Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Confessions of a Slightly Crazed Pregnant Woman

Contrary to the URL of this blog, I am not one of those women who's "in tune" with her body.  I feel as though my spirit and flesh have a connection that is tenuous at best--I do my own thing, and my body troops along for the ride, usually a willing passenger and mostly compliant companion.  I blame this somewhat weak connection between spirit and flesh for my poor proprioception, slow reflexes, lack of coordination, and complete disconnect concerning anything remotely kinesthetic, but I also feel I reap some benefits.   

My body treats me well--I don't often get headaches, rarely get sick, have very minor allergies. I can take nearly any medication without side effect, eat just about anything, and put myself through abuses of long hikes I'm not in shape for without repercussion.  My body took to pregnancy like a slightly bloated fish to water: initial exhaustion, a few minor bouts of nausea and general ickiness, some back pain, but, all in all, it's been a pleasant walk in the park.  

Sometimes my body is a bad influence on me, though--like when I crave cookie dough and Jay, who is wearing his newly gained paternity like it's a tailored suit, walks into the kitchen and catches me with spoon in hand, guilt and sugar-drunk smile on my face.  Did you know pregnant women are not supposed to eat raw eggs?  Jay does.  I have told him several times that I am willing to sacrifice cold cuts, roller coasters, and litterbox clean up on the altar of maternity, but not cookie dough--I just can't.  To assuage my guilt, though, I finally looked it up online.  Turns out that while cold cuts can carry bacteria that poison the baby across the placenta, raw eggs just carry a risk of salmonella, which, while no fun at all, will only make me sick while baby happily bumps around in her water world.  (Okay, it's not smart, but it's a risk I am willing to take.)

Another side effect of being detached from my body is that I haven't felt much of a connection with the little dancing teddy graham inside of me.  Yes, my shape is definitely changing (my coworkers see fit to remind me of this daily), but every time I go to the doctor and see that funny little black and white silhouette or hear her whooshing heartbeat, I'm pleasantly surprised all over again:  there's still a baby in there!  Jay thinks I'm crazy and paranoid, and he's probably right: pregnancy isn't a condition that comes and goes, but I tend to feel mounting disbelief between doctor appointments that I'm still pregnant.

I always thought it was funny that pregnant women could confuse baby nudges for gas and vice versa--after all, a baby and gas bubbles are two very different things.  Let me tell you though, folks, it's a true story--one of my coworkers swears she could feel her baby move starting at 10 weeks; I didn't feel anything until at least week 19.  I finally had one day a couple weeks ago where I was sure it was the baby I was feeling and not just my digestive processes--she bumped around inside me like a little pinball for a couple hours.  

I had a hormotional day last week where I started freaking out because I hadn't felt the baby move in a week or so.  I almost called the doctor's office and asked if I could please come in just so I could hear my baby's heartbeat, but I thought better of it.  When I got home that night, I lay on my stomach on the hard floor (with Jay practically screaming "child abuse" and threatening to turn me over to CPS) until I felt enough protesting nudges that I could 90% convince myself that, yep, there's still a baby in there.  (And before you say I should have called the doctor, she was moving the whole time but I just didn't concentrate hard enough to feel her--my body and I are out of touch, remember?)

I may have done it again the next night, too--not because I had nearly lost it at work several times like I had the day before (cringe), but because I (sadistically?) liked the feeling of my baby's nudges as she was pushed into me.  This time, Jay just rolled his eyes a little and then came over, knelt next to me on the floor, and put his hands under my stomach.  We stayed that way for several minutes, sharing our daughter's little quickening movements together.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Preview...

...of what our baby will look like:

And here's baby "JayLin" all grown up:

 (Freaked out a little?  So are we.)

She'll make her debut in late winter 2012.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Home for Fall

My parched, withered, fall-craving soul was revived a couple weeks ago: Jay and I flew to St. George for General Conference weekend.  Every time we go home, I always promise myself I'm going to be more active and help out more.  Every time we go home, I veg and eat.  Seriously--that's all I do.  It's disgusting and wonderful: I gained about 4 pounds in 4 days.

Jay, on the other hand, was very active this trip (at least for four hours and thirty-nine minutes of it)--he ran The Marathon.  

We waited for him around mile marker 24 and cheered as he ran up to us.  Having this freakishly tall, grinning, sweaty guy beeline straight for me was pretty exhilarating.  

We hurried and drove to the end of the route, arriving just a couple minutes before Jay passed through.  I cheered when they announced his name over the loudspeaker as he crossed the balloon-arched finish line.  

Jay had injured his knees during training and wasn't able to get in the long runs he'd planned.  He wasn't in as good of shape as he wanted to be, but he was still determined to run the race.  He felt great until his knees started hurting around mile 11.  It was a painful final 15 miles, but he made it.

After the race, my brother Steve helped stretch Jay's cramping legs while I provided shade.  Looking at these pictures, you can almost feel the burn.

I thought he was crazy for sticking it out, but I was proud, too.  Jay does hard things.  He's an example to me.

We got to watch conference as a family up at my parents' cabin.  Here's the menfolk all dressed up for the Priesthood session:

The weather was perfect and the colors were unbelievable.  Here are some shots from the cabin's porch:

Autumn is by far my favorite season, and I have not experienced one in the three years I've lived in Texas.  I die a little each year as October rolls by with no change in weather or foliage.  And I sigh when, in February, the brown, long-dead leaves gradually stop clinging to their branches, leaving the sleeping trees half naked and patchy.

This one (below) was taken through an upstairs window.  Gorgeous!  I couldn't stop staring at these two trees the whole weekend.

We took a couple of panoramic shots from the porch.  Jay's knees never did recover quite enough to tramp around in the woods, but we soaked it all in: the nippy fresh air, the occasional rains, the gorgeous colors, and the crisp scent of autumn.

Every time we go visit Utah it is hard to leave, but this time was particularly difficult.  I thought Jay might have to drag me onto the airplane.  San Antonio is slowly cooling off--we're finally out of the 90's most days!  I'm naively hoping we'll have a couple of "sweater weather" days by next month...