Friends, family members and co-workers frequently ask me how I’m feeling. I typically answer their polite inquiries with something like, “I’m feeling pretty good lately. Needing a little extra sleep at night, but other than that, doing well. Thanks.” Nobody really wants to hear the gory details of being 5 months pregnant. And who the hell can blame them!? Even Daniel will sometimes give me the TMI look . . . but I just laugh and keep piling on the uncomfortable information. That’s his job, right?

So, for those of you who are genuinely interested in how I’m ACTUALLY feeling, read on. For those of you who are asking after my well-being in a genuinely friendly manner, but don’t want to hear about, know about or imagine any of the gross or personal stuff, please STOP reading right now. I beg you.

First of all, I do believe I had my very first official pregnancy craving last night. It was totally bizarre. It was about 8 o’clock. We had already eaten a dinner of spinach ravioli and red sauce. I was upstairs doing some work I had brought home from the office and I couldn’t stop fantasizing about potatoes. Plain, white, boiled potatoes. Like I was under some kind of mind control device, I walked downstairs and announced to Daniel that I needed to eat a potato. I then proceeded into the kitchen where I boiled 3 small red potatoes, skins and all. I ate them immediately, salted and smashed up a bit with my fork. Those potatoes were so freaking delicious! It was like I had never tasted anything so delicious in my entire life.

Second, all of my emotions are, like, exponentially heightened to levels of heretofore unseen crazy. Something that I used to think was sad is now the most tragic thing I have ever heard. If something before annoyed or frustrated me, now it infuriates me beyond all rationality. A touching sentiment before has become the most heartfelt thing requiring loud racking sobs. It’s ridiculous. For example, at work this morning, I overheard one of my co-workers talking to another co-worker about their respective running regimens. One has been running for a while and has done marathons and iron mans and such, and the other is overweight and just starting out. At the end of their conversation, Iron Man co-worker said, “I know you can do it Fred. You’ve got what it takes – I believe in you.” And okay, so he said it in that sort of male jokey kind of way, but I could tell he was actually sincere and being supportive, and that gesture just totally slayed me. I had to wipe away tears and swallow the lump forming in my throat. RI-DIC-U-LOUS.

Okay, for those of you who didn’t heed my previous warning and have continued to read, NOW is really the time you’ll want to close this window on your computer screen. Trust me. Otherwise you’ll know things about my pregnancy you never EVER wanted to know.

For instance, every time I brush my teeth, I vomit. I don’t get it. The nausea that I had for the first three months has completely disappeared except when A.) I wait too long to eat something, or B.) I brush my teeth. I even googled this stupid condition and apparently I am not the only pregnant woman to suffer from this oral hygiene revulsion. Sometimes it’s just a little retching and gagging . . . and then other times it’s a violent emptying of my stomach that leaves me feeling shaken and beaten up. I’ve tried non-fluoride toothpaste. I’ve tried using only a teeny tiny amount of toothpaste. I’ve tried brushing really really fast. Nothing, so far, has helped.

Moving further down the disgusting scale . . . I’ve read that there’s lots of shifting going on inside me. Like in the pelvic region to make room for the rapidly growing parasite. I think some fairly major shifting has occurred recently, because I can now FEEL my uterus when I stand up from a seated position. Freaky, right? It’s very unsettling for me.

And we’re in a downward spiral. Heartburn. I used to never have heartburn. I don’t remember exactly why this occurs when one is pregnant but I think it has something to do with the digestive system slowing down (again, most likely to accommodate the little spawn in some way) and so food doesn’t digest as quickly. It becomes much worse when you can’t burp. Why can’t I burp? I HAVE NO IDEA. To my knowledge, I have never been able to burp. It’s a medical mystery. On the bright side, I can fart. And my flatulence level has noticeably increased with being 5 months pregnant.

Also, constipation is beginning to become an issue. Again, I don’t remember why exactly this occurs, but things are slowing down, down there and it’s troublesome.

So, other than that and needing a little extra sleep at night, I'm feeling great! Thanks for asking!


A Little Funny

So, I was just on Facebook reading all of my "friend's" and actual friend's updates and someone commented on a research article about texting and driving and I totally remembered that I forgot to tell you this funny thing.

It's not really funny in a big picture sort of way, but it was hilarious at the time.

Okay, so last week we were stopped in traffic at a red light. Pretty heavy traffic, not much movement even when we weren't stopped at a light. Three lanes - two going straight, one turning. We're patiently waiting, chatting...the turning lane gets the green light and the guy beside us (in the other NON-turning lane) steps on the gas and plows into the SUV in front of him!

