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I finally gave in to the reality that pregnancy is changing my body, and yesterday, I pulled most of the regular clothes out of my drawers to make room for maternity wear.  At work, I have been rotating several stretchy dresses, and at home, I have been getting by with a pair of maternity shorts that I bought at Target, stretchy tank tops, and two dressier regular tops that are big enough for my growing belly.  But, I am getting tired of those two tops.

So, I found myself deep in the recesses of our basement, where I uncovered my maternity clothes from Bear’s pregnancy that have sat in darkness for the better part of two years.  How I hated those clothes at the end of that last pregnancy!  Since I was pregnant through the fall and winter, everything was black or gray and sweater-like.  By the time Bear was born in early May, I was sweating myself to death.  Even after Bear was born and I still had that six-months-pregnant shape, I refused to put them back on.  However, my ill feelings toward those clothes have dulled in the past two years, and opening the box yesterday was like saying “hello” to old friends. 

From that lot, I pulled out two short-sleeved dresses and the one – yes, only one – short-sleeved maternity shirt that I allowed myself to purchase before Bear came.  I carried those upstairs, along with the rest, but put the winter wear on a bottom shelf.

Since long shopping trips are not much fun with a toddler in tow, I have been ordering clothes online.  The UPS man must think that I have won the lottery with the number of boxes that he has been delivering to my house lately, but in reality, I send most of the clothes back.  Maternity clothes that are both comfortable and cute are really few and far between.

I also cashed in my credit card reward points for a Gap gift card in hopes that I could fund my new maternity wardrobe that way, but I realized that $100 does not go very far when you need to buy a pair of Gap work pants and a pair of jeans.  Sadly, I made it through the last pregnancy with a pair of Target work pants (that didn’t make it to this one) and a pair of Gap work pants that were not comfortable at all.  I also have a pair of Gap maternity jeans that are in great shape, except these too were horribly uncomfortable near the end of my pregnancy.  This time, I ordered a size up with a full panel in both.  Fortunately, they do not look ridiculously big, and they seem comfortable.  I think that they’ll last until the end.

Now, if only I could find a pair of khaki maternity shorts that do not look like something my Grandma would wear, I would be set for this pregnancy.  Then, I could stop guiltily spending money on clothing that I will only wear for the next six months and then maybe never again after that!

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This post was written a week ago, but my computer problems were not as resolved as I thought.

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I’m back in business!  Our computer problem was not caused by a virus.  On the contrary, it was caused by too much security! A very helpful IT guru named Gunnar determined that we had too many security programs running at once, and they were so effective that our computer would not even function.  That is certainly one way to keep viruses away!

In the spirit of offering a quick update, I am almost out of my first trimester.  I’ve been doing lots of sleeping, eating, and throwing up.  In other words, this seems like a completely normal pregnancy, and so far, an easier one than my first.

I am knocking on wood as I write those words, though, because yesterday, I received a call at work from Bear’s daycare to say that several children had been sent home with suspected Fifth Disease, and they were concerned about Bear’s bright red cheeks.

That morning, she woke up with cheeks that were flaming red, but not hot to the touch.  I thought that she must have been hot at night, and I took off her sleeper and dressed her in cooler clothes for daycare, but still, the color did not fade.  I mentioned her cheeks to her teacher as I dropped her off, and I told her that I thought that the color was related to an irritation from another child’s sunscreen that I was fairly certain Bear was wearing when I picked her up the day before.  Along with Bear’s food allergies, she also has eczema, and several times this winter, she developed a bright spot on her cheek after being exposed to something her skin didn’t like.  Considering that Bear was wearing someone else’s pants and her diaper was on backwards when I picked her up the day before, it didn’t seem like a stretch to think that someone had applied the wrong sunscreen.

However, the call from daycare that afternoon concerned me.  If other children also had a rash, then Bear very well could have Fifth Disease.  Although Fifth Disease is a common and fairly mild illness, it can cause complications with a fetus in pregnancy.  As my doctor put it to me this morning, “the good thing about getting Fifth Disease early in pregnancy is that either you go on to have a perfectly normal pregnancy or you don’t.”  I must have given her a look with that remark, and she explained that the alternative is a rough pregnancy with complications to the fetus.  I wanted to ask what was good about the “you don’t” alternative, but I decided to keep my mouth shut.

Regardless, by the time I picked up Bear, she looked completely normal.  Her cheeks were not red at all.  If it weren’t for the signs warning parents about a “viral rash” going around the building and the city, I wouldn’t be concerned at all.

This morning, I had blood drawn to see if I am immune to Fifth Disease, meaning that I have had it previously.  If I am immune, then I have nothing to worry about.  If I am not, we’ll learn from the test if I have recently become infected, and if not, we’ll test again in a few weeks to be certain.  Hopefully, I’ll just be immune.  I’d rather not learn what could possibly be good about my doctor’s “you don’t” comment.

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Update:  I am still waiting for those test results!

We think.  Our home computer is no longer functioning, which creates a whole host of problems, probably the least of which is that I cannot update my blog.  I’ll try to keep up with all of my readers’ blogs from work and my phone, but I won’t be posting again on my own until we get our computer fixed.

I had a complete post written about my recent ultrasound, but that will have to wait.  I will say that it confirmed that we do have a baby in there!  And, one with a heart beat too!

Hope all of you are well!

