The Opposite of Awesome

I was weighing myself because I’m pregnant and it was Monday.  I lead a very exciting life, I know.

Brian: “I wonder when you’ll weigh as much as me?”

Me: “What?  I’ll never weigh as much as you.  You’re always going to be fatter than me.  Always.”

Brian:  “Oh yeah?  Let’s see then.”

I write down my new weight for this week.  On average, I’ve been gaining about 2 pounds a week for a while now.

Brian then weighed himself.  To my horror, it was only about 3 pounds heavier.

Me:  “I don’t think so!  You didn’t eat enough for dinner!  Here, have this muffin.”

Brian:  “See?!  Only about another week and a half and we’ll be the same!”

Me:  “Hang on, let me pee and I’ll weigh myself again.  I probably have a few pounds of pee in here.”

Brian:  “But now you know how I feel!”

Me: “Please, Brian, tell me how it feels to be you.  Because this is so the same.’

Brian: “…it feels awesome?”

Me:  “Yes.  My swollen hands and feet feel awesome.  So does your baby’s head pushing on my cervix.  Do you know what that feels like?”

Brian:  “…the opposite of awesome?”

Me: “Now get in the kitchen and go eat some muffins.  But make sure to save me one.  Or ten.”

Fast forward to last night – another Monday night weigh-in.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s happened.  Brian and I now weigh the same.

He did an odd sort of happy dance.  I got into a sumo stance, pushed him over, and sat on him.

It felt awesome.

Hey, pregnant girl…

Hey y’alls.

In case you haven’t heard, my online shirtless husband Ryan Gosling is now my online shirtless babydaddy, complete with memes.  (Reposted from Today.com)

 

 

 

For the record, nothing is sexier than reminding me to take my folic acid.

If you’re Ryan Gosling, that is.

Riding the Moody Train

I think it’s time to admit it – this pregnancy has turned a corner.

I’ve been getting a little moody.

Usually, I love the heat.  I am a California girl, and I had been living in the central valley for the past 5 years.  I’m now realizing that what made living there in the heat even remotely bearable was that AC was pretty standard in both public and private dwellings – overused, even –  and because I wasn’t pregnant with an exothermic squid.

Recently, it got warmer here in Oregon than it was in my homeland, which doesn’t happen very often.  And we don’t have AC in our box-filled second story oven.  Result: I get a little moody, drenched in sweat, and exhausted from doing exactly nothing.

I’m starting to not see the point of clothing.  Or having to get up to use the bathroom.

The heat has also been causing my normally dainty hands and feet to swell like Johnsonville brats in a beer bath on the 4th of July.  In Hell.

I’ve taken to soaking my feet in ice water while doing nothing.  It helps on days that end in killmenow.

Speaking of beer baths, there’s this random cooking show that comes on TV in the middle of my day spent waiting for death, and today they were concocting delicious-looking cocktails paired with mouthwatering, listeria-laden deli meats with a side of E Coli-infused hollandiase sauce.  I wanted to punch someone and then put the entire contents of the show in my mouth.

In an attempt to stay alive, I’ve been trying to waddle down to our complex’s pool when it’s empty or nearly empty, which is never.  The water isn’t heated, but it’s still not cold enough.  Maybe next time I’ll bring down a tray of ice cubes to add to the mix.

I must say, being submerged in water feels pretty damn nice.  It actually reminds me of what it must feel like to be in the womb – all safe and suspended and weightless.  You’d better count your blessings while you can, Little Duck.  Cuz if being expelled from my uterus is anything like me having to heave my now heavier-than-ever body out of the pool, you’re in for some hard times, my friend.

I vote for staying in that pool until my due date.  It would definitely solve a number of my current issues.

Trying to sleep has been fun.  If by fun, you mean setting my feet on fire, mashing my calves in an electric mixer, and pounding a mallet on my bladder.  Either that, or by shoving bamboo under my rapidly-growing fingernails.  Either one.  You know.

