Sacrifices (What You Give Up to Have a Baby)

When you’re pregnant, there are a lot of sacrifices you have to make (and even more after the birth of your child).  Most people are familiar with most; you probably won’t ever fit into your bikini again (or have so many purple stretchmarks that you don’t want to show your skin off), you have to give up the pretty bras for the ugly supportive ones (which isn’t so bad when you realize your dream of always wanting implants), and you have to give up drinking/smoking/partying (which is usually the hardest of them all).  Most of the well-known sacrifices are borne through pregnancy, because the end result, baby shaped joy, is more than worth giving some things up.

But there are some sacrifices that no one tells you about, not even your pregnant friends.  These are the things you have to give up because of the way your body is changing, and if I had known about some of these, I might have thought twice about being pregnant.

Your favorite foods.  Sure, everyone knows about the strange cravings (and aversions) that pregnant women experience during pregnancy (pickles and ice cream anyone?), but what most people don’t know is that most foods you enjoyed (loved, obsessed over, etc) pre-pregnancy go straight to the shit-list once your hormones get all ramped up.  Take for example: one of my most loved foods was lasagna/this delicious penne/cheese/red sauce/hamburger baked mixture that was absolute heaven (the one and only thing I could eat as leftovers).  Once I got pregnant, within the first six or so weeks, it was on the menu for dinner, and as soon as I smelled it cooking, I went straight to the bathroom to throw up.  At nearly 18 weeks, dishes with red sauce (pretty much the height of pasta goodness) still cause me to gag.  Which is really too bad, because they were my absolute favorites.  (Don’t even mention tacos to me; no matter where they come from, if I consume a freaking taco, it ALWAYS comes back up, even at this stage in the game.)

Regular eating schedule.  Along with morning sickness (that usually lasts all damn day, don’t be fooled by the name), and the loss of your favorite foods, when you do feel like eating, it’s usually at the most inopportune moments, and you crave the strangest things.  I haven’t been able to eat a meal past 6:00 pm without throwing it up.  Breakfast now has to be before 10:00 am or I get sick to my stomach.  I also would crave things, and by the time I got them, I didn’t want it anymore.  There was a window of time (usually about 30 minutes) that I craved it, and if I didn’t get it within that time, and ended up eating it anyways, it would always come right back up.

Hot and steamy showers.  It has something to do with the crazy amount of blood you now circulate to nourish the little critter you’re spawning.  But wave goodbye to those steamy, hot, long showers.  Even just being in a steamy room will make you see stars, and if you’re not careful, you will end up curled naked on the floor, trying to regulate your breathing, and get rid of the black you’re seeing (like my morning).  The only slightly enjoyable thing that comes from almost passing out is the slightly high feeling you get afterwards; the poor little brain cells dying slowly from lack of oxygen.

Sleeping positions. I’m a side sleeper; always have been, always will be (I hope…it’s so comfortable), but as I get bigger, the side sleeping only works 40% of the night.  I’ve finally reached the point where I’m sleeping through the night again (that’s another thing to look forward to; the restless legs, the inability to sleep for periods longer than 45 minutes), but if I’m in a position that squishes baby at all, he lets me know by pitching a kicking fit.  Not only does baby react, but it’s simply not comfortable anymore to lie on my belly (even when I wasn’t showing), and after too long on one side, it’ll go to sleep.  Later in pregnancy, sleeping on your back puts you at risk for a stillborn baby (because of the weight of the developing baby on blood vessels).  So really, however you sleep now will change a lot in the coming 9 months.

The integrity of your bowels and the nether regions related to them. (Also Known As “Regularity”.)  With the amount of gas you now pump out on a daily basis, you could fill a room to the point of noxiousness.  But that’s the more enjoyable part, because it relieves the intense pressure on your belly.  Because of the new cocktail of hormones racing through your bloodstream, things are slowed up a bit in the bowels.  Say goodbye to having a normal pooping schedule, and get ready to bite a towel when you finally do end up going, because by the time that crap comes out, it’s like rocks embedded with razorblades.  With the constipation, comes one of the worst pregnancy problems that no one seems to want to warn you about.  Hemorrhoids.  Oh my good god.  If you don’t know what they are, feel free to Google them, but for godssake, stay out of Google images (don’t say I didn’t warn you!).  They often come out of nowhere, and cause a consuming amount of pain.  Seriously, I’m not kidding about the pain.  My doctor prescribed me Vicodin for the pain.  Oh, another quirk.  Your bowels will often throw you off by giving you diarrhea on a random day, so start worrying about that gas you’re releasing…it might end up being liquid instead.

