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no coffeeYesterday I had a delicious Chocolate Chipotle Chai at The Steeping Room, one of my favorite places in town. It was very tasty. And one of the stupidest things I’ve done in a long time.

I quit caffeine about a month before I got pregnant, because I realized I had to quit Xanax pronto. It’s a class D drug which means BAD for the fetus. So to control my anxiety I quite caffeine and exercised more. It was a rough transition, but it really did work. I had no idea how much the caffeine was contributing to my anxiety, insomnia, and general freakiness. I’d forgotten how much anxiety I had in the evenings (which is what habituated me to the Xanax).  I think the pattern started when I was in grad school and working full time. Have to be alert and functional, have to sleep. But I’m seriously glad I stopped both of them. Seriously.

So yesterday I have this chai, thinking no big deal. I’d had a cafe au lait in New Orleans to no ill effect (but I’d walked a lot after, so I think I must have burned it off). This time was NOT GOOD. Stomachache, anxiety, increased nausea, and about 5.5 hours of sleep choc filled with anxiety dreams about miscarriage, amnios, and breastfeeding in New York City with no burp cloth. Don’t ask, I have no idea what that was about. It’s the second dream I’ve had where the baby suddenly arrives and I have no idea what to do – I haven’t taken any classes yet on breastfeeding or changing diapers or WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO WITH THIS TINY NONVERBAL CREATURE. Am I worried about being under prepared? Maybe a bit.

No more caffiene for me. That stuff is whack. I hope I can stay off it post-birth, because I really think it’s bad for me.

bbandIn other news, this rocks. I can pull out my pants and jeans again and probably wear them for a couple more months. Yay! The one I got is called a Be Band and is available at Target. There’s a more expensive version by the same brand, and about a thousand other versions out there. Very useful, very economical.

And the first trimester drags on. And on.

I know there’s a lot of bitching going on on this blog. That’s because, much as I try to pad the truth, the last month has sucked rather a lot. The joy of pregnancy has been pretty much crap for me so far. While there are certainly women far worse off than me, I can count my daily symptoms thusly:

  • nausea
  • acne
  • more nausea
  • more acne
  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • still more nausea
  • bloating
  • constipation
  • mood swings (just ask David)
  • and some extra nausea

I’ve tried everything. Some stuff works temporarily. Some stuff works, just not all the time. Yes, I’m eating right. Yes, I’m exercising. It still sucks. But hey, I’m not vomiting, I have minimal aches and pains, and I don’t have to try and stay awake at a day job. So that’s good anyway.

This Thursday will be nine weeks, unless I actually conceived earlier in the month, which I think is highly possible. Hopefully the doctor will be able to tell me. This first appointment is going to be an audition for her. She’s been my gyno for the last several years, but that’s really about 5 minutes of poking and prodding once a year. It doesn’t tell me a whole lot about how she’s going to be with pre-natal care which is far more frequent and intensive.

I know a lot of women who delivered at the same hospital I’m currently at, but it’s also the other end of town from us. So I’m not married to the hospital or the doctor as of yet. I also need to find a doula at some point, but I’m not going to worry about that until we get through the next few hurdles.

I’m actually cooking dinner tonight. I’m so tired of eating out I overcame my squeamishness and made eggplant parmesan. Hopefully I’ll be able to eat it as well.

Marginally

Better. It’s so hard to get used to the utter unpredictably of my body. I think the B6 works, at least to some extent. This morning I woke up early (5:30am) and forced down some dry crackers. Good move. I think I avoided the worst of the early morning nausea that way.

Yesterday seemed to go like this: ignore feelings of fatigue – get sick. Pay attention to feelings of fatigue and rest – less sick. Today wasn’t too bad considering all the stuff I had to do. Didn’t get to fall into a face-first coma until well nigh 4pm.

My brother suggested white rice with ponzu sauce when I’m feeling ick. Holy crap, was he right. My ponzu sauce is not really authentic, it doesn’t have vinegar in it. I just combine low sodium soy, lemon juice, and a little agave syrup. Anything lemony really appeals to me right now.

Exercise is harder right now, mainly because I get tired and nauseated easily. I really need to learn how to just kick off early if I need to. I’ve always been very competitive with myself in exercise classes and it’s not serving me well at the moment. I’m supplementing with extra walks if I can’t do a full 1-1.5 hour class. I’m also being far too self-critical. Walking twice and taking a yoga class in one day is not bad when you feel like you have a stomach flu.

I’ve also taken up meditation again, long overdue. Exhaustion, stress, and hormones are a fun cocktail that certainly adds to the overall ick.

