Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Holidays and All That Jazz

25 weeks and 5 days!
For this post I'll go ahead and start with the musical number of the day!  Since it's in the title, I figured why not add it to the blog as I love this little ditty.

Bob Fosse is my favorite choreographer, too!

I know, I know, it's been way too long since my last post.  The holidays kept me busy as they always do, but on top of that we also had a major ice/snow storm for these parts and spent from Christmas until yesterday with no electricity!  So I wasn't neglecting the blog, I just had no reasonable access to working internet.  I mean, who wants to try and write a blog from their cell phone?  Not this chica!

I am very happy to announce that I am moving into my third trimester this week, yay!!!  I've been told it is the roughest one due to the whale-like size increase, but I think I'm relatively prepared to deal with all that.  I mean hell, I fell out of my office chair a couple of weeks ago trying to pick up a prenatal vitamin I managed to miss my mouth with twice!  The change in size has already began to take its toll, and I kind of find it all a bit amusing.  While it can be annoying when trying to tie one's shoes, mostly I laugh at myself a lot and enjoy when others do, too. If you can't maintain your sense of humor you are doomed!

I see this is not a new concept!
So what's new with me right now...let's see....

I have absolutely horrible pitting edema in my left foot.  I have a bit of swelling in my right foot too, but nothing as compared to my left.  Basically, pitting edema is swelling that causes pits in the skin to remain after you push on the swollen area.  My pits last for well over a minute, so I've got it pretty bad.  I like to call the left foot the Stretch Armstrong foot.  Remember him?

Now do you remember?

Well whatever goo was inside that awesomest of toys, that is what is now inside my foot!  Well at least that is what it feels like.  It's smooshy and gooshy and pliable and just a wee bit icky, but it provides loads of entertainment when I'm feeling particularly bored.  What can I say, sometimes the day goes too slow!

I almost had an emotional breakdown Christmas Eve because Piper hadn't moved very much in a couple of days.  I actually had to leave my house and run some errands to get my head straight.  In all honesty, I ran to my office to take care of part of an X-mas gift, but I rushed the leaving of the house before my nieces got there.  I was so afraid they would ask about Piper and that I would burst into tears, so I hurried myself out the door before they arrived.  Everything is fine, no worries.  Apparently I am not the only soon-to-be mom who freaks out between 23 to 25 weeks along.  During these few weeks it is not uncommon for the baby's movements to decrease for a bit.  This can be caused by a number of reasons like moving to a different position, such as facing towards your spine and therefore kicks are harder to feel.  Also, the wee one could be sleeping more due to growth spurts.  Whatever the reason, I  found I was not the only pregnant woman on the planet to almost burst into tears from worry at this stage.  Two days after I almost broke down, Piper was back to her usual gymnastics and I am feeling oh so much better!

Over the break, my mom and I completed the painting of the nursery.  What an accomplishment!  I am so absolutely thrilled at what an amazing job we did.  We are practically Michaelangelos of the nursery world!  The cloud ceiling with the misty violet walls and citron crown just all works so well together, even better than I expected.  And the fact that we did it all ourselves, that is remarkable in and of itself!  It couldn't have turned out more beautiful if we had paid professionals do it.  So kudos to us!  
Cloud ceiling with accidental bunny!
Misty violet walls with citron trim!
Another shot of it all sort of together!
Plates in citron and plug in violet!
Speaking of break, I had a couple of extra days off due to the ice/snow storm.  We had 10" of snow on top of a pretty good layer of ice Christmas night.  While it was absolutely gorgeous to look at, it made for a disaster the days following.
Lots of pretty!
Winter wonderland for sure!
Living in the deep South, snow is not something we have on a regular basis.  Therefore when we do, the whole city gets shut down.  Usually the whole town will shut down for even just an inch of the white stuff, but when 8-10" falls, it REALLY shuts down!  The layer of ice before the snow took it's toll on all of us.  We had two trees come down over the driveway to the house and another 6 or so in the backyard.  Granted the backyard goes right into the woods, but those were just the trees within the property boundaries.  In other words, it's a mess!
Tree almost took out the 4-wheeler!
Another angle of the largest tree that fell.
Of course, we were not the only household dealing with downed trees.  This occurred throughout the state.  Needless to say, this took out a chunk of the power lines everywhere!  We luckily had a generator purchased after the even worse ice storm of Christmas 2000, so we at least had some form of internet, ability to do laundry, nor cook a hot meal, but heat and light and television (once it came back online).  And we did have internet access through our phones, so that was nice.  But in the end it was still an inconvenience to be trapped for a few days and have our creature comforts interrupted.  We finally got power restored yesterday, but there are still some I know who have yet to got their electricity back.  We may be a bit more careful around here when next wishing for a white careful what you wish for, for sure!  

(UPDATE:  just found out the power is back off again, sheesh! May be till midnight tomorrow before it is back on.  Happy New Year!)
Yeah, sure you do! Lie to me some more!
(UPDATE DOS: power is back on again!)

