One Crazy-A Birth Story!

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Throughout my pregnancy, especially near the end, people would often ask if I had a birth plan and my response was always a resounding, “No!”

If there’s one thing I learned from my pregnancy it was that my life-long expectations were wrong. For some reason I was not the floating-through-a-field-of-daisies pregnant woman that I thought I would be. What the crap? Instead I hated almost every minute of the whole experience so the thought of having a birth plan seemed pointless to me. I figured I knew enough about birthing babies to know that my ideal would be a natural, drug-free, vaginal birth but I also knew that my only true goal was to have a happy, healthy, full-term, chubby baby. I got neither. Well, not exactly anyway.

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Turns out I was right, I didn’t know what to expect, and my body surprised me, yet again! What ended up happening was never even a consideration…

After 34 weeks and six days of a textbook pregnancy– like PERFECT…perfect growth, perfect blood pressure, perfect glucose, perfect EVERYTHING…my water broke, I went into labor and had a c-section for a breech baby that wasn’t quite ready to be born, here’s how it went down…

Sunday, April 10th— I started losing my mucus plug. \

Googled it: labor could start in 1-2 weeks…or it could grow back. “Ummm…what the crap?”

The 2016 I’mperfect Life Women’s Retreat that I host each year was scheduled for the following week! I had 13 women from all over the US, Canada and England coming to spend a week together, learning to embrace their I’mperfect Life. I could NOT miss it.

“Please grow back little mucus plug. PLEASE!”

At least we finished the nursery that day!

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Friday April 15th— I go to my 34 week check up and mention the loss of my mucus plug to the doc. He says, “Eh, don’t worry about it. This is your first pregnancy, the chances of anything happening are slim.”

“But I have a retreat that I’m hosting next week and I CANNOT have this baby before then. Is there anything I should avoid?”

Him, “Just don’t lift anything over 20lbs.”

“I will be walking a lot, is that okay?”

“Yep, just be sure to drink plenty of water.”

“What about sex?”

“You’d need to have a lot of sex in order to make anything happen.”

Me,”Okay, so no sex. Thank you and goodbye.”

This picture was taken that afternoon…

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Sunday April 16th— 7am- go to the bathroom.

Same day, one hour later– Either I got kicked in the bladder or I lost a little fluid. Not sure which since bladder control wasn’t one of my strengths at that point in my pregnancy, and although this was a little different than usual it wasn’t different enough to feel alarmed.

Monday April 17th— I tell my mom what’s been going on, she says, “you know…you should really go get checked out before you leave for the retreat, if for no other reason than peace of mind.”

“Yeah, yeah, okay, I will.”

I play phone tag with my doctor’s office all afternoon.

At 4pm the nurse tells me that the doctor thinks I’m fine but if it would make me feel better I could go to the hospital and they could run a test to make sure I’m not leaking any fluid and have me in and out in about an hour since the lab is onsite.

Okay, cool. I had a shit-ton of stuff to do that night, including pack my clothes for the retreat the next day… but since “it will only take an hour” I could spare that for some “peace of mind.”

4:50pm— I arrive at the hospital, go to labor and delivery, tell the intake person my whole life history, tell the triage nurse what’s up– she kind of thinks I’m crazy but also understands. I take off all my clothes, put on a hospital gown, lie down on the world’s 2nd most uncomfortable bed just to have the nurse make it worse by shoving a pillow under my right hip “to help the baby monitor” and then I stay there unable to move for what felt like, forever.

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The doctor finally comes in around 7pm, I tell him my story, he also thinks I’m crazy but understands as well. He does 3 tests. Most importantly the “swab test”– basically he stuck a giant q-tip up my vagina and left it there for one minute (timed) which might as well have been 45 minutes because it was so painful. **No lube on the speculum because it would contaminate the results…perhaps the worst pain of the next 24 hours…which, spoiler alert: includes labor! Then he does a cough test, basically looked at my cervix while I coughed to see if he SAW any fluid leaking, and then he checked my cervix to see if I was dilated.

Based on his exam he was sure everything was okay. Told me to get dressed and that he wouldn’t see me again because there would be no reason for him to see me again, and that the nurse would be back in about an hour to tell me the swab test was negative (after the lab checked it) and that I could go home.

One hour later…

“So…remember how I told you you wouldn’t see me again?” Says the doc as he hesitantly opens the door to the room in which I’ve been held hostage for what has now been almost four hours.

“Shit.”

“That swab test came back positive.”

“Shit. No. That’s not possible.”

“Well the other tests were negative, so only 1 of the 3 were positive but that one is the most reliable. I’m going to call your OB and send you for an ultrasound, then we’ll follow back up after that.”

“Shit.”

Fast forward another couple hours– ultrasound looks fine. Fluid levels are normal.

Doc comes in…”Everything looks good, your OB wants you to stay overnight and she will come in the morning to run some more tests just to be sure. It’s possible that the swab was a false positive, so you’re probably fine.”

OH MY GOD I’M STARVING!

I get admitted and sent upstairs to the “high risk” unit. Brett goes to the cafeteria (which is all but closed for the night) and finds me two, likely 12 hour-old salads, which I devour while telling him that they are probably going to give me diarrhea.

He leaves for the night and I try to get some sleep in the world’s 3rd most uncomfortable bed– basically a plastic air mattress with a thin fitted sheet which caused me to sweat uncontrollably all freaking night. (the first most uncomfortable bed was the one in the family unit, post delivery– worst EVER!)

Tuesday, April 19th, 6am…I’m wide awake.

The (presumed) salad has taken over my digestive tract and I feel bloated, gassy, uncomfortable and anxious to get the frigg out of the hospital because I have shit to do…like pack my clothes, then pack the truck with all of the retreat supplies, drive them down to the retreat house, unload, set up, and then go grocery shopping for 5 days worth of groceries for 15 women. I DO NOT HAVE TIME TO JUST LAY HERE AND WAIT!

9AM- My OB comes in…we laugh at this ridiculousness. She knows about the retreat and how picture perfect my pregnancy has been and…what are the odds? Etc. She does the same swab test and a couple others– they ALL come back negative.

But we’ll do one more ultrasound just to be sure.

12PM– the ultrasound tech comes in to do my ultrasound– everything looks great! Fluids are normal, baby is fine…the doctor will be in to discharge you shortly.

12:30PM– the tech leaves, I stand up to go to the bathroom because at this point I am having excruciating gas pains (which I kept to myself for the duration of the 20 minute ultrasound) and all I want to do is poop! As I stand up I noticed that my butt feels wet. “Eh, it’s probably just sweat from lying on that friggen 100 degree balloon this hospital calls a mattress!”

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12:31PM– *Pee

12:32PM- I go to pull up my underwear and think, “Ew…these are gross. I need a new pair of underwear.” Remove underwear.

12:33PM- I think to myself, if these are too gross to put back on, maybe I should mention it to someone.

12:35PM- I tell the nurse about my underwear. She asks for them, I hand them over.

12:36PM– the doctor comes in to discharge me and tell me that she wants to follow up in two weeks because the baby is measuring small.

