Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Curse of the Fat Face

Pregnancy is absurd. Ridiculous. Demoralizing. Admittedly, totally worth it, but absurd, ridiculous, and demoralizing nonetheless. First, I can do nothing cool. I couldn't join Tim for his business conference held at the indoor water park. Those water slides are a no, no for the pregnant woman. We can't go skiing on our anniversary (another no, no). Tim won't let me rent an ATV--too bumpy, he says. I can't go horsebackriding. Poor horse would die. Second, what I can do, others think I shouldn't. I go still run nearly every day. 3-5 miles. On the weekends I do my long run,-7 miles. "why don't you just take it easy?" my mom says. "Are you sure you can run all the way up to end?" Um, hello? Second pregnancy, here. Matthew was just fine. And I get looks from cars, and honks and comments, "is that a good idea?" Perhaps some of you wonder the same thing. And then third, to add insult to injury, there is the pregnancy itself. The complete exhaustion that makes me say to Tim, "sorry, we can't go to the 7:15 movie. We need an afternoon one." The nausea that made the surgery clerkship such a horrid experience. And then, finally, the weight gain. I mean, I haven't gained that much weight by pregnancy standards. But it's like suddenly, I'm a whale. Now, I understand the need to gain weight in pregnancy. But what I don't understand, really, is the need to gain weight in my thighs, my butt, my arms, my chest, and, mostly, my face. My face? Honestly?

So today I blog about the curse of the fat face because I know I am not alone. In fact, I have done research. I have seen all these pictures of friends on facebook who have had recently had a baby. Yes, they all suffer from the curse of the fat face. Is this really a necessary part of pregnancy? Is looking like my face has retained a gallon of water really life sustaining for my baby? I have a hard time believing that it is, but the percentage of pregnant women suffering from the curse of the fat face makes me think perhaps I'm missing something. I would like to provide you with some evidence. I wish I could post before and pregnant pictures of my friends, too, but that's probably a breach of ethics and some pregnant woman privacy code. Here is a wedding picture: taken approximately 2 weeks before little Matthew came to be:

Then here is a picture of the fat face, taken approximately 34-36 weeks later. Then, we can show the demise of the fat face. Here, Matthew was about 9 months old.

And, then, finally, we have the fat face again, at about 24 weeks pregnant with this one.
It's scary to think that right now I'm 31 weeks along and my face is even fatter. Probably. I haven't taken any recent pictures of myself for comparison. Perhaps I should. It's not just the face, either. I mean, study those pictures. Notice the conspicuous lack of a collar bone in the pregnancy pictures. And the distinct increase in upper arm and shoulder diameter in those same pictures. Again, I ask, is this a necessary part of pregnancy? The belly, now, I can understand. But the collar bone? The arms? And, of course, the FACE? Is this necessary?

Where is the complaint department? I would like to file one.

I ran into someone at school the other week, a secretary in the office. She saw me and knew I was pregnant even though my coat was zipped. The fat face probably gave it away. Anyway, she starts raving about being pregnant. How much she loved her two pregnancies. What a wonderful, "glowing" time it is. I just smiled and nodded. What drug did this woman take in her pregnancies, cause I want some. I know there are a few crazies out there who love the 9 month journey of having your body taken over by a tiny little person, but I am not one of them. The reward is great and that is the only reason I do it.

And so, in view of that reward, I waddle on with my thick arms and fat face, all the while dreaming of the time this summer when my body is my own and I once again can fit into that little, black dress.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wait, I'm having a baby?!?

I'm having a baby. At least, that's what they tell me. Earlier last week, my midwife and I were chatting at my appointment and she asked me if I'd thought about what kind of birth I'd like to have in a mere 9 weeks. I just kind of stared at her. "The kind where he comes out, I guess" I replied. She knows I'm not serious, I have ideas and emotions and moral stances on childbirth. Yes, I'm one of those people. But really, those all apply to other people's births because I'm not having a baby. Or, am I?