The rest of my week is a little busy, but I’ve been clearing chunks of time because I know I have to collapse at least once a day. Otherwise David gets to deal with the Meltdown Queen when he gets home, which is no fun for either of us. I’m a little worried abut Friday, when we drive 12 hours to Florida. But we’re taking my car which has much better air conditioning. It will be fine, as long as I have a lot of crackers.

While there’s obviously no rhythm to get into when my body is changing from moment to moment, I’m starting to get the hang of listening to it and responding appropriately. And right now, it’s saying, “Go to bed!”

Not so much

Yesterday turned out to be the worst so far, between exploding emotions and really nasty nausea. I barely made it through yoga. It’s a lot like motion sickness, any sudden or repetitive movements makes it worse. And so does heat. Have I mentioned the heat? Do. Not. Want.

So I’m hiding out inside today until dance class tonight. I’m praying it has the same effect as last week – it kind of got me out of my head for a while and I forgot I felt like ass.

I did take the B6 this morning instead of at night and fingers crossed, I think it helped. I was doing pretty well till a fierce bout of cramps, and a trip to the taco joint that entailed being briefly in direct sunlight.  But a nice nap seems to have minimized the damage.

Did I mention the most glamorous of symptoms? Excess saliva. I fell asleep on the couch yesterday and now there’s a highly visible spot where I drooled all over one of the pillows. Between the drool and emotional meltdowns, David gets to know me in a whole new way. Lucky him!

We're like tribbles

So I found out yesterday that another friend is pregnant. I now have two friends who are due within a month of me. Everywhere I go, I see pregnant ladies. I think it’s the recession, man. Going out less=more home-based entertainment. It’s either the Wii or the goat dance.

Notice the time stamp on this entry? Oh yeah. I’m blaming the insomnia on myself this time. I stayed up too late watching Hulu. Hulu is my nemesis. When I stay up watching tv I have a really hard time winding down. I haven’t had cable since David and I got together. This has been good for us in many ways, but I’m starting to think that mindless television is going to be just what the doctor ordered when I have a small person attached to me half the day. In the meantime, however, I really have to remember turn off the tv-computer at 11pm.

Dance class went swimmingly. I’m finding that pregnancy is much like having a low-grade flu or cold, just with different symptoms. My immune system is lower, digestion is slower, and I’m tired a lot. And it seems that just like with mild illness; the symptoms abate during exercise, and come back after. I’m going to stick with the dancing for as long as I can.

cheeseburgerI’m still trying to figure out the whole food thing. Eat too much? Get sick. Eat too little? Get sick. Until yesterday, I thought I was going to give birth to a squirrel or a rabbit. I’d been subsisting mainly on dried fruit and nuts. But last night I got smacked with a major craving: Cheeseburger and fries. Holy crap! Note to self, GIVE IN TO CRAVINGS. I felt like a new person after. And the fries craving was really as a vehicle for ketchup. Who the hell craves ketchup? Me, apparently. Mighty Fine was there for me.

I feel as if there’s this tyrannical, miniature, Napoleon-like being in my uterus issuing loud but unintelligible orders. Speak English!

Have I mentioned my skin yet? Probably not. Let’s just say ARGH! I love all-over-face-breakouts. I get this sometimes when I travel. It looks like a mild rash. I’m ready for it to be over now please. It’s easy to cover up with my beloved Bare Minerals, but it’s itchy and lame. I have pregnancy-safe skin stuff from my dermatologist, but it’s not doing the trick at the moment.

My asthma doctor switched my inhaler and so far it’s not doing the trick. It’s a steroid only, instead of the combo which had worked so well for me. I’m hoping the reduced efficacy is temporary, I seem to remember that steroid inhalors can take a while to start working. Otherwise I’ve got to go back to the doc and try something else.

That’s it for now. More minutae to come.

Fun with Food

Eating is a new adventure in many ways. The dietary restrictions for the gravid are myriad and confusing. No caffeine – except it’s actually okay. No alcohol, except some doctors say it’s fine. No sushi (whaaa). Then there’s the whole soft cheese thing. No feta, blue cheese, goat cheese, or queso fresco. Except if it’s cooked or made with pasteurized milk. Okaaay. No cured meats – except if they’re cooked. So I can continue to make quiche lorraine, for example. But a couple of my faves – smoked salmon and prosciutto are out.

The nausea thing is so far sporadic. I seem to get a wave of it around 10am, but if I gnaw on some trail mix it usually abates. Getting a handle on my insomnia helped a lot. Exhaustion and stomach issues are non-mixy things. Other random symptoms are headaches and insane tiredness, even now that I’m a bit more caught up on my sleep.

Mad props to my husband for strongly suggesting I avoid the endless napping so I can actually sleep at night. It worked!  I miss my naps which I love like I love  cookies. Hopefully I can sneak some limited napping back in soon.

