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Archive for the ‘over 35’ Category

So I managed to get through the holidays pretty painlessly, or so I thought. There I was, merrily rationalizing all those cookie calories being a nice even swap for my missing vodka and blood orange juice bliss, having a quiet New Years Eve with my one glass of Perrier Jouet, and then blam.

I wake up Monday morning with a head cold. And it wouldn’t go away.

I don’t know about you, but I think that other women just don’t want to give it up when it comes to the pregnancy advice. Either they don’t remember because of “pregnancy amnesia” or there is such a wild variation of pregnancy symptoms and conditions among women, I don’t know. All I can tell you is that when I tell other women that have had children about what I am suffering I get either no response, the “really? I don’t remember that” answer, “that seems unusual” or something equally as comforting. What the fuck?

Here’s things: I can tell you first hand that if you get a cold you will be dehydrated. Epically. Like you need to drink water constantly. Like if you’re drinking a lot, you’re not drinking enough. I was so dried out that it felt like my brain was sucking inward from my skull, like the worst hangover you’ve ever had times a million.

This symptom far outweighed any problems I had from just the nasal congestion alone.

And-tylenol doesn’t work for crap, at least for me. My go to drug of choice for headaches, excedrin migraine, is off limits due to it’s aspirin content, and taking tylenol after a certain point felt like a cruel joke. I would wake up in the middle of the night, hours after my last fluid intake of a jillion gallons with an even more massive headache, a painfully dry throat and a pounding heartbeat. This cycle continued on a two hour basis of fluids and peeing (not in the bed, by some kind of miracle, even though I had dreams of using the toilet). My normally composed self fell into a crying heap, and poor Dan didn’t know if I needed an OB or a psychiatrist.

As a last resort I scuffled out to CVS to get a humidifier. I wandered aimlessly about with a cart in CVS. I actually should have done this earlier since my advanced maternal age diagnosis has been making me feel old. I was the youngest person at CVS using a cart-this is normally reserved for the 70 and older set of women who are shopping for depends and denture supplies.

I got home, plugged it in and zonked out.

And by some miracle, I felt, human the next day.

The headache was gone. It was like when Mia Farrow’s morning sickness left her in Rosemary’s Baby. I put all thoughts of having Satan’s child out of my mind and rejoiced in the fact that I could place one foot on the floor in front of the other without fear that my head would indeed explode and enjoyed not sleeping with a bag of frozen peas on my eyes. (This incidentally makes a great eyemask-I recommend baby sweet peas. They mold well around the eyes and nose and cook up very deliciously in a skillet with butter, shallots, prosciutto and sage.)

So my words of wisdom today is that pregnancy will make you thirsty. Your blood volume increases by 50%. You need water. A LOT of water. And if and when you get sick you need more. I actually recommend coconut water too since it hydrates super well and it is very low calorie. I believe that water will stave off a myriad of pregnancy issues-constipation, swelling, skin issues, etc…none of which I have had.

Eight glasses? Bleh-try twelve. Try always drinking something. I know, I know, you will spend your life in the bathroom. I’m sure this is the case anyway. I’ve kind of come to terms with it.

And a humidifier is worth a shot. I always thought that they were for the sickly, allergy, hypochondriac set. Of course I registered for one to go in Baby Basmati’s room as a matter of course, but I never thought much of it otherwise. Here on Long Island the summers range in the 196% humidity range. But winter can be drying, and the thing on high cranked out water like nobody’s business.

On a similar note, I manged to make it to my midwife appointment in the midst of my illness. I told the receptionist (who has a son) about my cold and my thirst. She asked if I had been tested for gestational diabetes. I was getting the results back at that appointment, so I didn’t know, but I didn’t think so. I thought it was weird that she didn’t think my constant runny nose and my body fighting a cold would necessitate more water intake, and that I must be diabetic. I know thirst is a symptom, but whatever.

