frustration through the phone to Mike, who worked his hardest to pretend this was a rational, normal conversation one may have with his wife.

“Well, what can I do honey?” he said calmly. “I promise you – you’re not getting a cold…it’s just allergies,” he tries to say convincingly. I begin to picture his co-workers gathered around his office space, giggling at the crazed woman whining about the sniffles vs. something more hard core like health care reform. What a highlight in their week it must be when the pregnant woman calls to go insane and they are exposed to it via their 5X5 corkboard walls. I see men exchanging bets and vowing never to go through it with their own wives, women without children just shaking their heads and those with families nodding understandingly.

“AUGH,” is all I can muster. “I’m going to Walgreens.”

For those of you who know me well, you are quite privy to my intolerance for any kind of illness, particularly if it involves the words “cold” or “flu” and my laundry list of meds to tackle the issue is down to about five. This is the same girl who will wear surgical gloves when she discovers her next-door-colleague has a cold or wears a mask on the plane at the first hint of a rough cough or snarfling nose. Not to mention the guilt that fills the heart of any pregnant woman who just has to give in and settle on some Tums, Colace, Benadryl or Tylenol PM just to make it through a given day…

Tearing through my third drug store parking lot, I’m half-tempted to march (ok, waddle) my behind up to the drive-through window and demand the Zicam swabs, Sudafed or hell…maybe some tequila at this point to take the pressure off of my sinuses, but instead resort to combing the aisles for some BreathRight strips and regular Zyrtec. Deciding that the entire state of Kansas and Missouri must be struggling with my exact same stuffiness issue, I retreat out of what feels like my 200th trip into the store and try to find God in my heart vs. going postal on some innocent stranger.
From State Line to 151st, Shawnee to Mission, it’s a no go for the supplies I need to manage the sinus infection growing worse by the nanosecond. Sure, it doesn’t sound like a big deal but you marry that to the many other symptoms a girl’s got goin’ on during her ninth month of pregnancy and it’s a whole new ballgame…

Finally, I settle on the infamous Neti Pot, a ridiculous but safe contraption that filters saline water through the nasal passages to provide relief. Grabbing the SinuCleanse brand, I drag my flip-flopped feet out of the store and start psyching myself up for this rather unpleasant procedure. It had been at least a year since I’d used one, and if I remembered correctly, it was similar to what it must feel like to drown in one of the Pacific Ocean’s largest waves.

Arriving at home, I dart (ok, again, waddle) to the kitchen sink and quickly scan the directions, emptying the distilled water and saline concoction into the simple, plastic bottle. Having just forced Mike to endure the Neti Pot, I attempted to pump myself up and enter into tough guy mode to get a little relief. Inserting the black plastic end on the right side, I began the ritual to freedom.

“AAAAHHHH” I screamed, sputtering and gasping into the white porcelain of the sink. “Wha? What’s going on?” said Mike excitedly, the pounding of his tennis shoes coming down the stairs as if anticipating the baby’s birth. Saying nothing, my eyes filling with warm tears, I pushed forward…because of course now I really had something to prove (by the way, this is not a glamorous thing to do in front of your spouse, particularly if you’re still into impressing him/her). Trying again, I shove the nozzle into the left side and try to remember my deep breathing from childbirth class. Instead, I’m met with the same gush of water exploding from what feels like all crevices of any piece above my neck, and a choking sensation like when you hear a great joke on your last swig of Coca Cola. Fed up, I began making noises that perhaps only a peacock or some other strange animal could interpret…

Me: “I ccaaannttt even doooo this…..” mingles in with some sobbing. “HOOOOWWW AAMMM II SSUUUPPOOSSEEE TO BBBIIIRRTTTHHH AA BBAABBBBBYYYY?????????”
Mike: “Honey – calm down.” (note: not an option at this hysterical, hormonal point) “Did you try….”
I can’t even hear his words as I bend at the waist, stretching into my belly and feeling the congestion seep into what feels like every pore in my body. Tired, frustrated and feeling taken over by some demon you might see in a horror flick, I launch into another tirade that again, does not seem to be English….

