Top reasons to get married when you’re knocked up

So we’ve decided to tie the knot a la 60’s shot-gun style – minus the actual ‘shot-gun’ because everyone saw it coming and we’ve been together for 5 years now. It was probably not every girls idea of a romantic engagement but I have never been a very romantic person so this was ideal for me.  My family had decided that, instead of celebrating everyone’s birthdays – we go away as a family one weekend every year. We all pay our own expenses and there are no gifts or cards. The perfect group birthday celebration.

A few weeks before we plan to go, I emailed my boyfriend at work and said ‘hey, since we’re going to be in Niagara on the Lake anyway, do you want to just get married?” He replied “Sure! Great idea”. So now we are getting married next weekend. Just parents and siblings – no fuss, no stress and no Showers! Everyone can just relax – including us. Imagine a bride relaxing at her own wedding? That’s how I always thought it should be.

As the wedding gets closer I realize that I have the right idea – and everyone else has it wrong. Here are the top reasons to get married when you’re pregnant:

1. You don’t have to lose weight before the wedding – in fact, you’re not supposed to.

2. You can cry and be emotional all you want – everyone will chalk it up to hormones

3. If you forget your vows, say something stupid or have a you-tubeable wipe out – you can always blame baby brain and pregnancy loss of balance

4. The dress is an all-you-can eat affair. Empire waist and a big belly. You can actually enjoy the food at your wedding – and everyone else’s if they don’t finish

5. You don’t really have to hit the gym every day to tone up. It’s pretty much impossible at this point anyway

6. You can kick everyone out at 10 and go to bed. You are, after all, tired and pregnant

7. You’re eating for two so you can technically have 2 place settings

8. It’s acceptable to have a small wedding at this point. So you get to avoid most of the politics.

9. You can wear whatever colour dress you want – you weren’t kidding anyone with the white anyway.

10. Sorry honey but it’s been such a long and emotional day. Can we consumate the marriage later?

11. There’s no more pressure. You’re getting married AND having a baby. What else can they expect from you?

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Lost in the pregnancy haze

It’s certainly been an interesting few months since my last post. The baby now kicks all the time and it still surprises me. I wonder if anyone gets used to it – although we’re not given that much time to get comfortable with the feeling before D-Day arrives.

We still don’t know the sex but since the last ultrasound – the 5 month anatomical scan that produced images resembling Benjamin Buttons – I can’t help calling the baby ‘he’ which throws off everyone and they think we’re keeping the gender a secret. It’s sort of like the cats and dogs thing to me. I always calls dogs ‘he’ and cats ‘she’. That very graphic ultrasound made the baby look more masculine. It was probably too much visual information and clearly the little guy (there I go again) wasn’t quite ready for a cameo or close-up! Either way I was tormented for finding it very detailed and had nightmares all night that I lost the baby in an grocery store and went home without him (again… see?).  The technician seemed really offended by my shock at the pictures. Not sure why – it’s not like I was insulting HER work of art.

Right now we have the standard new parent reaction -we don’t care about the sex as long as he/she has 10 fingers and 10 toes. But seriously, when I’m alone in my head as I shop the shelves of Nine West I do worry that one day I may have to share my already limited clothing budget with another female. Boys can live in white tee’s and Levi’s for quite awhile. With little girls you just can’t help but dress them up and decorate their bedroom’s princess pink!

I’m getting excited but am seriously dreading the pain of childbirth. I wonder if it’s unmaternal to admit that?

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Motherly guilt has already set in

We have now hit the 19th week mark and I’m finally starting to believe this will actually happen. So it was with great anticipation that we went into our anatomical ultrasound on Monday this week. I expected to see the same fuzzy pictures we always see and was excited to see how much the baby has developed since the last ultrasound picture.

