Surprise Diagnosis

After the dust settled on my postpartum depression and I returned to the land of the functioning human, I decided it was time I actually put in some foot work and found myself a therapist who could confirm that I was now normal and could get myself off the Zoloft and return to my previously scheduled life.

Friends. I did indeed find a therapist, but as it turns out, my life wasn’t ever “normal” to begin with? I suppose I had some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression my whole life. I come from a family rife with addiction struggles (those genes missed me, thank Jesus), codependency, and both diagnosed and undiagnosed anxiety disorders. Throw into the mix two years of IVF, a miscarriage, and a horrible pregnancy and it was basically twelve sticks of dynamite strapped to my back that were all fizzling down to 2018.

The first couple times I saw her I’d joke the hour away and she’d laugh along and then with five minutes left be like “so your dad’s an addict, huh?” WOOF. Way to ruin the jokes, lady. Then one day I went in and announced that I had stopped taking the Zoloft that they gave me for the PPD. She furrowed her brow and said, “do you think that was a good idea for someone with depression?” Who has depression?! NOT ME HA HA HA. Or… wait. Do I?

A few weeks later I was talking to a co-worker and she was talking about all these symptoms she was having: forgetfulness, impatience, quick to anger, inattentiveness, inability to get organized, inability to listen for long periods of time, chronic procrastination, unable to focus on a task. I wanted to shout IT ME! but one of the other symptoms was interrupting and I didn’t want to be rude. She said her doctor told her she has ADHD, and that it’s far more common in adults than people think. I shared the diagnostic with Jay and he was like, uh, yeah. That’s all you.

So back to the therapist I went and sheepishly mentioned the co-worker conversation. “I… I think all of those apply to me?” I truly thought she was going to brush it off as silly. Everyone procrastinates! No one likes long work projects! Everyone leaves stove burners on and forgets conversations and drives past their exit on the highway! There’s no way I could have ADHD and be a functioning adult who excelled in school, who has a Master’s, who planned a wedding and had a baby and has worked in the same job for fourteen years. ADHD is for kids who are bouncing off the walls. But now I keep remembering times like when my roommates would be watching TV on a Saturday morning and I would get up in the middle of a show to clean the bathroom and my brain goes “oh”.

So anyway, in addition to having ADHD I am also dumb. Obviously these things are on a spectrum, and I am high functioning enough to pull my shit together when I need to, to hyper focus, in fact, when I need to. But no, it’s absolutely not normal to leave stove burners on or to completely forget to listen when your boss is talking to you. It’s not normal to feel like you’re failing at everything you attempt because you just can’t complete it. And it goes hand in hand with anxiety – the anxiety is a byproduct of feeling like you suck because you can’t get yourself to do what you need to do.

Therapist lady did not brush me off as being silly. It makes so much sense, she said thoughtfully. And ADHD meds are easy to give a trial run; you can take them as needed. So now I’m sitting with this diagnosis and trying to decide how I feel. On the one hand, the thought that my diagnosis could be ADHD makes me SO UNCOMFORTABLE; much, much more so than a diagnosis of anxiety. On the other hand, I also feel wildly hopeful that amphetamines could make everything feel clearer. What would it be like to not live in a fog? I really had no idea that everyone didn’t just exist with 4000 things running on a constant loop in their brain. Isn’t that just how it is to be a mom and work full-time? APPARENTLY NOT.

Co-worker friend says she looks at her Adderall as putting on glasses and being able to see clearly, except she’s putting the glasses on her brain so she can think clearly. I like that image. I also like the idea of making jokes about taking speed (I’m picturing a lot of Jessie Spano gifs), so I think in the end it’ll all work out.

 

The Hits Just Keep On Coming

Hey-o. A few people have been asking me about the surgery recovery and while I still have that awful hematoma on my left side, I can say the rest of the recovery is going just fine. Honestly, the worst has been that very soon after surgery I got some kind of plague illness that has lasted well over a month now. I tried every medication known to humans, and was tested for things I didn’t even know were still in existence (pleurisy? Legionnaire’s disease?). I coughed so much and so hard one of my ribs is fucked, so now I have to clutch my entire body in every time I cough which is approximately every 30 seconds.