The most interesting part is trying to turn my Moby Dick body over in the middle of the night without a) waking my husband, and b) falling out of bed.  The process is quite simple, actually.  Step one: wake up for the 1000th time to a full bladder, which isn’t really full, it’s just being squeezed down to the size of a raisin.  Shove my arms against the mattress in an attempt to right myself.  Try again if needed.  And a third time.  Waddle to bathroom, trip over the cat in the dark.  Pee – in the toilet this time.  Waddle back.  Gently lower myself into bed onto the side of my body whose hip burns the least.  Decide this side still hurts like a motherfucker (this word has gained new meaning since getting pregnant, btw), and begin the classic 8-point turn while holding up my belly with one hand, lest its dense weight slosh over before the rest of my abdomen, causing severe pain and discomfort.  Lastly, gently punch unborn baby back into a reasonable position that chokes my liver, rather than my bladder.  It’s not like I am using it, anyway (the liver, I mean).

So yeah, I’ve been having to waddle for quite some time.  I get it now, you guys.  My muscles are being stretched in ways they should only be stretched by Gomez Addams during foreplay.

And I know pregnant ladies complain about not being able to see their feet, and I suppose I get that.  My abdomen has never stuck out quite this far before, even after eating a few burritos.  But you know what concerns me more?  I haven’t been able to establish a visual with my ladygarden for far too long.  I mean, I can sense her, I know she’s there – but how is she?  I can’t tend to her anymore (because god knows I am not even going to attempt to approach with anything sharp with the aid of a mirror – everything being backwards and objects larger than they appear…), and that makes me sad.  She’s about to go through her biggest performance to date and she won’t even look her best (leading up to it, anyway).

I’m sorry, my dear friend.  You’re on your own now.  I’ll see you on the other side.

Psychos, I’ll leave you with a memento of happier times before The Fall.  This was taken several weeks ago when my list of ailments was considerably shorter.

AAF_0250

 

A Crazy Good Beverage Container

20140617-151253-54773338.jpg

Lookit what I got for writing a post on Crazy Good Parent!  Thanks, Janice!

That’s right, now I can consume schnapps-flavored coffee during 2am feedings and no one will be the wiser.  No one.

If you missed my guest post, be sure to check it out.

And now we’ll return to our regularly scheduled pregnancy nap.

 

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Lady

Hey, this is Brian.

Yup, the husband-of-a-pregnant-blogger-Melissa Brian.

I’m here to school all the partners of pregnant ladies so that they get through the experience relatively unscathed.

Can you believe Melissa actually let me on here to write my very own post?

Yeah, neither can I…because this is Melissa, and I am writing this from Brian’s point of view with his general oversight and mild approval.  Learn from these tales, my friends.

 Brunch-tastic

I decided to wait to eat breakfast on this lovely Sunday morning, opting for brunch instead.  Of course, Melissa wolfed down two bowls of cereal and about ten lemon poppyseed muffins before I even got out of bed, so I figured she’d be good for a while.

I walk into the room with my beautifully prepared brunch and I see that she’s on her computer.  I sit down next to her.  She looks up expectantly.  “What’s that?”

I paused, realizing my mistake too late.  Could I still get away?  Maybe I could pretend that I didn’t hear her.

I faced my fate head-on: “Uh…it’s a sandwich.  Made with this delicious bagel, pesto, lettuce…and from diseased deli meat and unpasteurized cheese.”

At Melissa’s rageful silence, I got up and backed away slowly, and once I was a safe distance away, I threw another muffin at her for good measure.

 The Hangry Plan

Pregnant ladies have gold medals in being hangry, so Melissa and I have learned to try and plan for the worst when we go out shopping or to run some errands.  We bring water and snacks, and we also conjure up contingency plans, especially since she’ll be less able to run and defend herself in the event of a zombie apocalypse breaking out mid-outing.

