Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A seat on the train

Yesterday I received my first pregnancy-related seat on BART. And no, it was not chivalrously offered to me by a handsome and attentive gentleman. But so optimistic of you to think that way!

First, some scene-setting is warranted. The train was outrageously full, for reasons unknown to me, because BART rarely shares. With me, at least. Perhaps I am not a good listener? So, yes, the train was short, but I’m not sure that was enough to trigger such a crowd. Anyway... very full train, packed in like sardines.

Please also know that I am perfectly happy to stand for my ride. I am as physically capable as ever of standing.

So there we are, jammed in, all akin to small salted fish, and my co-worker jokes that she needs to hold onto something because she wouldn’t want to fall on the pregnant lady.

And THEN. Nosey McNoserson wheels her nosey nose around and asks me, “Are you pregnant?!!!????!!!!”

“Oh, yes, but not very.”

“You need to sit down!!!!!!!”

“No, really, I’m fine. I’m really not very pregnant at all.”

“It doesn’t matter!!!”

At this point, she hauls a young man up out of the seats reserved for the elderly and the disabled (which includes the pregnant), and tells him, “This lady is pregnant!!!!! She needs to sit down!!!!”

I continue to object, but then Nosey grabs me by the arm, manhandles me through the crowd, and throws me into the now-empty seat.

I sit. It seems like the safer path at this point.

Nosey’s friend is now on board with the endeavor and announces that she works for the federal government and those seats are for pregnant ladies and it doesn’t matter how many weeks pregnant and those are the RULES.

Then Nosey scolds me, “You could faint. My sister fainted a lot when she was pregnant. And that wouldn’t be fun for any of us.”

Obviously, I did not apologize for my flagrant attempt to inconvenience her with my potential fainting.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

19 Weeks

19 weeks pregnant is a bit like a 19th birthday, I’ve found. There really isn’t anything majorly different going on these days. But that won’t stop me from turning same-old-same-old into milestones! News! Et cetera!

How big is the baby?  Well, the size of a large heirloom tomato, of course! And yes, that’s bigger than a bell pepper!

And how big am I?  Big:

Jasper was away last week, and I thought the fact that I pretty much doubled in size would come as a shock to him. But no, he remains unfazed by my dimensions.

Baby is still a complete spaz, and rarely does an hour go by that I don’t feel wriggles and kicks. Which leads me to our first (possibly only) question: Do we think the baby kicks when he/she likes what is going on, or rather when the situation warrants a great big thumbs-down? We are very much hoping for the former, because if not, this little dude is the most discontented baby ever. And that? Well, that isn’t the goal. I mean, obviously.

Okay, wait!!! We have a real milestone. Apparently, the baby heard me typing (no really) and decided to give me some news to report. We are now seeing kicks (and punches) from the outside. Through my clothes! Because of course I don't blog naked. That would be so inappropriate! And how do I know that we have both kicks and punches? Well, because I witnessed simultaneous action at opposite ends of my uterus. And if our baby has the flexibility to have his feets at opposite sides of my uterus, well, he didn’t get that flexibility from me. Or, needless to say, from his father.

Tallying up the numbers:

Number of times Jasper has felt the baby kick: lots
Number of people who have touched my belly: 6
Number of migraines this week: 0 (yay!)
Number of books the baby owns: 3
Number of bibs the baby owns: 2

Coming up this week: The big gender reveal. Unless the baby is shy. Which he/she has every right to be, but probably isn't. We are still betting boy. If you want to hazard a guess, leave a comment. If you’re right, the prize is that feeling of being right. Which is a really awesome feeling, am I right?

Picture of heirloom tomato: Baby Center

Sunday, June 19, 2011

18 Weeks

Baby growing continues apace, though what I’m about to tell you will be confusing. This week, the baby is as long as a bell pepper, from its head to its rump.

And you might be thinking, is that any bigger than a turnip? Is it smaller? Well, it all depends on your turnip. And your bell pepper. This is not a terribly scientific system of measurement, it’s true.

And, of course, how big am I? Well, I wore my most belly-enhancing dress to make this one exciting. Belly growth has really taken off:

It's a real belly!

As epic as my belly seems, however, I’ve discovered that I am still in a bit of a no-woman’s land, fashion-wise. Most of my clothes no longer fit, but I’m not quite rocking the maternity yet. It seems to depend a lot on the exact cut of a garment, and being a person who buys clothes without trying them on is proving somewhat less successful than in the past.