Me: “IIIII…..sssuuuccckkkk…..soooo haaarrrdddd….wwwhhhyyy ccann’tt…noooo moorreee….stttuuuppiiddd Walllgreeens….”

Tucking me under his arm, my knight in shining armor silently and swiftly removes the devil Neti Pot and leads me upstairs to the safe place…the bath. With candles lit and classical guitar playing in the background, I settle into the warmth of the waters (saline-free I might add) and let ridiculous, unwarranted crocodile tears drip down my cheeks as I sniffle like a kindergartener. Tacking on a BreathRight strip and settling in for at least 30 minutes with my latest fiction book, I sit quietly and lose myself in the plot.

The next morning I wake up hysterical again…but this time with laughter. Seriously? A freaking Neti Pot sent me over the edge? This from the same girl who can most of the time hang in the board room, work her friends through their warranted hard times and get through a sand volleyball game with a broken limb? It made no sense. Breakdown number three – check. Who knows what it will be next in the four weeks remaining…maybe something life altering like running out of my favorite jelly, tripping over a pair of shoes or dialing the wrong phone number? Unfortunately, only time will tell!

Now you share: what ridiculous thing has sent you over the edge, pregnant or not?

Fallin' for Fall: Confessions of a Reformed Shopaholic


Call it selfish, narcissistic, or just plain irresponsible in these tougher times, but this girl’s got a case of the “gimmies” in a bad way. Confession of a shopaholic: it’s feelin’ like fall and I’m fallin’ hard for fabulous fashions. And just when I thought the Mommy in me (you know, the gene you magically get that you become self-sacrificing and put all means toward your family and children) was setting in, my soul was sucked away by the upcoming season’s gem tones, grayed handbags, high-heeled boots and a brisk stroll through Nordstrom.

How it all started: on a particularly preggo-filled day, I decided to beat the blues by visiting Barnes and Noble and getting in touch with my inner Mommy. Instead, I was stopped dead in my tracks at the rows of fashion magazines, my white hot chocolate beginning to dribble out of my mouth at the blazing beauties that stunned their covers. From jewels to handbags, jeans to shoes, I was instantly reverted to my old Meganesque ways that had me yearning for an endless supply of cash, a quick flight to Chicago, a fabulous pair of heels and a game plan to cover all my favorite boutiques and department stores along Michigan Avenue. Attempting to fight the urge, I instead grabbed a “Pregnancy Fitness” magazine and pretended to flip through the pages (could this explain why I’ve only been on one 20-minute walk in the past week?). Giving up, I practically moonwalked my way back to the beauty and entertainment section. There, I greedily scooped up the basics: Vogue, Elle,Lucky, People Fashion, Glamour, Marie Claire and oh so much more. Guiltily, I tiptoed my way into a corner and tucked myself into a plush chair, giving props to myself that it was at least close to the pregnancy and child care section of the store. For hours, I poured through the glossy pages, taking time to breathe in the scent of the perfumes that lined the binding, drooling over the thin figures dressed in coutoure, marking the Lucky pages with the ridiculous stickers such as “Need! Maybe! Yes! No!” and jotting down recommended web sites for those that can actually afford an $800 dress. Ignoring the continuous vibrating of my cell phone (which is so mean when you’re nine months pregnant and you’re husband is wondering where the heck you are), I lavished in all things unessential, picturing my non-pregnant body laced with just-the-right-cut sweaters, feet propped in knee-high purple suede boots, the latest designer bag outlined in studs dangling from my wrist and the most fabulous accessories and undergarments to match. Sashaying down the street, my makeup impeccable due to Gina’s fine skills and love of Nars, the just-released Burberry scent following my every move…

“Um, mam – are you done reading all of these?” said the irritated Barnes and Noble associate, a look of “you currently weigh a gzillion pounds and have a round tummy – ain’t nothing you can buy anytime soon in those magazines you’re now forcing me to put away” look on her face.

Snapping back to reality, a deep sigh escapes from within and I say…”yes, yes I am” and waddle over to buy Little Choate the latest Sandra Boyd hard copy.