For this particular outing, I wanted to go clothes shopping, and I gave Melissa the option of staying home, but she insisted on getting out of the apartment.

Melissa: “If I get hangry, just drop me at Cinnabon.”

Me: “You mean when you get hangry.”

Pregnant glare.

Me: “And we may have to think of somewhere else, because they went out of business.”

Wide-eyed, panicked Melissa: “What?!”

Me, making sure I was more than an arm’s length away: “Ha, just kidding.  You totally believed me!”

Melissa: “You are dead to me.”

 

The Sperm Whale

We’re at the doctor’s office, and Melissa has some fetal heart monitors strapped to her belly to check some things out.  Everything was awesome, and when they took the monitors off, they had made two round impressions on her very pregnant belly.

As Melissa was getting dressed, I giggled.

Melissa: “What?”

Me: “Nothing, it’s just that you reminded me of a sperm whale.”

Melissa, her tone of voice flat-lining: “…a whatnow?”

Me, as I point to her belly: “You know, the sperm whale surfaces and the squid has been attacking it, and you can see where the squid’s suction cups were stuck to the whale.”

Melissa: “And that makes me a sperm whale?”

Me: “…a small, cute one!”

Melissa: “You know what else sperm whales can do?”

And without waiting for an answer, she sat on me.

 

The Jungle Cat

It’s 6 in the morning, and Melissa got up with me because she couldn’t sleep, so she was naturally hungry again.  But also because she loves me madly and couldn’t bear to miss seeing me off to work.  As you recall from previous blog posts, it’s my responsibility to feed the meowing, howling cat at this time of day.

After spending a few minutes in the bathroom doing disgusting boy things, I entered the kitchen and threw some kibble in the cat’s bowl.  The howling stopped, replaced by sounds of frantic gulping as she turned all of her attention to her food bowl.  I looked up and realized that my cat and pregnant wife mirrored each other – each were hunched over their food in intense focus, like jungle cats tearing their fresh prey apart.  Melissa even had on adorable cheetah print skivvies.

Foolishly, I reached over and patted Melissa’s bum.  “You’re like a cheetah!” I told her. And then I growled for good measure.

Melissa looked up from her peanut butter and jelly topped onion bagel.  “Huh?!” she said with her mouth full.

I pointed at her underwear and growled again.

She looked down and then quickly looked back up.  “Yeah, I can’t see what underwear I am wearing from this angle.  Thanks.”

“Well…it looks fabulous!”

And then I threw another muffin and ran away.

 

How I Combat The Crazy

Heyo, Psychos!

I wrote a fabulous guest post on Crazy Good Parent!!  Please go check it out here.

Thanks so much to Janice for allowing me to share my story about how cancer, yoga, and impending parenthood are all intertwined for me.

My feelings are not to be fixed

Unsolicited advice really doesn’t help.

In fact, it’s always made me feel worse.

A lot of people refer to my job as a professional advice-giver, which really misses the mark.  I’ve often had clients come in and expect direct advice – they’ve even asked me straight up what I think they should do. I get that with some cultures, this is the expectation of coming to see an expert.  Others just desperately want “the answers” (whatever those are), they want a quick solution, and they are afraid or not ready to put in the work to get there on their own.

I always pull back and slow down when a client asks me for advice.  Sometimes I’ll ask why they are wanting to be told what to do, because often their answer reveals a lot about their world view.

And then I lay it right out for them.  I explain that, while I’ve gone through training and I am qualified to help, I don’t know all the answers.  And I certainly don’t know what’s best for one particular person from Adam.  Sure, I have my own opinions, but I see clients for typically only one hour per week, and each client is really the expert on their life – they know better than anyone what may help and what won’t.  Most importantly, a client has to live with whatever consequences their decisions bring, and that’s why they should be making these decisions – not me.  My job is simply to help them make that decision, whatever it is.

And all that is just for advice that was actually invited.

