Thursday, May 31, 2012

Leg cramped!

I've always been prone to leg/feet cramps - typically I blame my poor circulation and it's not unusual for me to have to crouch down at the end of an evening as I try to work one out. I'm also no stranger to the waking up in the middle of the night to a calf cramp that feels like your life is ending. In fact, when I found out I was pregnant, one of the foremost thoughts in my mind was - well, there goes my chance of a cramp-free night!

Now, knock on wood because I still have months to go, but I actually hadn't woken up to a calf cramp yet! I've had a ton of foot cramps during the day but nothing that's woken me up.

Until now.

Well, I mean, until last night.

I think it was about midnight or so but I can't confirm since unlike most people, with your vision that doesn't need corrective lenses, I can't see for anything without my glasses.

I think we all know how the calf cramp works but last night I thought for SURE my calf muscle was separating from the bone given how hard it hurt. Typically when I wake up like this, I make some sort of noise, like a wounded animal cry. But honestly? I was so stunned by the sudden, rapid onset of crampage that I couldn't do much beyond remember to breathe.

There's always that part after the cramp where your leg begins to relax but you don't trust it and don't move in case your leg is luring you to try moving to start up the cramp again and when I got to that point, I'm pretty sure I stayed still for another good ten minutes (again, couldn't see a clock to confirm. Take my word; I'm trustworthy) just waiting for my leg to laugh in my face. Thankfully, it didn't.

The annoying part of any middle-of-the-night cramp is the pain that lingers throughout the next day and that, my friends, is where  am confused. I am almost positive I had a horrible leg cramp last night and I distinctively remember involuntary tears running down my face and there was a kleenex next to my pillow to confirm this, but my leg doesn't hurt in the slightest. In fact, my non-cramped leg seems more stiff than my supposed "victim" leg.

So in conclusion, I am either going insane or my body has moved into Phase 2 of messing with me. Actually I guess since insanity is a product of the brain, in either case my body is moving into Phase 2 of messing with me. I'm not sure I'm excited but I'll keep you updated!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This being pregnant thing is exhausting.

Or it could be the voluntary overtime hours that I'm allowed to work this month. In any case, I've been very lucky to be sleeping soundly through the night.

I'm at about 23 weeks and 2 days which is soundly past the halfway mark, even if I go overdue (please don't let that be the case). I have moments of being nervous but somehow manage to realize that taking it one day at a time is the best way to avoid stressing out. Also, I've had to get over the disappointment that I can no longer burst into song when someone asks how far along I am.

So far it seems like heartburn is my biggest complaint. I don't particularly enjoy feeling my esophagus being bathed in acid, especially when I don't eat spicy food to begin with. However, heartburn has shown me that where this is a will, there is a way and even drinking a cup of water can trigger that horrible burn.

In other news, my dad has updated my status from "pregnant with hamster" to "pregnant with 'the creature from Alien'". I'm, uh, thrilled.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weird Pregnancy Cravings?

So I guess common wisdom is that pregnancy cravings are supposed to be able what your body is "missing" from your diet. Hence, the idea that a lot of women crave pickles is a sign of the body wanting more salt due to their increasing blood volume. So when I craved first dill pickles and then later cup ramen, I rejoiced that both of my cravings were fairly cheap to satisfy and figured that I was just craving that increase in salt.

This, however, has not helped me explain my craving for fried chicken legs and thighs but not other forms of chicken. I don't want deli sliced chicken, I don't want a baked OR fried chicken breast, and I don't want chicken nuggets. Three out of four of those probably have a decently high sodium amount, so I don't think I can claim "salt." All of them contain protein. And chicken.

It is with no small amount of confusion that I shrug and move forward with my life, wondering at what point this craving will shift or change and more to the point, wondering just how much control I have over what I'd like to eat right now. (Case in point - I used to love macaroni and cheese and now it's nice if it's there but I have no desire to make it. Weird, weird, weird.)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

This is what I think of the Allstate Value Plan Commercial

The commercial: A lady is in her car, checking her make up before she starts to drive. In the background, the Allstate guy talks about how she's just starting out and on a budget. He further clarifies that it is "like a ramen noodle every night type of budget." Lo and behold, she can still afford Allstate! Yay!