Now that we are back in the world of 21st century (for now), all is shaping up to be a nice ending to a remarkable year.  At the beginning of 2012 I had no idea by four months in I would be trying to have a baby solo.  It was not part of last years New Year's resolutions, it wasn't even on  my mind at that point.  As usual, however, life changes in the blink of an eye.  One mistake or misstep can open up a world of possibilities which turn that mistake/misstep into the greatest thing that could have ever happened to you.  Of course I am referring to my last relationship.  The proverbial straw that broke the camels back relationship.  I had no idea that that disastrous affair would become my turning point in life.  I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, and I am never disappointed.  From every negative seed that is planted, something fruitful blooms.  It may take time for the positive to emerge, but it always does without fail.  Knowing that the good is just around the corner from the bad is one more reason to look forward instead of to the past.  I know, a bit Confucius says there, but it's 100% true!  I should really go back an thank every bad relationship I was ever in, for each and every one of them brought me to where I am today...they all brought Piper to me, and that is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me in my life.  

I would like to remind people that not every relationship I had was bad.  Some were just bad timing, but quite good otherwise.  Timing can be everything.  So no I am not Miss Pessimistic when it comes to love.  I still believe in love and maybe now that I am past that push to make something work because my time to create life is running short, well maybe now I'll be more open to letting things take a more natural instead of pressured course.  Plus, I'll have Piper to worry about and that will also give me something else to weigh my decisions against.  No longer will it just be me in the equation, now it will be us.  Making good decisions for us instead of bad decisions for me because the consequences are so much greater, well that may just turn my dating life around somewhere down the line.  I'm not going to hold my breath on it, but we'll see.  I know quite a few single mothers who have found their true loves after the fact.  While none of them went my route with the choosing to be a single mom, the outcome is relatively the same.  They are still single mom's who didn't give up on finding that someone special because of past hurts.  They all got on with their lives, raised their kids to the best of their ability, and kept on trucking!  Cheers to the strong, single mothers of the world!
I do believe some single moms will get this!
Okay, I'm done with the sappy stuff for now!  On to some more baby updates!  As of yesterday, I was measuring at 44 1/2" around my belly, which is 2" up from Christmas Eve.  Wait, just measured again, I am now at 45" around! (see opening blog pic) Yep, expanding like crazy!  I absolutely adore the way I look.  I think I am more beautiful looking now than at my most fit in my 20s!  There is just something wonderfully stunning about the pregnant female body.  I love looking at myself in the mirror, not that I didn't before, but even now with the larger butt and thighs, not to mention the larger boobs, it all just seems breathtaking.  You ever see one of those Venus figurines?  
I'm not that big, but I get it now!
Sure they may be a bit over dramatic with the proportions, but they're pretty damn accurate overall.  I'm sure some women don't gain any extra weight anywhere but their belly, but I'm okay with the extra roundness I have come into.  I know most of it will leave once I give birth, so I'm not all that hung up on thinking my body will never be the same.  I mean it never probably will, but who gives a shit right?  I'm 38 and having a baby, it's not like my 22-year-old body is going to re-emerge afterwards.  I've definitely learned to be happy with my shape, and that's a blessing.  My ka-dunk-a-dunk is off the hook and it was quite fabulous to begin with, hahahaha!  
Oh yes, I still do!
Okay boys and girls, that about catches all things up to the present moment.  I have my next prenatal visit this  Friday, and I think I may be getting the glucose test then.  That'll be something to blog about!  Oh, and the nursery carpet goes in on Thursday.  I, of course, bought the highest grade available like a crazy person, so I can't wait to see it.  Very soon all the nursery furniture should start to trickle in.  The teacup bookcase got a little behind schedule as the artist got backed up, but it should be coming soon.  I'm thinking the dresser and chest should be here by the end of the month or very beginning of February at the latest.  And last but not least, the crib should be here mid to late February.  It was made to order so took about 11 weeks to complete and ship.  I'm anxious to get started on the decorating part as that is going to be a blast!  Also, I decided that instead of a valance for the window, I am going to have a fabric cornice board.
Love this style!
I've been eyeballing the arched one pictured above.  Of course it would be done in the harlequin fabric and I am still pondering what other fabric I would use for the ties in the middle.  Or...

I adore this one, too!
I could go with this simpler one and have just the harlequin fabric with an accent froo-froo dangle piece (artistic technical terms there).  Either way, I'm going with the cornice board!  From there the main harlequin curtains would be tied back on either side with the colored sheers in the middle.  It all works perfectly in my head, you will all just have to trust me on this one.

Well that about completes my entry for today.  It's Monday, I was off four days last week and will be off again tomorrow, so I should probably get back to work.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas or whatever holiday it is you may celebrate.  And I hope everyone has a great New Year!  I'm looking forward to having my best year ever so far!  Just think, a little over 3 more months and Piper will be here!  You will all get your next up-close look at her around the 15th of this month, however, when I get my 4-D ultrasound done.  I'm very excited about it and cannot wait to share the videos with the world!  But for now, take care and be happy!