I got onto this topic because 1) It’s one of my biggest pet peeves ever, and 2) Being pregnant seems to invite unsolicited advice, like a lot, and 3) I revisited a comment I made on a similar post, Tolerating Sadness:

I hadn’t really thought about it before, but I do hesitate to post sadder things on Facebook, mostly because I don’t want unsolicited advice or the other unwanted phrases I mentioned in the post. I don’t want to feel judged, dismissed when my sadness makes people uncomfortable. What a shame.

Number 1 is just me, and I tend to not like to be told what to do, unless I am specifically asking for help.

Number 2 is, in my opinion, an example of the (horrible) concept that a woman’s body and sexuality is everyone’s business and is to be regulated.  Do we ask men how their erectile dysfunction is going today?  No.  Do we inquire about the state of their prostate?  No.  Do we give random advice about how to get their sperm count up?  I seriously doubt it.  I could be wrong about this, since I am not a man, but I do know that women’s bodies are more regulated than men’s due to the fact that men have no trouble getting Viagra and penis pumps covered by their insurance, while women have trouble getting birth control and access to safe abortions without unnecessary ultrasounds in some states.  But I digress – this could be a whole other string of ranty posts.

Pregnancy, once a woman starts showing, is also a very obvious, visible condition, and I think this contributes to women getting unsolicited advice from strangers, not to mention getting their personal space violated. (By the way, always ask a pregnant lady if you can touch her belly BEFORE you touch it.  And if she says no, then don’t.  Please.)

Back to the advice-giving.  It all boils down to the fact that advice serves to help the advice giver, not the recipient.  I’ve found that when I am expressing some aspect of my life and feelings that is less than optimal, (sadness, frustration, fear, some icky pregnancy side effect, etc.) that sometimes creates feelings of discomfort in the listener.  One way people try to alleviate that discomfort is to give advice as a means of maybe fixing the problem, or at the very least, feeling like they’ve helped and thus the uncomfortable-feelings-burden has been passed back to me.

Let me be clear.  When I am expressing discomfort, it is not my intention to pass a burden onto the listener to fix my problem.  If you feel discomfort while listening to me, please know that means that you care, you’re tuned into me, and that’s awesome.  Seriously.  But please, don’t take on my discomfort as your own.  It’s not yours to carry.  And it hurts my feelings when you try to deflect the discomfort with advice.  My feelings are not yours to fix.

What I would like instead is empathy.  I know you already feel it for me, hence the advice-giving.  So, instead of covering up empathy with advice, try to give a voice to it.

I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

My heart aches for you.

I wish I could make your pain go away.

Let me know if there’s anything I can do.

These sound wonderful to me.  They are vulnerable.  They keep the two people on the same plane, as equals, as opposed to one who is suffering and one who gives advice as an expert.  I think they are harder to say than advice is.

I’d much rather have someone come join me in empathy than try to slap a bandaid on my feelings.

So please, I invite you to pause the next time you feel the urge to give someone advice.  Why do you feel like giving it?  How are you feeling in relation to this person’s news/problems?  What would it be like to refrain from trying to fix, and instead try to feel?

It might feel uncomfortable, and that’s ok.

Because my feelings (and yours) are not to be fixed.

If you feel like a chicken without a coop

Brian and I often chat online while he’s at work and I am at home eating muffins.  He likes to check in on me to make sure I know just how much he loves me more than he loves designing planes (which is marginally, but I’ll take it).

Last week, he begins his daily chat with this:

B – Dude.  I’m a genius.  I have something for your blog.

Now, usually Brian rolls his eyes when I declare this is going on the blog! so, at hearing this, my interest was definitely piqued.

Me – What?

B- Check your email.

I checked my email, starting reading, and began laughing to the point of crying.

Me- Did you write this?!

B- Yes.  I’m so proud of myself right now.

He had written very special alternative lyrics to the song Happy by Pharrell Williams.  Before I get any more specific, allow me to back up and give some background.  Most of you know I enjoy a good poop joke.  Jamie Lee Curtis really doesn’t lie – when your colon feels good, you feel good.  It’s really that simple.