Lesson learned: you can apply the Dave Ramsey and baby pressures to the girl, but you can’t take the shopaholic soul out of the woman.

Note: my list of “if I had a million dollars to spend on fashion” has grown to include Nordy’s purple suede boots, at least three of the 12 sweaters mocking me from the second floor, a fabulous new lip gloss, a chunky, metallic ring, purple Uggs, a ginormous Marc Jacobs tote, every fun scarf imaginable, sunglasses the size of Texas and lined with rhinestones, a bump-it, a face full of fresh, sassy yet professional dresses lined with ruffles, darker, skinny jeans, the boyfriend blazer, any layered look for Baby Choate and oh so much more.

I’m off to quench my thirst by watching “The Devil Wears Prada” for the eleventh time…at least that will be a lot cheaper!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Name Bandit


Megan: Perches comfortably in tub, singing tunes to her growing belly and calling it the secret code name. Works hard to shake off tough day with candlelight, warm bath water and a little R&B magic…
Mike: Approaches semi-cautiously: “Ummmm…can I talk to you for a second?”
Megan: “Of course honey,” she says kindly, anticipating a much-needed, cozy, marital heart-to- heart
Mike: “Wellll….ummmm…” using the “I could potentially be in trouble for what I’m going to say next” voice
Megan: “Spit it out already – I love you and am here for you no matter what.” Side note: cheating,domestic issues and other hot items exempt, but I digress b/c Mike’s a rock star anyway…
Mike: “It’s just that….”
Megan: “Go ahead,” she says. “How bad can it really be?”
Mike: “Okay.” Sighs uncomfortably and folds hands. “It’s just that…” he repeats...
Megan: “Yeeeesssss?”
Mike: “I don’t love the name X. It’s just not his name…it doesn’t flow.”
Megan: Eyes darken beyond interpretation. Dreams shatter into a million pieces. Visions of acronyms no longer dance in her head. Sinks lower into tub to avoid potentially lethal confrontation…
Mike: Backs away slowly….slower…slower….
Megan: “I’d move faster if I were you.”
Mike: “Bu….but…aren’t you glad I told you now, so we can pick a name we both love together?”
Megan: Again, no words. Just a blank, devilish stare…you know; the one like the Mom in the Cingular commercial uses when she is talking with her two kids about rollover minutes? The look that injects fear into the hearts of grown men and children that women have perfected for all of its genetic giftedness?
Mike: Now halfway around the corner uses the dog’s innocent face as a shield. “I love you,” he says softly and genuinely.
Megan: Blows bubbles into the now temperate water then quickly translates it into a silent, underwater scream.
Mike: officially disappears for the evening before retreating to bed two hours after silent, very pregnant woman who was once endearing wife has taken her Unisom and gone off to bed
Megan: Seeks revenge by dramatizing the story, telling all girlfriends who will listen and blogging for the world to see.
Mike: Still standing by his decision, but sleeping with one eye open.

RIP Name X. And don’t worry, it’s still on the list and Megan plans to bring it up during active labor. Who could argue with that???

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Friend Indeed Helped This Girl in Need!


“AUGH!” I sighed into the dim light, speaking to no one in particular as I kicked a pair of pink flats across the room and stumbled over what appeared to be two years of laundry. Strategically avoiding the situation as usual, I hopped on to our unmade bed and logged on to Instant Messenger. Here, I was immediately greeted by my dear friend and colleague, Sarah, who already had a deep understanding of my Pisces-laden, procrastinating nature and wasn’t afraid to call me on it. Eager to hear the hot gossip or enter into my daily rant (way better than domestication), we began to chat back and forth:

Sarah: Hey lady
Me: How are you???
Sarah: Good! What are you up to?
Me: Pulling a “grinch” and staring into the abyss that has become my house.
Sarah: Let’s set a date – I’ll come over to help.
Me: *contemplates if she means it and ponders if you can really accept that level of help from friends; factor in embarrassment level and arrive at “who the heck cares I need some help” stage
Me: Are you serious?! Who does that?
Sarah: Me! Just think of it as a favor to a gal that will someday need help and isn’t currently nearly eight months pregnant.
Me: Well….ok! Let’s do Friday – I’ll serve beer, ice cream and pizza.
Sarah: Deal! Make a list – I’ll want to see it advance; we’re going to tackle the hard stuff!
And so it began that Sarah came to grips with the dark side of Team Choate’s household, complete with its immeasurable stacks of laundry, sinks overflowing with dishes and enough dog hair to create at least four Yorkshire Terriers.