Now time for the repeat...

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Until next time...
The End...get it?

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

And yesterday morning, and the day before, and the day before that...
I have recently been going through a battling the devil on my shoulder scenario.  Every day it's the same battle, and in all actuality it's a bit on the ridiculous side.  I have read that other soon to be moms go through this same battle, maybe not all but some.  Usually the battle results change based on whether you're a mom on the first go around with labor and delivery versus those moms who are old hat at it.

Curious as to what in the world I could possibly be blabbering about?  Now don't think I'm insane or think maybe my hormones have gone to my head, but lately I have seriously been considering all natural child birth!

If the song fits...

Well, considering is not really the right term.  I have absolutely no desire to feel the pain of shoving a child through my 38-year-old hoohah!  I really have no clue whatsoever from where this thought process of doing it naturally is coming.  It's like I woke up one morning with my superhero cape on and proclaimed with a mighty feminine roar, "To hell with you pain killers, I got this!"  That is just bat-shit crazy no matter how you look at it!
This is what I should be shouting!
I am perfectly  aware that there are those women out there who choose to go all natural and usually it's because they believe it's better for the baby, or some other whackadoodle notion.  And it probably is, I really can't argue that.  Well, I could argue that from the babies perspective, I suppose.  Think about are the baby, you are being squeezed through a narrow, dark canal that is smooshing your skull into a deformed somewhat footballesque shape, you have been safe and cozy in your little liquid hideaway and all of a sudden you are forcefully shot forth into a very dry (or completely wet if you're into that whole at home water birth thing), brightly lit room with a bunch of bizarre looking creatures staring down at you...pulling you, suctioning out your orifices, wiping you down, snipping you loose from the one person whom you can trust....AHHHHHHH!!!!  Now wouldn't you want a bit of drugs to get through that?  Yeah, that's what I thought!  So, better for the baby to be sober?  Yeah, easy to say when you're not the baby!

That's cause he had an epidural!
So why should it be any different for the mom, right?  I have absolutely no issue with epidurals and I'm delighted they are readily available and women no longer have to be tied down to a bed and given nothing while going through this process, or forced to squat behind a tree and do it all without making a sound lest the dingos hear you and come to feast on your amazing creation.

So, yay for science!!! 
However, there is still this demonically odd voice inside me that keeps taunting me with the idea that I don't need science and that I should forgo all the wonders of modern day medicine and take it like a champ!  And I don't know why!!!

Is it some type of crazy motherhood chemical being released into my system?  Is it just part of the 9-month process that we all have to deal with?  I seriously wish I could figure out why I cannot get rid of this thought. Especially when I know it's not what I logically want.  I even told my mother the other day that no matter what stupid shit I spout during labor she is absolutely, without a doubt, 100% supposed to put her foot down and make sure I get that epidural.  I don't want to be a birthing champion and get obnoxious bragging rights for doing it naturally. I want to be calm, and sane, and in no pain.  That makes sense, the choosing pain does not.

I don't need this type of reassurance!
Hopefully I'll be able to keep my level head and have the epidural without second guessing myself when the time comes.  I'm not as young as I once was and my pelvic region is no longer as flexible as it used to be.   This alone is a damn good reason why I shouldn't give birth without drugs.

I could seriously break my hoohah!
I feel I should point out that I do not want a C-section, either.  I absolutely do want to do this vaginally, and I'm willing to put in the hard work to do so.  But I have to get my head together and stop being stupid minded about how far I'm willing to take the experience.  Maybe I'll meet myself in the middle and hold off on the epidural until I just can't take it anymore.  But that doesn't sound sane, either.

Anyway, that is my crazy hormonal trial and tribulation of the moment.  I think that maybe it all stems from the fact that I've had such and easy pregnancy and my brain has developed the misinformed notion that labor and delivery will be more of the same...easy peasy.  Believe me, I know it's not and I know how dumb that sounds.  I guess only time will tell if I end up being a moron when it counts.  Maybe I should start an office pool and take bets on how long I will hold off for the drugs or whether I will just simply lose my mind and go for the painful gusto!  We'll all find out come April, no doubt about that!  Hold on to your hats, this could get interesting!

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Dream a Little Dream

Nothing cuter than a sleeping baby!
A very exciting development occurred over the past week for little Piper, she now goes into REM mode whilst sleeping. If you remember all your science classes, REM stands for rapid eye movement and this is the stage of sleep in which we dream. In other words, Piper can now dream!

Got to love this song!

After learning of this new development, my mom and I got into a discussion about what a fetus could possibly dream about considering they have no life experience as of yet. This question led to quite an interesting flow of hypotheses.

