Monday, May 6, 2013

Springtime dreams, part 4

As the old joke goes, there have been mountains of pickles and tubs of ice cream consumed in our house (not at the same time). Shane keeps eating them. Some of the ice cream was meant for me but when it sat in the freezer for a couple of days without me touching it, Shane went ahead and ate it all. I realized last night that I really haven't been wanting ice cream. Or any sweets, for that matter. Salt seems to be my overriding craving. And Asian food. When I think about what I want for dinner, it's almost always something Asian. This baby wants salty snacks, lo mein, and Thai curry. The only exception is my middle of the night snack, which is almost always toast with butter and jam or jelly, courtesy of my MIL. Total lifesaver. I've been told that I look like "a toast zombie" while I sit there eating it, but what do you expect? I woke up in the middle of the night because I desperately needed to pee and to eat, then I'm going right back to sleep. Now that my brain isn't constantly shouting, "OMG YOU'RE PREGNANT!" at me, I'm able to get back to sleep very quickly.
I have been put in charge of meal planning now because this has forced a whole new way of eating on me. And because Shane got fed up with cooking something, having me eat it once and then shun it. I also used to be a three square meals type of eater, with maybe a small snack in the afternoon some days. Now? My stomach feels like it's about the size of a grape. I can't eat much at one time, and the few times I've pushed it just a bit too far has resulted in the worst heartburn I've ever had. Additionally, I need to drink more water than ever before, but I can't eat or drink at the same time because that overfills my stomach and results in said heartburn. At least the food aversions and morning sickness are going away.
Last night I complained to Shane that I have to take in enough fluid each day to drown a baby water buffalo. ("Umm, you know they can swim, right?" "Exactly.") He said, "You know, with as big as you're going to get in the next few months you might want to avoid any comparisons with large animals." When I laughed he added, "I'm so glad you laughed at that." I haven't really had many mood swings, but I think Shane is living in terror that I'll turn into a hormonal rage monster Hulk at some point. It's a little mean, but I find it hilarious. When he makes a joke and I laugh, he's always a bit relieved and it just makes me giggle that much more.

We've begun the long process of informing friends and extended family now. Shane called a lot of the people on his side last night. Not having phone numbers, I sent out a private FB message to my cousins and aunts and uncles (to the ones who are on FB, at least) since that would be easiest on my side. A few friends know, but others whom we want to tell just haven't been able to get together with us yet. Oh well. Slowly but surely the number of people in on this secret is growing.
Kinda like my waist. My pants already don't button comfortably. I'm trying to take solace in the fact that they still fit everywhere else, so I'm not actually getting fat. Just building a baby. Still feeling a little bad about it, though, since I know some women don't start expanding until way after this point (ten weeks).

For a variety of reasons, I started telling a few people at work that I'm pregnant. It's earlier than I intended, but the more I thought about it the more I realized this would be the smart, polite, and professional thing to do. For one thing, they broke protocol in one matter earlier, which put me in rather a tight spot. My boss is retiring this summer, which means that our office will be down to two people (plus some from the main office to occasionally pop up or fill in if needed) for the most part, plus one full-time student worker. So, there's a hiring committee being formed for the open position, and instead of asking me and my coworker who would like to be on the committee, I was assigned to it. And I didn't even find out until they'd sent out an email to everyone. The last time this position was open, it took about a year to fill because the requirements are so particular. So I had no chance to say something like, "Due to some personal circumstances, I think [my coworker] might be better suited to this," and then wait another month or so before telling them about my pregnancy.
In addition, there are a few duties which I alone perform, for my entire department. Such as purchasing. If I'm out for my full maternity leave (3 months), and I probably will be, there needs to be someone who can fill in for me and that will take time and training.
When my annual review came up and I had a one-on-one meeting with my boss, I told her and explained all the reasons why I felt that the chain of command on up would need to know. She agreed, although they can keep it sort of quiet. (If you think that the entire administrative office knowing, as well as the faculty council and the others on the search committee knowing is "keeping it quiet". About half of the people who work there will end up knowing in the next week, plus a few people that I'm close with and will probably tell soon.)
So, that's out of the way. But with the expanded network of people who know has come the advice. Not from friends, thankfully, but from older women who've had kids themselves. My husband called his mom one night last week to get the phone numbers of family so he could call and tell them, and ended up saying that we were headed to the Pub for trivia and to hang out with friends. About an hour later he got the text, "IS THERE SMOKING IN THE PUB??!!" (No, there isn't. I've been avoiding places which allow smoking since even before I got pregnant, too.) Ever since I told my boss, she'll pop out of her office at random times to ask me things like, "Are you taking a vitamin?" and impart wisdom such as, "Don't forget to drink lots of milk!" When I had the meeting with my department head, after she got over the shock (mostly due to, "Holy crap, how will we manage..." I think) she started giving me advice on how to dress for pregnancy! "You need room for your belly to expand! Why don't you have maternity pants yet?" (Because, although my pants are starting to get a little tight in the waist, I've still only gained about four pounds, and some of that has been in my boobs!) She suggested things like wearing leggings instead of jeans, making sure I don't have tight shirts (do I ever, at work?), things like that. It was kinda funny.
My own mom hasn't gotten on the advice wagon so much yet (thank you for trusting me, mom!) but she did sound nervous when she asked if we've talked about baby names at all yet. (We haven't, and won't until we find out the sex of the baby.) If she keeps asking, I'm going to start with Engelbert and move all the way to John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. What on earth does she think we're going to name this kid, Sauron? Chastity? (I did know a Chastity once. She got pregnant when she was 15. Seriously.) I do like less common names, but only to prevent things like what happened to my little brother: there were four kids just in his class, more in his grade, who had the same name he did. I once heard my mom say that they should have switched his first and middle names, but they didn't realize how common his name would be for that year. So we'll stay away from the top 20 baby names, but there are still a lot to choose from that aren't completely out there. (I can't picture myself looking down at a tiny baby and thinking, "Ah...Nicodemus," or anything like that.)

I keep picturing us having a boy. Perhaps it's because that's what Shane really wants ("I don't want to deal with a teenage girl, I barely know what to do with you!") or perhaps it's because, between our collective parents' six seven offspring, I'm the only female, but I just can't picture this baby as a girl. It makes me a little sad. I would love to have a girl. But, I would love to have a boy too. I guess all I really want is a healthy, happy baby (who sleeps!). Still, a girl would be nice....

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