Today’s lunch was fodder for the ongoing food stories that my husband likes to tell about his pregnant wife.   He still talks about the time in my last pregnancy when I mixed peanut butter, bananas and Rice Krispies together in an attempt to satisfy a craving.  It wasn’t very good, and I admitted that the concoction wasn’t quite right.  He thought it was strange.

The only thing that sounded palatable this morning was rice pudding.  So, I set to boiling milk and rice and had another pot cooking eggs for decorating later, when I decided that rice pudding really isn’t a nutritionally balanced meal.  Since it was not going to be ready in time for lunch anyway, I really needed an alternative.

I had made roast on Monday, and the plan had been to eat it again last night, but I just couldn’t stomach it.  Somehow, I convinced myself then that I would be better able to eat it today for lunch, but when lunchtime arrived, I still couldn’t find it in me to eat that meat.

As a young girl, I remember my mom taking leftover roast and grinding it through a Kitchen Aid Mixer attachment to make a wonderful roast beef salad, similar to tuna or chicken salad.  Shortly after I got married, my grandmother gave me the semi-practical gift of a food grinder attachment for my mixer, and amazingly, it survived through Bear’s infancy without me pulling it out to make baby food.  Honestly, I forgot that I had it, but there’s nothing like strange pregnancy cravings to remind you of the obscure kitchen gadgets that have been hidden away in storage for too long.

So, I pulled out my very-own food grinder, found that it was amazingly simple to attach to my mixer, and after microwaving my beef to kill any bacteria, I began stuffing it into the food grinder.  Bear cheered as long ribbons of meat billowed out of the machine.

I’ll be the first to admit.  Ground-up roast beef looks disgusting, and in my last pregnancy, it would have sent me running for the toilet.  But, strangely, the sight didn’t bother me at all today.  I pulled out a brand-new tub of Miracle Whip, since the last one was still in our fridge from Bear’s pregnancy, and chopped up some really great homemade pickles that I bought from a local farmer (as though this ingredient were going to redeem the grossness of my creation).  I mixed them all together and tasted it.  It was pretty close to the roast beef salad that I remembered my mom making.

I would have preferred some of that white, processed fluff that we used to call bread, but I had to make do with a more rustic variety.  Even slathered with Miracle Whip, though, I couldn’t stomach the bread.  So, I heaped a large pile of roast beef sludge onto my plate and ate it happily with a spoon.  Bear seemed to have lost her enthusiasm for the meal, and after a few bites, she scooted it around on her plate with her fingers and then planted the side of her face into it.

I briefly considered taking a picture of it to text to my husband, but I decided to spare him the details.  If only you were so lucky!

The plan for dinner tonight is to make some really good ribbon pasta, but since I have developed a strong aversion to tomato sauce (I can hardly think about it without shuddering), I will probably resort to making Alfredo sauce, which I usually do not like at all.  Alternatively, if I can stomach garlic, I could probably use only olive oil.  I may attempt some asparagus, but there are no promises.  With the rice pudding, it’s going to be a white, and nutritionally unbalanced meal.

And this, folks, is probably why Bear was a huge newborn.  I survived on chicken nuggets for the first 14 weeks of her pregnancy.  I didn’t want to do it again, but I’m in survival-mode.  Can I just promise to eat better in a month or so?

San Juan Islands, originally uploaded by HeyRocker, Flickr, Creative Commons.

Two years ago today, I snuck out bed in the early morning darkness while my husband slept in our hotel room in Canada. I fumbled through our suitcase in the dark and found something that I had eagerly been waiting to use. In the bathroom, I managed to break open the package with my teeth and somehow used the pregnancy test without making a mess. Once the appropriate time had passed (and not before, because I considered it bad luck to peek), I held the test up to the faint light coming through the window and focused my blurred, morning vision on the result. A line! I could see a line! Excitedly, I reached around the bathroom door and flipped on the light. There was definitely a line! Holy cow, there was a line!

I had been waiting and hoping for this moment for a long time. Now that it had arrived, I was unsure what to do or to think about it. I wrapped up the test in toilet paper, put it back into the box, hid it in the suitcase, and climbed back into bed with a racing mind.
When my husband woke up, I told him “happy birthday” but I did not share the news. Instead, we went through the same motions of the previous two mornings. We went downstairs and had a quiet breakfast. I avoided my usual coffee, but my husband didn’t seem to notice. Our time in Canada had ended, so we packed our suitcase and headed toward the ferry. As we climbed aboard and looked back out over the misty city, my husband said, “You know, if we ever have a girl, maybe we could name her Victoria after this city.” I still didn’t share the news. Once into the Puget Sound, we watched for whales and pointed at antelope darting from cliffs on nearby islands. Although I felt that words might jump out of me, I still didn’t share the news.

We arrived in Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands a few hours later, and as we stepped off the ferry, I saw a nearby bookstore. My request to go inside wasn’t an unusual one for me and so he didn’t notice that I was purposeful once inside. While my husband was looking at books that held his interest, I found a card with a picture from the San Juan Islands and quickly purchased it. Later, I made my husband stand at arms-length as I wrote inside the card.

The exact words are his, and someday, our daughter’s, but in essence, I told him that his birthday gift from me would be a life-changing piece of information. During his 29th year, we would have a baby.

I gave him his gift once we arrived at the bed and breakfast where we would be staying and were settled into our room. After reading the card, he looked at me with a mixture of wonder, excitement, and fear.

Two years later – today – this morning – we stood at the bathroom door to our bedroom and watched our daughter sit against the side of the bed and read books. I observed my husband as his eyes followed our daughter’s movements. The fear was gone. But, the wonder and excitement remained.