Monday, November 30, 2009

Hand over the chocolate and no one gets hurt

Since my daily activities have pretty much been reduced to nesting, cooking, freezing said cooking, and eating said cooking along the way*, I thought I'd return to my early blog roots and do a good, old-fashioned food post.

(*Yeah, yeah, I'm also "working from home," but you can probably tell by the quotation marks how that is going.)

I have never understood the obsession with chocolate. Not the pre-period cravings that I've heard about, not the "death by chocolate" desserts, not the dark v. milk debate. I mean, chocolate's nice and all, and I won't turn away the occasional Snickers or scoop of ice cream, but it's never really done it for me. I've always been more of a second-helping-of-carbs-in-lieu-of-dessert type gal.

Until recently. I don't know what has come over me (well, I guess I do, but anyway), but I am all about the sweets. ESPECIALLY chocolate. There's a See's Candies right downstairs from my office, and every day for the last few weeks I've been nipping down there after lunch to buy a couple of milk chocolate caramels, plus of course the free sample(s) they give you along the way. I never pass up dessert when out to dinner. It's gotten a little disgusting. I feel like I'm always scrounging for chocolate like a pig snorting for truffles. It doesn't help that I'm starting to resemble a pig, either.

But, to continue the unfortunate pig metaphor, sometimes I choose to revel in my slop. As was the case this weekend, when I used the excuse of Thanksgiving + another chocolate-loving family member to create the most resplendent (yet simple) pure chocolate dessert masterpiece, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. I command every chocolate lover out there to click through to the recipe and bake this cake IMMEDIATELY.

I wish I had taken a picture, but I was too distracted by the glossy, beautiful deep brown frosting cascading over the sides of the cake. Oh, and the moist, fluffy insides....I am drooling at the memory. And it really wasn't that hard to make....and trust me, I can count on one hand the number of things I know how to bake (including items that come from a Duncan Hines box and/or a premade cookie dough log).

The chocolate-loving family member loved the cake, and graciously agreed to take the leftovers so that I wouldn't put myself into a chocolate coma. Instead, I now must contemplate where the closest See's Candies is to my house. Or it's going to be a very long afternoon of "working from home."

Happy belated Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Man candy

I finally went to go see the new Twilight movie yesterday. With my mom -- which I know is kind of weird, but we tend to have the same taste in fantasy men. Short review in a nutshell: while I've always been an Edward girl, I say yes to the chest. The werewolf chest. Some woman (I'm assuming, but I live in the SF Bay Area so I guess you never know) actually clapped when Jacob took his shirt off for the first time. Which were my sentiments exactly.

Ahem. So, just to demonstrate how riveted I was to the screen, I will let you know that I did not get up once in two hours, despite:

1) Having to pee desperately; and
2) Having somewhat painful and regular contractions during the second half of the movie.

The contraction thing is new -- I've been having them on and off for the last few days, and it's interesting. Last night the Mr. whipped out his stopwatch when I had a few more, but I'm pretty sure that was more of a "too much buttered popcorn" episode than anything else. I can see, though, how the last few weeks can drive a person a little crazy.

Chill out, chicklette. The doctor is out of town until next week.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ready for launch

Well, technically speaking, anyway. At our 36 week appointment today, the doctor confirmed via ultrasound that the chicklette is head down. As soon as the wand hit my stomach, she proclaimed:

"Yup -- that's a head all right."

And indeed it was. A big round head pushing on my bladder 24/7.**

The good news is that now that her head is lodged in my pelvis, she's there for good. No worries about flipping, version, etc. etc. I like to think it's the 37 squats we did in yoga last week, but who knows.

In other news, I had my super-fun GBS swab. I have to say, it's a little alarming that a Q-tip in the nether regions can actually HURT (given what's going to be going down, so to speak, in the next few weeks), but then again, my doctor does not exactly have the gentlest hands.

So, one more week until I'm officially "full term." Exciting and so very scary.