This morning I came in to work feeling a tiny bit better but still grabbing at my ribs, only to have a surprise unannounced observation by my principal. I hope her notes include my inability to carry on a conversation and my clearly Vicodin-induced haze. Thank you, tenure!

We also have a baby entering his last leap (leap 10 of the Wonder Weeks, if you’re not familiar), and he has been a cranky, fussy mess. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still very adorable, but Jesus H. Christ with the whining, kid. This is the last leap of his babyhood so after this all tantrums are basically going to be explained by him just being a turd.

Anyway, onward, right? I just looked at my calendar and had a moment of nostalgia for November being NaBloPoMo when all my faves were writing SO MUCH, but not enough nostalgia to actually participate because hello, toddler at home. Sending out good fall vibes to all my trusty blog friends – just know I miss hearing your voices.

New Bra City

Well, I did it. I had a reduction and I survived (so far) to tell the tale. It has not been the best of times over here; some of my fears, it turns out, were valid. It does indeed suck to not be able to pick up my child when he’s upset or just wants a snuggle. It does hurt like a motherfucker for a few days. And wearing a C cup sports bra, while novel, is not worth this giant lump that formed which forces me to keep my left arm held constantly, awkwardly away from my body so as not to anger it.

Things were going pretty smoothly, healing-wise, until last Thursday when I suddenly had this intense pain on the left side and I was sure I was headed for the ER. After getting home and taking a Vicodin and applying ice I got the surgeon on the phone. Since it could have been a number of things she had me come in the next day. Turns out it was a hematoma – a giant, golf ball sized bruise that needed to be drained. WARNING: if you are faint of heart, do not read this next part.

Friends, she jammed the biggest needle I’ve ever seen straight into the incision line and tried to SUCK OUT that bruise. When the results were fruitless she told me to keep icing it for a week, then come back to see if it had liquefied enough for her to try again. She sent me home with another Vicodin prescription and asked if I needed anything else. “After that insane needle some Xanax would be great,” I joked.

Which is how I came to find myself in possession of many Xanax.

On the plus side: I will say that I have had zero neck, shoulder, or back pain since. Jay pointed out that I have mostly been eating Vicodin for meals though, so perhaps that could be a factor there. Also, I bought four bras for $48 WHAT IS THIS LIFE. Are all small-chested people just rolling in extra cash monies?

So the jury is still out on whether I think this surgery was “worth it”. Almost two weeks later, Jay catches sight of me and will do a double take like, THIS IS SO WEIRD. You’re telling me, mister. But I think once all is said and done and I’m not actively in pain slash looking like Frankenstein’s monster I will be able to appreciate that my clothes all fit like a normal person.

Farewell, Boobs

For pretty much as long as I can remember I’ve been complaining about my boobs. With reason; as soon as I hit puberty (I was 10), they went from nothing to a D in a span of a couple months. As I got older, no matter how trim I was they seemed to slowly keep expanding. Now, as I near 40, I dread my yearly purchase of bras. I spend inordinate mountains of money on specialty bras, minimizing bras, lifting bras – and that’s after scouring the internet and finding sales. Then I have to hope that they will fit properly, that they won’t poke in horrible places, that they won’t flatten me into weird looking pancakes. I have a drawer full of bras I never wear that cost hundreds of dollars because I have to order them from places in the UK and Asia to get the best deals, and returning them would be more of a hassle than I can deal with.

Back in 2008, after suffering the first of my debilitating round of pain due to a spinal disc injury in my lower back, I bit the bullet and scheduled an appointment with a plastic surgeon. He was an older man, and I remember sitting uncomfortably as he scrutinized my bare boobs in his sterile office only to have him announce that they weren’t big enough for insurance to cover the surgery. He rambled on about a height/weight ratio, and how I was too tall, and in order to take enough out for insurance to cover it I’d have to go down to an A cup. I told him I’d take it, but he said no way, that wouldn’t work on such a big frame.