My mom and I have always had a bit of a strange relationship when it comes to our dreams.  Over the years we have discovered that we have many dreams that are if not identical, are very similar in nature.  We both have dreams about our teeth crumbling, we both dream about the dirty or occupied bathrooms when you need to pee, about forgetting our locker combinations or not being able to find our classroom, we even have shared a dream about chocolate covered English peas.  That last one was the most bizarre of all!  I was casually telling my mom about a dream I had about eating chocolate covered English peas, this dream occurred back in my mid twenties, and as I was telling her the dream her jaw just sort of dropped and her eyes grew real big in disbelief.  After I was finished, she went recounted a dream she had once about her younger brother feeding her chocolate covered English peas.  Remembering the dream still gives her the icks.
Yeah, that'll haunt you at night!
I mean seriously! What are the odds of both of us having such a visually detailed dream, and one we could both remember so clearly, about such a strange topic?  That was the day we began discussing our dreams with each other and realized how many similar dreams we actually shared.

Now I do realize some of our shared dreams might be the result of common experiences and are shared by multitudes of other individuals.  I have spoken with others who have had the crumbling teeth dream, which is not surprising since we all have teeth.
The horror!!!
The dreams about locker combinations and impossible to find classrooms, well that is probably a result of our education system so not surprising those dreams are alike.
Do you feel its taunting?
The needing to pee dream and can't find a clean or unoccupied toilet, that one usually occurs when you really have to pee and it's your body letting you know you better wake up before you piss your sheets!
We've all done this dance!
So yeah, that's another dream not surprisingly shared.  But the English pea dream, that is one odd unexplained coincidence.  It is one dream that I have never been able to wrap my head around...until now.

So little Piper can dream now, and we are back to the question of what could she possibly have to dream about.  So here is my hypothesis...her dreams come from me.  Think about it.  We share the same body in a sense, we share the same DNA, blood, nutrients, etc.  She is part of me and I am part of her.  Why wouldn't we share the same subconsciousness?  Perhaps during her REM sleep at this point, she is pulling dreams from my own subconscious database.  If so, wouldn't this explain the shared dreams between my mother and myself?  At some point when my mom was pregnant with me, she had that English pea dream, or it was there in her memories from whenever it was that she dreamt it.  Then as a fetus, us sharing oh so much while I'm nestled comfortably in her womb, I pulled that memory into my own subconscious and it became a part of me as much as it was a part of her.  Years later, as I lay dreaming, that memory surfaced and resulted in me also having a dream about the chocolate covered English peas.  Her dream became my dream.

I really don't think it's all too much of a stretch for this to occur.  It seems quite logical in a strange way, but it kind of makes perfect sense to me, and to her, once I put the idea forth.  As for the other dreams we share, the ones that are not a part of the mass collective conscious (aka the locker combination dream), they would also be a part of this connected dream circuitry.  It would explain every bizarre coincidence we have encountered through our dream discussions.  And as far as the mass collective conscious dreams, maybe they are also formed while in the womb and that is why not only are they similar in nature, but also similar in circumstance within the dream.

For example, let's take the needing to pee dream.

Sure it may be that in the collective human conscious the need to pee while sleeping triggers a dream about needing to pee and not being able to find a proper spot.  You can't find a proper spot because your body and mind are keeping you from satisfying that urge while still asleep.  The purpose of the dream is to wake you up so that you can then really go pee!
My Star Wars fans won't like this one!
But in our shared need to pee dreams, my mom and I share a similar experience within a similar circumstance...the bathrooms are dirty and/or occupied.  Since we're talking dreams here, it is hard for me to describe these circumstances and have them make sense, but when we discuss them, the similarities between the circumstances and locations in these dreams is, to say the least, eerie.  Why are they so damned similar?  There are a billion and one different ways your brain could incorporate the real need to pee into a dream, so why are our dreams the same?  It's because as a fetus, when I went into the REM stage and had no life experiences of my own to dream about, I tapped into my mom's brain and drew from her subconscious.  Therefore when I now have the need to pee dream, the circumstances of her dream are hardwired into my own.

Have I hurt your brains yet?

You may all think I am completely bonkers by now, or you may be contacting your mother to see if the hypothesis rings true in your own life.  My inner anthropologist so wants to delve into further research on the topic.  Had I thought of this back in grad school, I probably would have completely changed my direction and went cultural anthropologist instead of archaeologist.  I'm admittedly fascinated by shared dreams and now am even more curious based on this thought of a mother-child inherited subconscious connection.  I have absolutely no way of proving any of this rambling, but sometimes it is just fun to ponder the possibilities that are out there.  Stranger things have been pondered before!  And this sharing of subconscious information could very well serve as not only a teaching tool but also as a bonding method between mother and child.  Who knows?  That is just my 2 cents of crazy for the day!

Especially you, Bill Nye!
My niece also came up with an interesting answer to the question about what babies dream about.  Her idea was that they dream of their past lives.  For a twelve year old I thought that was very deep and insightful.  Once again, why not?  Before you can draw on this life for dreaming, you draw on another life before this.  Ponder that for a bit.