12:37PM– the nurse pinches a piece of litmus paper between the crotch of my underwear.

12:37:05PM- “Honey, your water broke.”

“SHIT. SHIT. SHIT! No. No! This cannot be happening!”

All smiles, “Yeah, you’re having a baby today.”

All I can do is swear a lot while my brain is processing what’s happening. “The retreat. THE MOTHER FRIGGEN RETREAT! What the hell am I going to do? I CANNOT have a baby today. Shit, shit fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.”

The doctor, “So change in plans, we won’t be discharging you today.”

Everyone is being a cute and cheery at this point, because who wouldn’t be excited to have a baby today?

Um..ME! I would NOT be excited today. This is the worst possible day for me to have a baby. Of all the days, this is the absolute worst!

“I need to call my husband” who by the way is at home helping my assistant, the amazing Melinda, load the truck with all of the retreat stuff so we can hit the road as soon as I get discharged– because remember, until 2 minutes ago, everything was a-okay!

12:39PM I call Brett.

Him, “Hey”

Sobbing ensues. “Maaahh ahh ahh yyyyyyy water broke.”

“What?”

“Maaahh ahh ahh yyyyyyy water broke.”

“Holy shit” (according to Melinda who was with him at the time, he turned white as a ghost) “What does that mean?”

“That means we’re having a baby today.”

“I’ll be right there.” (We live a 90 second car ride to the hospital)

In the meantime, my doctor informs me that since the baby is breech, I’d be having a c-section.

Organized chaos ensues.

“When was the last time you ate?”

“Um…I had a graham cracker and 1 TBS of peanut butter about 2 hours ago.”

It is determined that I will be scheduled for a c-section at 7pm.

Some time between 1 and 3 Melinda came to the hospital so I could hand over the retreat binder, where everything is outlined and organized, and I talk her through everything she needs to know…as best as I can through some really fun contractions.

Side note: she is amazing and obviously someone I would trust with my life (IPL is my life!) so I had complete confidence in her, but I felt awful handing over this responsibility to her. Not to mention how sad I was that I was going to miss the whole retreat experience! I work for an entire year planning this thing. It’s my (now other) baby that I work on creating for 9+ months in an effort to birth a life-changing event for those who attend. I couldn’t believe I was going to miss it!

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By 1:30  I was in full-on labor, having regular contractions which made going through all of the retreat stuff with Melinda…interesting.

Despite the stress, I was remarkably calm. Lots of deep breathing and reaching up to hold on to the bed rails during the peak of my contractions. Because Joshua was breech they wouldn’t let me get out of bed because they were worried a foot might make it’s way to my vagina. Isn’t that a pleasant thought?  This made me afraid to cough, sneeze, or laugh, too.

Once Melinda was all set I was totally cool. Everything changed. I knew that things I could control were taken care of and it was time to just let go and be present. I was relaxed and ready to meet my baby.

Other than the fear of delivering a random foot, I wasn’t nervous or anxious at all about labor or surgery. My only real concern was that Joshua was going to be okay. According to the ultrasound that morning he was measuring at 33 weeks, and his head circumference was at 31 weeks (he was actually 1 day shy of 35 weeks)…which seemed very concerning to me since he had measured at or ahead of schedule at all of my previous appointments and ultrasounds. Ugh. In fact when the doctor was coming in to discharge me she was planning to schedule a follow up ultrasound in a few weeks to check on him because she was concerned, too. Ugh.

Throughout the afternoon the scheduled time changed from 7, to 6, to 5 to, “alright, as soon as Dr. Croche is done with her current c-section you’re next!” Presumably because Baby J was not going to wait to be born.

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Having a c-section is a really weird thing. It all happened very fast, yet in very slow motion. I remember everything– I was completely present.

I remember being wheeled to the OR. I remember the needle going in my back for the anesthesia. I remember moving from the hospital bed to the operating table– the very narrow table that resembled a crucifix.

I remember them draping me, asking me if I minded having an oxygen cannula, which I thought was weird. I remember hearing them count all of the instruments– 27. I remember Brett coming in.

I remember them telling me that they couldn’t believe how relaxed I was and I remember thinking, what’s the alternative? What else can I do besides lay here and wait?

I, of course, couldn’t feel them cutting me, but I could most definitely feel the movements of everything else. If you’ve never had a c-section before, let me tell you…it’s CRAZY. I could feel my body rocking from side to side as they did whatever it was that they were doing…you know, birthing a baby through about 7 layers of skin, some fat, a few abdominal muscles and a uterus. Apparently he was WAY down in there because at one point I heard the doctor say, “I really need to work on my upper body strength!” Based on what I could feel, I’d agree, because I could tell she was struggling.

Like I said, it wasn’t painful, but good gawd it was violent.

When she pulled him out and I heard him cry, it finally felt real. Up until that moment I was caught up in the physicality of it. Totally calm and just taking in the goings-on around me. But when I heard him cry, it all changed.

In an instant, I was a mom.

They invited Brett to go over and meet baby J, until that moment Brett had been behind the curtain at my head. He says he went over and just stood there, staring until someone finally said, “do you want to take a picture?” He already had his phone in his hand but none if it was registering.

He took a picture and brought it over for me to see.

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My first words were, “whose baby is that?”

He did not look ANYTHING like I expected. He was not cute AT ALL.  And had we not been there in the room the whole time, I would have suspected they switched babies on us. Of course, babies always look weird when they first come out, but he was exceptionally weird.

The nurse brought him over for me to see him. I looked at him…maybe cried a little and then asked if I could kiss him. Which based on their response, they thought was strange, like, “duh, of course you can kiss him, he’s yours.”

How was I supposed to know?!

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All I knew was that I was having a baby that was 5 weeks early, who last I saw, was measuring two weeks behind– I wasn’t sure what to expect, or what was okay, or safe or what.

Unbeknownst to me he was perfectly healthy and totally ready to be alive, able to breathe on his own without oxygen

His APGAR scores were 8 and 9 and he was strong and wiggly but oh SO TINY!  Born at 18″ 4lbs 15oz.

I will stop here and write a separate post on the NICU stay that followed and then another one on my first month as a new mom, because, WHOA!

But all this to say that I’m really glad that I didn’t have a birth plan because none of this would have been on that list. And despite the surprise ending to a picture perfect pregnancy, we did end up with a picture perfect baby boy…eventually.

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The Struggle is Real!

I’m happy to report that as of my last OB visit I had only gained ONE pound in 3 weeks. That is a first for me throughout this pregnancy as I have averaged at least a pound per week up until this point. Oy!

As of today I am at 27 weeks and 1 day, right at the cusp of the 3rd trimester…you know, when the majority of the weight gain is SUPPOSED to start. (oh please, oh please, oh please, let me be the exception!) So far this week I’ve actually LOST 2 pounds– not because I’m trying to lose weight but probably because I’m…I don’t know, finally getting this pregnancy thing figured out? Maybe?

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I am not a fan of being pregnant, and trust me, nothing has changed. People assume that it’s because of the weight gain, which I understand, but let me assure you, the scale is a very small factor in my misery.