Turns out that after ingesting that orange syrup, my blood glucose was low. Hypoglycemic low. Apparently my body has ninja like abilities to fight and reduce incoming sugar. And since I am otherwise healthy, my midwife told me I should eat frequent small meals, and not let myself go too long without eating. This explains why I feel the desire to rip somebody’s arm off and beat them with it when I’m sitting at my MIL’s house on Thanksgiving before dinner for three hours and there’s nothing to eat except crackers and wasabi peas. This year was brutal in particular, and the arm in question was my poor husband’s.

In my defense I told him we shouldn’t have gotten there so early. We stopped by my parents’ and I stuffed my cheeks like a squirrel with prosciutto, mozzarella, chicken wings and shrimp. I should have put them in my purse.

Today I’m 29 weeks, and since I hadn’t been to to the gym in a few days, I got a good sidelong gander at my belly in the studio mirrors last night. Holy cow-pun intended. I think I popped in the past 10 days! Luckily my slothness didn’t pack on the pounds too badly as my last weigh in at the midwife was comforting. I can’t bring myself to weigh myself at home, so at least I have a break from that kind of insanity.

Onward and upward!

Here we are, two days after Christmas. I really suck at keeping up with this blog, so I guess my resolution should be to post more often.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I feel like I’ve whizzed past some pregnancy milestones. Today I am 26 weeks and 4 days. I’ve done the anatomy scan/ultrasound where everything was peachy, gotten to my midwife a few times where I experienced my first real wait in her office. Apparently all of her patients decided to get knocked up in March so there are a slew of births on deck for December/January. Last Monday she was stacked with appointments that were rescheduled from a day where she was at the hospital attending a birth. I guess this could be considered a drawback of not going to a mega OB group with eleventy million doctors, but I really didn’t mind.

Naively I thought I’d escape the glucose test since she hadn’t mentioned it to me, but alas, I was handed a scrip to go to the lab that week. I figured, hell, I’ll just get this over with before Christmas and the inevitable cookie parade that will be going down my throat. I’d just better effin pass because I don’t feel like going through it again.

For those of you that have done this, I have to say it really wasn’t that bad. My midwife told me I could eat a light breakfast before hand with I thought was sane (who expects a pregnant woman to fast, drink that crap and then not eat for a further hour? Stupid.) I had an egg as to not throw off the test with too much starch. I drank almost an entire bottle of water while I did the NY Times crossword and waited. As I took the last sip, the tech behind the reception desk said, “Don’t drink too much water.” Uh, too late. Nobody told me that before.

Whatever. They drew the blood (three vials, jeez) and didn’t mangle me too badly. My arm usually ends up looking like Julia Robert’s in “Steel Magnolias” They asked if I felt okay. I said no worse than usual, got up and left.

I have a friend who owns a local coffee shop/restaurant where DH (my husband’s initials are DH so he’s just Dan now)and I have breakfast every Saturday morning, and we’ve been chatting about pregnancy. She gave birth at the hospital I’m going to with a midwife. She’s given me some invaluable resources about pregnancy, birth, diapers, etc…one of them is metrominis, which I’ve been meaning to go to to take a free cloth diapering instruction class. I know what end to put the diaper on, it’s just figuring out where to start that’s overwhelming me a little. I don’t want to buy fifty of one kind of diaper and say, oh fuck, I should have gotten x or whatever. I also want to do the whole babywearing thing and make my own baby food. This elicits stares, “good lucks!” and swift changes of subject with a lot of people, but I don’t give a shit. I’m not delusional, I know some days will be hard, but I’m firmly convinced in my ability to do a load of laundry. And steam and blend food. If I can make au gratin potatoes with mushrooms and leeks I can boil some freaking broccoli. God.

Anyhow, she was laughing because I told her I am the executive chef for Christmas at my mothers-I transport the side dishes and do the roast there. “Why is it that the pregnant lady is doing all the work?” My husband says “Well otherwise we wouldn’t eat.” Of course I could have backed off this year using my advanced maternal age and pregnancy condition as an excuse, but being type triple A doesn’t allow for such behaviors. I have to say though, the fruits of my labor cookie wise were totally worth it. And anyone in the Huntington/Long Island area needs to get a Buche de Noel cake from Copenhagen. I don’t care if you celebrate Kwanzaa, go get one. I almost broke my “no pregnancy binges” rule and ate half the thing. It almost (almost) made up for missing drinking half the bottle of pink champagne my dad had. Boo.

