Kung fu fighting.

What in the hell is going on in my body right now? Someone, who is already really large, is kicking me 24/7. It is the most painful thing ever. Miserable actually. And it almost never stops. I am glad to know she is doing okay in there but Jesus Christ. The kicking is getting to be intolerable. Kicking my lungs. Kicking my bladder. Perhaps she is teaching a spin class or doing the uneven bars on my rib cage? She is constantly flipping, rolling, dancing, doing cartwheels (I assume) or doing the Wobble. But there’s just not enough room in there for these antics. We are so tight on space. She is way too big for her residence and it’s basically making it impossible for me to sit down, drink or eat, or really even live without crying. It’s very intense and I cannot wait for 6-8 weeks from now when that is not a thing anymore.

I hate to say this because I know I am lucky to be pregnant and I am also very excited for this little nugget to get here, but man, pregnancy is not my thing. Many women say that pregnancy makes them feel beautiful or sexy. Those people are the worst. Because this is the least beautiful I have ever been in my life. At every step of this process, I have had the worst possible side effects. I have had fucking miserable morning sickness that lasted months longer than it was supposed to. I had nosebleeds for months. I have had headaches and dizziness. I have had trouble breathing. Horrendous heartburn. I pee like 10,983 times a day. My skin is itchy. I am fucking exhausted. Sometimes I am a little bitchy, also.

The only thing I have going for me is that my metabolism is amazing right now and I can eat a lot of cookies without getting super obese. But I am not sure that’s enough to convince me not to have an only child.

Bad ideas.

In Kentucky, the Derby is like a holiday. It’s basically Christmas with more bourbon, depending on your family. It’s an amazing day which is basically an entire month of celebrating leading up to the big event. Going to the track is one of my favorite things if the weather is nice. You get a little dressed up. You wear a hat. You drink some drinks. You bet on ponies. What could be better?

So, I am going to the track a couple of times the week of Derby. While I cannot partake in the drinking portion of the events, I am looking forward to some sunshine and friends and family and spending some time at Churchill Downs. It is the best.

Now, finding a dress for these events has been a bit of a challenge. I am in a weird time of pregnancy, where I am definitely showing but not super pregnant-looking yet. And I have a feeling these next few weeks are critical growth times. So in a month, when I need a cute dress,  I am not sure how giant I will be. Buying a dress while predicting your body size is slightly difficult. And frustrating. It’s also a bad idea. Today, at lunch, I tried on a non-maternity dress with a high waist just to see what it looks like. I picked a size I would normally wear. I looked like Free Willy in a seersucker pillowcase. I think I learned an important lesson today. Shop in the maternity section. Do not stray. Do not pretend you can still pull off your old clothing. Stay where you belong.

In other news, everyone I know is on a diet. I, on the other hand, just ate a balanced lunch of a chicken wrap and a dirty gas station chocolate glazed donut. Another bad idea.

Baby liked the donut though. I can feel her approval.

Twenty weeks.

I (barely) survived 20 weeks of pregnancy. It was in sooo many ways much harder than I ever anticipated. But after spending a good portion of 2016 being tired, sick and more tired, I am feeling human. And my appetite is back! In fact, I celebrated hitting the half way point by eating a brownie. Also a granola bar. Actually two granola bars. And a chicken wrap. And some grapes. And popcorn. And goldfish. Basically an entire vending machine. SERIOUSLY, I AM SO HUNGRY! Are you going to finish that? Asking for a friend.

We have our 20 week/anatomy scan next week (at technically 21 weeks – apparently doctors take spring break?). I had a little scare with some blood tests so I am hoping everything looks just fine at that appointment. I have had one ultrasound since our blood test results, so I am not super worried. Also, follow-up tests came back normal. Apparently there are a lot of false positives on these tests. WHICH IS SUPER. And not stressful at all…so yeah, I am very much looking forward to that appointment. I have never been super into doctors for obvious reasons, but prenatal appointments have, so far, been uneventful or fun, so they are actually something to look forward to. Plus it’s fun to see the little thing in there and what she looks like. And that she has arms and hands and feet and lips and whatnot.

At my last ultrasound, the tech pointed out her lips, hands, feet, etc. to me. She commented on how cute they were. Honestly, all I saw was a gray blob. I have no idea what she was talking about. I am sure I looked confused/horrified as I stared at a gray and black screen and tried to make out lips. No such luck. I did, however, see my bladder. Which the ultrasound tech said was ‘very full.’ Which I found hard to believe because I peed like thirty seconds before the ultrasound, but she insisted. It was apparently squishing my child’s face. So, now I feel pretty guilty when I have to pee because I may accidentally be smushing the baby.