Days prior to the event, she began to assess the debacle she was really getting into, asking questions like: “do you own a broom? Do I need to bring basic cleaning supplies? What about a vacuum?” Laughing to myself but realizing the darling wasn’t too far off, I made a list of what was eating at my soul the most and decided then and there I’d let this non-judgmental, ever-so-helpful, rare friend into the jungle. Soon, Friday was upon us and I braced myself for whatever feedback, instructions or facial expressions she may throw my way. With a pizza on the way, beer for her and indulgent soda for me and baby, I waited cautiously for the doorbell to ring and the madness to begin.

Thirty minutes later she was already perched in our master, combing the mess with her eyes and creating a manageable plan with hopes that both of us would survive. With primal instinct, Sarah tore through our closets and picked her way through more laundry than any one person should have to witness. Amid not-so-pleasant scents, stacks of emptied purse contents and what appeared to be thousands of shoes, she asked innocent questions, provided direction and together we tackled the beast. The animals stood near the doorway in curiosity watching the room transform into something similar to what they remembered just two years ago in their trek to Shawnee. I watched her in awe, more than once the overwhelming feeling of gratitude shooting like stars toward her for being such an incredible helper and friend. I thought about what it meant to have a person like that in one’s life and how selfless it is for others to give in this way. The gifts she was giving us were not wrapped in pretty blue paper or silver bows, but in elbow grease, patience and good ol’ fashioned work. It was the best gift I could ask for.

As the hours passed, the house began to take on the clutter-free transformation that had been holding us back from letting just anyone in the front door, from fully recovering from a tough day at work and for preparing for bringing our little guy home. The smell of dog hair and air fresheners was quickly replaced with actual cleanliness accented with Pledge, Windex and Tide. Dishes that lined the desk were quickly whisked back to the kitchen, dog toys tucked in their basket, laundry folded and put neatly in organized piles where they belonged. Two gigantic trash bags were promptly filled with more towels than any two people should own and shoved into Sarah’s car with the promise to tackle them over the weekend in her own home, despite her personally busy life. And suddenly, I was left with a home…an actual home that could appropriately be cared for and loved, despite the fact it wasn’t our dream home in Prairie Village. It took on a whole new meaning and a sense of responsibility and warmth filled my soul, reminding me that this is what it meant to truly take care of yourself and your family.
As she packed to go, warm tears filled the corner of my tired eyes and my limbs grew numb with thankfulness and relief. Not missing a beat, Sarah gathered her things as if he past five hours had been nothing at all, though she had given up a weekend night, time away from her “babies” and home. I tried awkwardly to make sense of the feelings in my heart for all she had done, yet none of the sentiments came. Though the following week we swapped towels for flowers and a thank you note, I’m not sure she’ll ever realize what a difference she made by selflessly donating her time to help a sister out.

I’m happy to report it’s been nearly a month and not once have any of Team Choate’s clothes littered the floor like the horrible habit we had once formed. Instead, only one to two loads are packed tightly in our closet and managed on our newly designated laundry days. Chairs in our room are now available for reading and writing thank yous or for Sully to crawl into when he’s feeling adventurous. And walking into our home means just that…coming home. What could be better than that?

