Eeny-Tiny Hiney

I am in the process of packing William’s diaper bag for the hospital. Of course, one of the first items to go into the bag are diapers. I opened the package, and was struck at how small the newborn diapers were! I stood there for a moment in complete disbelief that:

A) I am going to have a baby that will wear these diapers (you would think I would be used to this idea by now).

B) How small he will be!

His diapers are smaller than my hand!

I know this is a classic new parent’s fear, but newborns seem so…breakable. Within a year we will be throwing him into the air and will laugh at these concerns, but for a new parent, there’s something so real and slightly scary about realizing that you will be solely responsible for this little person.

This is probably the appropriate time since it is Mother’s Day to say thank you to my mom and to all mothers, who knowingly take on this monumental responsibility to love, care for, and protect the next generation. You may be thinking, “Wow, she got all that from opening a package of diapers?” Yes, I did. Don’t get me started about strollers!

So to all of you veteran moms, and my many friends who are mommies-to-be, have a wonderful, relaxing Mother’s Day (if that’s possible). From what I’ve heard, motherhood is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences life offers. I will be able to add my two cents pretty soon!

Confessions of a mad pregnant woman: the $7.00 bag of beef jerky

Okay, this happened a few months back, but this story will probably be one of the hallmarks of my first pregnancy. Rather than having weird cravings, I prefer to say that I strongly “liked” certain foods for a while before moving onto something different. So far, it’s been grapefruit, blacked eyed peas, and beef jerky (I’m currently into peas- something I detested as a child…go figure). Beef jerky proved helpful in warding off morning sickness, since the protein “stuck to me” and the saltiness was wonderful, not to mention that it is low in fat. It was love.

One day, Joshua decided to surprise me and buy a bag of jerky- not just any jerky- but SPICY pepper covered jerky. Not only did he buy me a bag, he bought the biggest one he could find, which cost $7.00. Talk about big brownie points!

We were at the bookstore, and he brought this bag to me while I worked on the computer. I immediately indulged, happily nibbling away on my precious jerky. That was until the heat (which I have since learned has a delayed affect) caught up to me. It was so hot I ran to the café, bought a bottle of water, and drank the entire thing in one sitting. I made a mental note to pace myself next time.

Fast forward to later that day: we came home and I put my purse containing my laptop and jerky in the office. I had to run an errand a short while later and completely forgot about my jerky. When I returned home, I was horrified: my poodle, Pierre, was apparently lured into the office by the scent of the delectable jerky, fished it out of my bag, and ATE MY BEEF JERKY. He ripped apart the package, scattering it all over the living room floor. When I found the majority of the ripped up bag, I wistfully peeked inside to see if he left any jerky behind. In hindsight, it’s pretty sad when you actually consider eating something the dog had left behind. What can I say; pregnancy does weird things to a girl’s psyche.

I was immediately upset (a huge understatement), and turned my wrath to the dog, who was looking at me like, “What?” I couldn’t look at him, so I chased him all the way to the backdoor to shoo him outside for punishment. I could see the fear in his eyes. From Pierre’s perspective, I probably looked like Godzilla tramping through the house looking for his next victim. After locking the dog outside, I noticed that his water dish (which is rather large) was completely empty. I remembered how hot the jerky was for me and he ended up eating more than I did! I figured the poor dog was probably in desperate need of water. I pondered it for a second, shrugged my shoulders and thought, “Let him burn!” “That will teach him to eat my jerky!” Yes, call it animal cruelty, but he had it coming.

I didn’t mention this fact to Joshua until a while afterward, since he had already witnessed my Godzilla-like rage. Pierre eventually came back inside and our relationship was rectified. Readers beware: never, ever, touch a girl’s beef jerky- or any food for that matter- without explicit permission. Otherwise, you may also experience what it’s like to be chased by a mad pregnant woman.

The Dreaded “S” Word…

For all my preggers friends out there, this post is for you. It doesn’t take very long into your pregnancy for this dreaded topic to come up- stretch marks. Veteran moms will take it upon themselves to tell you about their battle scars and pregnancy blogs will warn of the impending doom. If you are anything like me, I dreaded them- and for good reason, since stretch marks run in my family (thanks dad). So, immediately after I found out I was pregnant, I set out to find out the truth about stretch marks and what I could do to avoid them. After weeding through a TON of information, all of it pointed to one, very discouraging conclusion- they are unavoidable. If your skin type is prone to stretch marks, then you will likely get them. Not exactly what I wanted to hear. The most encouraging advice most pregnancy blogs offered is that they fade over time. Again, not what I wanted to hear- isn’t there some magic potion or something?