**By the way (TMI alert), the books always say that if you are concerned about things leaking and what they might be, you can tell the difference between pee and amniotic fluid by the smell (pee smells like ammonia, amnio fluid smells a little sweet). I always thought that was BS. But I can now say with confidence -- pee DOES smell like ammonia. Yet another useful (and sexy) skill brought to you by late term pregnancy. See also: wiping your butt when you can't actually reach your butt.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weighty issues

It's two days before my next OB appointment, also known as The Day I Officially Begin To Dread the Weigh In. For anyone who's ever been on Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem or the like (I've done all 3 at some point -- do I get a prize?), you know the feeling. Please God is there anything I can do to miraculously drop 5 pounds in 48 hours?!?

OK, so I'm not in full-on panic mode. I realize that porking up is part of this whole pregnancy thing, and I'm almost done so I know that hopefully things will be headed back in the other direction soon. But I am Hermione -- the annoying eager beaver who always wants the A+ from everyone -- so I desperately seek approval from my doctor on all fronts, including my weight.

But I haven't been getting it lately. I've gained a little too much -- not WAY to much -- but enough that I am not sporting the "cute pregnant chick" look. And it's totally my own fault. I love food and have given into the cravings.

And here's where the food dysfunction really sets in. As much as I can't wait to lose the shelf that is my belly (and the convenient receptacle for dropped food it has become), I am a leetle beet heartbroken to have to give up the lovely food habits I've adopted: McDonald's hamburgers (with extra ketchup), morning lattes (baby needs calcium!), sweets of all kinds (a new thing for me), nightly desserts (since I can't have wine....), morning AND afternoon snacks, and a complete lack of guilt about carbs.

All good things must come to an end, I suppose. But will I ever be able to get any sort of food discipline back?

Time will tell. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Somebody please stop me....

I am officially in a shopping frenzy.

I held myself back for so long. What if something goes wrong? What if it's not really a girl? What if I get a ton of duplicate clothes at my shower?

But there is no holding back now. I just can't help it -- all of the little clothes are SO DAMN CUTE. And I've been buying them for other people for so long that I know JUST WHERE TO GO to get the very cutest things.

Making matters worse: I am as big as a house and fit into nothing, so I have only my unborn child upon whom to unleash my shopping urge.

Making matters even worse than that: Grandma thinks we are having a celebrity baby. Which must be why she purchased this:
Yes, that's right. It's a Burberry outfit. I have never owned a thread of Burberry clothing myself, but now my daughter will ooze pretentious London charm.

Somebody please help us stop the insanity!

Monday, November 9, 2009

To vax or not to vax

That is the question. For tomorrow. For the swine flu.

Each time I go to my OB's office, they promise that they'll have the thimerosal-free H1N1 vaccination in "any day now." Apparently "any day" really means "any day," but not any day SOON. I know it's not their fault, but I really want that shot!

So, on our hospital birthing center tour this weekend, we ran into my husband's general practitioner, who was also getting a tour with his pregnant wife. He pulled us aside and said "PSST. I've got some doses of swine flu vaccine. Come in on Tuesday and I'll set you up." They're the regular kind with the preservative, but he gave one to his pregnant wife and basically said that the risk of getting the flu while waiting for the shot was greater than anything the dose of preservative could do to me or the baby. The CDC website seems to agree -- they recommend the shot for all pregnant women, with or without thimerosal.

My doctor, however, does not seem to. I called today and the front desk person said that she "really wants" her patients to wait for the thim-free shot. I asked about the CDC recommendation, and the risk of waiting vs. the risk of getting the regular shot, and she said the doctor would have to call me back. Which she hasn't yet.

I'm heavily leaning towards getting the shot. Any advice/stories from out there in internet-land?

UPDATE: My doctor just called and said to get the injection. I'll leave the above hand-wringing up as a data point for anyone with a similar quandary!

UPDATE #2: We are now both vaxed and hope to stay oink-free! Thanks for all of the input.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

34 weeks!