Now, I understand fully that I am pregnant. Not a day goes by where I don't think about how I am pregnant: what I can and can't eat and drink (we went to the most elaborate company party for Tim's work in DC this past weekend, and I've never been so sad to be pregnant as when I saw that open bar (all 5 of them)), how much more difficult it is for me to run now and how running 8 minute miles is merely a dream and how my new 10 minute mile pace makes me feel like a fat whale, how it takes me 5 minutes to turn over in bed, and when I look at myself in the mirror and call out, "where did my collar bone go? Why is my face so fat?" Plus, the every present movements of my little guy which make me smile and laugh and sometimes keep me awake. Oh yes, I know I'm pregnant. But having a baby? Let's not get carried away, people.

Because, you see, Tim and I are adopting a child. We can't possibly also be having a baby. We think and talk all the time about how our adopted daughter will come, when she will come, and what going to Russia will be like. Tim is such a planner, and I swear he has our entire trip mapped out. He must visit the site regularly. The other day he informed me that the hotel we are staying in has high speed internet for when we need to talk with Dr. in the states about our referral. Good to know, since going to Russia is probably 7 or 8 months away. Over Christmas Tim was asked if he was taking time off for the holidays. "No," he replied, "I'm trying to save my vacation time for the adoption." "Oh, are you taking time off in March?" she asked, to which Tim replied, "What's happening in March?" My sister later relayed this story to me as if I'd be shocked and abhorred that my husband had forgotten about the birth of our second child. I was only shocked that when she mentioned March to me, I knew what was happening.

In our defense, I must say, it is hard not to be preoccupied with the adoption. Paper work out the wazoo and the ridiculous amount of money we have already seen leave our bank account (for which we have nothing to show, which is even the scarier part), and the million details like visas and medical school schedules and time off for Tim from work and trying to somehow do some fundraising so we can afford to feed our 3 children 2 years from now. This process is not for the faint of heart.

But in other ways, it just seems like it has made me totally forget our little guy. He is supposed to make his appearance in 9 weeks and he has no crib. Nor have I checked Craigslist recently for any new postings of "white crib." Last night I realized we need some kind of rocking chair or nursing chair in his room so I can feed him at 1 am (and 3 am and 6 am....) The only reason he has other furniture is because amazing quality free furniture was dropped off at our house in November. I had to do zero work to get it. But, I must also say, his sister also has furniture. Baby boy has no clothes, except what will be able to work from his big brother (they are off season. Darn!), and, most importantly, he has no name. His sister has a bed for when she is out of the crib (the white crib she will steal form her little brother when she comes home), and a few decorations for her room that I had my parents pick up for us in Russia last summer. The only reason she doesn't have clothes is because I have no idea what size she will be when we get her. Otherwise, every time I passed the girls clothes in the store, Tim would have to hold me back. And, most importantly, she has had a name for months that we use every time we talk of her.

Perhaps I should find a crib. And a chair. And get a few spring outfits that will fit. And maybe get a baby monitor and some bath toys that don't have mold growing inside them that gets shot out every time you squeeze the toy to make it shoot water. And maybe we should find a name. Maybe. But, like I said, let's not get carried away here, people.

I think some of this is normal for second time moms. After all, we already have a toddler we're chasing. I know Matthew, so I bought new bedding for him to give his current things to his brother. He says really funny things, so I tell stories about that on facebook instead of posting, "9 weeks to go!" I have noticed from my friends who have recently had second children that there is a conspicuous absence of belly pictures and countdowns during the second pregnancy. So maybe I can blame it all on that. And maybe it's cause he's a boy. No offense to my newest bundle, but baby boys are so 2009. I am not jumping to buy him clothes like I did for his big brother. And thus begins his long, long life of hand me downs (but boys don't care, right?). And when deciding whether I want to buy a crib bedding for him or his sister, it is really a no-brainer for me to save our crib bedding buying money for the day when I don't need to bypass polka dots and pastels.

But really all this has just left me feeling totally un-prepared for what happens 9 weeks from now. Not to mention I feel like the most unloving mother when I admit I have a preference for buying for the girl and not the boy. But mostly, having a baby seems too stressful to me. After all, I'm adopting a baby AND I'm pregnant. Can you believe that?