He was texting while at the red light and caught the forward movement of the cars going in the turning lane, I'm assuming in his peripheral vision, and just WENT. Ohmygod! He hit that SUV hard enough to crumple his hood. Smoke was pouring out! And the light is still red and we're all still just sitting there, him in his smoking, now crumpled and undriveable car. Hee. Obviously nobody was hurt. The SUV didn't even have a scratch on it.

The guy's pride was hurt probably more than anything. And it was so damn surreal it was funny.

A huge pet peeve of mine is people talking and texting on their cell phones while driving. I suppose stopped at a traffic light is a little different, although clearly that too can cause traffic problems if you're really engrossed in a conversation.

I swear, everytime some driver is doing something dangerous or inconsiderate, they are almost ALWAYS on the phone. So annoying.


A Few Random Points of Interest (Or Not)

1. It might be June here in Nashville, but it feels like August...in Hades.

2. My friend Donna visited me and Daniel over Memorial Day weekend and in the middle of her visit, had to have an emergency appendectomy due to a ruptured appendix. She is the worst houseguest EVER! ;)

3. During her stay at a Nashville hospital, Donna was treated to not only Southern hospitality, but multiple infections which turned up as nasty abcesses 2 weeks later. She is now in an Erie hospital recovering from another surgery to her midsection.

4. If you come visit me, please make sure your organs are all in good working condition.

5. Daniel's birthday was yesterday. Happy Birthday! I made him a birthday cake. From a box. And frosted it with chocolate frosting. From a tub. It was really all I could manage.

6. I bought three lovely hanging baskets full of purple flowers a few weeks ago. They are now mostly dead due to...??? I HAVE NO IDEA! I water the little fuckers. I make sure they have sun. I don't know what to do with them.

7. First step to getting nursery ready is underway. This involves getting estimates from contractors to fix the walls which are beyond our skill level.

8. Our neighbor's outdoor cat has become very fond of us (could be the treats we give her) and has taken to sleeping in our garage and meeting us at our back door every evening when we come home from work. Miss Razzy Fluffybutt. She does not like Addison one little bit, much to his dismay.

9. Anybody else out there a fan of Edy's Lime Juice Bars (Or popsicles - let's just call 'em what they are)? SO good. Just the right amount of pucker.

10. I have always wanted to fashion a hat like this for Gwendolyn. But I'm too chicken. She'll cut a bitch.


34 and Pregnant

Alright, I’m coming clean with y’all. On December 1st, a brand new human being, entirely dependent upon Daniel and me, will emerge from my body. Assuming all goes as planned. Though some of you are already aware of this information, I’ve been dodgy about making a GRAND ANNOUNCEMENT, for reasons of which I am not entirely sure.

All my adult life, I have wavered in my desire to have children. One minute I’d be imagining building a treehouse with a dorky little curly-haired kid and the next minute I’d think “kids!? Oh heck no, I’ve got more important things to do!.” Everybody has kids. Being a parent automatically makes you typical. And if there’s one thing that really puts a knot in my underpants, it’s being typical. Being a parent suddenly means your days of selfishness are O.V.E.R. Travel, career, sleep, sex – lots of things you are able to enjoy and pursue with abandon as a non-parent, become difficult or even impossible once your status changes.

I guess something happens when you find that person. You know the one. The one with whom, impossibly, you connect on unimaginable levels. And the prospect of sharing a parenting adventure with that person and imparting little pieces of your selves into a new life is thrilling. And then you think, “there’s nothing more important to me than this”.

That’s when you look at yourself in the mirror and think, “whoa! Who ARE you? And what have you done with Cathryn?”

Then suddenly you’re pregnant and that’s when things get really freaky.

I have never ever fantasized about, or even imagined myself being pregnant. It’s like, my self-identity does not include being pregnant. Being pregnant is not a part of who I am. And yet, here I am, for another 6 months incubating a little parasite. The body you thought you knew so intimately, becomes very unfamiliar and frankly it’s unsettling, bordering on scary. Hormones make you exceedingly cranky and weepy. Nausea sneaks up on you for no apparent reason and punches you in the gut several times a day. Foods you’ve loved all your life now make you vomit. Your brain clearly remembers being able to stay up late into the night having fun, but now you’re lucky if you make it to 8:30. So far, pregnancy has been mostly disorienting and frustrating. I am impatiently waiting for the day my “glow” arrives.

Then 2 weeks ago we went to the doctor and she pressed this Doppler thingy to my abdomen and all I could hear was the strong steady heartbeat of the person developing beneath my skin and I was deliriously happy and beyond excited.

Bizarre and wonderful.

So even though I seem to be going through something of an identity crisis, and occasional deluges of self-doubt, and my body is not behaving as it has always behaved, FEAR NOT, Daniel and I are both tickled about this new adventure upon which we are embarking. Parenthood.

I think I’ll take a deep breath and go re-watch that movie now. I love the kid with the bucket on his head! – “he likes to butt things with his head”.