Your vagina.  Yes, something the size of a watermelon will be pushed out a hole the size of a small plum (after your body prepares a little bit for you), but it will also be a warzone for several weeks after the birth.  The doctor will tell you to avoid sex for about 2 months (you can lie and tell your husband/boyfriend 4 months, just to get a rest, if you need to), because that scary place down there will need some healing time.  But all that comes after pregnancy.  In pregnancy, your poor lady parts get other problems, that aren’t as physically devastating, but still horrible nonetheless.  If you’ve ever had a UTI, you will probably get more, and because the symptoms change in pregnancy, you might not know you have one until it’s so painful that you want to take a rusty knife to your body down there.  Yeast infections are more common, as well.  You may want to stock up on panty-liners, too, because you turn into a leaking human faucet (I cringe just writing that, but it’s true).

Your sex drive.  You will feel as sexy as a rhino in expensive French lingerie during your pregnancy, because you’re essentially getting blown up like a balloon. (I’ve been feeling this a lot lately, because my clothes are starting to get too small and it’s a strange feeling for someone who has never lost/gained a noticeable amount of weight in a small time period.)  But when you do want to have sex, be prepared for your hubby to be a bit hesitant (mine was afraid of hurting the baby after seeing where the heartbeat was located), and if you’re like me, lock yourself in the bathroom naked and cry from the rejection (pregnancy is a roller coaster ride; no judgy eyes here, people).  Some lucky women seem to feel more sexy in pregnancy and want sex more, and some (or most?) women just want to avoid any naked activities.  Both are completely normal (I’m told).

Your brain.  Often, I forget what I was going to do as I’m on my way to do it (I’ve washed loads of laundry 3-4 times because I forget to put them in the dryer).  I’ve gotten better at writing To-Do lists because if I don’t, I wouldn’t get anything done.  Work as a server is harder because walking from a table with a drink order to the soda machine, I usually forget at least one of the drinks.  Feeding the dog is now a task for the boyfriend (also because it makes me gag), because I forget whether or not I fed her, and she would eat 17 times a day if we let her. Seriously, you could drain your brain out your ears when you see the positive pregnancy test, because it turns to jelly and is basically useless anyways.

How many of you are now re-considering pregnancy after reading through that list?  I mean, I could have forgotten a few things, because my brain is ineffectual at this point, and all I see on the screen is the blinking cursor.

Maybe it’s naptime.

My Secret

I haven’t written in so long, and I feel like I’ve completely lost my, how do you say, je ne sais quoi?  Mojo? (I watched Austin Powers today.) I’m not sure, but I feel like I don’t belong in the blogging world anymore.  I feel like I have to start from scratch and all that I’ve written in the past is somehow erased from the record and I have no legitimate reason to blog.

I know, it’s stupid, but it’s been so long, that I’ve almost forgotten how to structure sentences, how to order my thoughts into something that everyone can relate to.  Because what’s the point in writing if no one can relate to what you’re saying?

Anyways, I’ve reached the point where I missed writing; I’ve battled with emotions and without my outlet, my blogging, I think I’m a bit more unstable than I was before….which is a slightly terrifying thought.

I’m officially an adult now, and I feel just as confused as ever.  Weird, because every year I gain, I feel like I’m just getting younger or something.  I have no idea.

But really, the purpose of this post was not to complain about me (though it always turns out that way) but to make an announcement.  Most everyone knows; the people friends with me on facebook, and most of my family, except the ones I’m afraid to tell, and this post will ell the last ones, I’m sure.

(It’s also going to spread it to all the lovely people I’m not friends with on Facebook, and that’s part of the reason I’ve waited so long to post it.)

It’s also so awkward saying this, because it’s still new to me, but yes, I’m pregnant.  Knocked up, in a family way, expecting, having a baby….I’m running out of ways to say it.

Oh man, I can feel the waves of disappointment coming my way already.  It’s really quite horrible, right?  Let’s see: “I had such a bright future”, “I had so many things going for me”, “I’m too young”, “How am I going to support a baby?”, etc.  I heard all that stuff in my head as soon as I saw my positive pregnancy test, so I really don’t need to hear/see it anymore.

It’s funny though, because I’m the last one I expected to get pregnant.  I mean, not because I didn’t want to, because I’ve always been the baby-crazy girl for as long as I can remember, but because I used to have this wall blocking that part of me making decisions.  I had expected to be in college until at least 2014 (maybe longer, with the Master’s/PhD), and I expected traveling in my future.  I still want all of that (especially to finish my degree), but it’s been shoved to the back-burner with this new development.

I don’t know what else to say about it.  I’m due May 8th, I’m planning a home-birth with a midwife (like I always wanted), I find out the gender in mid-December, I’m 16 weeks along.