Today at the store, I asked a random very pregnant lady how in the world I was supposed to shop for maternity clothes -- am I still my regular size? She took one look at me and told me my size. She was mostly right. There’s some growing room, but being cheap, I see that as a good thing. And, as it turns out, it is my regular size; the belly part is just sort of an assumed add-on.

As my grandmother would have said, we got our education today. She and I were always getting our education on various shopping adventures. Not about maternity clothes, of course, but about things like thread count or baffles. She was always pleased when we learned something while out shopping.

So, back to baby-growing. By the numbers:

Number of clothing items the baby owns: 6 (Jasper went shopping!)
Number of times Jasper has felt the baby kick: 3
Number of people who have touched my belly: 5
Number of people who have asked how I’ve been, while staring probingly at my belly: 1
Number of visual migraines I have had this month: 5 (I know, right?)
Number of times I stopped to use the bathroom on an 8-mile run yesterday: 3
Number of times I will likely eat a baked potato or grilled cheese sandwich for dinner this week: 6
Number of days until Jasper returns from the East Coast: yeah, also 6

Bell pepper photo: Baby Center

Belly photo: Lauren Vigliotti

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A proper introduction

It occurred to me that in a few short weeks, we may be sharing with you pictures of our baby’s bits. And that seems, well, rather forward for a first meeting, wouldn’t you say?

So, in the interest of future social appropriateness, meet Baby Halekas...

8 weeks, 5 days:

Cute, right?

11 weeks, 5 days:

I know what you're thinking. And it's okay... You're probably noticing what we did. The baby kind of got less cute over those three weeks, am I right? Apparently this is COMPLETELY NORMAL. Our baby started to grow its bones during those weeks. (Hence the Skeletor vibe.) And it also grew an enormously large head in which to house its giant Halekas brain. (Hence the alien vibe.) As I said, COMPLETELY NORMAL.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just so you know

Yeah, this week the belly officially entered its awkward adolescence. Clearly evident, but not yet buoyant and joyous... more whoa-girl-really-oughta-lay-off-the-Taco-Bell.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

17 Weeks

I’ve received a number of requests for belly pictures. Do I have a cute little Hollywood burrito bump? Have I turned into a complete whale (yet)? Inquiring minds want to know. This is a completely understandable impulse and I do not judge you for it. So, here’s your weekly update on the logistics of the growing-a-baby project.

How big is the baby? Well, this big:

Yes, that’s a turnip.

And how big am I? Well, this big:

No, that is not a turnip.

Now that we have that out of the way, in other news:

I’m still sleeping mostly on my belly, but I think it may be time to stop soon. I can often feel the baby swimming about while I'm on my stomach and it makes me wonder whether that’s positive feedback, or whether he or she is swimming frantically about wondering why my previously spacious uterus has caved in. You know, like the garbage-compactor scene in Star Wars? I hate that scene; it’s very stressful. I don’t want to inflict that upon my unborn. All this is to say, I think I may be in the market for a body pillow to prop me into an appropriate side-sleeping position. Fascinating, right?

I have also become a less fussy eater, though I am still more fussy than I was before I got knocked up.

Things that are edible again (sometimes): cheeseburgers, coffee beverages (just coffee is still banned)
Things that are still inedible: most meat
Things I will choke down because I am a grown-up after all: chicken (Okay, only sometimes, and I only make myself take two bites.)
Things that are now fine, but used to be awesome: oranges, orange juice, avocados, strawberries, fruit smoothies
Things that are awesome today, but don’t strike me as having staying power: pie
Perennial favorites: potatoes, cheese, peanut butter

Nickname I might be calling the baby these days: Trout

Number of clothing items the baby owns: 2

Number of nerdy posters on the baby’s walls: 2
Number of books the baby owns: 2
Number of kicks Jasper has felt: 2

(This is getting weird, right?)

Number of miles the baby likes to run: 4-5
Number of miles the baby can run: 6.5

Time of day the baby is most active: 9:00 PM
Time of day the baby is second most active: 5:00 AM

Number of people who have touched my belly (other than my husband and my doctor): 4
Number of those people who were complete strangers to me: 1

That’s all I’ve got. Anything else you’re dying to know? Leave it in the comments or email me.

Turnip photo: Wikipedia

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Trail chat

I typically exercise caution around people who are carrying on conversations when no one else is around them. Such people are often unstable, and it’s best to avoid eye contact, so I do. However, sometimes it turns out these people have little phone thingies attached to their ears. Then I know they are tools, but otherwise (probably) harmless.