That’s when I turned to my mom, who we affectionately call the family witch doctor. She has a tonic or brew for just about anything. She gave me the following recipe and told me that if I was consistent, this would give me the best fighting chance against stretch marks. She used it throughout all her pregnancies (5 total) and swears by it. I had nothing to lose and decided to give it a try.

Before giving you the recipe, let me offer one word of warning: it smells. When I went through this nauseous stage, this brew just about did me in. Over time, you get used to it. I found essential oils helped immensely.

Okay, you will need 3 products: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter (available at Wal-Mart or Target), Wheat Germ Oil, and Almond Oil (both available at the Vitamin Shoppe). All are moderately priced, around $6-$8. The good news is they will last you a couple months. You will also need a clear bottle, I found one in the travel section at Target for $1.

This blend of oils packs a serious punch: vitamin E, olive oil, almond oil, and lanolin oil. The wheat germ oil helps prevent and improve scarring. Unfortunately, that’s the one that smells, and gives the brew a weird yellow color. Still, if it works, it’s worth it!

The ratio I use is 1/2 cocoa butter, 1/4 almond oil, and 1/4 wheat germ oil. Sometimes I throw in a little olive oil for good measure. So, get the clear bottle ready…

First pump the cocoa butter in. I found that it mixes with the oils better if it goes in first. Why, I don’t know.

Next, the almond and wheat germ oil…

And finally, if you like, you can add some essential oil in to make the smell a bit more bearable. I chose French lavender, since one of my dream getaways is Southern France. It makes me smile just thinking of it.

This is what you will get. Lovely, I know. The price we pay for beauty!

Shake vigorously. WARNING: be sure to put your finger over the lid- otherwise you may inadvertently spill the lotion all over the place. Been there, done that. This is what the finished product will look like:

Use twice daily, preferably after showers when your skin is still moist. I apply it to my chest, belly, sides, lower back, bum, and thighs. I cannot guarantee that it will work, but to date (knock on wood) at 35 weeks, I am stretch mark free. In summary, the best guidelines I have found to prevent stretch marks are the following:

1. Gradual weight gain. Try to keep your weight gain steady with good diet and exercise. Sure, there will be weeks where the scale jumps up a few pounds. But for the most part, after the first trimester, aim for about a pound a week. By having steady weight gain, it allows your skin to adjust to your expanding waistline.

2. Stay hydrated. Water will help the elasticity of your skin and is excellent for the baby. 8 – 10 glasses a day girls!

3. Use the brew. I think this lotion/oil combination has been beneficial. I never have dry, itchy skin and am giving myself every chance to avoid stretch marks. Do not wait until you are showing- the earlier you start the better! I think I started using it around 7 weeks. The key is to be consistent, applying it morning and night.

4. If stretch marks appear, remind yourself of why they are there: a precious life is coming into this world! It is a small price to pay for the years of joy you will have with your precious child. That’s all that really matters.

Rub My Belly for Good Luck

It’s decided. I need this t-shirt. I just had my belly “rubbed” for the first time today by a random stranger. As I enter the pregnancy realm, I have discovered from veteran moms that a surprising number of people are belly touchers. Apparently, it’s something about our exaggerated shape that compels people to touch the belly. One of my domestic heroes, The Pioneer Woman, is a belly toucher and proud of it. But it eventually got her in trouble- for a good laugh, read the story here.

My experience today was very similar. I was going to the gym and thought I had my belly camouflaged in my husband’s t-shirt Note: people are strangely uncomfortable seeing a pregnant woman work out, so I hide my belly under a large t-shirt. Problem is, my husband isn’t that much bigger than me – I’ve determined I need to steal some of my dad’s extra large t-shirts. But, I digress; so I walked past this Latino woman sitting at a table and suddenly her face lit up. She motioned me to come over to her, and the obedient woman that I am, I complied. I wasn’t sure what to expect next. Then it happened- her hand shot out and rubbed my belly, just like Buddha. Not sure what to do, I just stood there and smiled. Then she said in her thick accent, “So beautiful” and had the most endearing look in her eyes. Rather than being creeped out, I actually appreciated her motherly enthusiasm.

So there you have it. Not all belly-rubbing experiences are as bad as they say. Although if it becomes a continual practice by random strangers, I’m going to start charging a small fee. After all, it may just bring good luck.