Cut to 2018. I’ve had a child. My body is a mess of stretch marks. I have incision scars from an ovarian cystectomy and a c-section that was minorly traumatic. My boobs are bigger than ever (despite everyone telling me they would shrink after breastfeeding, so thanks for that false hope, you liars). I tell my PC doctor that I want a referral and she sends me off with a nod. So once again I head to the office of a plastic surgeon, only this time she is basically Mindy Lahiri. Her office is warm and inviting. She has gel implants on her desk that you can play with. She seems competent and understanding, and also, she has done surgeries on a number of the Patriots’ wives, which I find hilarious. She enters everything into the system in a way she knows my insurance will accept, and then, I have a surgery scheduled.

Friends, it’s tomorrow. And I am freaking the fuck out.

I have the obvious fears – pain, infection, bad reaction to anesthesia and/or the pain meds. Then I have the anxiety fears, ranging from ridiculous to serious – I can’t pick up my son for a week, what if he thinks I don’t love him? What if I die and Jay has to explain to my child that I died during an elective boob job? What will it be like to be able to sleep on my stomach? What if they do the surgery but find cancer cells in there?

And lastly the psychological body fears. For so long, basically my entire life, I’ve hated how these boobs look. I’ve spent years mastering the technique of layering clothing so that I minimize cleavage and thwart ogling men. But they’re mine, and they’re a literal big part of me, why do I want to chop them up? What if I hate how they look afterward and wish I hadn’t done it? What if I have this done and I still hate how I look overall? What if I look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself? Am I suddenly going to be nostalgic for my giant boobs?

I guess I’ll just keep reminding myself of why I wanted to do this in the first place: no more back pain from the weight of these monstrosities pulling me down. I’ll be able to roll into a Target and buy a bra like normal people, without spending a full paycheck on it. Bra straps that won’t leave an indent on my shoulders. No more worrying about my cleavage spilling out of my shirt to the delight of 8th grade boys. Not getting knocked out by them while on a trampoline. Wearing only one sports bra while jogging instead of two.

I’m really trying to think of this a 40th birthday present for myself.

Still, it’s weird to think by this time tomorrow these boobs will be no more. I’ll have a drink tonight and toast their farewell – and I’ll see all you normal chested ladies on the other side.

2018

Yes, so. My baby is nearing seven months old and I realized that I never even finished telling his birth story. We’ll just sum it up and say that three days after my c-section I was pretty sure I had fucked up my life permanently, that I was never going to be able to function as a mother, and that I would never feel well, physically or mentally, ever again. It was horrible.

The doctors and nurses do tell you that three to four days postpartum is the worst for hormones and they call it the “baby blues”. Um. “Baby blues” sounds like you might just be a little sad from time to time. This was a soul-crushing, horrible, panicked feeling. So, while I was still in the hospital, I told them I would need some drugs ASAP or I wouldn’t be able to function, and they immediately gave me Zoloft. I wasn’t about to fuck around with depression with a newborn at home, thanks very much. It did take a while to kick in, and I am still taking it, but my postpartum depression bought me an extra month off of work, which ended up being a huge relief.

Fast forward 6.5 months, and my baby is the cutest, most dear baby in the world. I am biased, of course, but if you’ve seen him I do think you’ll agree. I love him so much it makes me cry sometimes just thinking about it. And it also has me thinking – could I do that again? The IVF, the pregnancy, another c-section (which would be a certainty due to how they had to do the last c-section with the placenta previa)? The not sleeping? The newborn crying? The possibility of another round of PPD? Could I even afford a second baby?

The only reason – and I stress it is the ONLY REASON –  I would consider this is because I know we have that one girl embryo left. When Jay and I discussed it I said I felt like I couldn’t possibly go through another pregnancy… but I also felt like I couldn’t just leave that girl embryo in a freezer at MGH. I don’t believe embryos are people, but that embryo has the potential of being my daughter. It feels impossible either way, to try for it or to leave it.

I guess for now I’ll just try to enjoy the cuteness of my current baby and not stress about whether I could or could not live through all day nausea again. EASIER SAID THAN DONE, BRAIN.