Of course all this superwoman crap has finally caught up with me and I am freaking exhausted. I slept until 10:30 today and still feel like a zombie. This week is strange for everyone, I suppose, this netherworld between Christmas and New Years. Dan is at work, and it sucks. As it stands now come the new year I will be looking for different work (more on that in another post I guess) which comes at the suckiest timing. Pregnant lady looking for work, great. Anyhow, I’ve been trying not to think too much about it since this week is never really productive for most people.

Dan’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas (his mother is Jewish and his father is Hindu), so I give him my tales of fuzzy Christmas memories of toy orgies, overindulgence on candy, cookies, gift wrap blizzards, and the day(s) after. Like a bomb went off, a sleepy, pajama-ed week of strewn tinsel, melting snow (sometimes) and toy reorganization. And the thought that after all this, the anticipation, the planning, the suspense, it’s all over for another year.

And now what?

That long wait for the first crocus bulbs of spring…

It’s going to be awhile.

M

So of course we’re inundated as pregnant women with information about what to do, what not to do, what to eat, what not to eat, etc… because in the ever wise words of the “Pregnant Chicken” when you get pregnant your brain falls out of your ass and you can’t think anymore.

All that being said, I have still wondered and looked outside of myself for advice about how much I really should be eating at this point, in the spirit of Thanksgiving tomorrow. It is a very strange feeling beacuse I have never had food issues and have never in my life wondered about eating. When I was hungry, I ate. When I felt I was eating too much, I stopped. And I certainly figured out that once I headed north of 25 my caloric intake needed to be adjusted. Lower.

I don’t eat junk, but I’m not exactly a food saint, either. Example: no McDonald’s but for your consideration, see “The Chief” burger at Sapsuckers. A few weeks ago I felt like I could have eaten four of those bastards. Of course I didn’t. And no oreos, candy bars, processed crap, but black and white cookies from Copenhagen Bakery? OMFG. It was buy one get one free last week which I think I mentioned. What could I do?

Nonetheless, I really haven’t been eating too much more than prepreg. And honestly the cookie calories are probably just subbing in for my vodka tonics (did I mention I miss you?) So I did some internet sleuthing and came across a site that had a calorie calculator for pregnant women. You plug in your age, pre pregnancy weight, height, and exercise frequency. According to them at 38 years old, five foot nine, 150 lbs and daily exercise, I should be eating 2620 calories a day in my second trimester. WHAT? And go up to 2810 in my third trimester. Um, I’m not planning on trying out for the defensive line of the New York Giants, so that seems like a lot of calories.

I was pretty much under the assumption that 1500 a day was pretty good for me, and now I’d just tack an extra 300 onto that with the pregnancy. I’m not sure what to make of this. I may get up to that number tomorrow with turkey and pie, but normally¬† I would never get close. And I’m not buying this “packing on fat” for the baby and afterward (for bfing). This would be more plausible if we were back in the stone age and birth/child rearing meant a woman would be sequestered away and unable to hunt/forage/etc…and eating was much less frequent than it is today (read:not 3x daily and certainly not as calorie dense). So having fat stores would be a matter of life and death. Today in comparison all food is “fast food” and this doesn’t seem necessary anymore.

So I’m just as confused as when I started. But I’m not sweating it. I’ll eat when I feel I need to. And I’m certainly not holding back tomorrow, although we’re going to my in laws and I am seriously going to miss my mother’s stuffing. It’s just a classic bread stuffing that she uses Bell’s Seasoning in, but the smell of those onions and celery sauteeing in butter early on Thanksgiving morning is almost better than bacon.

Almost.

I hope she saves me some!