Yes, it is hard to see the scale sky rocket– I’m up a total of 35lbs from the day I got pregnant  (45 from my lowest weight) and knowing that it’s not over is a bit tough to swallow, but the number on the scale is not the source of my strong feelings of dislike about being pregnant.

Here’s an interesting fact about me: I HATE taking showers.

I hate them so much. I realize that they are necessary, and that I must make them happen in order to, you know, not be dirty and disgusting, which has benefits of things like: not stinking, being able to make and keep friends who aren’t afraid to hug me, sexy time with my husband and hair that doesn’t look like I styled it with french fries– which let’s be honest, that’s the best reason to shower. But the thing about showers is that you’re trapped in a little box, unable to escape the water that is spraying in your face, while you do a task that must be done– even if it’s just to wash the grease ball on top of your head, never mind shaving and all that other stuff that sometimes occurs. Sure you can turn on the radio, sing along, or listen to NPR and get some education, but you’re still in a box for however long it takes to get the job done.

PREGNANCY IS LONGEST SHOWER I HAVE EVER TAKEN!

Seriously guys. Forget the scale– that’s just a byproduct of being pregnant, a result of the SHOWER that has taken over my life. The thing I dislike about being pregnant the most is the feeling of being trapped in a box, unable to escape the water that is beating down on me. I mentioned before that I have totally lost control of EV-ER-Y-THING…including my thoughts, emotions, sometimes my words, my brain power, my bladder, my sleep pattern and my appetite. On top of this, all I want to do is all of the things that I can’t (shouldn’t) do.

I miss my high intensity workouts (turns out I’m a heart rate junkie)

I miss raw vegetables (I have sworn off all raw veg INCLUDING SALAD since the most recent listeria outbreak in bagged lettuce)

I want to go skiing and ride my bike and run.

I miss feeling strong.

I miss training– for something.

I want to not worry ALL THE FREAKING TIME.

I want to feel pure joy, rather than cautious optimism– turns out, previous miscarriage is a real joy-thief.

I want people to STOP CONSTANTLY SAYING THINGS LIKE, “Oh just wait…” or “You have no idea, wait till baby gets here.”

I want to stop being angry about people who are just trying to help, share, relate, advise, etc. But I can’t.

I want to be excited about things rather than fearing disappointment.

I want to feel like me again.

I know that being a mom is going to change my everything, I’m prepared for that.

I know that I will not sleep well for the first ??? however long, maybe ever again– I remember sleeping with one eye open when we had foster kids. I know that I will constantly worry about his health, safety and development for the rest of my life.

I know that I’m not going to pop this kid out and go back to being who I was and living the life I lived.

I know that it will all be different, but at least I’ll be out of the shower!

If nothing else I’ll be able to eat a damned deli sandwich and salad again! I want Jimmy John’s SO BAD!

I don’t expect to go from pregnant to giving birth to training for a triathlon overnight, but just being able to ride my bike knowing that if I fall I will only injure myself will feel like freedom.

The thing is, I really have nothing to complain about– other than the weight gain which isn’t fun, but is also completely normal. I am having a text book pregnancy. I feel great! Though I expect that to change in the near future as I get closer to my due date. My blood pressure has been perfect. My 1 hour glucose test was perfect. Baby is measuring right on schedule. All is good. I’m just an angry pregnant lady who feels trapped in the longest shower of her life. (I’m laughing at myself as I type this, because come on…it’s really so ridiculous!)

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As for the weight gain, like I said, I think I’m getting the hang of it. I’m working on finding ways to eat veggies in a way that doesn’t include potential listeriosis. And I’m using this down time to work on making I’mperfect Life better than ever. A LONG, SLOW, WORTHWHILE, process…kind of like a shower…and being pregnant.

<3 Andrea

Baby M Update- 21 Weeks

As of today I am officially 21 weeks pregnant which means I’m over halfway there!  Wahoo! It also means that I STILL don’t have any control over my: thoughts, emotions, energy level, eating habits, sleep pattern, bladder, or immune system. HA!

The second trimester is definitely going much better than the first, energy-wise. Minus the holidays, gym renovations, and a 10 day stint of strep throat, bronchitis and a sinus infection, I have been working out (fairly) regularly– about 3 times per week doing a combo of boot camp and CrossFit at my home box, CrossFit Unite. I am modifying pretty much everything, but it feels SO good to be moving again!

24071123815_14426a64ed_zThe diet stuff however is…eh…so-so. I’m still struggling to eat my “norm” of limited starches/sugars and have definitely been eating more bread-y type-foods than I, and my body, prefer to eat in order to FEEL best. But I just take it one day at a time. Some days that’s salads and veggies and fruit and eggs and chicken…other days it’s pizza and Taco Bell. 

This picture was taken in the McDonald’s drive-thru. I DO NOT LIKE MC DONALD’S and yet, the day this picture was taken, it was like I had been possessed. As I was waiting to order, I realized that I was making this face so I took a picture to show Brett. Seriously, there was not one ounce of me that wanted to be there, to order a burger from there, or to eat anything from there. I LOVE a good fast food burger, but not from McDonald’s, yet this is what this pregnancy has brought me to. This a three hour quest for yellow cake with chocolate frosting– in detail, below…

 

 

I can’t help but worry about the weight gain– for several reasons…

1) My goal is to have the healthiest pregnancy possible. For me that means avoiding gestational diabetes, storing too much extra fat, maintaining as much strength and stamina possible and most importantly, delivering a healthy baby. 

2) No matter how much I KNOW that I am pregnant (and growing a freaking human) it’s still very hard to watch my body change so much while feeling like I have little to no control over it. This isn’t guilt or shame, it’s literally a lack of control over the physical changes– mostly due to weight gain– which, unfortunately, is NOT ALL baby, I promise!

3) Eating a REASONABLE amount of food seems nearly impossible– and if there’s one thing I know best, it’s food!

For example, I ate 1800 calories yesterday (the number that I’m aiming for each day based on my pregnant BMR and activity level on non-workout days) but after going to bed, I woke up at midnight STARVING and could not sleep because of it. Even when I’m not pregnant I don’t believe in going to bed hungry, or avoiding food when true hunger hits, so it’s not that I would normally ignore it, but this is a whole new level of hunger that I can’t even describe.

I was tired, I didn’t want to drag myself out of bed and walk downstairs. I wanted to stay warm and cozy and just SLEEP, but that wasn’t an option. I ended up standing in front of the fridge eating 2 left over meatballs dipped in ranch dressing– feeling like, physically, I needed to eat more, but I  had no interest (mentally or emotionally) in actually eating food. And physically, I KNEW that I didn’t NEED the additional calories, so I also KNEW that those extra calories would be going straight to the fat stores for later use. Apparently this baby can only survive on fuel that’s in my blood stream and is incapable of thriving of the stored energy ALL OVER MY BODY!! GAH! (Don’t worry, I’m smiling as I write this) :-)

Yes, I know that I will be able to lose the extra stored fat after the baby comes, but that doesn’t change the RIGHT NOW. That doesn’t help the health of my pregnancy, and it doesn’t make me feel like I’m IN control– because clearly I am not. Baby M has ALL of the power right now and he is very demanding! 