Thank you, dear Sarah, for giving of yourself and the difference you make. You truly are a star. We love you!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly



Peering into the darkened sky and watching the raindrops hit the cooler-than-normal for July pavement, I went into one of those “woe is me in the third trimester” modes. Irritated with myself for feeling ungrateful, I made an attempt to tackle a positive and negative list and came up with the following:

THE GOOD:
The growing imagination: you begin to picture what the little one will look like, what it will mean to hold him in your arms and the miracle it will mean for your growing family…immeasurable contentment beyond your wildest dreams
The love and support: from friends, family and even complete strangers as they tend to your every need, provide sympathetic looks and use that new soothing tone you haven’t heard since you were a child
The smell of Dreft: drifting through the baby’s room, the hall near the laundry and at rare times, even overpowering the scent of the hairy children (dog and cat)
The nursery: each glimpse you catch as you dart past in the hallway, your heart tugs at all the blue, brown, plush and diapery goodness that sit perched and ready for baby-to-be
The lullabies: from Baby Einstein to Sleep Sheep, your heart melts and the soul softens at the white noise meant to relax and calm breaks the silence
Mommy bonds: frequently misunderstood, even ones you don’t know invite you into their club with secret looks, great tips and stories that touch your heart and make you excited for all that is to come
Celebrations: watching your friends’ and family members’ faces light up as they all make an amazing effort to attend showers, help you around the house and remain positive and upbeat day-by-day; they are providing for you and your growing family in the most selfless, immeasurable ways
Pool days: lazy summer afternoons take on a whole new grand meaning when you’re growing form is immersed in water and suddenly (and literally) the weight of the world is lifted off your hips and back…priceless…
Doctor’s appointments: you get to skip an hour or two of work when you’re most exhausted and nurses and physicians are extra humorous and kind to you, even when you’re on the scale; not to mention you get to hear life’s most amazing sound…your baby’s heartbeat
The return to yumminess: this far along, your fears seem to dissipate a bit and you know begin to “pick around the feta cheese,” slip in a Coca Cola once a month and go ahead and eat that turkey sandwich
Husbandry love: as he is more able to see the baby’s movements and your growing discomfort, he does more chores, is abnormally kind and may even paint your toenails; he has also learned the long list of “what is ok or not ok to say” at this point (example: mine is downstairs using Pledge and vacuuming even under the chairs)
Outfits: at this point, people are impressed with anything you wear, don’t expect heels and are satisfied even with a muumuu three times a week; don’t forget the bonus of being able to wear a swimsuit with it all hanging out and not feeling overly self-conscious for once in your life
Prenatal massage: not only do you get to lay on your tummy again for the first time in eight months, but someone is giving relaxing goodness to all your aching parts
Nesting: your closets, carpets and bathroom tiles will never be cleaner (well – maybe if you hire it out later)
Thank you notes: though you are required to write what feels like thousands of them, it is such a sweet reminder of the amazing people in your life and the graciousness they bring to your day-to-day
The glow: even if it’s just your Bare Essentials, you hear at least once a day “you look great – you’re glowing!”; I ponder – does this occur after? I think not!
Water and milk intake: for once, you’re healthy out of a complete craving; at the Choate house, we go through four gallons of milk per week and at least 10 glasses of water per day
Kids’ books: what are more delightful than words that rhyme, pictures that make you laugh and things like “Snuggle Puppy” that you have to sing in front of your spouse?
Cat naps at work: the dagger stares no longer exist if you choose to prop your feet up in a meeting room for 10 minutes; in fact – they kinda look on adoringly from the glass like the zoo
Belly touches: though not for everyone, it’s so fun to see the reaction on others faces and share that moment with them of all the excitement to come
Baby classes: not only do you get a dose of continuing life education, you are highly entertained by men attempted to diaper and swaddle
MomAgenda: sleek, chic and oh-so-fun it’s the perfect way to ease into mommyhood and stay organized (www.momagenda.com)
New sense of purpose: you realize that they were all right - that the small things no longer matter, nor do some of the big things...for your life is about to change in the most beautiful, moving ways