I went through the required uneasiness and being unsure about what was happening (and it lasted a lot longer than I care to admit), and I guess now I’m accustomed to the idea.  But sometimes, I realize that I am indeed going to become a mother, and go through moments of awe, but also moments of sheer terror.

As you may know, I grew up without a mother, and it’s taken a long time to get over the hurt/rejection issues (mostly because I tried to shove them under a rug and pretend they didn’t exist), and I’m still a work in progress on that front.  But I’m scared that I won’t be a good mother because I didn’t have one.  My sister has pointed out that she didn’t have one either, and she’s made a good mother, but I’m still worried that I’m going to mess up, and my kid will have the same issues (or diferent ones) that I had growing up.  And I don’t want that at all.  I want to be a good parent, but I know that I’ve got the odds stacked against me.

I’m sure every pregnant person goes through these feelings, and I’m trying not to let them overwhelm me by surrounding myself with positive people/situations, but it’s hard to ignore the feelings of inadequacy.  I’ve got a long time to confront these thoughts before the baby comes, but like I’ve said before, I’m a work in progress.  (It’s not an excuse, it’s my motto.  It’s easier to work through highs and lows when I remind myself that I’m still changing and evolving and most mistakes won’t matter in a year, five years, ten years, etc.)

The feelings aren’t the only things that have been tough during this pregnancy; pretty much the whole experience has been miserable thus far.  I’ve been getting all the “bad” symptoms, and I haven’t quite reached the cliche “happy, glowing pregnant lady” stage.  I was lucky to avoid the morning sickness until about week nine, and even then, I’ve only thrown up a few times, but I was nauseous the whole damn day.  Most of the unpleasant symptoms (goodbye sore boobs!) are fading with the arrival of the second trimester, and I’ve started to gain a little bit of weight (not counting the massive increase in cup size…), and baby has been wiggling in me for a week or so now.  Most days, I can clearly see the lump that is baby, but it also looks like I just ate too much.  I’m breaking out like a teenager (‘m so glad I missed this stage in high school!), but my skin is also drier than the damn desert.  The foods that I used to enjoy the most are now on the shit-list, and I’m constantly trying to find foods that fill me up but also fill my vitamin requirement (prenatals just make me sick).

Some days I like the dog, most days I want to just get rid of her (and Kenny is a good sport about it).  My moods are a giant roller coaster for all of us; I throw fits over the tiniest things and then end up laughing about how ridiculous I am.  I can easily go to bed at 6 p.m. but I wake up at 6-8 a.m. no matter when I fall asleep.  I drool more than any dog or baby I’ve ever met, and let’s not even talk about the gas.

So yea, that’s pretty much everything you’ve missed in my absence.

I’ve Got a Secret

I’ve got a million things running through my head right now, and I can’t make myself put them down on a page.

Relationships (as always) are up and down for me; good one day, completely, irrationally ended the next.

The dog goes in turns; either pisssing me off, pissing on the carpet, or being really good.

It’s been forever since I’ve been able (as in, have internet) to write a post, and now that I have this oppourtunity (in Barnes and Noble), I have no idea what I should say, and what I shouldn’t.

I’ll be 21 in 4 days, and I can’t make myself face the reality of FINALLY being an adult.  I haven’t ever felt grown-up; I feel like there’s just a little kid in a (slightly) larger costume, playing grown-up and fooling everyone.  I’m fooling everyone, with this grown-up act, but deep down, I know that it’s going to fade, and I’ll be left with a soggy, run-down costume and nowhere to go.

It’s always doom and gloom when I write here, it seems.  Because once I sit down and write (catharsis), all my fears flood to the surface.

I’ve got this secret (and I’m still hiding it), and it’s freaking me out.

Research

I’m not even going to mention the massive amount of time in between posts, because I’ve finally realized that I’m going to blog.  This is how I express myself, how I heal, and I love doing it.  Snobby girls from high school aren’t going to stop that, because honestly, they don’t matter to me, and they never should have.  Being cruel and tormenting obviously helped them deal with their “problems” in high school, and it sucks that I got the shit end of it, but right now, it’s causing me more issues to keep thinking about/re-hashing it than it would be to just let it go.  So this is me being done with their drama, their immaturity, and their bad life choices.  We all know who’s going to end up with a shitty life, but anywho.

I finally have my “quiet time” because the boys are both down for naps (though one keeps high pitched screaming, and the other is crawling underneath the crib to play), and I felt like writing about how I spend my “quiet time”.

Most days, I start and finish a book during naptime.  Today is one of those “eat a whole box of instant pudding” days, while I read a book.  The books that I’m reading are the trashy historical romance books, the ones centered around a man and woman in England, or Scotland, or Ireland, and their love, which is wrong to everyone.  They have the ten page long sex scenes, and then everything is alright in the end.