Birth Tales

Turns out, having a newborn takes up a lot of free time! Who’d have thought? Last I posted, I was still a week out from birth, and now here we are with a three and a half week old child sleeping fitfully next to me. Life comes at you fast.

Anyway, I thought I’d write out the story of our son’s birth so that someday I could look back and either laugh or cry, but also definitely to remind myself not to get pregnant again because no thank you. Being pregnant was some bullshit – then I topped it with abdominal surgery, a four-day hospital stay, and a near nervous breakdown, so I’m pretty all set with doing that again.

The week leading up to the c-section Jay and I tried to get out and do all our favorite things that we knew would have to be on hold for a while. We had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in the city, we slept in and stayed in bed until noon, and in general did what we always did – namely, whatever we wanted. Then the morning of the c-section came and we woke up at the ungodly hour of 3:30 am to get to the hospital by 5:30, for a 7:30 surgery. Driving to the hospital felt so surreal, knowing we were about to meet the person who had been living inside me for so long. I don’t know how else to describe the feeling, except that it was like nothing else I’ve ever done, or probably ever will do again.

Once we got settled into the room in the hospital things seemed to move very quickly. A nurse started the IV fluids, asked me a million questions like if I had used heroin recently, and suddenly they were wheeling me down the hall, with Jay to follow soon after they gave me a spinal and got me ready. I’ll admit the spinal was what I was most nervous about and it was definitely the least comfortable part of the surgery itself – they have you lean far forward over your (very pregnant) belly, jab you with some numbing agent that stings like a mothereffer, then a very uncomfortable feeling of something pressing hard into your spine. It didn’t help that the doctor administering it abruptly stopped and said, “I’m going to need a longer needle” and had to do it AGAIN, causing my legs to twitch. After that, they lay me down on the table and my lower half was completely gone to me. I can only imagine that must be what it feels like to be paralyzed; your brain working to try to move your body parts and just zero response.

Once I was lying down I immediately felt like I was going to throw up, and said so, but I had an oxygen mask on. A nurse brought me the tiniest little pan, ostensibly to throw up in, but once they realized my blood pressure had dropped significantly they gave me something to bring it back up and the nausea passed. In the mean time, they angled the big operation lights above me and had hung the curtain so I couldn’t see what they were about to do. Unfortunately, the way they angled the (mirrored!) lights, I could see over the curtain and could watch everything they were doing. Including when they starting cutting me open, before Jay had even entered the room. I weakly protested, but then Jay came in, and within a couple minutes I watched as they pulled our little Greyson out of me and heard him wailing.

After that, things were kind of a blur. They cleaned him up, Jay cut the umbilical cord, and they gave him to me to hold. They worked on sewing me back up, and whatever else they did down there I tried not to watch because there was a LOT of blood involved. When they finally wheeled me to the recovery room I realized abruptly that I was going to throw up and did so multiple times while nurses bustled around me trying to take my temperature. The whole first day was crazy – I was on a liquid diet and I still barely peed, which was concerning to the doctors and nurses and they made sure I knew this every time they came in to check on me. Way to give me anxiety, hospital! The rest of the time was spent staring at this tiny human my body had made and trying to learn how to breastfeed, which is insanely difficult.

Days one and two seemed to go really well, otherwise. I had almost no pain from the surgery (the nurses assured me this was because of the morphine still in my system), and Greyson was healthy and adorable. We had limited visitors and tried to time it so there weren’t too many people there at once. The nurses did warn me that days three and four were always the hardest, and that any time they saw a woman weeping down the hallways they knew she had hit the day three postpartum mark. I guess I just thought that wouldn’t happen to me, since I was feeling fine? It seems laughable now, completely naive NPW.

FORESHADOWING. More on my sobbing to come, when I don’t have a fussy baby to tend to!

36 Weeks But Who’s Counting?

Um, ME, that’s who’s counting! Because a week from tomorrow, at this very time, I will be in the hospital about to be cut open and handed an infant child. And if that isn’t the most frightening prospect you’ve ever imagined, your life has had far more complications than mine.