THE BAD:
New fears: from SIDS to labor pains, the stories come in droves and feed your brain during the insomnia-filled nights
Insomnia: evil hormones take over and keep you wide-eyed and wondering even after a 50-hour work week, workouts, nesting bouts and more
Craving for wine or “remember when we…” outings: at this point, you start to notice the sassy chics traipsing through the Plaza, staying out until the wee hours with their friends and going about life selfishly like you were just a year ago; did I mention they were probably drinking Pinot Grigio or a fabulous Reisling?
“You mean I can’t do it myself?”: no more pushing armoires, bending down to grab your dropped pen, bleaching the towels, or sitting just how you want in your office chair to name a few
Addiction to trashy reality TV: it starts with “Saved by the Bell” in the morning, strategic avoidance of “The Baby Story” in the afternoon and ends with “Jon and Kate Plus 8” drama in the evening; hey – it’s easier than reading a book, plus I got to meet my new bffs, “Tori and Dean”
No menu is ever big enough: you can order one of everything and you’re still hungry…or, it’s “not what the baby wanted;” it now takes 30 minutes and two reusable lunch sacks to pack enough snacks for before 11 a.m. during the work day
You can’t abuse your body anymore: lack of sleep, the wrong foods and all those other fun things make for more significant consequences than before
Purse downsizing: it’s no longer about the latest, trendy saddle bag that you spotted at Nordstrom; instead, it’s a cross-body little thing that can tuck into your super-huge diaper bag (note: you can still make it Marc Jacobs – bonus!)
Book choices: your adorable trashy chic lit books with bright covers are quickly replaced with pregnancy, breastfeeding and birthing novels with those scary graphics that almost deem them inappropriate for under the coffee table

THE UGLY:
Pinkies: tootsies that have to be painted by an 8-month pregnant girl who can no longer bend at the waist vs. a luxurious spa pedicure because you’re trying to save money for daycare
The growing belly: sure, you may think it’s cute, but you’re not balancing a watermelon between your ears and legs; nor do you generally witness the alien-like movements deemed “natural” by academics and medical folks
New trend in under garments: granny panties and over the shoulder boulder holders = not flattering, even on Heidi Klumm.
Increased frequency in trips to the powder room: there is no longer a way to get through a 60-minute meeting at work, a stroll on a beautiful morning or a quick boat ride on a summer’s eve
The waddle: though darling on the swagger of a rugged cowboy, not so much on a girl pinched tight into her maternity clothes slinking through the halls to loosen her spine
Changes in all sorts of bodily functions: we don’t need to go here; ladies – you know what I’m talking about
New home d├ęcor: instead of the latest from Nell Hills, you are now in a primary-colored haven littered with puppies, clowns, things that beep and more; your bed is also no longer made of the perfect throw pillows, but eight regular pillows (some without covers) and a body pillow
Maternity clothes round two: oh yes, there is a round two! When that “significant growth spurt happens, your doc ain’t just referring to the kiddo – put away the “regular” bohemian tops and dresses and prepare to go up a size at Motherhood
Breathlessness: unless you’re running a marathon, I’m not sure it’s normal for any woman to be wheezing or huffing and puffing at this decibel; there is also the case of the Breathe Right strips – since when did this become a requirement for we non-snorers? Oh that’s right…during pregnancy!
Whining: even if you do it in your head, your positive spirit marked with conquering the world is clouded with black thoughts of back pain, moodiness, irritation and the grievance of your old self
Your body is a tool: no longer meant for impressing, lifting, accentuating or flirting, your body is now a temple for the wee one (see “changes in bodily functions” above; at times you begin to wonder who it even belongs to…besides the growing baby of course
The cat’s revenge: now that he’s figured out there’s a new man in town, he provides lovely yowling tune mid-evening and glowing devil eyes in the middle of the night; he also likes to strategically trip you as you waddle up and down stairs
Stretching: though it feels like a million bucks, you tend to get a few stars when you’re tucked into the cat/cow position in your office or leaning over a toilet b/c it’s the perfect height to crack your upper spine; generally, your dress is hiking up inappropriately at this point too in the back, which is only accentuated when stretching

To all my Mommy friends going through this right now or having been there, cheers to you and your amazing acts of femininity and survival. And you were right – it is worth every second of the good, the bad and the ugly for the gift of a child at the end. Seven weeks and counting!