My body seems to grow and shrink daily (except my chest which just grows). I read on the internets that this is normal, but it’s odd. My rings will be loose, and then I won’t be able to take them off. I had to give up my Walmart Bride ring because I was afraid it would get stuck.

Carrot_Chips
I’ve been working on the Ultimate Snack Mix for my purse. So far it’s a combo of carrot chips, Starbucks Fruit and Nuts mix (those little packets they have at checkout), more almonds, more cashews, and some dried mango. Carrot chips rule! Why did no one tell me how tasty they are?

I’m also addicted to Yoga Yoga’s tea. It’s got a tiny bit of caffeine in it and is very soothing to my stomach.  I’ve attempted to make it at home with limited success. I’m going to tweak the recipe a bit and let you know how it goes.

I tried a bit of my new prenatal yoga dvd yesterday. It’s a vinyasa series, so it’s fairly vigorous. The instructor is painfully sing-songy, but the exercises themselves are good. I’m taking less intense classes, so it’s good to have an alternative that’s a bit more ass-kicking. There is also a partner yoga section that I’m hoping to convince David to try with me. I’ve been taking hatha and prenatal classes at Yoga Yoga and I’ve found a few teachers I really feel comfortable with. There’s also a newer studio near our house that is stunningly beautiful. Big windows with views into a wooded area, it doesn’t get much more serene.

The prenatal class I went to last week was great. It’s really a cross between a yoga class and a support group. It’s reassuring to be with women at all stages of pregnancy.

I’m planning on continuing bellydancing barring doctor restriction, but I’m a little worried about my stamina at the moment. I took a three hour workshop last week and pretty much pooped out by the third hour. Tonight is my first regular class since I found out I was pregnant. Class is only an hour and a half, but it’s pretty ass-kicking sometimes. We also have a big competition coming up and I’m a little worried about my ability to keep up with rehearsals. There’s also the fuzzy brain thing – when I get tired I pretty much can’t put two thoughts together. I hear this only gets worse.

That’s the news from the couch in Austin. Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

On to week six

Yesterday was officially the end of week 5, and I’m officially getting morning sickness. Which is really random whenever sickness, accompanied by a weird sour taste that so far is only dispelled by rinsing with salt water. The insomnia is totally out of hand. What to Expect When You’re Expecting says women in their first trimester often sleep 10-12 hours per night. Can I have some of that please? I’m averaging 4. I tried really hard not to nap today in the hope of sleeping longer tonight, but I did break down and sleep for about 45 minutes this afternoon.

There are some emotional changes as well, most of which I’m finding pretty positive. My filters are a little low. Yes, I know I’m not exactly the queen of discrete to begin with, but I find it’s easier for me to stick up for myself and make healthy decisions about what to spend my time and energy on. This might be the result of  assloads of hours spent in therapy, but I suspect there’s a hormonal component. I’ve watched other women get a little mellower, or a little blunter, or more grounded when pregnant. I think it’s cool.

I’m trying to take lots of yoga classes, but I’ve always been a bit of a crap student in certain ways. I usually feel kind of exposed in yoga class. I get really uncomfortable if I don’t feel safe with the teacher, and I will put myself down if the person next to me is better at stuff than I am. How un-yogic can you get? Especially now, if I feel like the teacher isn’t meeting my needs I get seriously grumpy. Luckily, I’ve already found a few teachers I really like so I should be able to settle into a routine soon. I just got a pre-natal Vinyasa dvd in the mail and am hoping to try it out tomorrow.

Food was easier today. I had some nausea, but not too much. It’s worst when I’ve been outside for too long. The heat here is brutal. We had a two day respite where it was only in the low 90s, now were back in the 100s. Florida is going to be cool by comparison.

We’re both really looking forward to getting away and having some alone time together. We’ll be in Destin for five days and New Orleans for two. I’m hoping my stomach is doing a bit better by then, because the food in New Orleans is one of my favorite things.

I’m getting sleepy, so I’m signing off. Send me deep sleep vibes!

Sleep? Huh?

Sleep is an elusive thing for me these days. I’ve read (damn you interweb!) that insomnia is pretty common in the first trimester. But so is sleeping 10-12 hours a night. When does that start? Right now it’s random and unpredictable (which describes everything my body is doing, really) energy surges and exhaustion. I’ve just decided to go with it. I don’t have a set work schedule, so 3 am or 3 pm – not really that big of a deal.

Some of it is emotional, for sure. The first trimester is all about worrying that the pregnancy won’t make it. I’m looking forward to the luxury of stressing out about genetic testing.

Yoga is an almost daily thing for me now. I got a big Yoga Yoga class pass, and they have five locations and about a million classes every day. For any of my local peeps who are interested – I can take a guest to any class with me for free, provided they’ve never been to YY before. So hit me up, I’m going to a lot of Hatha and Restorative.