Last week when we went in for a final check to make sure everything looked good, we were planning on picking July 1 as a birthday. 7/1/17 sounded pretty fun, right? Imagine our surprise when the doctor said it needed to be way earlier than that – around 37 weeks – because if I went into actual labor it was dangerous for both myself and the baby, as the risk of bleeding to death with a complete placenta previa was much higher than a normal pregnancy. How about the 19th, they said. HOW ABOUT THAT’S WAY TOO SOON NO THANK YOU. First of all doc, whoa there. Secondly, I’m still supposed to be in school until the 23rd. The doctor kind of shrugged at my concerns, and while I’ll admit that missing a few extra days of work really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of bringing a new life into the world, I was just not prepared for it to be so early. Had I known this at the last appointment (they definitely could have told us then, as they knew I would need a c-section and why) I could have planned and been ready to go out of work early, and not had all this last minute end-of-the-school-year stuff looming over my head.

So we managed to compromise and push it back till the 22nd. Yesterday we met the doctor who will be performing the actual c-section and despite being a real jokester he seemed competent, blunt, and forthcoming. Yes, abdominal surgery would bring some pain with it, probably for a couple weeks. No, you won’t want visitors that first day because you’ll be exhausted. Mostly things we either knew from other’s experiences or things we had guessed, but it was nice to have them outlined for us in a way that didn’t make us feel dumb for asking. I mean, did I really want to know about catheters and possible blood transfusions? No, I’d rather be knocked out starting Thursday morning and be woken up when all the pain was gone. I don’t know why temporary comas aren’t the standard in childbirth, to be honest. Alas, I will be aware the entire time and it’s better to know than constantly be anxious something is going wrong.

Rational things I’m still worried about:

  • The spinal tap, since I have herniated discs in my lower back and need a special anesthesiology consult (WHAT IF IT DOESN’T WORK?!)
  • The onslaught of family members waiting for the baby to arrive, not understanding (or caring) that I will have just had abdominal surgery and will not be in an entertaining mood
  • Having an actual human infant that is mine to take care of and raise
  • Being unable to adjust from being able to do whatever I want whenever I want to constantly needing to tend to another person
  • Being resentful that I gave up a life of freedom, even though this is what I wanted
  • Bleeding to death during the c-section because of this stupid placenta previa
  • Dying in childbirth and Jay having to raise our child alone

I’m sure more worries will pop up in the week to come – especially some of the irrational, insane type of worries. Sometimes I feel like Hannah in the last few episodes of Girls: what if I raise a serial rapist/murderer? What if despite our best efforts our kid is an asshole? What if it ends up being a We Need to Talk About Kevin scenario and he tries to kill us with a crossbow? And YES, I know these are very unlikely situations, but I’m also very sure that’s how every mother thinks – not MY kid! MY kid could never be a terrible degenerate! And then BAM, we’re local news at nine, our bodies discovered in the Merrimac River, our son eventually the subject of a “based on true events” Lifetime movie.

Deep breaths. No one is getting murdered. I’m not going to die during childbirth. But just to be on the safe side, you all better knock on some serious wood for me.

32 Weeks: The Countdown Begins

Yesterday we had our 32 week ultrasound, where we discovered that the placenta previa they had detected way back when has not changed at all. What that means for me is a scheduled c-section. I definitely have mixed feelings about this; on the one hand, there seem to be many benefits to a c-section.

  • No labor!
  • More time in the hospital to recover
  • No baby cone head
  • Keep the undercarriage intact
  • Get to pick the birthday

On the other hand, a c-section is a surgery, where they, you know, cut you open and remove your guts, and that’s not something I take lightly. I also feel a vague sense of loss that I won’t go through the regular birth process – in a pregnancy where nothing was normal and everything was done in a weird, backward, science way, it was comforting to know that THAT part of my experience would be the same as everyone else. Plus we’ve been banking on having 8 more weeks till the baby arrives, and now it’s just a scant 6 since they don’t like to wait too long lest you actually go into labor. SIX WEEKS AHHHH!

