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.

 

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.

My Playful Little Goober

You know what?

I’m in love with you, you little goober.

In a fellow mommy blogger’s post, she once mentioned that she could characterize each of her children’s behavior in utero using one word.

I think your word is playful.

Sometimes you want to play when I want to sleep.

Sometimes, when I get up to pee at night and probably wake you up, you give me a little tap, tap just to say hi.

The other day, you were tap dancing on my cervix, probably because you thought it was funny.  It was not.  Ouch.

It’s gotten to the point where your little drumstick limbs are strong enough that most of your kicks and punches can be seen from the outside.  This means that your uterine cage fighting often upstages the TV, which is pretty impressive.  I mean, the other day I was minding my own business, trying to watch Derek Hough’s abs Dancing With The Stars, and I actually paused the TV several times just to stare at my belly.  It was amazing.  YOU are amazing.  You already make me feel guilty for doing cardio while I am stuffing my face with Cherry Garcia.  Jerk.

Today, for reasons unknown, you scrunched your entire self over into the right side of my uterus.  Why?!  Why would you do such a thing?  Was it on a dare?  Because I don’t see how that could be comfortable in the slightest; it certainly wasn’t for me.  It looked like my belly was made of clay and that I had fallen down on my left side, causing the clay to squish in on the left and out at a freakishly bulbous angle on the right.  It took several jabs from me to get your cute little baby ass to move back into a more respectable position.  If you were playing sardines, I hope you won, cuz bravo, Little Duck, bravo.  After you’ve broken out and I can’t find you, I’ll remember to look in compact spaces.

Be warned that my abdominal area is prime real estate.  Later on today the cat requested napping space adjacent to your ever-expanding lofted apartment, and things must have gotten a little tense.  I guess I’m going to have to teach you to share a little sooner than I thought, because you ended up kicking the cat several times in the face.  Bless my furry love child, for she either didn’t notice, or didn’t care enough to give up the comfort that is my lap.  I kinda wanted her to notice, though, because that shit was hilarious.  I hope this is an indication that you two will become fast friends who occasionally breakdance fight each other.

I’m so excited, Little Duck.  I can’t wait to meet you, for reals.

I can’t wait to see what kind of person you become, and what kind of parent you make me be.

But so far, I know that you have a wicked sense of humor, which is good.  You’re going to need it.

 

 

Drifting in Portlandia

So we’ve been here about a week now.

Here means just outside of Portland, Oregon.

It’s been a little rough, as I expected it would be.  I also suppose it hasn’t been as bad as my worst fears, so that’s something.

Brian and I both came down with the flu over Christmas (given to us by the movers who packed up our stuff), and that made for a pretty rotten holiday.  We made the most of it, but we were not able to do everything we had planned, and we were forced to skip seeing loved ones for fear of getting them sick, which really sucked.

We returned to our mostly bare apartment for one night in sleeping bags so that we could rise early, grab the cat, and make the 10 hour drive to Portland all in one day.

I have a love-hate relationship with this cat, and that morning it was definitely hate.  And pity, I suppose.  She refused to eat any of the sedative-infused food we offered her.  We had given her some a few weeks prior as a trial run, just to make sure she wasn’t allergic and to see how she would do.  I can only imagine that she remembered that experience and was like, “No effing way I am doing that again, you guys.”  We tried putting it in dry food.  We tried hiding it in chicken.  And then we tried just forcing it into her mouth and down her throat.  To no avail.  At this point we were behind schedule, so she got shoved into the cat carrier, hungry and unmedicated, and off we went.

Despite the struggles of the morning, Sadie (the cat) did pretty well.  She howled solidly for the first 45 minutes and then would pass out for 20 minutes at a time, only to wake up and howl some more.  I had to just emotionally detach myself from her in order to cope.  I kept telling her, “I love you, and you are safe,” which I think was more for my benefit than for hers.

The drive up was pretty damn gorgeous, and wonderfully uneventful (the cat howling aside).  We passed Shasta and saw a bit of snow in the shade in the mountains.  We stopped for lunch in Ashland, which was good to check out again.

We arrived at our new place after dark and I was just exhausted.  The cat was freaking out and had no bed to hide under.  We unloaded most of our two cars, ordered pizza, and then passed out on an air mattress.

This is the first time I’ve ever moved somewhere and not had something waiting for me on the other side.  We moved because my husband found an amazing job, which is awesome, and we are both thankful for that.  As for me, I am now left with the daunting task of trying to figure out how to get relicensed in this new state and how to find a job.  I know zero clinicians in Oregon, and so I am left to email perfect strangers to answer my questions.  We left the warmth and sunshine of California, and I can definitely feel that tugging at my wellbeing.  I wonder to myself if Oregon will ever really feel like home.

To sum up, I feel scared and sad, and somewhat stuck.  I am fighting it, but the energy only comes in spurts.  I am very, very thankful to have one good friend in the area I know from California, and of course my husband is there for me, as I am for him.

I don’t like moving and I don’t like change and I hate the unknown.  In my moodier states, I feel like I am on a raft, just drifting aimlessly in an endless foggy sea.  That just makes me want to curl up in a ball and wait until the raft bumps into something.

I guess I’d better fashion myself a friggin paddle.

We Put Birds On Things!

I have a big announcement, you guys.

Guess what, Psychos?!

This shit is happening, y'all.

This shit is happening, y’all.

Portland, Oregon is about to get a little bit crazier, folks.

The story is that Brian got his dream job, and this is our time to pick up and move to seek new adventures!