4) Eating the foods that I want to eat versus eating the foods that sir M wants to eat. This goes back to feeling in control– which I’m a huge believer in, when it comes to making choices that allow us to feel our best- physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

Another example, the other night I made a beautiful dinner of roasted lemon and garlic chicken, sweet potatoes and broccoli, which I had planned to eat with a side salad as way to enjoy a delicious, nutritious meal. BUT, as soon as I took the food out of the oven I was instantly repulsed. WHAT THE HELL LITTLE DUDE??? Out of no where all I wanted was a big hamburger– like a thick patty, grilled. No bun, or cheese or ketchup or whatever, just a thick, grilled hamburger patty. I don’t think I’ve ever craved JUST that. (this is probably why the midnight meatballs were what did the trick– a red meat craving for protein and iron perhaps?) Anyway, I had an appointment that I needed to attend and didn’t have time to thaw ground beef and turn on the grill and blah, blah, blah, so I ended up eating two baby bell cheese rounds and pickles. A fine snack, but not exactly nutrient dense. Grrrr!

5) Cravings– I have had very few cravings, so far. The burger is one of 3 that I can think of– the other two included a burger as well and yellow cake with chocolate frosting. 

 

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YELLOW CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE FROSTING ALMOST MADE ME LOSE MY MIND

Yes, yellow cake with chocolate frosting– and NOTHING else would do. The craving started on a Friday a couple week ago and I managed to ignore it for 4 days. It would surface here and there, but because I’m lazy, the thought of going out and finding yellow cake with chocolate frosting required much more effort than avoiding it all together. But by the fifth day it was consuming me– like LITERALLY consuming me. It was the craziest thing. I could not think of anything else. I couldn’t concentrate at all. I couldn’t even have a conversation with Brett without thinking about cake. I finally decided it was time. It was time to indulge the craving so I could move on.

We went to THREE different stores– drove 15 miles to find the RIGHT yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Chocolate cake, my usual favorite, wouldn’t do. White cake with chocolate frosting– oh hell no! YELLOW CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE FROSTING was the ONLY cake that would do. Period. 

I was literally laughing at myself because of the ridiculousness of the situation. I have never in my life felt so obsessed (that word doesn’t even seem strong enough) to eat ANYTHING, EVER. It was all I could do to wait the five minutes it took to get home from what ended up being the closest store to our house (should have gone there first) to take a bite of the freaking cake. 1/4 of the cake later, I was finally satiated and I slept like a rock that night. 

I think what’s most frustrating about the food thing is that I feel like I’m hungry A LOT, but it’s rare that anything really sounds appealing, and often times, things I normally love just sound repulsive. The times when my normal foods, like fresh veg, fruit, and cheese don’t sound repulsive, I make sure to get them in so I know I’m eating something nutritious SOME of the time, and the other times are filled with random shit, like pickles. 

One thing I am doing, that I feel good about, is drinking LOTS of water— because from what I learned on Thanksgiving, constipation ain’t NO JOKE. I’m fairly certain I now I have good idea of what labor will feel like, seriously. 

According to our most recent ultrasound (3 weeks ago) all is good with Baby M. He’s right on schedule size-wise, so YAY!

The best thing about being pregnant right now...and this is most definitely the coolest thing ever, is that I get to feel him move in my belly. That is pretty dang magical and something I promise not to complain about until he is keeping me up at night and kicking me in the ribs and bladder, then I will complain all I want! :)

 Here’s the latest picture of that little booger…

 

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“I” was Featured in the NY Post

In case you missed it, and you probably did because I haven’t mentioned it until now– “I” (quotation marks intentional) was featured in the NY Post yesterday. 

You can read it here. But only after you read the rest of this post below. I’m demanding, aren’t I? :-) 

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The food editor of the NY Post contacted me last week about being featured in an article about holiday weight gain. She had found my blog post from last year where I talked about gaining 20lbs during the holiday season due to many factors that were out of my control. Those factors included a brief pregnancy that resulted in miscarriage, and two major family emergencies that created environmental changes that were far from my norm.

I agreed to the article based on the understanding that it would be a health/wellness piece meant to help others manage holiday weight gain.

The article itself is okay, minus the dates being wrong and numbers being off– oh and the almost comical statements like, “She indulged her penchant for fast-food restaurant Bojangles’ cheddar biscuits. And there were also regular blowouts on Mexican food and family Italian meals.”  I’m not saying that those things didn’t happen, but I’d hardly call them penchants or blowouts, but whatevs. 

What really got me, and the reason I didn’t just share the post via Facebook, Twitter, etc., was the title: TAKING CARE OF MY FAMILY MADE ME FAT 

I cannot in good conscience share that headline with my picture attached without some sort of explanation. 

My first reaction when I saw it was, “I just became mother effin’ click bait!” (that was my selfish, self-centered, narcissistic response) then I thought, “what the sh!t? I got fat taking care of my family?” Um…no, that is hardly true, and completely devalues my relationship with my family and what I would do for them, even if it meant gaining 20lbs– which had nothing to do with them and everything to do with my personal choices– oh and water retention and doubled blood volume from the pregnancy. 

So why am I sharing it now?

Well, because want you to read it. I want you to read it and understand that just because you read something on the internet, even in the the news, especially a story about weight loss– that what you’re reading is meant to create traffic to the website in order to earn advertising dollars. (I’mperfect Life is not exempt from this practice– you can read my disclosure here) This means creating ridiculous headlines meant to intrigue someone enough to click on the article, having a dramatic picture attached to it makes it that much more tempting. 

Write yourown story. The one where your life is what you wantit to be (1)

Newspapers, online journals and other “news” oriented publications (print or web) have limited space in which to present the story they want to convey– this means A LOT of details are left out, leaving you to believe something is black and white, without any gray area, or info “between the lines,” as they say. 

If you were to read the article about me without knowing me personally, or any history/background you might miss the following:

  • that the picture on the left is from almost five years ago
  • that it took me three months to gain those 20lbs (not just a few biscuits and some Mexican food)
  • that there was a pregnancy involved
  • that I didn’t actually get back down to my original weight.

Weight gain and weight loss are scientifically very simple, calories in vs. calories out; but personally, for all of us, it’s very complicated. It’s okay to be inspired by other people’s stories, to feel encouraged, and to allow them to change your perspective from that of feeling helpless to hopeful, but please, PLEASE do not compare yourself to others.

Don’t take articles that talk about weight gain or weight loss at face value. Know that there is a LOT of gray area that has been left out. Remember that no matter how alone you may feel in your struggles, you are far from alone. 

Every one of those success stories you’ve ever read has far more to it that what you’re able to learn from a brief article. Don’t allow them to make you feel less-than, or leave you feeling like it’s not fair, or wondering why if they can do, why can’t you? You’ll never know a person’s truth from one quick article or news segment.

Don’t get caught in click bait, sensationalism, or someone else’s story wanting to make it your own. 