Still, I suppose I’d rather have a scheduled c-section and be prepared for a hospital stay than to labor for 20 hours and then need an emergency one. Sigh. Good thing we didn’t spring for the child birthing classes/doula already.

How far along? 32 weeks and change

Baby is the size of: A squash? That seems small. The midwife said he’s about five pounds already!

Total weight gain/loss: Honestly no idea. I went two weeks ago and they said I had lost 11 pounds, but then they didn’t mention weight at all when I went yesterday so I’m just rolling with the fact that everything is looking good and the kid is at the 72nd percentile.

Maternity clothes: Yeah, but I still haven’t bought too many. I’m hoping to make it to the end without acquiring a pile of clothes never to be worn again. Although, these jeans are the most comfortable I’ve ever had so maybe I’ll just keep wearing them on the DL.

Coming out of the baby closet status: Still no students have asked, which is unfathomable in a middle school. They are such curious gossips, it’s bound to come up any day.

Have you started to show yet? Yep. This belly is legit.

Sleep: Up and down with this. Some nights, just fine. Others, no sleep at all.

Best moment this week: Waving hi to the little guy on the ultrasound yesterday.

Miss anything? Still cocktails. Rosé. Being able to roll around in bed without a crane and a forklift.

Movement: It seems this kid has lodged his head up under my ribs and is kicking me down by my pelvis, so he’s sideways in there like a weirdo. Last night it felt like he was spinning around – maybe he’ll be a ballet dancer.

Food cravings: This morning I ate a handful of jelly beans and a bagel.

Anything making you queasy or sick? All the things.

Symptoms: Heartburn, nausea, anxiety.

Purchases: Nursery is looking good. After the shower we have an entire house of baby things and I keep thinking of others that we don’t have and definitely need. Like bottles. And a monitor. I have enough bath toys and books for 6 kids though!

Looking forward to: Not being pregnant anymore. School to be over.

Showered

Last weekend was my baby shower, and if things weren’t real enough at 30 weeks pregnant, a house full of baby items sure made it so. I’ve always felt like showers were a strange tradition; kind of a grown up birthday party where everyone watches you open presents for an hour while they sit patiently and oooh and aaah at everything you get. I felt weird about it at my bridal shower and even weirder at my baby shower. I would much rather the point be that I spend time with the people I love before the baby is born, and if presents need to be involved, I can bring them home and unwrap them with Jay so we can oooh and aaah. Instead, I had to hold up every onesie that said “HUNK” so everyone could see and appropriately coo, and then a picture had to be taken. And Jay had to be mysteriously absent, as per tradition, so I basically had to reopen everything later so that he could also see what we received.

But I don’t mean to sound ungrateful! We got a ton of useful and adorable baby items and that shit adds up. If we had had to buy all this stuff on our own our baby would have like four outfits and zero toys. And possibly still a million books, because who are we kidding here? Plus, the shower itself was super adorable, as I knew it would be since it was planned by my crazy talented cousin who also happens to be an interior designer/party planning wiz. See for yourself!

There are a million more pictures, but some of you probably saw them on Facebook and if you didn’t, you probably aren’t interested in a million pictures of me unwrapping things anyway.

In other news, we’re now in the phase of seeing the midwife every two weeks until the baby arrives. Yesterday I had a checkup at which she announced that I had LOST 11 pounds, and could I please explain myself? I was very taken aback. First of all, I feel like I’ve gained 100 pounds, not lost weight, and the only possible idea I could imagine was that the baby was sucking all my life force away. Or that I still just have terrible heartburn, which makes it difficult to eat more than a few bites of anything at a time. Either way, the midwife was not pleased, despite the baby measuring fine and everything else looking good. It also took her a solid 15 minutes with the fetal heartbeat monitor to find this kid’s heartbeat because he was wildly thrashing around in there. Once she did (after having me lie awkwardly on my side while she pushed and prodded to get him to spin around the right way), she awarded him the Most Difficult Baby of the Day and sent me on my way. And so it begins – is this how it will feel at parent-teacher conferences?