Now, my colon has a history of having a rough time (or not having one, as the case may be).  Yet another parallel between my cancer experience and this pregnancy is that constipation has been an ongoing challenge, and that’s putting it very delicately.  I’ve been working with my doctor and trying various remedies, and we may have found a regimen that doesn’t leave me feeling miserable every day.  On Mothers Day, of all days, I was given the best gift ever – an empty colon.  I was singing in the bathroom when I heard Brian sing back.

Me- Sing that again!  What was that?

B- …because happiness is a poop!

Me- You’re so right.  Sometimes happiness is a poop!

And unbeknownst to me, this idea grew in Brian’s head, and instead of designing planes, he rewrote the lyrics of Happy to describe a particular brand of happiness.

In B’s words, it is something for pregnant women to sing when they’re constipated.

He gets me so well.

So please, play the video whilst following along with the new lyrics.  We hope you find it as amusing as we did.

 

 

 

Crapping by Pharrell Williams and Brian

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way
[Chorus:]
Because I’m crapping
Crap along if you feel like a chicken without a coop
Because I’m crapping
Crap along if you feel like happiness is a poop
Because I’m crapping
Crap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m crapping
Crap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do
[Verse 2:]
Here come the push trying to take a shat, yeah,
Well, I’ll give it all I got, and won’t hold it back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you it’ll take some time, yeah,
No offense to me, it smells just fine
Here’s why
[Chorus]
Hey, come on
[Bridge:]
(crapping)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing beat my brown
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing beat my brown
I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing beat my brown
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing beat my brown
I said
[Chorus 2x]
Hey, come on
(crapping)
Beat my brown… can’t nothing…
Beat my brown… my level’s too high…
Beat my brown… can’t nothing…
Beat my brown, I said (let me tell you now)
[Chorus 2x]
Come on

 

 

 

Welcome to 5am

I was up again.

My right hip was on fire, so I slowly rolled over onto my left side, trying not to use my sore, cranky, stretched abdominal muscles.

I stretched my legs out, my feet searching for cooler pockets in the sheets.

Tap, tap.

Aw, crap.  I woke you.

I rubbed my belly just under and to the right of my belly button.

Hey, Little Duck.  I love you.  Now go back to sleep.

I glanced at the clock.  About 5am.  I had already been up twice to pee, and Brian gets up for work in an hour.

Tap, tap.

I probably dozed for a bit before realizing that my bladder was too full to permit sleep.  To the bathroom I shuffled, after slowly tipping myself out of bed with my arms.  I kicked the cat out of the way.  Twice.

I came back, laid back down on my left side, and now realized that I was hungry.  Really hungry.  The kind of hunger that can’t be ignored.

I got up again.

The cat met me at the door, purring and mewing.  Brian usually feeds her when he gets up at 6, and so she’s expecting food from me that she’s not going to get.  I ignore her and shuffle to the refrigerator.

Without turning on any lights, I grab my favorite middle-of-the-night-pregnancy snack: mozzarella string cheese and Nut Thins crackers.  So salty, so crunchy. Sooooo delicious.

I sat on the couch and tucked into my snack as the first bits of light could be seen outside the windows.

Tappy-tap-tap.

By this time, the cat’s mewing had turned to howling.  She saw me eating and couldn’t handle it.

Now, not only am I worried about waking Brian up, I’m worried about annoying our neighbors, who can no doubt hear Sadie’s cries through the very thin walls.

Aside from giving in and feeding her (and risking that she’d get double meals if Brian woke up and fed her again), the only way to shut her up is to pick her up and hold her.

I scooped her up in my left arm and stood there, continuing to feed my face with my right.

After a moment I had a flash of what this looked like.  Here I was, waiting for the baby to arrive so that I could be up all night, tending to a cranky, whiny, hungry creature.

By the looks of it, I was already there.