Baby Momma Yoga

Today I attended a “baby momma yoga” class for pregnant woman and moms with young babies. A friend of mine invited me to it, and since I love yoga and there was going to be free coffee, I was eager to go. It’s still hard to mentally put myself in the “pregnancy” category, let alone a future mother. After 27 weeks, you would think I had accepted the idea, but I’m slow. I had the same problem accepting the “Mrs.” title- I loved being married, but disliked being called Mrs. because it made me feel old. But that’s another story.

So I went to the class and was greeted by several attractive young mommies and pregnant women. When the class started, the moms with babies were instructed on how to incorporate their babies into the yoga routine. I’ve done yoga for years, and was interested to see how this would go. One of the first poses was the cat-cow. For those you of who are not familiar with yoga, it looks like this:

Cat

Cow

It’s a great stretch, although I feel bad for those with the view behind me. The moms were instructed to place the baby on their back, so they can look up at mommy while they did the pose. So far, so good. Then, the instructor suggested that the moms could make cat (meow) cow (moo) noises to entertain their baby. Much to my shock, many moms did. So it went something like this: breath in… “meow, meow, meow, meow, meow” and breathe out…. “moooooooooooo.” At this point, I am thanking the Lord that I do not have a baby yet. The next part though, surprised me: the babies love it! The baby next to me looked at his mom as if she was the coolest thing in the world. My shock slowly turned to amusement, and I strangely could picture myself doing the same thing one day. It’s amazing what motherhood will do to you. Poor William.

Is she or isn’t she?

For the past month or so, I’ve been going through the awkward “Is she…?” phase. That’s when people stare at your belly and wonder if you’ve been overloading on doughnuts or are pregnant. This often occurs at places I frequent: Starbucks, the farmers market, or the gym where people see me on a regular basis but are not comfortable enough to come out and ask. Normally, it doesn’t bother me except at the gym. I work out at the university’s gym alongside students. I was able to camouflage the belly for a while and go unnoticed. However, the students are finally catching on and seem a bit disturbed to see a pregnant girl trucking on the treadmill. In response, I’ve been looking for one of these:

This is my favorite, although I KNOW Joshua will not be able to resist doing the Pillsbury doughboy “Tee-hee!”

This one would be appropriate at 9 months…

Here’s the winner for the gym…

Or this one….

Joshua would be thrilled if I bought this one:

The way I figure it, if I am going to be stared at, I may as well have some fun with it. That way, it satisfies everyone’s curiosity and I can continue my workout without people watching me out of the corner of their eye.

– SM

Can’t tell a blog by it’s cover…

After reading the title of this blog, Diary of a Mad Pregnant Woman, you may get the obvious nod to the movie, Diary of a Mad Black Woman. You may assume from the title that this is a rant about the aches and pains of pregnancy. If it were, I wouldn’t waste my time writing it, let alone getting people to read it. No, this blog chronicles pregnancy, just not quite how you would expect: in a funny, unvarnished fashion. You see, there are definitely low points of pregnancy (hugging a toilet for the third time that day), and joys like none other: seeing your baby for the first time on an ultrasound (cue tears). This blog attempts to capture that and all the funny things in between.

Okay,  so let’s cut to the meaning of the title. In my family, we have an old wives’ tale that goes like this: you are either one of two types of women while pregnant: weepy (a.k.a. crying all the time) or angry. My mother, God bless her, was the latter. Her stories are a family legend. You would never guess it by her normal creative and upbeat personality. When pregnant, get near her food and WATCH OUT. I learned that one really quick.

So when it was my turn to be pregnant, I arrogantly decided that I would defy all odds and not fit into any pregnancy stereotype. I wouldn’t be cranky, indulge in every craving, have morning sickness, or be an “emotional roller coaster.” No, I would be the model pregnant woman and even keep running my average 20+ miles a week. By week 7, when my beloved coffee suddenly became the worst tasting (and smelling) thing in the world, I concluded that I had some things to learn, and that pregnancy was going to be a little different than I expected…. That is not to say that I have given up on my entire quest to not fit into the typical pregnancy stereotype: I still refuse to retell my labor stories at every available chance in the fish-story fashion. You know what I’m talking about: the women who tend to divulge more than they should, including the arduous 36 hour labor, the epidural that wore off, their terrified husbands (a.k.a. emotionally scarred), and how they couldn’t walk for days. Take it from personal experience- that can make a young girl never want to have kids!

As I weed through fact, fiction, and face one of life’s biggest blessings, I thought I would write about it along the way. I hope that this blog will be entertaining and, at the very least, be a journal that I can cherish for years to come so I can have my own tall tale pregnancy stories like my mother.

And just in case you were wondering, I am the mad pregnant woman. Occasionally, that is….I prefer to say I have a “shorter fuse.”

– SM