I read another study where some scientists were trying to figure this out.  Not having a whole lot of anything to work with, it's not like you can ask the fetus what's going on in their little fetus head, they determined maybe the REM stage for sleep in a fetus was not actually full of dreaming as it is in older children and adults.  They suggested that when this young, the body simply uses the REM stage to grow and develop, yada, yada, yada!  My question to them would be then why REM sleep for this?  There are other stages of sleep where growth and development could occur, so why think that dreaming is not actually going on?  Then I would drop my hypothesis on them and watch them get all flustered knowing at this point they couldn't prove me wrong! Bam! Take that science dudes!
I say this tongue in cheek, of course, as I am a science geek myself.

Well, I hope this has given you all something to think about when you can't sleep at night.  I would love to hear other people's ideas on this matter, and I can see me bringing this topic up at dinner parties and other such gatherings.  Dreams are fascinating things no matter how you look at them, and this is just one more way to look at them.

Once again, I hope you will take the time and drop a vote for my crazy butt over on Top Baby Blogs.  It just takes a couple of clicks and no obligations of any sort.  My new goal is to make the top 100!  I've come from the 500s and as of earlier today had made it all the way to #116!  So if you don't mind, just click the banner below and show your support!

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Thanks for reading and come back soon!  Oh, and sweet dreams!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Joys of Pregnancy and Other Fabulous Tales

Yeah, I've got nothing on that one!
Since I am waiting to move on to the next step in decorating the nursery, I think this is a good time for me to finally post about the joyous and not so joyous parts of my pregnancy. Everyone I have talked to seems to have a different take on these joys and non-joys, as every pregnancy is different, but that's beside the point. Here it is all about me, bwahahahaha! (sinister, rule the world laugh!).  Anyway, I figured I should document what my experience in the baby making department has been like from the more physical, rather than the mental side of things.  I will probably forget some of this stuff if I wait too long, so now is the moment and I must seize it!  Just a fair warning, I don't like to hold any punches, so this may get a bit graphic for some.  But hey, that's just the kind of gal I am.  And is honesty the most important policy?  I do believe I read that somewhere once upon a time....

But first, here's your music video for this round!

Okay, now where to begin?  I'm seriously debating how to organize this segment...all the bad things at once, followed by all the good?  Mix it up by alternating between the two?  Chronological order by onset of experience?  I guess for the first time ever I'll just completely wing it and see where the flow takes me.  If it gets too chaotic I can always reorganize myself later, right?  Oh, and this will most likely be an entry that is added to as I get further along, so I guess winging it is probably best since the style will change from time to time as I delve deeper into my pregnancy.

I'll start with something happy, not that anything has made me unhappy, but good things are always nice to hear....

Now I have heard many a tale of being pregnant, but no one ever mentioned to me the waking up effect on the growing belly.  This is also one of the most amazing things I've experienced along the way, until actual movement occurred, so it's probably a good thing to put first.  Now I cannot speak for other preggos out there, but for myself, every time I wake up and get out of bed in the morning, I can literally watch my belly change shape.  It is so wondrously cool! When I first get up, my belly is higher up with a little bit of a flattened region between it and my pubic area (oh the pubic area, we'll get to that one later!).  I imagine it is because little Piper has had the weight of the world taken off her shoulders whilst I sleep, so she sits higher and more towards the back of my uterus.  I'm no expert mind you, this is just what makes sense in my head, so don't take my word that this is what is really going on in there.  But anyway, once I stand up to go start my morning ritual, I can literally watch my belly drop from the higher position to a much lower one that extends more in the front.  When I first noticed the phenomenon it was taking about the time it took for me to shower.  Now that I'm really beginning to show, I can simply stand there and watch it happen within a few seconds.  I imagine this is not something that is purely unique to my pregnancy, it's just something no other mother has yet to mention to me.  And why not?  It rocks!  Then again, I think everything about pregnancy rocks, even the not so pleasant parts.

And on that note, let's move on to a not so pleasant part....

Hmmm, where to start?  I think I should ease everyone into the not so pleasant parts so I'll begin with a not-so-not-so unpleasant part.  That make any sense?  If I was going in chronological order here, and was like a shit-ton of women out there, puking my guts up would be first on my list.  However, I was very lucky in the morning sickness department as I had not even the slightest bit of nausea, EVER!  Which is weird.  Every time I got sick as a child, and it has continued into my adulthood, every damn time I get the sniffles I hurl!  I've gotten so used to it that it doesn't even bother me to puke anymore.  So naturally I just assumed I would be a toilet hugger throughout my pregnancy. Well thank goodness for small favors as that did not occur!  You're wondering where the unpleasant part is now, right?  Sorry, got a bit off track and what I am about to tell you has absolutley nothing to do with puking.  My first unpleasant experience was, oh wait for the absolute horror....