So tell me this, Allstate guy. If she really can only afford 15 cent noodle packages for dinner, how the heck is she affording what looks to be a nice, newish car? Or those fancy looking sunglasses, outfit and earrings? Even if we give her the benefit of the doubt, that she needs a fancy outfit for her job or whatever - that doesn't explain the car and accessories. I would say that Smiley and I are the kind of people who would look into a value plan to keep our insurance affordable and I can assure you that neither of our cars look that nice.

I guess what I'm saying Allstate is this: if someone has a car that looks that nice, they probably are not on a ramen noodle every night kind of budget and it's really patronizing to hear that this is the kind of car I should be able to drive even if I only have about two dollars a week for dinner.

Monday, May 7, 2012

20 Weeks and Kicking!

Today marks my arbitrary "halfway" point on the pregnancy. Yes, now I am humming "Living on a Prayer" and with a little luck, it's now stuck in your head and what can you do about it? The truth is, I could have secretly passed my halfway point as much as a week ago, or might not have even witnessed it yet. A due date is more like a suggestion and one thing I'm not excited about is the four week period during which it is possible for me to go into labor.

(Well, it's POSSIBLE for me to go into labor at any point, but I'm speaking about a healthy, full term pregnancy.)

One thing that helps to calm me down is to read everything about pregnancy and labor. I think I've read at least 100 birth stories so far and seen two documentaries. Yeah, some of the stuff freaked me out, but in the end, I prefer to know what could happen than to deal with it out of the blue.

For example, if there's any chance that I might need a c-section, I'd rather read about scenarios where that it could happen, and why, and be prepared. Or if there's a chance that I could actually be carrying not a child but a demon overlord from a faraway planet, I like to know what to expect from that too.

All in all, I think that Smiley and I are trying to go along with this pregnancy with a solid dose of humor and the occasional serious talk of "holy crap-cakes, college is expensive and we want to have another kid later on and how will that work out?!"

Now, personally, I feel like I've been showing since about, oh, 10 weeks or so, but my coworkers assure me that they only really noticed it today. I guess I just dress really well? Because let me assure you that underneath my calm exterior of clothing, I am kind of freaking out about how my belly button is moving towards "outtie" status and how I can't wear skirts and pants that used to be a little big on me. I expect that is normal and don't dwell on it for long, but there's something super weird about putting on one of my favorite dresses and realizing that it now hangs and hits all the wrong places.

Oh and also there are the near constant bathroom trips.

I often think about my life in shifts and break things down into whatever unit works best. In this case, it's imagining that I've just dealt with pregnancy for 20 weeks and I have to do that all over again. Except for that kind of bums me out.

And did you know that the first two weeks of pregnancy don't even count? You're not even pregnant, in any way. Science lesson (skip if sperm and eggs bore or disgust you): The first two weeks of pregnancy are added in once the egg meets the sperm and implants, roughly two weeks from your last period. Due dates calculated this way are somewhat arbitrary because contrary to what you might believe, you do not necessarily become pregnant the moment you, uh, introduce sperm to the party. The sperm can actually chill out for up to three days waiting for an egg to be released and then once they meet up, it can take as long as a week more before they implant and begin the pregnancy. Which, I don't know, maybe everyone in the world already knew that, but I didn't. I was really fascinated to learn all of that.

Anyhow, some bad things that have happened include heartburn and an intense craving for steak. Luckily, the steak cravings seem to have subsided for now. I don't know what's wrong with me. I've never, ever wanted a stupid hulking piece of meat before. I like cheeseburgers where the bun to toppings to burger ratio is well in favor of the bun and toppings.

Some good things include an overwhelming excitement to be able to have my first child and to watch and experience the difference between how I think I will parent and reality. Tiny clothing is a plus. The fact that our hypothetically other children will have a big brother is also a plus. The fact that, if this baby is anything like his father, I'll have to start hiding all of our electronics lest I want to find them taken apart.

Well that's enough baby rambling for today. Arbitrarily halfway there or not, I do feel like I'm starting on the second half of an experience I'm psyched to be having.