The technician told me: “You have very, very, very busy baby”. She also noticed the 3 fibroid tumors on the inside of my uterus and the one growing on the outside. I’m going to have a lopsided pregnancy belly, but I can handle that. The fibroids are putting pressure on the kidneys and I can handle that too. The kid is using one of the lower fibroids as a kickboxing bag and I do feel it. Another thing I can handle (payback comes later when he/she finds out they’re grounded, straight out of the gate).

What was a little hard to handle were the 4D ultrasound images they handed us at the end of the appointment. While we looked at the monitor in awe – we saw what we expected to see, what our friends saw with their babies and what we see in movies – that fuzzy ultrasound picture where, like a Picasso, you have to really concentrate to understand some of what you’re seeing. What we got were very graphic and detailed images of our 5 month old baby who was not quite ready for a cameo yet. Perhaps it’s my fault for strutting around thinking I was carrying the Gerber baby inside me and ignoring the fact that he/she has a lot of growing and changes to go through. The images caught us both off guard and weren’t at all what we expected. A little too much information at this early stage, perhaps.

So I spent the night tossing and turning and having nightmare after nightmare of losing the baby in the supermarket and waking up feeling terribly guilty and inadequate as a Mother – already.

It is truly a miracle that we have created this tiny little kicking being. There is no doubt about that. I can’t wait to see him/her again and am even more excited to meet TBD in the flesh. I think I just prefer the illusion vs reality, the fuzzy, “I can’t quite make out what that is” ultrasound images versus the Discovery Channel quality pictures that were handed to us on Monday.

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What was I thinking?????

Yesterday we had the first trimester screening and ultrasound. I was wound up tight – the last time we were here there was no heartbeat and a lot of heartbreak. This time we were so relieved and overjoyed to see our little creation on screen – moving around like a crazy person. What a relief! The ultrasound lady says the baby’s in a bad position. The tears start immediately and my upper lip quiver takes over. She slowly finishes her sentence “…. for me to see in the ultrasound.” It’s all okay and I’ve identified a gap in the market. Sensitivity training for Ultrasound Technicians.

TBD

Now the fun starts….

I’m really starting to panic about this whole thing now. I lied in bed awake all night realizing that I don’t know a single friggin thing. I hate snot – it makes me gag. How will I deal with snot? I asked my good friend Lisa who has been through this twice. “I could change the diaper of a grown man before I would deal with snot!” she reassures me.  I remember when my cousin cut her nephews nails in the hospital and chopped off all the little fingertips by accident! Stories like that stick with me forever.  It then occurs to me that  I don’t even know any singy song things for when the kid goes to sleep. In fact, I don’t even know the proper name for the singy song things. Right now I’m almost ready to call children’s aid on myself.

In the hospital two ladies in their groups had already registered their kids for nursery school and they are on WAITING lists! WTF??? I haven’t called anywhere. I’m pretty sure I don’t rightfully know what a proper nursery school really is! I was thinking we’d just drop the kid off in the IKEA ball room every day until he’s ready for school.

Friends are emailing me saying not to worry because they have all sorts of things like exersaucers?? What the hell is that? I don’t even know what the names of certain necessities are. This kid doesn’t stand a chance and neither do I!

‘They’ assure me it will all come naturally. It’s clearly a joke. They’re laughing their asses off because they all have the wisdom of those who have been in my shoes and made it through. Other people’s pain is always funny.

Last week I arrived at work looking like a bohemian Barbapappa. I blame this ‘in-between’ stage of clothing and expanding waistline. Sunday I went for a pedicure and when I pulled my pant legs up the ‘nail technician’ said “Oh, you here for a leg wax?” Again – Sensitivity Training for ALL technicians. The market just opened up.

Had I known last week what was going to happen inside my head this week – the fashion ‘don’t’ day and the hairy legs would have paled in comparison!

I swear I’m excited. I’m just starting to let it all sink in. I’m secretly in love after seeing TBD.