         Horse Hair!!!!
And I couldn't have coffee to make it better like this chick!
Don't laugh, this stage was an absolute I-almost-shaved-my-head-bald phase!  My hair was so soft and luxurious and the prenatals were making it even more beautiful than ever, and then one day I woke up with dry, knotted, impossible to brush for all the damned tangles, snarled-up,disgustingly icky hair!  And that's putting it nicely.  It literally changed overnight!  It was so bad that every time I ran a brush through it to work out the tangles, it would instantly knot back up.  In order to help alleviate the situation I went to my hair dresser to get what I thought must simply be nasty split ends removed.  Guess what?  After the cut and during the styling she complained that my hair was impossible to work with because of the retangling effect...and she's a professional!  I tried leave in conditioner.  I tried not washing it.  I tried not washing it and using expensive conditioners followed by leave in conditioners.  Nothing worked!  I eventually broke down and decided to have it all chopped off.  Mind you I love my long hair and it was down past my shoulder blades, but I just couldn't take it anymore.  Luckily before I made that second appointment to have the hell hair removed from this world, I put out a desperate post on Facebook.  Well, it was more of a whiny, complaining, pity-party post than anything else, but you get my drift.
I'm sure this is what most people thought!
Lucky for me my female motherhood compadres responded to my desperate plea and told me DON'T DO IT!  They begged me to refrain from going into all out angry Brittney Spears with an umbrella mode and just wait a few weeks.
I totally get it now!
They promised me it would get better.  So against my better judgement I waited, and boy am I glad I did.  After about three weeks of hell hair, I woke up one morning and just as soon as it had appeared, it disappeared.  It was once again full and shiny and luxurious and awesome!  It was the best hair ever!  Now it was probably no better than before the horse-hair weeks, but it felt better than it ever had because of the hell it had put me through.  My hair and I are now on a friendly basis once again.  I like to think it lost its attitude because I threatened it with extinction, but I'm sure it was all just a hormonal thing.

One good thing and one bad thing down.  On to another good thing!

Next up in the rockin' pregnancy department....PORN BOOBS!  Yep, I said it, PORN BOOBS!  There is nothing  more awesome than waking up one morning and realizing you have finally grown those breasts you've been waiting on since you were twelve years old.  It might have taken almost three decades, but they have finally arrived!  I began my pregnancy as a small 34B, nothing spectacular in size but perky as could be. (hahaha, I rhymed!)  Over the last decade I had finally gotten used to the fact they weren't getting any larger.  Sometimes they would get smaller, like when I was on an extreme workout kick, but never any larger.  And I was fine with that, at least that's what I told myself because there was no changing them.  Well, not without surgery and I haven't ever been big on wanting implants (read between the lines that statement screams that I never had the money so therefore I didn't want).  So 34B...that was what I was given, and that was what I lived with...until now.

It is no secret that your breasts grow when pregnant.  We all know why, all that hormonal stuff and needing to supply milk for the baby, yada, yada, yada.  However, there is no set amount one will expand in the chest region based on their every day normal bra size.  I've read some horror stories of women who expanded to a K cup size once they got pregnant.  I didn't even know they made size K bras!  I'm sure these women started with much larger busts than myself, but dear Jesus what a nightmare!
These are 42K, and my artwork is awesome!
I've also heard stories of women who didn't increase in size at all.  Neither one of those scenarios was where I wanted to head once pregnant, and luckily neither one of those scenarios reflects what I got.  Luckily for me I gained only a cup size within the first month of my pregnancy.  It was nice to gain some right off the bat while I was still somewhat smaller everywhere else (I'll get to what that "somewhat" means here in a minute).  At first I was afraid that since I gained a cup size so quickly, that I would continue to grow and then have out of control massive boobs like those K cups!  But after the first little bit, the growing tapered off and they remained steady for awhile.  There I stayed at a nice 36C (yes I gained a bit around the rib cage, too) up until just recently.

As I began to grow everywhere else, my boobs for a time stayed where they were.  Then all of a sudden, within the last couple of weeks, I started getting sore boobs again.  Low and behold they were once more on the expansion route.  To make a short story short, I have just recently gone up to a D cup!  Now I'm not a huge D cup, but enough that the C bra is shamefully too small, and the girls are still perky which is a blessing.  I'm hoping that mother nature will be kind and let me not only keep some of what I've gained after everything is said and done, but I'm also hoping she'll be kind enough to let me keep them upright!  On the opposite spectrum of sprouting pregnancy porn boobs, I have read horror stories of deflating, droopy post pregnancy boobs.  I think I'll be fine, but have my fingers crossed regardless.
Yep, don't want to go there!

I'll entitle this next section "Why are my thighs touching?!?!?!"

As you can probably guess, this segment will not be a part of the pregnancy pleasantries.  This segment is all about weight gain!!!!

This section will not be FUN!!!  AHHHHHH!!!  