Your story is your’s and only yours, make it what you want it to be.

Love yourself for who you are, where you are; get excited about who you are becoming and where you are going. 

Focus on living your best, happy, healthy I’mperfect Life.

<3 

As an important side note: 

I knew going into my agreement to be interviewed that the Post is a tabloid, but I did my due diligence– I asked the editor lots of questions about her angle and read her articles online before committing. At the last minute, someone else did the interview and when it was over, I knew it wasn’t what I was told it was going to be.  In the whole scheme of things, the article is really no big deal. It didn’t make me look bad, it was just…kind of pointless and not the type of story that’s usually written about my awesomeness. #noshame :)

As my post (the one you just read above) states, my issue is that the article doesn’t do the topic any sort of justice. Weight gain and weight loss are very serious subjects for me, not something I like to exploit or sensationalize. 

I Might Survive This Pregnancy- 16 Weeks!

Just a quick update on how I’m feeling a little more confident about surviving this pregnancy…

1) I am officially 4 months pregnant. Those first few months sucked the life out of me and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be past the first trimester.

2)My diet has greatly improved– eating my favorite fresh veggies and fruits again (meat is still a bit iffy sometimes) on a regular basis and I finally have the energy to do more than just lie around on the couch all day. 

3) I have now seen all five seasons of Pretty Little Liars and have watched most of season 6…just since the beginning of this pregnancy.

4) Number 3 coupled with my non-stop appetite; my aversion to veg, fruit, and any lean protein, coupled with my actions mentioned above in number 3, I have already gained 20+ pounds…depending on the day. 

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Wednesday night’s dinner! Hoping this keeps up for a while!

5) I’m happy to report that I worked out Monday and today and THAT coupled with my new interest in things other than cheese and pepperoni with crackers, gives me hope that I won’t gain another 20lbs too quickly. 

6) The second trimester is supposedly when the weight really kicks in, so we’ll see how that goes!

7) I’m not afraid of the weight gain for reasons you might think, but that’s a whole other blog post, coming soon!

And there you have it. An Andrealand update in 7-ish sentences. 

<3

Love yourself where you are now, for who and what you are, and get excited about who you are becoming. 

Boy or Girl? I Have News! 15 weeks

I learned two new terms a couple of weeks ago: “Turtle” and “Hamburger”

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I know, that’s actually a cheeseburger but we’ll just pretend it’s  a lot of mustard.

 

Apparently, these are code names for penis and vagina…or boy/girl in ultrasound tech world. Two of my friends from opposite end of the country both had US techs tell them the sex of their babies using these terms. It is about the weirdest thing I have ever heard.  Since we didn’t learn the sex of our baby during an ultra sound, I didn’t get to hear either of these terms and I’m okay with that! SO. WEIRD!

Instead we got a call from the genetic counselor with the results from blood work that was done at my most recent old lady appointment. You can read about that HERE. And during that call she asked us if we wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl. 

Yes, yes, we do. And then she told us, using words that did not involve reptiles or food. 

It took us a few days to share the news with our families, but we finally got around to telling them the sex of baby M last Monday…in typical Brett and Andrea fashion.

If you’re wondering what I mean by “Brett and Andrea fashion,” this is how we told them I was pregnant…

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Aren’t we the worst?  

Seriously, we know we’re a bunch of weirdos but, eh. I guess that’s just who we are! HA!  We knew they would be thrilled no matter how we told them and didn’t want to wait until we saw them or try to convince them to video chat without suspicion. Besides, how do you decide who to tell first?  My mom, his mom, my grandma, my dad?  There was so right answer, so we took advantage of modern technology and told them all at the same time. 

Since that worked so well, this is how we told them what we were having…

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And now you know too. It’s a boy and we are super excited. I see a lot of overalls, bow ties, converse, and capellas in my future. 

Now to pick a name. 

PS: It took us two weeks to name Cooper.

Speaking of…

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This dog kills me.

The Emotional Roller Coaster- 13 Weeks

Dude. This is quite the ride! 

With the exception of a minor meltdown at Motherhood Maternity store last night, I’m happy to report that the lows have been less frequent and painful. Even the meltdown wasn’t too bad. I only teared up a couple of times and was still able to find joy in those moments. 

As I mentioned in my last post, the weight gain and body spread are definitely having an affect on me. While I know that I am growing a human and it’s only temporary and I’ll lose the weight after baby and it’s all worth it and blah, blah, blah…it doesn’t change the fact that when I look the in mirror right now, I see a body that is foreign to me. Four years of hard work and dedication seem to be disappearing in front of my eyes. While I know this isn’t actually true, it feels true and I won’t apologize for my feelings. I am nothing if I am not honest. I want others to know that if they feel this way, they are not alone. 

I don’t feel like this because I put all, or much, if any, stock in what my body looks like, after all, I am the writer of the viral post “10+ Reasons I Love My Ugly Body” but that doesn’t mean that I can’t feel sad when I see my hips, butt and thighs growing and getting mushier everyday. I still love my body, that will never change– without it I wouldn’t be alive! It’s just hard to watch it transform out of my control. Enough on that for now because there’s far more to be happy about than sad…

We got some wonderful news this week!

I had my 12 week appointment and my old lady appointment last week and both were just incredible experiences!

We got to hear the heartbeat at the 12 week appointment which was absolutely magical. A check mark in box number 5 of believing this is really going to happen this time!

At my old lady appointment we had an ultrasound to check the nucal transulency of our babies neck to check for potential genetic issues. Watching that little squirt bounce around in my belly was just…pure, unadulterated joy. I was laughing and crying and laughing some more. I couldn’t stop laughing. I didn’t want it to stop. When the doctor came in to tell us every thing looked good we breathed a sigh of relief. Brett and I both seem to be holding our breath a lot these days! 

Look! It’s a real baby! 

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This week we got a call from the genetic counselor to tell us that the old lady blood work looked great too! Check, check, check…deep exhale! 

Oh and we got to find out the sex too, but that will have to wait for a later post since we haven’t even told our families yet. But we’ll do that soon, I promise! 

Sleeping at night is getting harder already, mostly because I’m a back sleeper and I’m not supposed to sleep on my back anymore because of my uterus potentially cutting off the circulation in the vena cava, which brings blood back to the heart– kind of an important thing I suppose, so I’m thinking about getting a pregnancy pillow. Have you every used one of those? Recommendations welcome!

The dreams seem to have calmed down a bit which is nice, but I’ve experienced a bit of insomnia, so that sucks. I imagine that will get worse before it gets better and that I should just go ahead and get used to operating on less regular sleep. Ha!

The eating is still weird. The nausea is all but gone, however I just feel like I’m hungry ALL THE FREAKING TIME! In fact, I just went to the fridge, stood there staring into it saying out loud…”I should NOT be hungry! I just ate!” Then I realized that was four hours ago…but still! I haven’t done anything besides sit at my desk for the last four hours so how much energy could I have actually expended?  I’ll tell you, not much…even while growing a human! So I’m sitting here eating leftover enchiladas from last night, wishing I was eating an apple instead.