M

I was 20 weeks last Friday, and all is going very smoothly all things considered. I had a checkup on Halloween where my blood pressure was slightly elevated (135/78) so my midwife wanted me to come back a week later and re check it.

Naturally this sent me, a normally sane person, into a state of meta-panic. I crawled into bed and laid there like a sloth, worrying that I had pre eclampsia, and I’m pretty sure gave myself a headache by worrying that either my head was going to pop off, the baby was going to detach, or both simultaneously.

Dan actually left work ON TIME and got home at 5:30. It was amazing to think that if he got to leave on time each night he’d actually be home at that hour regularly. He was a great source of comfort and as usual reminded me that I’m not a 1,000 years old and I probably just had a bad day or maybe something I ate or whatever.

Of course when I returned to the midwife a week later my bp was 118/70 and I felt like a total a-hole for getting everyone around me all riled up. Unfortunate side effect is that I am no longer able to imitate a bed ridden walrus and we can no longer subsist on take out each night.

This Friday is our big 20 week sonogram. We’re not finding out the sex, so I’ll have to let them know ahead of time to not spill the beans. I’m still in between wearing my regular pants and my H and M maternity jeans which are awesome. It really sucks that you can’t order¬† from H and M online here in the states. WTF?

We also had a great weekend of moving crap. I went from bedridden bp patient to heavy lifter. Well, not really, but I did help. We had to take off the soft top on my jeep and put the hard top on. And yes, I am driving a 2 door Wrangler, even after Baby Basmati comes so suck it. Then we moved all the crap (most of it anyways) out of the nursery room and into the office, which for a few days after closely resembled some kind of post apocalyptic furniture thunderdome.

Did you know that Benjamin Moore makes about eleventy million shades of green and if you’re not already insane from being pregnant you can nearly drive yourself to that point by trying to figure out what color will be perfect for your gender neutral nursery. (BTW go to the Benjamin Moore website and register yourself and you’ll get a nice 30% off coupon emailed to you.)

M

PS for anyone who wants to see here’s a really crappy photo of me at 20 weeks 4 days. I can’t really produce a bump, sometimes I think I just look thick. Please disregard any toothpaste spots on my mirror. Yes that is my hair it is hippie long and also not getting cut, along with the jeep.

 

 

It’s been a while since I last posted. Since then I have had my second blood test for the nuchal screen. The genetic counselor still pushed really hard for the amnio since I am (gasp) 38, but we just smiled and nodded through her questionnaire. I decided that if all comes back well with the screen then I’ll forgo the amnio, regardless of my Advanced Maternal Age. Ugh.

She had a laundry list of questions about both of our backgrounds. Silly me, I thought that our baby would be up there in the genetic diversity category: my father is Irish and a quarter German, my mom’s Hungarian. D’s father is from Calcutta, India and his mother is half Persian Jewish and Austrian Jewish. But this didn’t deter her from suggesting testing for Tay Sach’s, CF and I’m sure other things were mentioned before I fully zoned out. I started to loop through the real possibility of me being a Tay Sach’s carrier and also D since he’s half Sephardic but I gave up since trying to explain that to this woman would have been an adventure I wasn’t willing to get into. We’re going to a county hospital for our testing and for the birth (they have a birthing center for private patients) so the majority of the patients are lower income and minorities (it also services the prison next door). Though not of the Jewish minority. She probably went home and wrote a book report about us. Dear diary…

The blood draw was horrifying, almost more so for D than for me since he was watching and I was wincing with my head turned away. Three attempts and two huge black and blues later for one lousy vial of blood. Please I hope they listen next time when I say to use a pediatric needle. Thanks.

I’m starting to show a little, a pouch sticks out as the day wears on. I’m still fitting into my regular clothes, but it became time to suck it up and shop for maternity. I was lucky to have my sister donate her entire maternity wardrobe to me since she’s closed up shop, but I still need some other things. All of her stuff is brown. Not a single pair of black pants to be found. And the one pair of jeans? Um, not too good.