I'll begin with a little pre-pregnancy story.  Before I actually got the + sign on the old pregnancy stick, I spent three months trying to get that + sign.  During that three months the doctor's put me on Clomid and Progesterone cream.  The Clomid was to produce more than one viable egg a month and the Progesterone was to pump up the lining of my uterus so the implanted egg would stick better (that is the non-technical version).  Unfortunately, these two drugs have a slightly adverse side effect...weight gain!  My usual pre-pregnancy weight normally stays right around 135lbs max, and I was at this weight when my baby making adventure began.  To once again make a short story short, by the time I got that positive reading I had packed on 20lbs of side effect weight!  You heard that right, 20lbs!!!  I really can't believe I just threw that out there because only those who see me regularly have been privy to that knowledge, but what the hey!  So by the time I actually registered as pregnant I was close to a whopping 155lbs!  Now this may not seem like much to some people, I'm sure there are some women reading this right now who are rolling their eyes, but to me it was 20lbs heavier than I had ever been in my life.  I couldn't fit into any of my jeans and was forced to go on a dress buying spree to hide the extra weight until I could safely say I was showing.  I managed to cope pretty well with the extra weight knowing that in the end it would all be worth it...until I went to the beach.  

Right around the end of my first trimester, my parents and I took a little beach vacation.  I was past the just bloated stage and into the beginning to show stage, so that was great.  I was able to buy one of those modest 2-piece pregnancy suits with a tankini top and a little skirted bottom. I really only had one suit to choose from cause it was at the end of the season and there was only one left in the store that was remotely close to my size.  Most of them were extra large suits, so I was lucky they had the one medium left in stock.  Anyway, I wore the suit with pride and it offered enough coverage for that awkward stage of being in between really looking pregnant and looking like you drank too much beer the night before.  And with the extra weight I had gained pre-pregnancy, I was definitely glad of the extra thigh coverage.  I've always had nice legs and a damn good butt, but that extra weight made me a little uncomfy when it came to running around in a near thong like so many summers before.  Okay Ashley, stay on track...

So one day during this vacation we decided to take a day trip to a different beach than the one in front of our condo.  It was great because we had this completely gorgeous beach all to ourselves this particular day, which turned out to be a good thing considering my discovery that day.  As we were loading up to go back to our condo, and taking the considerable trek from ocean to vehicle, I noticed a burning sensation between my thighs.  At this point I realized my thighs, for the first time in my life, were rubbing together as I walked!  The burning sensation?  That was from the sand that was stuck to them and it was causing them to chafe with each agonizing step.  WTF?!?!?!?  I was completely mortified by this realization.  I had once been a professional ballet dancer and my thighs were a source of pride in my life...well no longer. Upon this horrid discovery I was greatly appreciative that this particular stretch of pristine beach was empty this day.  Once the discovery was made, and I realized the chafing was not going to stop, I decided to say fuck it and just waddled back to the car with my legs spread apart.  Yes, both my parents laughed hysterically at my new slightly retarded looking gait, all bowlegged and hunched over with my ass sticking way back behind me, but at least my thighs were no longer touching!
Yep, I looked this ridiculous!
After I got to the car I noticed my inner thighs were red and splotchy from the sanding they had just received.  I'm glad I was able to walk that ridiculous walk or they might have bled!  Anyways, needless to say I will not be wearing any corduroy this winter lest I should start a fire!
Once again, my artwork rocks!
Whew, glad that confession is out of the bag!  Now I can go on with my life free of that shameful burden.  Since we're on  the topic of thighs, I might as well just take you on a little trip north and go right into a little discussion about the pregnancy hoo-hoo.  Bet you thought you were going to get another pleasant topic, but oh no, let's just keep going down the path of shame and get all the fun (AHHHHHH!) stuff out of the way.  This voyage into the pregnant vagina will have two lovely parts distinctly different from one another.  The first part will cover a pregnancy delight that has been going on since day one, the second will be short and sweet and cover a more recently occurring event.

First off, let's talk about what I like to call the pregnancy vagina.  I know that sounds like it could go in oh so many directions, but the only direction this story is going is down. That's because what I have dubbed the "pregnancy vagina" is the ever annoying and constantly uber wet hoo-hoo that is a direct result of toting around a fetus.
Just couldn't help myself!
Who knows why pregnancy brings on a rain forest like environment to your nether regions, I'm sure once again it's all about hormones, but the fact is that it does!  And if you were extra lucky like me and had to shove a tube of Progesterone cream up your va-jay-jay every single morning for the first twelve weeks (not including the two months of pre-pregnancy injections), then you have had not only the normal pregnancy vagina, but the additional fun (AHHHHHH!) of dealing with a gooey cream slowly expectorating itself all damn day, every day, for what probably seemed like the longest twelve weeks of your life!  I guess I should have warned the squeamish to skip down to the next paragraph, oops!  Sorry about that one.  So there you have it, a woman's va-jay-jay is in a constant state of panty soiling during the baby baking process. To me it doesn't seem to serve any purpose, but then again what do I know?  I do know that throughout the first trimester that icky wet feeling had me constantly terrified that I had started bleeding every time I went to the bathroom.  So maybe that is why it happens, to keep the woman on her toes and constantly in fear that she is possibly losing the baby she worked so hard to create...sounds more like a cruel joke doesn't it?