Do you know how much I LOVE apples? I L.O.V.E. them! I have a whole bag of honeycrisp apples (my FAVE!) in my fridge right now and I am eating enchiladas because the thought of eating an apple is repulsive

WHO AM I AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY APPETITE?!?!  I’m definitely having Brett’s baby! 

I am eating fruits and veg whenever possible, just not as often as I used to, or a least not alone. I can still enjoy a salad, and veggies in my eggs or as a side dish, but the thought of just eating an apple is a no go. Isn’t that weird? Eh. I do make sure I have some at least a few times a day, because you know, nutrients and stuff, but I miss being able to just grab an apple and go. 

Anyway, that’s what’s happening in Andrealand this week. Baby Matthes is growing and I am feeling better with each passing day-– good most of the time and a little “meh” some of the time. 

I may complain, but that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful. I am, I promise. <3

Pregnancy is No Joke! – 11 weeks

Okay, so I’m now 11 weeks pregnant  and I’m happy to report that things seem to be getting a little less overwhelming and dare I say, maybe even a little bit more enjoyable. 

The nausea…

The nausea is almost completely under control thanks to eating all of the beans, all of the time! Seriously.

I read an article all how HCG (the pregnancy hormone) causes the liver to secrete extra bile (the digestive enzyme that breaks down fatty acids) leaving us to feel nauseated. It’s essentially because the surplus bile that is being secreted when no food is present just sits in the duodenum (a part of the stomach) all by itself trying to digest nothing, making us feel like our insides are eating themselves. AKA, nausea, AKA morning sickness, AKA never-ending morning sickness unless you CONSTANTLY EAT— which is what I was doing at first, mostly crackers and other crap foods that left me with an immediate 10lbs weight gain AND wheat belly on top of the nausea. Fun!

The article said that the best remedy for morning sickness is beans because they are the best source of soluble fiber which moves the bile out of the duodenum, and doesn’t allow it to be reabsorbed/recycled in the blood stream, leaving our bodies no other choice than to poop it out! YAY!

I love science. And the human body. And the wonderful, common-sense healing properties of FOOD!

So, if you’ve been eating crackers or any other foods constantly to keep nausea at bay (refer to the reason this works above) or if you aren’t able to eat at all due to nausea, I HIGHLY recommend the bean approach! My nausea went away almost instantly with just a few bites every few hours for 3 days and just one serving once a day, since. 

Beans, beans, the MIRACLE fruit! hehehe  Seriously, read that article if you don’t believe me, or better yet, just try it and you’ll be amazed!

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The bonus to not feeling nauseated all the time and not feeling like I have to be eating constantly in order to NOT be feel like my guts are digesting themselves, is that I feel far more in control of my diet. I definitely have some aversions to things I used to love– things like SPAGHETTI SQUASH, which just makes me sad, but I’m eating more regular meals and fewer snacks. That whole constant eating thing was kind of stressing me out…A LOT! (more on that in a bit)

The peeing…

I wake up at 1AM every night to pee and then again at 4AM and 6:30AM. Almost on the dot.

During the day the peeing doesn’t bother me. I mean, it kind of does, just because I HATE peeing…always have, always will. It’s such a time suck and SO boring! Brett will tell you, I’m the worst. I will talk about needing to pee for hours and wait until the last possible second before I actually take the time to do the ridiculously mundane task. Yes, I’m a weirdo.

By the time this pregnancy is over, I’m sure I’ll be used to it but for now it’s just annoying. I HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO, YO!

The Sleeping…

Oh good gawd, the sleeping!

Actually, that’s gotten a bit better too.  

I had 4 days without a nap last week. That was pretty exciting! I even got some yard work done, several chores, a few trips to Lowe’s and spent time with friends. Of course on the fifth day I crashed and burned, but those four days were glorious! And I can’t wait for that to be my normal again. 

I’m sure fueling myself better is helping with the energy levels and I know that will improve with time too. Just trying to be patient— really hoping the second trimester switch will flip early…or at least exactly one week from today! HA!

I’m also having lots of weird dreams. My sister-in-law warned me about that and I told her, eh, I ALWAYS dream…and it’s true, I do. But these dreams are different. They’re no weirder than usual, but they last all the way until I wake up and usually continue if I fall right back to sleep– which is unusual. Not a problem, just…interesting.

The Pressure…

Dude. Being pregnant is a LOT of pressure. I mean, not only am I responsible for my life and the unborn baby’s life (which is officially a fetus, no longer an embryo as of today– high five!) but there’s this HUGE amount of pressure to do everything right, not just for me and for my baby, but for all of the other people are emotionally invested in this unborn child’s life.

I know how dramatic that sounds but it’s true. If I do something to screw this up– get too hot, eat contaminated meat, fall and land on my stomach, inhale too many fumes, accidentally electrocute myself, whatever…and I miscarry or have a child born with a preventable disability that I caused, I won’t be letting just myself down, but all of the other people who already love this baby too. Brett, family, friends…YOU! And I can’t help but think that I this is how it will be for the rest of my life. Worrying constantly about someone else’s life. 

It’s crazy, I know, but it’s true. And I’m guessing I’m not alone in this feeling either. Anyway…

The Weight Gain…

So I’m 11 weeks pregnant and have already gained 10lbs. Fun times. Not really. And more so, this is NOT a good trend!

You know that I am completely honest in my blogs so here is a dose of just that…

I’m not happy about this gain, especially since I was already 10lbs up from my comfy weight when I got pregnant. Between the wonky diet (AKA a lot of crap) and frequent meals, has created a huge increase in calories. I’ve been tracking and I’m averaging about 2,500 calories a day, sometimes more. That coupled with an extreme lack of even normal activity (sleeping and lying on the couch doesn’t require many calories), my body has no choice but to store the surplus as fat, because that’s its job. But I still hate it. My body feels so foreign…again.

I’ve gotten wider ALL OVER, none of my clothes fit, and my body composition is in the toilet. 

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It bothers me…a lot. Like a lot, a lot. BUT, I also know that because I used to weigh 328lbs, and was significantly overweight for almost 30 years, my fat cells are primed and ready, just waiting to expand. They know exactly how to store extra fuel for me and my metabolism is an expert at doing just that. So to think that I am going to get out of this unscathed is unrealistic. 

The way I see it is that I have two choices: I can completely succumb to this, throw in the towel and say, “oh well!” or I can do my best to combat it. My BEST.  

The thing is, if I’m not actively dieting and exercising, I’m gaining weight. My metabolism is a pro at fat storage and not so good at fat usage. Period. This is not a bad thing, it’s just a thing, the way my body works. I have learned this about my body and have learned to manage it.

However, because I don’t have the energy to exercise like I was before, and because I have new aversions to things like spaghetti squash and raw veggies and am eating more starchy foods like beans and oats (I have cut wheat for the month of November!) avoiding weight gain feels impossible. I mean, I know I’m going to gain weight, I’m growing a freaking baby, but I’d like to keep it to a reasonable amount, and not have to start all over again after this baby is born– or when he/she is 3 or 7 or 15 years old. Ugh. 