You hear that, World?!

This is our time!

I can’t wait to sign up for clown school and sit around eating vegan muffins on my days off.

But, in all seriousness, I am excited, but I am also scared and sad and anxious.

We’ve been living in the same place for the past 5 years, and this has been the longest time we’ve been in once place since leaving our childhood homes to go to college.  We can’t believe our luck in how our lives just fell into place here in Northern California.  We both found jobs in our fields, we found a town and an apartment we both love, and we were close to our families.  Even though we’ve been complaining about living in an apartment, living in a college town with noisy shitheads, complaining that we’ve learned all we can from our current jobs…I’m scared that we won’t have such good luck again.  This had to be a fluke, right?  Couldn’t have possibly been from hard work and compromise…that would just make too much sense.

This is also the first time I’ll be moving and not have something waiting for me on the other side – either a job or school or family.  That’s scary for me.  I’ll be supported by my husband, and while we both accept that and it’s what we signed up for, I’m still used to pulling my own weight.  For the past 5 years, I’ve been 100% financially independent for the first time in my life, and it’s felt pretty damn fantastic.  I know I won’t be giving up freedom, but I feel like I’ll be giving up a little bit of pride…at least temporarily.

There’s also the logistical aspect of this freakshow in getting all our shizz up to Razorblade City.  I never moved as a kid.  When I was 3, my parents moved us into the house that they continue to live in to this day.  My soul will shrivel up and die if they ever sell it.  Seriously, I’ll chain myself to the front door.

Anyways, the point is that I don’t really know how to move.  I hate moving.  I also hate feeling like my stuff owns me, and right about now I am finding out that I have a crapton of stuff.  The stuff outnumbers me; it could totally bury me and claim my life and make it look like a freak accident.  We’ve made the hard decision to have movers pack our stuff for us, because there’s no other way we’re taming this domestic jungle.

And then there’s the cat.  She’s only been in a car 4 times, and each of those times, she’s howled like a banshee going through a meth withdrawal, save for when we’re stopped at red lights.  I don’t know why, but I love this furry poosack like nothing else, and those screeches just cut straight through my heart.  The only solution – she’s getting doped up.  That’s right, Poopstick, you’re going to get high and you’re going to pass out so I can drive you in peace for 10+ hours.  You are not going to piss in my car.  You’re not going to throw up the meds.  Don’t make me regret signing up to be your human mother.

So there you have it.  I know the excitement will grow on me once I get past the hairy logistics.  I have a feeling we’re going to jive really well in the land of evergreen trees and unicycling hipsters – where composting is mandatory, where food is delicious and organic and plentiful, and where people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (named SAD for a reason) and will desperately need my services.

Please hire me, Portland.

~~~~

Please also like Psychobabble on Facebook.  It’s where young people go to retire.

Harlem Shake Save The Date

Here’s a special video Save the Date announcing Brian’s and my impending nuptials for your viewing enjoyment!

We had fun filming it.

Brian did not have fun editing it.

The cat had zero fun during the entire process.

Also, a helpful hint to avoid embarrassment: don’t try to save time typing about “save the dates” by abbreviating it using three letters.  This results in some uncomfortably personal gmail ads.

An Open Letter to My Cat: You had me at meow

Dear Sadie,

I love you.  You know I do.  I mean, I carried you for however long cats gestate.  I birthed you, for crissake. Don’t you dare listen to people who tell you otherwise.

I give you things.  I buy you expensive cheap toys and then go into the bathroom to cuss the world when you prefer to chew on my expensive therapy books instead.

I let you sit on my lap.  Even when I am trying to blog and eat ice cream at the same time.  Even in the summer, when you’re a steaming ball of fur that sticks to my sweaty legs.  Yummy.

I brush you.  Even though you get into a frenzy and try to bite the brush and end up biting my hand.  I understand; you can’t control yourself.  Those crazy social grooming-induced endorphins render you impulsive and violent.  But I know you bite because you care.

I feed you.  Even though you’re picky, and not even consistently picky.  You really love to keep me on my toes.

Most of all, I clean up after you.  I do all the normal expected cleaning up, sure – with pleasure.  I scoop your box full of clumped liquid and solid evil and then breathe in dust that probably causes evil-like organisms to grow in my lungs.  *cough, cough*

But you see, I go above and beyond because you take me to that place.  You challenge me.

It would be too easy for all the evil to be deposited in your box, and so you like to hide it.  And boy does that get an enthusiastic reaction from me.  Boy oh fucking boy.

It would also be too easy for evil to come out only one end of your Abomination Factory you call a body.  Gotta increase production during these hard times.  Maybe you have a monthly quota or something, I don’t know.

These additional little gifts, these little bits of Chewbacca Surprise really light up my mornings, especially when I am already late for work.

For all this, I’d like to thank you.  Truly.

Because what would I do with all that free time not spent scooping and scrubbing and cussing?  Let’s be honest, I’d probably be eating more ice cream.

So thanks.  I’d be fat(ter) and with less black lung disease without you.

And thanks also for the little extras you throw in, like when you serve as my alarm clock I never set on Saturday mornings.  You have no idea how much joy it brings me to hear your howling cries of longing as you reach up and jiggle the handle of my annoyingly loose bedroom doorknob.  I miss you, too, my little fur-demon.  I guess we can both sleep in when we’re dead.  Let’s see which one of us goes first.

You complete me.  You had me at meow.

Your loving Mama,

Melissa

P.S. – Remind me to tighten my bedroom doorknob.  And electrify it.