Okay, now on to part dos of the vagina monologues...

As of the beginning of this week, and I discovered this in the shower Monday before work, I can no longer actually see my hoo-hoo.  Believe me, I tried to see it Monday morning.  You'd be surprised at the positions a lady can contort her body into in order to get a good view of the goods whilst holding a sharp object, aka shaving razor!  I ridiculously even tried holding up my belly with one hand whilst leaning way far forward to peer over the top.  Of course this didn't work and if it actually had I still couldn't have operated the razor with one hand while shaving anyway.  In my opinion there are way too many folds and crevices to maneuver around down there, so it definitely is a task that requires two hands!  No matter how you look at it, or in this case don't, my belly has overtaken my ability to properly groom.

Needless to say, it's a very good thing I've been grooming down there for years because now I can practically do it in the dark with my eyes closed.  Well I guess there would be no real point in closing my eyes if it was already dark, but you get my point.  So from here on out, I will be forced into grooming blindly.  I will admit I am horribly afraid that the next time I have to go in for an exam in which they actually have to check my girly parts, I'm sure that will be around the time of labor, that I will have grossly miscalculated my blind grooming skills and that I will end up having Chewbacca-like patches of growth that I have missed.
The horror!!!
I've spent my entire going-to-the-gynecologist career trying to impress the doctors with my grooming skills, and now I am facing the day when all that work will be thrown out the window and they will forever remember me as that chick with the patchwork quilt between her thighs!  I know I shouldn't care, and I probably won't even be able to get to it by that point in order to turn it into some Picassoesque style shave job, but I just can't help it!  I have at least some dignity I would like to maintain!
This was just too funny not to share, cause this is what I'll look like!
Alrighty then, I think I have spent enough time discussing my vagina, so on to more good stuff!

It is really quite difficult to pinpoint all the good things, besides the boobs and cool morning belly drop since those are so specific, because honestly everything is just so damn fantastic!  I finally have begun to feel Piper moving which is super duper wicked awesome!  I was actually feeling her here and there for a couple of weeks and didn't really even know it.  My mother told me the first baby movements felt like a flutter, sort of like a butterfly tickling you with it's wings but from the inside.  I was so set in my head that that was the feeling I was supposed to feel, that I failed to even think I could experience those first movements in an entirely different way.  When I finally got to 20 weeks last week, I went on an internet hunt for other women's descriptions of those first movements.  What I found got me really excited because I realized that the odd feelings I was experiencing were actually Piper doing her thing.

To me there were no real flutter sensations.  What I felt was more of a heavy, rolling, sometimes dropping sensation.  Ugh, it is so difficult to describe what I mean!  One of the ways I have been describing's a feeling like a manatee lumbering through water.  Why this explanation?  I have no idea!  To me it makes sense in my head and then when I say it out loud it just sounds crazy, much like when trying to describe a dream.  I do sometimes feel her kick, I did a few times last night while lying in bed with my hand on my stomach, but mostly it is that swimming, rolling manatee feeling.  I can't wait to see how those little sensations of movement change as I get further along.

Swan Lake music, how appropriate!

Notice in the video about 2 minutes in where the manatee is rolling around?  Yep, that's how it feels when Piper does it!  Does that make any sense at all to anyone else?  Surely I'm not the only pregnant woman to talk about birthing a manatee!  Okay, I'll move on!

I'll finish up this post by saying that it is absolutely amazing to know I have a little person camped out inside of me.  I kind of feel sorry for men that none of them will ever know what it is like to carry another being around in their tummy (yes I know the baby isn't really in my tummy!) and feel them grow and move and all that fun stuff.  How very lucky I am to have been born with this capability!
Like a boss!
And how very lucky I am to have the ability to create and grow this life even as a single woman.  It must be excruciatingly difficult to be a single man who wants a baby.  While I have the ability to go out, procure some sperm, and voila; they could never go that same route alone.  Yes men have the ability to be great single parents, no doubt about that, but they do not have the equipment to have a child without a woman's involvement...and that's really gotta suck for them!  I'm so very, very thankful that I do not have to have a mans direct involvement to experience this creation of life.  No I couldn't do it without the sperm, but thankfully there are men out there who are willing to help women like myself.  I still wish I could give my sperm donor a great big hug and kiss for making me the happiest woman on the planet, but alas that is impossible.  It's funny that the one guy who finally gave me everything I ever wanted, put a forever smile on my face, and brought me to the point of loving someone so much that I feel like I could just explode from it all will be the one guy I will assuredly never meet.  Weird how life works out sometimes.  But besides all that...

That just says it all!

As always, I hope you enjoyed this post.  And if you did, I would be overjoyed if you would click on the banner below and be kind enough to vote for me on Top Baby Blogs.  There are no forms to fill out or information to give, just a click on the banner and then another click on the owl.  It's literally that simple!

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