So, here I am accepting that weight gain is inevitable, doing my best with what I’m able to do to FEEL my best, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and remembering to love my body for what it does for me– which right now, is creating new life. And that’s some pretty cool shit. 

My only goal/hope/desire is to have a body that’s healthy enough to carry a baby full-term, strong enough to get through labor and delivery, well enough to recover, and happy enough to get faster, stronger, better in the future. 

We’ll see how it goes. I can’t say that I’m not scared, but I’m also learning to be okay with how things are right now and look forward to the future, whatever that may be.

The Joy…

I mentioned in my last blog-post that miscarriage is a joy killer. And that’s still true. For several weeks I was unable to embrace the idea that this might be a viable pregnancy. I’m still a bit hesitant to allow myself to truly celebrate, it is getting easier to relax and believe that this might actually work.  Although I have felt much more confident during this pregnancy than I did with the last one, I still find myself having a hard time committing to “when we have a baby,” wanting to play it safe with “if we have a baby.” It’s getting better with each passing day and continued onset of symptoms, but it’s still hard to let go of the fear and embrace pure joy. 

I have my 12 week appointment next week as well as my old lady genetic counseling appointment (that’s what happens when you get pregnant when you’re almost 40) and I think (hope) that will help put my mind at ease so I can let go of at least some of this fear and start feeling excited anticipation rather than just nervous anxiety. 

The Brain…

I was planning to end this post with “The Joy” but I decided that “The Brain” needed some attention too because, DUDE! My brain is in the shitter. For real. 

Not only is my brain not getting the amount of oxygen it used to get before it all started going to my uterus, but my ADD is out of control.

I don’t talk about it much, but I have really bad ADD (like a real diagnosis and crap) and usually take Adderall daily out of pure necessity. (I’m someone who avoids Tylenol, if that tells you anything) I take the smallest dose once a day, but it’s just enough to allow me to focus for a few hours so I can be productive and feel like I’m contributing to…well…life. However, because of the pregnancy I have chosen to stop taking the Adderall, and let me tell you, EVERYTHING is suffering. (Case in point: I actually started writing this post last week when I was 10 weeks pregnant and had to go back and update “10” to “11” before writing the rest today)  

The problem with true ADD (not just scatterbrain or a short attention span) is that it affects every area of one’s life, and when left untreated it can cause depression due to the inability to focus and function. I’m teetering there right now.

My doctor says that the decision to take meds during pregnancy should be determined by weighing the risks vs benefit. She said that if the ADD is affecting me in a way that causes unnecessary stress, then medication is the right choice. Most days I feel like this is a no brainer but at the same time I think, I’m not going to DIE because of ADD, I’m just going to constantly feel frustrated and want to crawl under the covers in my bed when it gets overwhelming.  That’s a pretty safe place to hang out, as far as danger goes. But it’s not fun.  

This is especially annoying because I have so many projects that I was working on before I got pregnant that are all just kind of dangling right now– the cookbook, the Lifestyle Makeover course, redesigning my website and several other things. I’m trying VERY HARD to be patient with myself about these things, doing the best I can with the VERY limited amount of brain power I have right now. I take advantage of the days when I feel well rested and somewhat capable of complete thoughts and get as much done as humanly possible first thing in the morning when my one cup of coffee is in full swing.

I just keep telling myself that like everything else in life, this is only temporary and I am learning to manage it as I go. One day at a time. 

How about you?

If you’ve been pregnant, what did you struggle with most? Food, fitness, relationships, work, family, acceptance, acne, weird hairs?

It’s amazing to me how different every woman’s pregnancy is. I want to hear about yours!

Tell me in the comments below, or share them with me on Facebook. <3

Commiserating camaraderie is welcome! LOL

 

 

Pregnancy is NOT what I Thought It Would Be– 8 Weeks

I always thought that I would be the joyful, radiant, full-of-life kind of pregnant woman. You know the kind with beautiful energy and a warm spirit?

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It turns out, I was wrong. The complete opposite, in fact. I am the kind of pregnant woman who does this…A LOT!

 

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THIS BABY IS SUCKING THE JOY, RADIANCE AND LIFE RIGHT OUT OF ME!

And it’s not pretty.

Back in my twenties and early thirties I would have TOTALLY judged a woman like me. I would have been jealous that she was pregnant and I wasn’t, and I would have felt resentful that she had the audacity to complain about it.

“What an ungrateful bitch!”

But now, here I am, 38 years old, 8 weeks pregnant lying on the couch (at least I’m awake for the moment) wishing I had the energy to do something, ANYTHING productive, with a mouth full of black feathers that taste like crow.

I am THAT woman. I am whiny and bitchy and hungry and tired and miserable– 24/7.

Instead of feeling excited and unstoppable, I feel like–

“What the hell have I done?”

And

“Good gawd I need a fricken nap! AGAIN!”

And

“NOTHING FITS! I’m never leaving my house again!”

My life has gone from “I can do ANYTHING!” to “All I can do is eat, pee and sleep.” And then feel guilty for only accomplishing those three things each day.

Who am I?

It has become obvious that all of the blood is my body is going directly to my uterus and none of it is getting anywhere else, including my brain. This fetus has taken over all of my extremities, my bodily functions and my mind! Not only do I no longer have control over when I eat, pee and sleep, but I have also lost control of what I think, feel and say. 

I have lost my ability to complete a thought, think of normal everyday words, discern between appropriate and inappropriate, and filter what comes out of my mouth. I am thinking things I never would have thought before, things like, “how dare you ring up my pumpkin before I swiped my Very Important Customer card,” while checking out at the grocery store, using every ounce of what’s left of my sanity to talk myself out of going off on the poor cashier because she did it in the wrong order.  

I am making posts and comments in social media that I’m pretty sure I would normally keep to myself. And I’m constantly fighting with myself over my OWN rules for living an “I’mperfect Life,” especially rule number 1– Forgive yourself when you don’t meet your expectations.

Hold on, while I cry about this…

HORMONES! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

Oh the tears!

But with the tears come laughter, because let’s face it, I’m being completely irrational and this is completely normal. Right?

I am pregnant and all of these stereotypical feelings and behaviors that I am going through are like a rite of passage. RIGHT?!??!  I am experiencing what 100’s of millions of women have gone through before me and 100’s of millions of women will go through after me…RIGHT?!?!

RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!

Gah!

Fortunately, for my sake, I am surrounded by amazing women who are so incredibly loving and supportive, even with all of my non-stop complaining.

Though, I feel pretty certain that if the roles were reversed I’d just want to shake me and be like, “Get your shit together Andrea! You are not some precious snowflake who is the only one in the world who got tired and hungry and peed a lot while pregnant!”

Maybe it will come to that. If it does, I will try to remind myself that they are right and not get all butt hurt about it. But, let’s be honest, the chances of that happening are pretty slim.  Instead I will probably cry myself to sleep under the covers with a sandwich and a chocolate bar.

One day at a time. 

58 down 222 to go!

But who’s counting?