In two weeks I’ll have my final ultrasound, they’ll decide whether I actually need to have a c-section or not, and we’ll go from there. One of my co-workers asked if I have a bag packed and ready to go and I kind of laughed – I mean, we still have like 10 weeks left – and she said she had her kids at 33 weeks and 35 weeks. YIKES. I guess I better start prepping for an actual hospital visit? I don’t even know what needs to go in a bag! I’m not ready! PANIC!

Deep breaths. It’s going to be ok. I’m an adult! I can do this! (AHHHHHHH!)

Almost 27 Weeks

When I had my checkup yesterday, they informed me that I would have to start coming in every two weeks from now until the time the baby is born. Every two weeks! I barely wanted to go in every four weeks. Although not quite as intense as the schedule was when I was going in every other day during the IVF stims it’s definitely not ideal when I’m feeling exhausted and sick. Working all day, then driving to the doctor and sitting around waiting to get weighed and measured instead of going home and taking a luxurious nap sounds terrible right about now.

Besides being straight up TIRED every day (I spent the last hour of work yesterday daydreaming about where I could take a nap and have no one accidentally walk in on me), I am also starting to feel actually, physically uncomfortable, and I’m sure that part will only get worse from here on out. Sleeping is rough – between having to pee every 5 minutes, only being able to lie on my side, and the ever-present heartburn, it’s like trying to sleep while someone is shouting in your ear. In a word: impossible. I read an article recently that said many women prop up the headboard of their bed with books so that they can sleep at an angle and ease the heartburn. Jay put his foot down at that, saying he’d roll out of the bottom of the bed and we’d both be sleeping on the floor. We’ll see how desperate I get.

I’m still trying to avoid co-workers and their “how are you feeeeeeeeling?” every time I see them. It always leads to a discussion that either goes, “Oh, too bad you’re still not feeling well, I felt great after 10 weeks!”, or, conversely, “Oh, yeah, I was also sick right up until the day the baby was born!”. Neither is helpful to me. I don’t want to hear about how glorious your pregnancy was and how you felt like a goddess bringing new life into this world – I mean, good for you, but I feel like a dumpster fire in a Bourbon Street alley. I also don’t want to hear about how this illness probably won’t go away until July, because what the hell, body? You weren’t a big enough jerk to me during IVF? You have to also make me feel dreadful for a solid nine months?

Anyway. For those of you who are reading this thinking you might still want to have kids someday, I’m sorry I don’t have more words of encouragement for you, except that it seems like many, many people have no problems and are completely fine during pregnancy. On the other hand, I personally will never do this again, so make of that what you will.

How far along? Almost 27 weeks. Almost third trimester.

Baby is the size of: Um, The Bump says my baby is the size of kale. I leave it up to you to decide what that means.

Total weight gain/loss: Fifteen pounds total, and that’s minus shoes this time. Womp.

Maternity clothes: I have a few items, and now that I feel fully pregnant and my belly is legit, I need more maternity jeans ASAP.

Coming out of the baby closet status: I haven’t told any students yet, but caught a couple staring yesterday so I guess that news will drop soon.

Have you started to show yet? Indeed. To the point where people comment, “You look so cute!”. Which is code for, “You’re huge!”.

Sleep: Bad news, friends. I sleep like shit.

Best moment this week: We painted the nursery room and we love it. We also ordered actual baby furniture, like, a crib and such. Shit’s getting real.

Miss anything? I miss cocktails. Is that selfish? Probably, but I’d kill for a margarita. Actually, it would probably kill me. With heartburn.

Movement: Hoo boy, yes. I told Jay it felt like there was someone inside me trying to punch their way out, but barely putting in any effort.

Food cravings: I get full so quickly and queasy so quickly that nothing has been appealing to me. I will get a craving for, say, a burrito, and then just as quickly it’s gone. Shrug.

Anything making you queasy or sick? See all of the above.

Symptoms: Still heartburn and nausea. Exhaustion. But my hair is looking pretty good lately?

Purchases: Crib, dresser, glider chair for the nursery. And lots of people have given us lots of unused baby stuff.

Looking forward to: Better weather. Not feeling sick. April vacation in a couple weeks.