On the sexy body front, my bump is bumpin’ these days. We just got back from a little mini vacation. We went to Canada for a long weekend, Montreal specifically, and since I couldn’t drink beer, I ate my way through the city. (On a semi-related note, don’t go to Canada in the ‘spring.’ Only go in the hottest part of summer or you will freeze your baguettes off.) As it turns out, a steady diet of chocolate croissants and poutine will take you from not really showing to definitely showing in 4 short days. Hello, friend.

b

Uncomfortable.

You know the series of unfortunate events that occur when you step foot into a Mexican restaurant while hungry. And the chips and salsa come and you haven’t even looked at the menu, so you just jump right in. And you don’t stop to take a drink (or order a drink, if we are being honest) and you don’t really stop to breathe and suddenly most of the chips are gone and you don’t really know what happened but you do know there’s a chip in your hair. And then you order a whole meal anyway …and eat the whole meal anyway. And then after dinner you feel so full,  you think you could explode or that one single sip of Diet Coke could push you over the edge. Oh and also you really need to pee.

That’s what pregnancy feels like. Almost all the time.

I am in the beginning of the uncomfortable stage. I think this stage lasts for the remaining 21 weeks. But I have started the process now and I will be honest, it’s not pretty.

Every morning for the past three days, I have woken up more gigantic than the day before. My stomach skin is so stretchy and tight and hard. It’s kind of gross. Right now I literally cannot imagine a scenario where it continues to stretch in this way until August. Even though I know it will. It seems impossible. I didn’t look all that pregnant until this week. I could certainly pass it off as a little weight gain. And I can probably still hide it a little bit. But it’s out there. And we are now what the moms call ‘popping.’ And that is uncomfortable. Turns out, housing a water balloon full of a mango is uncomfortable.

Don’t get me wrong. I think pregnant people are adorable. I am that person who sees a pregnant person and admires them from afar and thinks they are basically the cutest thing ever. I love to rub a little pregnant belly (if I know you) and sometimes I will do it without permission, which I now realize is so, so weird. (Sorry, if you are reading this and I have violated your personal space.) But I truly think pregnancy is amazing and adorable and wonderful. Or I did. Until it was me.

It feels really selfish to say it, but while I am 100% so grateful for the amazing things my body and all bodies can do during pregnancy and while I feel incredibly lucky to be pregnant, it’s really hard to accept the new me.

Last year, I spent 6 months training for a half marathon. I worked my ass off, literally. I typically ran 5 days a week and did boot camp on top of that. I lost 25 lbs and was in, arguably, the best shape of my life. I worked so hard to get there. And I liked the way I looked for the first time in a long time.

And now I am selfishly jealous of people with tiny waists. And jealous of the runners I see out on a Saturday morning. Because I used to be that Saturday morning runner. I earned my smaller waist and my much smaller jeans. And now I feel like a lollipop. I feel like my brain hasn’t caught up to what my body is doing. Part of that is my hesitation to get too excited about this pregnancy because I am just honestly so nervous about what can still go wrong. And part of it is just me being a round turd. And so when I look in the mirror and weigh myself, I feel a little panic. And that makes me embarrassed and a little ashamed. Because not everyone gets to be pregnant. And being pregnant is a gift that my brain is taking for granted.

So I am trying really hard to embrace my new body. And I know this is just the beginning. But being pregnant is uncomfortable in so many ways. A lot of ways I just never really even considered. But, trust me, none of this has stopped me from eating cookies.

The awkward in-between.

I am in the awkward in-between phase of pregnancy. I am almost 4 months pregnant and I am showing a little bit. But not enough to really look cute yet. But just enough to look like I stopped running and have been hitting the chips and salsa pretttttay hard. I am trying to embrace the bump, but because the bump doesn’t look exactly like a bump yet, it’s proving to be a challenge.

Every morning when I wake up, I go through the five stages of grief. Not because I am sad, but because I am mourning the loss of a wardrobe that fit me correctly and anxiously awaiting looking pregnant enough to show it. These are the five stages of awkward-in between:

Denial: I can totally just wear what I normally wear. *Puts on outfit. Looks in mirror. Rubs belly. Changes 10 times. Looks fat but not really pregnant. Puts on robe.* Which brings us to the next stage, anger.

Anger: It’s so frustrating that my pants don’t fit. I am angry that it’s hot in my bathroom and I feel gigantic and I just want to wear pants. I have been wearing mostly dresses since December and I just really miss pants. I am also angry that it’s not spring. If it were spring, I could put on a dress without leggings so my gut could breathe. @#$%&!!!!

Bargaining: If I can just fit in one pair of pants, I promise not to complain about wearing dresses the rest of the week.

Depression: Wahhhhhhhhhh. I look fat. I feel fat. I feel hungry. And sad. But mostly hungry.

Acceptance: I accept this in-between body. Translation: puts on leggings and a dress, calls it a day.