I found a great wrap cardigan and an awesome pair of jeans at H&M. Being new to all of this I didn’t realize that the mommy clothes would be buried in the childrens department. It sucks that we can’t order online from H&M here in the states since they have more stuff on the site. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a pair of black jeans since the only ones they had were “skinny”. Which I don’t mind, except for the snug ankles. Why oh why would this be flattering during pregnancy? This will not make my ass look smaller.

And horizontal stripes on maternity tops is just stupid. Stop it. Now. I am not a boat captain. I do not desire to look wider. Please.

All you other mommies out there probably know about Old Navy (got my package today in the mail, great basics), Target (some good, some okay), Kohl’s, and surprise of all, Forever 21. It seems like they just have real basics online right now, but it’s super cheap if you want to use belly bands or need some tank tops. Some people are freaked out thinking this is geared toward teen moms, but the news flash is that this won’t make kids get pregnant faster. Maternity clothes don’t encourage unprotected sex. You know what makes kids want to have sex? The having sex part. It’s not that complicated.

Also found a great site through pregnantchicken.com called Kiki’s Fashions. Very cute, inexpensive things but also guilty of the horizontal stripes.

Went out for dinner with D last Friday to celebrate Baby Basmati reaching 16 weeks and the size of an avocado. It was Huntington restaurant week and the place we went was packed. Had an awesome appetizer of burrata stuffed with ricotta, short rib for my main, and bread pudding with caramel sauce which kicked ass. And a nice glass of Malbec so deal with it sanctimommies. I watched with longing as D had two “special agent” martinis (basically a vesper, like from Casino Royale). One day you too shall be mine, martini. One day.

I didn’t ask if the cheese was pasteurized, but incidentally I searched through our local cheese market at the wide selection of brie in the case. ALL PASTEURIZED. Finding unpasteurized cheese is harder than getting hit by a rhino on Main Street. I got some brie and ate half the wedge as I made dinner Saturday. I may do it again this weekend. I haven’t gained any weight so far thanks to my first trimester food aversion, so I feel good on that front. So bring on the cheese.

And all those blogs and websites touting the second trimester energy surge are pure BS. I am so freaking tired. I’m sure BB is going through a growth spurt (I know my bump is getting there) which has to be sucking the life from me. I’m not anemic. So it’s just crap. I think they tell you how “glorious” the second trimester is to get you through your (possible) barfing in your first and the inevitable foot in your bladder/throat/lung that will bless you in your third.

Gotta drag my ass to the gym to keep moving. Ordered more clothes from Kohl’s today and we’ll see how they are when they arrive.

M

So we had a lovely fall like weekend on Long Island. On Saturday my husband decided he wanted to go into town to get a haircut. I thought I’d go browse around while he had his appointment. The fresh air would do me some good since I slept not one wink Friday night. For some reason even though I’m not showing at all and I haven’t gained a pound I cannot find a comfortable position to sleep in. Oh, and DH has been snoring like a Boeing 747. Did I mention that? I’m sure this question has been asked and answered a million times but how the hell does he not wake himself up? But if I shush him he wakes up. And offended I may add.

“Why are you shushing me? It’s rude.”

Um-I CAN’T SLEEP! I AM PREGNANT! I AM EXHAUSTED!

Anyhoo, into town. I walked into our local independent book retailer (yes we still have one of those, our town is awesome) and poked about. I picked up a book about lobsters called, “The Secret Life of Lobsters”. I thought it looked interesting. I just finished “Tomatoland” and before that “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”, so I figured I’d like it.

Then I decided to amble over to the pregnancy books. I had looked a few weeks ago at a Border’s-all the merchandise was discounted since they are going out of business. I ended up with a baby naming book. Naming this kid is giving me palpitations.