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Up a ‘cup’ and other contradictions

So now my boobs are getting bigger and the bigger they get – the sorer they get. So while your dude is thinking he just scored an has all of a sudden developed this ‘glass half full’ attitude toward pregnancy – it’s just a cruel joke. It’s really just God’s way of admitting Adam WAS partially to blame with that whole apple and the snake thing in the Garden. These knockers are off limits – hell I can’t even sleep on them so there is no way anyone but my ob-gyn is touching them. I recently received a big bear hug from a relative I haven’t seen in ages– if I had implants they would have shot out sideways out of my bra and into my cousin’s cabbage rolls. I almost fainted from the pain but had to smile and pretend all was fine (something I am becoming a pro at). This may be the closest I’ll come to understanding the pain a guy feels when he gets hit in the ‘no fly’ zone.

Morning sickness – great for weight control, bad for stress and productivity. Sure, it would be great to stay thin through this pregnancy but being thin means something is wrong and that causes the stress you’re supposed to avoid. You want to gain weight and you want to take your vitamins but how can you do either when you barfing up everything that goes down the hatchet? I blamed the strong side effects of the B6 vitamins I was told to take but everyone says it’s not the iron, it’s the baby causing the barfing. But I refuse to be ‘that’ mom who blames her kid for everything that happens to her.

A heightened sense of smell even a dog would be jealous of. Another great new sensory ride. Hopefully all you smell will be clean, soapy, edible or soothing. But be prepared for encounters with an unpleasant odor. They will have you gagging and barfing within a nanosecond of contact. Although my one cousin admitted to not being able to get enough of the smell of gasoline during her pregnancy. No one said this was going to feel normal, right?

Tip: Store your favourite perfume away during this period or you will forever be reminded of morning sickness when you wear it, which means you’ll never wear it again.

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Oily and zitty and dry, oh my!

So another thing that everyone forgets to mention is the teenage like acne that is in store for all pregnant women (consider this a warning). It certainly begs the question – is it pregnancy ‘glow’ or oily skin? ‘They’ use so many fancy words to make pregnancy sound wonderful and fun. It’s acne. Let’s call a spade a spade. So if I’m going to break out like a teenager, I’m going to fight back with the weapons of a teenager. Ladies- 2 words: Clean & Clear. I have their acne stick (for lack of a better word) in my make-up bag, laptop bag, purse and car console. Don’t leave home without it. It works fast and it pretends to be a concealer but it’s really a blemish blaster. Those suckers are gone over night. It’s the tool de jour for pregnant ladies. Bio-Oil. I’m still not convinced it isn’t just bionic vitamin E. It smells like vitamin E, same colour as Vitamin E so…. But I’m a sucker for things unknown to me so I bought it anyway. It promises to reduce scars and completely prevent stretch marks. We’ll see. I wonder if it might repair some of the evidence of my childhood scrapes and cuts. I’m going to put it to the test.

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I just want my brain back

I had heard a lot about the symptoms to expect and every movie with a pregnant women expounds the joys of morning sickness, hormones and inexplicable cravings. But what about the ‘baby brain’? That’s a big one. Especially for someone who’s a writer and also works in PR.

Case study 1: a crisis management session with my senior team. I came up with a brilliant quote for the media – off the top of my head. Rule number one -off the top of your head will be long forgotten as soon as it leaves the top of your head. Carry a notebook and write everything down. Asked to repeat this brilliant idea – I couldn’t. I couldn’t even remember what the problem was.

Case study 2: I filled my car with diesel instead of regular. No – it wasn’t easy. I had to create a suction using my hand while not so silently cursing the idiot who created this ridiculous pump that doesn’t fit into my gas tank!

Case study 3: I was late for work and trying to do too many things at once (which, it turns out, is more than one when you’re pregnant). I re-pierced a hole in my left ear lobe that had closed up almost 21 years ago. I wondered why it hurt all day and blamed the earring for not being real sterling silver.

I forget everything and that’s difficult when you’re trying to keep your pregnancy a secret… say from your employer. So what are you options? Fess up or simply be seen as dim witted? I guess the impending ‘bump’ will make that decision for me soon enough.

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