Here’s hoping I follow the pattern of “stereotypical” and that my second trimester is wonderfully bright, energetic and full of productivity. Homie’s got stuff to do! 

26 days till the second trimester.

Fingers crossed.

But first, a nap.

WILL YOU BE JOINING US?
CHANGE YOUR LIFE IN FIVE DAYS!  ONLY THREE SPOTS REMAINING! 

 

The Drama Club Movie Experience, Part Three

Surprise! 

As I mentioned in my two previous posts (part one and part two) about my experience working as the on-set cook for The Drama Club movie, the first week was all night shoots. Our schedule was really wonky— eating breakfast at what would normally be dinnertime and dinner at what would normally be breakfast-time. (why is dinnertime a word but breakfesttime isn’t?) So when I was feeling really tired and cranky and bloated I just chalked it up to a lack of sleep, eating foods I wouldn’t normally eat (like a LOT of cookies and bread) and the constant frustration of not being able to find things in a kitchen that was unfamiliar to me, trying to do a job I’d never done before. Made perfect sense. 

I mean, my boobs had been hurting for over a week, but whatever…long PMS. Right?

On Friday (the sixth day of shooting and 13th day since I’d left home) I ate some bad pizza that made me feel awful. So bad that I had to run to the bathroom, thinking I was going to throw up. I didn’t. (I NEVER throw up) But the nausea persisted the rest of the night and into Saturday. 

Saturday afternoon I ran down to the gas station at the bottom of the hill (the only “store” in a 35 mile radius) to see if they had some Zantac or something…ANYTHING.  They had three rolls of TUMS and 2 single packs of chewable Pepto. I bought one of each. As the lady at the register (the owner of the store who also lived on the property) said, “you know what worked for me when I was pregnant? Papaya juice. I think I have some at the house, hang on I’ll got get you some.” 

Pregnant? I never said anything about being pregnant. 

Five minutes later she returned with two cans of papaya juice. “Here, drink them cold. This should help.” I offered to pay her for them but she wouldn’t take my money. I still bought the TUMS and Pepto…just in case. 

I popped two TUMS immediately on my walk back to the house and put the cans in the fridge to get cold. When the nausea didn’t go away, I filled a cup with some ice and poured one of the cans of juice over it and guzzled it down. Instant relief. 

“What the crap? I can’t be pregnant. I know math. This woman is getting in my head!”

Fast forward two days, the nausea was still around and I was out of papaya juice, popping TUMS often, and eating mini muffins constantly, to keep the nausea at by. I had to run into town to grab a few things so I while I was at Wal-mart I picked up a pregnancy test, because…maybe?

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the test. I mean, where I was going to take it?

“Do I slip into the Wal-mart bathroom on my way out? What will I do with this cart load of groceries? Should I go put them in the car and then come back? No. That seems weird. I could take it when I get back to the house, but what will I do with the wrapper? What if someone sees it. That would be even more weird. Gahhhhh!”

 I had to stop and get gas so after I was done filling the tank I got the box of two tests out the trunk and stuck one of them in my wallet then headed straight to the bathroom.

Now, when I say “bathroom” what I really mean is “hell hole” with what might have been puke all over the floor and toilet which also had a stack of several seat protectors half-stuck to one side of the seat, the other half hanging in the toilet, which may or may not have recently been flushed– it was hard to tell.  Apparently the this was the last person to use this bathroom’s answer to “cleanliness.”

I grabbed a big wad of paper towel, wiped down the seat and flushed the toilet.

You know, looking back I feel like this would have been a good time to decide to go somewhere else, test back at the house, or maybe just pee on the floor, because who would have noticed? Apparently I wasn’t thinking clearly because after I “cleaned up” I sat on the toilet (I’m too short to hover) and peed on the stick, which instantly…

  

 

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 What the shit?!

I was in absolute disbelief. And laughing at the whole situation. Now what? 

I tucked it back in my wallet (gross) washed my hands (probably making them worse) and walked back to the car. I got a ziploc bag from the unopened box that I had just purchased for the house and I stuck the used test in it and stuck it back in my wallet. I still had another unused test that I had to do something with and since I hadn’t been able to find my purse for the last 3 days I had no idea how I was going to get this stuff in the house without anyone seeing it. 

“Oh wait! I know, I ‘ll stick them in this little sunglasses bag that came with the $5.00 sunglasses I just bought to replace the ones that are currently missing…with my purse!”

That’s what I did. I put both tests in a little draw string bag threw away the box and drove away. Onto the next challenge…

“How do I tell Brett? Do I call him? Text him a picture? Wait until I get home?” 

I called him. Immediately.

The truth is that this story, the way it all went down is so “us” —take the most special times in life and make them as awkward and weird and wrong as possible and you have our lives together. 

I went into town the next day and took another test just to be sure…at Starbucks (a much cleaner experience but equally as unconventional) and sure enough… 

 

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My next trip into town I bought 2 new pairs of pajama pants and two pairs of baggy draw-string waistband pants, which I wore exclusively the rest of the week because my jeans and compression capris were so ridiculously uncomfortable.

This, coupled with the fact that all I wanted to do was sleep all the time, made it that much harder not to tell everyone. They’d never met me before so they didn’t know how badass I usually am. I just wanted to say, “I swear! I’m not lazy and I usually wear real clothes but…” I just sucked it up, hoping no one would judge me, or think I was a complete schlep. HA!

That second week of shooting seemed to last forever. Partially because I couldn’t (I mean, I guess I could have, but I wasn’t sure how to) tell anyone on-set, but also because I had to stop drinking and partying with everyone. A small sacrifice, I know, but still! 

I made an appointment with my doctor before I left California. And FINALLY got to get full confirmation three days after I got home, 11 days after I got the positive test in the nasty gas station bathroom.

So far so good!

After I peed on the doctor’s office stick, I asked them to please do an ultrasound so I would know if I could move forward with truly believing I was pregnant or if I should prepare myself for another miscarriage. Thankfully, they were able to work me in, and Brett and I were able to see that little blob on the screen with a little flicker of a heartbeat at 122 bpm.   

 

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SURPRISE! 

Based on my LMP, I was 8 weeks 3 days when the ultrasound was done, but because my cycles are long (and I know exactly when I ovulated) I was actually only 6 weeks 1 day as of last Thursday-– which is also what the ultrasound itself shows, size-wise and developmentally speaking. This currently makes me 7 full weeks exactly, as of today. I go back tomorrow for blood work and other fun stuff and I’m hoping I’ll be able to convince them to do another ultrasound soon so I will know if we’re actually making progress…or not. 

I feel like this statement I’m about to make deserves a blog post of its own…

I probably will write more on it later but I have to say that even though I was okay with my miscarriage when it happened in January, and have been okay with it since, I’m suddenly not okay with it now. I’m trying very hard to be happy and excited about this pregnancy, but I’m finding it very hard to do so because…what if it happens again? Ugh!

And because I don’t want to end this post on that note…

Here is a picture of sleeping Cooper’s sweet smoosh face with his wittle bottom wip, we all need a little Cooper in our lives! 

 

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