These books are my guilty pleasure.  They’re easy to read, easy to memorize the characters, and they always end the way they should: marriage and/or babies.

Before you judge me, I’m reading them for research (and for pleasure, of course).  I’ve a whole box to get through (with the raunchy painted covers of a studly man holding a woman with large breasts about to fall out of her dress, hair all over the place, her mouth in a passionate “O” and her eyes closed in rapture), courtesy of Stacia (I love them, thank you!), and I’m studying how they’re laid out, how the authors work realistic dialogue and situations into the storyline, and gathering ideas.

“For what”, you ask?

Well, you see, I’ve got it in my mind to try and write a romance novel.  Complete with the maiden who is in trouble, the dashing man who hates her, but saves her according to his sense of duty, the awful traitor who doesn’t turn out to be a traitor until the end, the raunchy sex scenes, and the happy, satisfying ending.

The hardest part will be the publishing, of course, but it shouldn’t be too difficult (if you have any tips on this, let me know!) to get a romance novel accepted and published.  I want to be a part of writing my guilty pleasure books!

I Can Play That Game

I’m not friends with you on Facebook, but I know you’ll see this anyways, because some of my friends are your friends on Facebook, and they’ve shown me the stuff you’re posting EVERY DAY.

I’m sick of it.  It’s rude, it’s immature, and it completely proves my point.

But no one believes that you guys were so bad, because you sucked up to every adult you met.  And now?  I can prove it.

And this:

“Your recent blog “Rated R” was recently messaged to me by a former classmate. Normally I don’t get involved with dramatic crap, I think anyone has a right to put whatever they want on the internet, and you do. However when you say, “yet I was catching shit from every girl in my class,” I feel the need to defend myself. I would first like to say, Cassandra, never did I once give you shit to your face, which means nothing…but also did I NEVER say anything rude, degrading or anything along those lines BEHIND your back. I never heard another girl in our class say anything either. I am out of the loop a lot because I don’t like drama, but please don’t lump us all together and make us appear as the bad guys. I am completely oblivious to the “mental rapes” that I put upon you every day as well.

I’m not looking for a response here; I just wanted to say that your post definitely contained false information. As for you making fun of all of us, “You look like you’re a new breed of human with that skin color, those faces you make aren’t attractive, and mustaches aren’t cool, you fucking idiots.” …it somewhat contradicts the entire point of your post. Give respect get respect, right? I would also like to state, that lucky for me, I could give two shits about “being cool.” I am glad that you are judging us and still care if we are cool or not though.

I’d also like to say that if anything, I could turn everything in your post around. I have heard many nasty things that came from your mouth about me, and you were never nice to me nor did you ever attempt to be friends with me. I actually thought you were a very decent girl in high school, and I respected you. You were smart, funny and you did look good, and I never said anything that would have made those facts incorrect.”

Why did you send me that message?  Are you feeling some sort of guilt now?

I look forward to all the other things you say about me on Facebook.

* And yes, I left your full names in on purpose.  Enjoy. <3 *

Frustration

The thing that I always wanted happened with my blog.  I started getting massive amounts of traffic, and I have loyal readers (who have been upset with the lack of posts…I’m sorry…it’ll change).

But while I appreciate all my readers, and all the support I get from you all every day, something’s changed.

This blog is no longer for me.  I write everything down, and end up removing bits and pieces because I feel like I need to censor myself.  That’s not even close to what I wanted to happen.

I’m not the type of person to hold back on what I want to say, especially on my own personal blog (popular though it has gotten).  Sincerely…Cassandra has always been a place that I could spill my thoughts and feelings without worrying about being questioned about them.  But now, I’m getting messages calling me out on what I write.  (And for everyone who contacted me about my explosive rant, or who didn’t contact me, but talked about me on Facebook, you proved me right.  Why would you send me messages defending your actions if you didn’t do anything wrong?  Are you feeling some guilt now?  I’m going to cut myself off before I start a rant, but seriously, you proved me right by posting all of that extra shit.  I can post screen caps if you want…I can really embarrass you if you want to go down that road.  Grow up, you fucking idiots.)  My family is getting phone calls about my posts and right now, I’m afraid to write what I’m feeling, and without my outlet, I’m having a hard time healing.

I hate that I feel like I’m not allowed to put down what I feel, and I hate that I’m afraid of the repercussions of writing how I really feel at the moment.

I’m not exactly sure how I should fix the problem.  I’ve been avoiding blogging for this reason.  It’s hard for me to cut so much important stuff out and still make you understand how I’m feeling.  I need this outlet because it’s the one place that I felt comfortable telling everything, and not leaving anything out.

I need my blog back.