this time I have an excuse…

I know, I know.  Worst blogger ever.

But this time I have an excuse.

I looked back at the date of my last blog post: Friday, January 7.  On Monday, January 10, Joel and I learned that we are going to be parents.  I took the test first thing that morning, certain, absolutely positive, that it would come back negative, but that would be okay because it was still a few days, maybe a few weeks early and I could just take another one later but if I didn’t do it today it might drive me crazy so…

I’m pregnant.

indescribable emotions.  Utterly indescribable.  I know women with children are fond of telling women without children and pregnant women all about the feelings, emotions, “just wait until”s, but I’m not even going to try, because it would just sound cliché and not even come close to capturing the emotion of the moment when that little stick pops up the word “pregnant”.

Joel was outside with the dogs, so I grabbed this book I’d been holding onto for this moment.  I think it was a Dave Barry book about parenting that I’d wrapped a few days earlier…so maybe I knew before I knew?  Who knows.  Anyway, he came back in and I handed him the gift.  I think he was confused at first, but a split second later his face registered recognition.

“Wait.  Does this mean…?” he trailed off.

I handed him the stick.

I don’t remember much after that, aside from hugging, crying, and doing something I swore I’d never do: take pictures of the pee stick.  Every time I see one of those pictures on facebook, I am immediately cognizant of the fact that someone had to urinate on it, so I’m essentially looking at a picture of their morning toilet, but I guess you can now add me to the list.  In retrospect, I’m glad I took the pictures.  The batteries on those digital tests run out quick, and eventually you find yourself questioning whether or not it really happened. 

This was especially important when I went to the hospital the next day to take a confirmation pregnancy test, only to have it come back negative.  Turns out the tests you can buy at the store – at least the E.P.T. brand – are more sensitive than the ones my doctor uses.  After that test result, I immediately went to the store and bought two more boxes of tests, used all of them, and stared at those pictures we’d taken Monday morning.

Don’t worry; a week later the doctor’s office was on board.

I went through that entire first day, and probably following week, in a daze.  I was a little tired, and a little emotional, but nothing too bad.

Enter week five.

The short version of the story is that I’ve spent the last two and a half months feeling like I had the flu.  I wanted to blog about everything I was feeling and thinking, but 1) we weren’t telling everyone yet, and 2) I came home from work each day, forced down dinner, and went to bed by 8pm.  Never, ever in my life have I felt so bad that I didn’t want to eat, and for the first time, it was something I HAD to do in order to feel better.  My hips and back were already starting to hurt, so I bought a body pillow from Target.  I repeatedly found myself questioning all the lunatics who claimed to “love” their pregnancies, who glowed from day one, who couldn’t wait to be pregnant again.  Liars.  What on earth had happened in the brains of these women that they had forgotten this first trimester?  Why do women do this to themselves more than once?  HOW DO WE AS A SPECIES CONTINUE TO REPRODUCE?!

Yeah, yeah, when it’s all over you have a baby, you forget, it’s worth it.  I get it.  But you cannot tell me in all honesty that those first three months are not torture.  You feel horrible, you’re probably not telling anyone why you feel horrible, and as much as you hate being pregnant, you continue to have this gnawing feeling in your gut that it’s not going to stick and…

Well, that’s what happens if you’re me, I guess.

Other highlights from trimester one:

* I’ve decided what they say about dogs sensing pregnancy is true.  A few days to a week after that positive test, I was laying in bed, preparing to go to sleep at 8pm sharp, when Bentley crawled up next to me and put his front paws over my side so he was straddling me.  I thought he was preparing to jump all the way over so he could either snuggle or steal the armchair beside me before Cooper got to hit, so I scratched his ears and said hello…and a second later realized I felt something warm, too warm, soaking through my nightgown.

Bentley was marking his territory.

He’s had accidents over the last two years, to be sure, but never had I stretched my imagination so far as to dream that would happen. 

And I wish I could say that was the last time.

A month or so later I was sitting at the dining room table, probably chatting with Joel while he worked, and Bentley “asked” to come up in my lap.  This usually start as a pitiful stare, turns into pawing, and ends in a whimpering howl.  I invited him up, and he attempted to curl up and get comfortable, which is challenging enough for his 25 pounds when I’m not growing a baby gut.  A few minutes later Finn came by, and, in a jealous fit that is common for the “mama’s boy” of our pack, he wanted up, too.  His request comes in a manner similar to Bentley’s: stare, paw, whimper.  Never one to turn away a puppy, I invited Finn up as well.  Somehow Finn managed to wiggle between my belly and Bentley, and B eventually got fed up with it and jumped off my lap.  A few seconds later, I was marked again.  I didn’t even notice, but Joel did, and promptly attempted to put a stop to it.  But as we all know, once you break the seal…as far as I can figure, Bentley got mad when Finn came between me and him, and wanted to let Finn know who I belonged to.  Aren’t we all glad that’s not how human relationships work?

Bentley also “marked” my mother when she was here.  We still haven’t figured that one out.

Someone told me that the dogs know I’m pregnant, but they assume I’m having puppies, naturally.  It explains Bentley’s marking, and Finn’s fiercer-than-normal overprotectiveness.  Not that he ever wants to leave my side, but lately it’s been a little ridiculous.  I tried to drop him off at puppy daycare the other day, and he went limp like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum when the counselor tried to take his leash.  I’m hoping that this will translate into some degree of protectiveness over the baby, and we’re seeing signs that it will.  When our nieces and nephew came over a few weeks ago, the littlest treated Finn a bit like a stuffed animal, and he took it all in stride.

I could continue to recap the last few weeks, but I think I’ll save it for later…mostly because I’m getting another one of my throbbing, second trimester headaches from sitting in this desk chair in front of my computer.

This baby better be cute.