So, what does this have to do with me and babies? (Because weren’t we talking about babies around here?) Right, so, this morning, during one of my plodding little attempts at running, I suddenly burst out with, “Oh, look, baby, this is tree rain! It happens in the redwoods on cool, misty mornings like this. It feels like it’s raining and it makes puddles on the trail, but it’s not real rain. I don’t really know much about the phenomenon, but your dad probably does. We’ll ask him to tell us about it when we get home.” And then we do.

I am not exaggerating. I know you wish I were, but I’m really not. I said all of that to the baby this morning. Then I pointed out how nice the redwoods are, and how the baby is lucky to live in such a neat place.

Then we got to the part of the trail where it’s downhill, and the oak (are they oak?) trees drop their seed pods. I told the baby how Sarah J worries that I will fall on this part, so we have to go slowly, so that we don’t get ourselves into trouble with her.

Then we get to one of my favorite views, and I tell the baby how I love this view, though I don’t really know why, because it isn’t, like, the best view ever.

And yes, I am still doing all of this audibly.

It’s probably worth sharing at this point that, in my running clothes, I don’t look remotely pregnant. Even if you knew me, you wouldn’t notice a belly. So I can’t even pass as the cute pregnant lady who regales her fetus with interminable chatter. Would that even be cute? I’m not sure.

At least I’m not some tool with a Bluetooth.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Crafting #1

I learned to knit nearly 15 years ago, but I am still most resoundingly beginner in my skills or lack thereof. I can’t blame innate lack of talent. To blame is habitual lack of knitting activity.

But now that I am engaged in the production of a chubby-thighed baby (yes, my baby will have discussion-starting thighs. why would you even question that?), I have found new motivation to create homespun little articles of cuteness with which to draw increased attention to those thighs. I speak, of course, of baby leg warmers.

Baby leg warmers are, apparently, a trend among the baby-aged set. It’s no wonder. They are ridiculously cute. They also, allegedly, “knit up quickly.” That last assurance would apply to those crafty types who have knitted more than one hour per year for the past 15 years. Also to people who have ever used fine-gauge yarn, or three (four?) needles with points at both ends such that they surreptitiously drop all of their stitches when you are paying attention to a different needle for all of five seconds. I am pretty sure I am being trained to pay attention to multiple things at a time, so that my future child does not fall on his or her head while in my care. It is a very clever project, you see.

This is what they should look like when I am finished:

This is what mine look like now:

Not much, I know. But, people. That cuff is where the baby’s rolly little ankle of fatness will go. Did you just die? I know.

Photo of completed baby leg warmers: by Kate Sears, from etsy.com

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Baby like Beckham

So, I don’t mean to brag or anything (except that I totally do), but our baby is a kicking prodigy. Just a couple days ago, I mentioned how those maybe-baby flutters, skittering about the abdominal region, are confusing sensations. Well, I got sick of wondering (shocker) and set about to find out. Flutters, are you my baby?

On Tuesday night, when baby skittered, I placed my hand firmly on his skitters. And he thumped me. Two solid little thumps.

During the day on Wednesday, I repeated the exercise at my desk, and got two firmer thumps.

I was starting to think that my evidence was amassing to the point of being data. So I took it to the scientist.

As we lay in bed Wednesday night, the baby was being a wild thing. Swimming laps, kicking, punching, perhaps hanging window treatments to make my uterus more homey. I really couldn’t say. What he does in there is really his business, as long as he isn’t hurting anyone. Anyway, I told Jasper that while it was way too early, he should try to feel the baby. Skeptically (like any good scientist), he placed his hand on my belly.

Right on cue, a wallop! Not a thump, a wallop, smack to the middle of his hand. Perhaps our baby’s first high-five. Giddiness ensued among all parties. A very big moment given that, under normal circumstances, Jasper does not take to giddiness. Though I totally do, like, all the time. It’s a big personality divide for us, though it’s one we manage, mostly because he puts up with me. Things that make me giddy: sunshine, ice cream, high blood sugar, low blood sugar, running lots of miles, country music, especially pop country music, Reese’s fuzzy pants, Fridays, cupcakes, when Puppet gets the zoomies, cherries, heirloom tomatoes, surprise flowers, things to celebrate... etc. Things that make Jasper giddy (updated to reflect latest events): gimlets, dance music, baby wallops.