But the rest of the lit-kinda lame. I thought I’d give it another try. I picked up a book called something like Your Pregnancy Week by Week or whatever. I flipped to week 12 and read along. Your baby is the size of a plum! Aww…cute (I guess). You may need maternity clothes. Uh, not really, but whatever. What to eat, other symptoms, blah, blah, blah. Then the last paragraph of week 12 had some handy advice about exercise:

(I’m paraphrasing here)

Some women belong to Curves, the women’s fitness club. They wonder if they can continue their workout routine while pregnant. Why yes-you certainly can! Just don’t overdo it/breathe naturally/sit down during the whole routine/do it for ten minutes etc, etc…

Um, excuse me, but who belongs to Curves that’s under 50? And are these women pregnant? What a miracle! The genetic counselor looked at me like I was a fossil, so I’d like to round up some of these Curves-going pregnant women and trot them into her office. Hah! You think I’m old? I’m of “Advanced Maternal Age”? Check out these broads! Later they’re going to jazzercise!

And another thing. Enough of this “Swimming and water aerobics are great for pregnant women”. Yes, getting to a swimming pool is way convenient for so many people. And I’ve got water aerobics right after canasta at the Boca Raton senior center. I’m going with Gertie and Ruth.

I did see a book worthy of any mother with a sense of humor. “Let’s Panic About Babies!” is freaking hilarious. It also reassured me that I didn’t have to lose 50 I.Q. points and morph into a humorless, sofa shaped human being with a conveyor belt of Haagen Daaz leading to my mouth that should be in a perpetual smile of pregnant bliss.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.

Yes! Off the hook for making dinner tonight. Monday night Giants game and DH is bringing home a pizza. Awesome.

We just hammered out the details of telling my inlaws. Friday at a nice lunch. God this is when I miss binge drinking. My MIL’s idea of a nice lunch is going to TGI Friday’s and ordering an appetizer and an entree. Yikes. She’s going to feel like an a-hole when we tell her and she’s been bitching in her head about the restaurant we picked the whole time. I love how this joyous announcement is tinged with spite and shaming. Is this why parents feel superior? I like it.

Next after that will be my parents. But they may already suspect something’s up since I wasn’t mainlining champagne at out last family dinner.

M

Well, I should have started this blog a few months ago I suppose. Earlier this year, my husband and I decided that now was the time to start our family. We always knew we wanted a family, but had not been sure about the timing.

Of course there is never a perfect time, as of course nothing is ever perfect. But we felt we were close enough.

It’s weird to go from avoiding pregnancy to trying to achieve it. I wasn’t going to become one of those women who turned sex into a job or a means to an end. I fully felt that it would happen when it was meant to happen. But there was this little, nagging voice in the back of my head. You see, I turned 38 this August, and as most of you know, women fall off a cliff and hit a brick wall simultaneously at 65 MPH after 35. Being in denial of my age, though, I moved bravely forward. And in my second month off of the pill, I was late.

One week late, then into the next, I told my husband that it was time to take a test. We waited until a Sunday morning. I entered the bathroom, did my thing and expected to have to wait the obligatory three minutes as stated on the box. But immediately two lines popped up, saying “Uh, hello, you’re pregnant”.

So here we are, at 11 weeks 4 days. I’ve already been to three prenatal visits (with a midwife) the first of which I was only 7 weeks 3 days. I’ve also had a nuchal translucency ultrasound and the first round of blood tests. The ultrasound looked great; we’re still waiting for the blood results.

My hope with this blog is to share my experience as a mom over 35 going through a real pregnancy. Real details, experiences, no voodoo. The information out there scaring pregnant women is overwhelming. What you can eat, what you can’t, chemicals, hair dye, exercise. I’m sick of the scare tactics, I’m tired of how women are patronized in terms of their health care and especially during pregnancy. Feel free to share your experiences here, the dirty looks you got ordering a glass of wine, the “tsks” over a spoonful of feta, a runny egg or this all out blitz over lunch meat. All the while trying to figure out what to eat that day that won’t make you barf.

More to come,

M



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  • babyforbutton: Congrats on Naomi! My baby was born March 15th! Amazing how fast the year has gone by!
  • babyforbutton: update please!! :)
  • reilly873: I've somehow managed to ease the pain the past few nights, but only with some serious, ridiculous pillow arranging. Which is a royal pain in the ass w