I had my regular OB appointment today. I was sort of terrified, as I was prepared for the dreaded GBS (group B strep) swab -- you'd think at this point there wouldn't be much you could put in my hoo-hoo that would scare me, especially a Q-tip -- but that fun gets to wait until next time.

So, it was utterly uneventful, although I did get a bunch of questions answered as well as some food for thought. In a nutshell:
  • This baby will come before Christmas. My doctor doesn't want me to go past 41 weeks, which would be December 23rd. Which means that the baby might come on my birthday (December 22nd), but hey. I've been sort of over my birthday since I turned 21.
  • The doctor strongly suggested that I either stop working or at least cut back my schedule at 36 weeks, so that I can "contemplate impending motherhood." Since my company did its second round of layoffs today, I think I will opt for "contemplating how I can kiss as much ass as possible so as not to get fired" first.
  • She thinks the baby is head down, but we're going to do an ultrasound at 36 weeks just to be sure. Yay ultrasound! That will almost make up for the aforementioned Q-tip.
  • She will let me have an epidural as early as 3 cm if I want it, and maybe even earlier if I need it. And she will not do an episiotomy unless it looks like I'm going to have some sort of exploding tear. Which I guess is comforting.....that's really the only part of childbirth that I'm truly squicked out about at this point.
  • I need to stop gaining weight. I think that means I need to toss the leftover bag of Halloween candy.
Off to breastfeeding class now, which should be interesting. I couldn't possibly be more clueless!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On Complaining

Edited to add: I realized in reading some of the comments that my post might have come across as a total indictment of infertiles complaining during pregnancy. I sincerely apologize if I offended anyone -- I mean heck, pregnancy IS hard, and so different from any other physical experience that it's hard to prepare. Upon reflection, I think my post was more about my particular relationship with this particular person, in which there are clearly other things going on. I probably should just have kept my thoughts to myself on this one. Apologies again.

Let me preface this post by saying that I know I can complain with the best of them -- this blog is certainly evidence of that (although I do try to keep it lighthearted -- the various indignities of pregnancy still seem more amusing to me than anything else). But I just need to get a little something off of my chest -- although of course NOTHING relating to my chest is little these days.

I have a friend -- actually more like an acquaintance -- who is pregnant with twins, and due around the same time as I am. She is one of those people that I don't know super-well, but we somehow discovered that we were both struggling with infertility, and bonded over that. She's done 7 IVF cycles, and had been trying for many, many years before that. Her last cycle was a sort of "Hail Mary" -- she knew it would be the last time, both for financial and emotional reasons, that she would try for a biological child. And it worked!

BUT. The complaining. Oh, the complaining. At first, it was because of the morning sickness. And to be fair, it was bad enough that she was on bedrest and fluids for a part of her first tri. But things have been going well since then -- the babies are healthy, she's mostly healthy (dealing with a mild case of gestational diabetes), and most importantly, she's having the babies she's waited so long for.

I want to be understanding. I want to be supportive. But sometimes I just want to throttle her. And the endless Facebook updates.....just for kicks this morning, I took a look at her news feed for the last few weeks, and she averages about 4 updates a day with NOTHING POSITIVE IN THEM. Nothing super-negative either, but just a lot of noise of the "oh, I'm so big and life's not fair" variety. I mean, really?

I guess I should simmer down and recognize that maybe she truly is having a hard time. Maybe she doesn't have a good support system and the complaints are her only outlet. I know her well enough to know that she's got a pretty solid network, so I don't really think this is the case, but I also don't really know her well enough to ask. I guess I'm just surprised after all she's been through to get to where she is, and the fact that she knew that a twin pregnancy was a possibility, that she's acting so completely surprised that there's some discomfort involved in this whole pregnancy thing. And that the joy isn't seeming to outweigh the discomfort.

So, bottom line -- I just don't know how to be there for her when I can't understand where she's coming from. And I'll probably just let it lie and try to ignore the negativity, because I'm all about avoiding the negativity in all aspects of my life right now.

And so concludes MY complaining for the day. ;)