Jasper’s list of giddiness agents increased by 50 percent today. (And yes, I totally checked with him to confirm that I was doing that math right...)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Things People Don’t Tell You When They Tell You About Pregnancy #1

Okay, so this is probably not a universal pregnancy symptom (is there such a thing?) But I still can’t believe I had never heard anything about the fact that if you are runner, and you get pregnant, then running might suddenly make you feel like you are morbidly obese and will die. And that this will happen immediately, and not at all because you are carrying dozens of extra pounds around the mid-section, because you totally aren’t yet. It fact, it could happen before you ever pee on a stick! Seriously, who knew?

Feeling like I was going to die on a run was my very first pregnancy symptom, though I didn’t know it at the time, because I was something stupid like five days past ovulation. In other words, too early to even score a positive pregnancy test. So, I just thought I was having a moment. It happens. I mean, not really, on a cool and breezy trot around little ol’ Lake Merritt, but whatever.

For all you runners out there, this basically means that every run feels like a recovery run. Plodding, lead-footed, huffing and puffing, and oh-so-very-slow. And you thought morning sickness was the scary part of pregnancy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monkey pajamas

On Saturday, Jasper and I enjoyed an afternoon diversion of Adventure at the Target and going to see X-Men. The movie was very enjoyable. Recommended for vapid summer fun.

So, the Target. The trip indicated from the outset that it would be an Adventure when I got a migraine aura on the way over. If you don’t know what these are, mine look a lot like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1sXbdaIB-g So, already, what with half my vision obscured by sparkles, you know this trip to the Target will be an Adventure.

We started with some boring household items... a shower curtain liner and I don’t even remember what else because it was so boring. Then I saw the wallets, and I needed a new wallet, because Mr. Puppet had eaten mine the day before. I know: talented. So, I found a shiny wallet that might be yellow, or maybe tan, or even a little bit orange, and it was $4.93 on clearance and so into the cart it went.

Then I realized I had my vision back. And, seeing out of both eyes is typically so boring to me, but right after a sparkly aura, it is delightful and special and made me so much less cranky. So we got ourselves over to the baby section to see what they had going on there. There was a baby monitor that senses your baby’s most slightest of tiny movements and sounds an alarm if the offspring stops moving for 20 seconds. I mean wow. We pondered car seats but didn’t feel ready to pull the trigger on anything. Jasper wants an infant seat for his car, while I’m leaning toward a convertible for mine, because I think I am actually too lazy in the arm regions to lug the carrier-thing that gives the infant seat its main appeal. We looked at swings and johnny jump ups, and found our way to breast pumps and felt daunted and humbled. Then I spotted onesies, thank goodness, because onesies are adorable and so not intimidating. Like, not at all!

Disappointingly, all the onesies were gender-specific. And, while we know our little spawn is a boy, we do not yet know this, and thus must purchase only gear of the gender-neutral persuasion. But then we saw the monkey pajamas! Pajamas! With monkeys all over them! And matching hat! In tiny little newborn proportions! I died. If I weren’t already knocked up, those pajamas would make my ovaries ache. We also snagged us a hooded baby bath towel that looks like a frog. It is also sweet and adorable, but it’s no monkey pajamas. These jammies are our first baby clothes and I think I will love them forever and ever.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Quickening is a silly word

I think I feel the baby. Word on the street is that the baby, at this youthful gestation, will feel like butterflies on my tummy, or like soda bubbles popping in my abdomen, or maybe like my stomach growling but, you know, not my stomach. These tickly sensations are, in the parlance of pregnancy, known as “quickening.” Which is a very silly term and sounds as though it hails from the days of fainting couches. What in the world is said to be quickening? The baby’s heart rate is allegedly slowing from its earliest days, so I can only assume this quickening refers to his/her freestyle and if so, we have quite a talent on our hands, because this one quickens regularly and we’re still a bit on the early side.

By the way, for all you word nerds out there, the term apparently comes from Middle English “quic” meaning “living.” Which I think places the word’s origins solidly prior to the days of fainting couches. Fair enough.

So, are these feelings a baby? Evidence in favor of yes: they are something, something subtle, and most things that happen inside my abdomen are not known for subtlety. Whether I am hungry or digesting (and aren’t we always one or the other?), my belly roars like an irked baby grizzly. Also, these flutters tend to happen when we are lying in bed and Jasper is reading to us. Which is just so cute you want it to be true, am I right? Evidence in favor of no: remember the subtlety I mentioned. I could do with a kick to the ribs to settle the matter.