Basically, my mornings are me making this face for one entire hour:

CT

(Just as a side note, Chrissy Teigen, pictured above, is my favorite human being on the planet that I have never met. Her honesty and transparency about life, being a celebrity, body image, a love of food and her struggles with infertility make her my hero. But mostly, she is really funny and makes faces that just can’t hide her real emotions. She is the best.)

I think it’s time to start planning my ensembles in advance and/or praying for spring.

Things I will (not) do while pregnant.

Before getting pregnant, I had a lot of thoughts about being pregnant. I had a lot of great and lofty goals. I couldn’t wait to be the best pregnant lady ever! False. Not even close. I have failed on almost all counts and I don’t even care. These are my (hilarious) pre-pregnancy thoughts/goals I have totally blown.

I will eat healthy. Hahaha. No. Some days, I eat kale soup and drink a gallon of water and have a well-balanced dinner. Some days, I eat a fucking bag of Sour Patch Kids, macaroni, bread, bread, more pasta, bread and a Gatorade. When you feel like you have been hungover for 8 weeks, the idea of a healthy meal does not even interest you and you go into survival mode. Right now, I am in survival mode. And if that means this fetus is getting pizza, an English muffin with peanut butter, a cookie and ten Swedish fish, then that’s what the fetus is getting. I did cut caffeine out of my diet almost 100% and let’s just say that’s sacrifice enough.

I will exercise. Oh, how cute is this! I ran my first half marathon last April. I don’t even feel bad saying this because I worked damn hard for it – for a couple of months, I was in amazing shape. The best shape of my life. And I kept up the running after the half and kept running through the summer. I actually ran a 5k right before I got pregnant. And then I screeched to a frickin’ halt. Basically since I peed on a stick, I have not so much as walked a block unless there was some sort of food item at the end of it. I had so many good intentions to keep exercising regularly, but that has just not happened. Right now, I have a steady schedule of coming home from work, putting on pajama pants, sitting on the couch and basically waiting until it’s dark enough outside to lay in my bed. It’s a glamorous life.

I will learn A LOT. I had grand plans to read all of those pregnancy books. I mean I bought them all. Like five different books about pregnancy and healthy pregnancies and what your girlfriends wish you knew about pregnancy and that type of shit. But I haven’t read past page 20 in any of these books. Now and then I will skim through, but for the most part, I realized, knowledge is power but it is also fear. The more I know, the more there is to panic about. So, I quit reading the books and I use Google when something super important comes up. Not always the best plan. If it’s really important, ask your doctor. When you use Google to diagnose things, that’s when you usually convince yourself you have Ebola.

I will get organized. Another hilarious goal which is not even close to being realized. Everyone speaks of this ‘nesting’ thing, and I know it doesn’t necessarily happen right away, but the only thing I am nesting is more saturated fat from brownies into my ass. I have a kitchen table that could double as an accounting firm during an audit (thanks tax season/husband who owns his own company), a crazy messy basement that is screaming for help, a ‘nursery’ formerly known as an office which is still housing our very extensive record collection and does not have completed crown molding and a closet (aka the extra space in our upstairs bedroom) that is more like a showroom for the clothing I will probably never fit into or wear again. I hope this burst of energy I keep being promised happens and I hope I take advantage of it, but right now there’s no such thing as organization in my house. It just looks like Hurricane Amy came though with a vengeance.

I will embrace my new body. For the first twelve weeks I was pregnant, it was cold outside. Which was very convenient when you are trying to keep a secret. Although I don’t think I was showing as much as I felt like I was showing, I started dressing like a homeless man to hide anyway, just in case. I was too scared to be outed to wear anything remotely tight, so I dressed like a crazy person in scarves, tights, dresses and jackets every day as if the temperature was hovering around 2 degrees. Now that I have a little bump and the secret is out, I am trying my best to embrace it. But it’s hard. You feel bloated and a little chubby. The in-between time is not as fun as I imagined. But I am trying to go with it because in 5 months, when it is a sweltering 90 degrees outside and crazy humid and I am dressing like a cheap prostitute so I can be as cool as possible, I will not be as into this belly.

I will not be crazy. This is the best. I wanted to stay calm ‘for the baby.’ Try not to get worked up. Try not to get mad or stressed or worry too much, about pregnancy or anything. But this is not working. At all. I went crazy on my husband about buying me a Bella Band the other day, even though he was trying to do something nice. I get so worked up about politics while getting ready in the morning that I yell at Donald Trump through the TV in my robe with a curler in my bangs. (sexy). I try to create a maternity leave plan for work but then freak out and work on something totally less important to pass the time. Basically, a lot of hormones are raging in your body during this time and your demeanor is not always in your control. It’s okay to let a little crazy out sometimes, even if it’s not very adorable.

The point is, nine months seems like a million years and also flies by. Just do what you can do, listen to your doctor, take moderately good care of yourself and your baby will be fine. Not smoking or drinking or riding roller coasters is a pretty good start. Other than that, just do the best you can. At least that’s what I am telling myself.