Friday, September 30, 2011

Those Crazy Pregnancy Dreams

I've decided that pregnancy is easily the time in my life when my dreams have been so out of whack it amazes me. And I've decided that the dreams I've had at each stage of my pregnancy have reflected how I'm feeling in one way or another...

When I was first pregnant, my dreams were so outrageous and so crazed that I couldn't even verbalize what I was witnessing in my sleep. And the more I thought about it, the more it seemed just right that those were the types of dreams I was experiencing because that's how I was literally feeling in life as well. My dreams were way out of sorts, and so was I, both physically and mentally. My emotions were all over the place, my body was taking this new experience and sending itself off the charts with things like insomnia (which, prior to pregnancy, I was the soundest sleeper ever) and morning (but really at night) sickness. It only made sense that as I was feeling like an out-of-whack crazy person, my dreams would reflect the same.

In my second trimester, as my craziness turned into being excited about the baby...but being very, very nervous about becoming a parent, my dreams again began to reflect my feelings. My once odd dreams suddenly became the most horrific nightmares I've ever experienced. Not because of monsters or murderers, but because I was seeing in my sleep my fears of parenting come true: the idea of losing a child without any control over the situation, the idea of losing my husband and feeling as though I couldn't be a parent anymore (which, I know would NEVER ever be the case), and worse. It made for some rough nights, that's for certain. And I was beyond grateful when those dreams ended.

Now that I'm about six weeks away from my due date, I'm finding that my dreams are reflecting my anxiousness and desire to have this baby. I keep dreaming about labor. Nothing else, just labor, in one form or another. It's funny because they're not dreams that scare me or wake me and make me think "this is not really going to happen, I can't do it"....they're dreams that almost disappoint me when I wake because they aren't really happening (minus the dream from last week where I was in labor, couldn't eat anything, and all of these visitors showed up to the delivery room with big pots of spaghetti and started chowing down in front of me while I'm trying to push out this baby). Like last night's for example...shortly before I woke up I had a dream that I had one big contraction and then my water broke. Imagine my disappointment when I opened my eyes and saw no such thing. And for the record, no, I'm not sad that I'm not in labor or close yet...obviously I know that this little nugget still has a few weeks of baking left....I'm more disappointed that I've still got that long to wait and see who's in there, and that I've got that long before I can hold, hug, kiss and share my little love.

Now, my curiosity turns to what my dreams will be about after the baby finally arrives....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

How NFL Cheerleaders Made Me Cry.

On of my less-favorite parts about being a Military wife (besides separations, worry, deployments, uncertainty...) are a few of the visitors the USO sends to base to visit and sign autographs and pose for pictures. While we're always grateful to know that our men and families are supported and appreciated, sometimes those guests just aren't the most fun unless you're a guy with no shame in hitting on the hot women that are standing in the PX waiting to take a picture, flirt innocently back with you, and sign an autograph before you're on your way.

On occasion, we get some really great events and celebs. Take, for example, our 4th of July celebration. The Lt. Dan Band came and did a big concert. Yes, Lt. Dan (aka Gary Sinese) was really there, really sang, and was really awesome. It was family oriented, fun, and just flat out cool. Stuff like that I love.

But the fact of the matter is that most Military bases are composed of male servicemembers, many of whom are single, and therefore most of our visitors are geared towards them. Consequently, we see a lot of cheerleaders.

A few weekends ago the Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders happened to be the visitors at our PX on a Saturday that Derek and I happened to be up on base, having lunch while we waited for his oil change to be done. And it happened to be a particularly uncomfortable "I feel like a whale and I walk like a duck" day for me. On top of the fact that I had discovered yet another round of battle scars (aka stretch marks) making their way up my growing belly.

Let's just say that those cheerleaders and their perfect hair, perfect smiles, perfect bodies with no unattractive marks covering their perfect abs and those damn teeny tiny uniforms were the last thing I really wanted to catch a glimpse of that day while I'm waddling around in maternity jeans with swollen ankles and the inability to see my feet.

I wanted to curse those perfect girls out.

And then I bawled like a baby.

Why? Why did it have to be that particularly lousy-feeling day that I had to see those reminders of the body I'll never have again? And why is it that I am so sad about this all?

I keep telling myself that it's not a horrible awful thing. My body is still my own, it's just a little different now, and for a very beautiful reason that I wouldn't change for the world. But telling myself that and believing it are two very different things apparently. It's a hard adjustment learning to love this new body...and preparing for it to be different once again after the baby arrives. It's going to be a process, but someday I'll get it.

And those cheerleaders can still bite me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Squished

You know that great aunt of yours (come on, everyone's got one) that just loves to squeeze you so tight you can't breath, squish your cheeks til they're red and get lipstick all over your face on Christmas? Well I've decided that late in pregnancy, we're all that aunt...well, maybe minus the bad red lipstick...

I feel like the baby is getting so big that I'm squeezing and squishing him or her all day long. I feel like there is just no more room in there for the baby to grow! I mean seriously....I get headbutted on the bladder all day long...and generally spend my days with either feet or a tushy pushed up in my ribs. So whereas I'm the one who's out of breath, the baby is the one that this Christmas aunt is squeezing and squishing and won't let go.

Rationally, I know that the baby is probably pretty comfy in there...but once in a while I have to wonder if some of those movements I'm feeling are his or her way of attempting to stretch out a bit....and I almost feel a little bad that I don't have any more room to give...

Eight more weeks, little one...and then you can have all the room you need in this big world...unless you'd just prefer the room in mommy's arms. Which is totally fine too <3

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Thousand Times Over...And Over...And Over

It's funny. In the beginning when people find out your pregnant, the advice and comments you get are encouraging and helpful. When you're nine or ten weeks along and feeling like poo, the words "it gets better" and "here's what I did that helped my sickness" are incredibly encouraging and helpful...and when you finally start feeling better, you're beyond grateful to those lovely encouraging people and their words that spoke no lie.

Then you hit the second trimester, and though this one is sometimes filled with inappropriate comments about the size of your belly....and worse, inappropriate touching of your belly, it's generally another trimester of people oogling over your growing, adorable self and reminiscing about how wonderful their own second trimesters may have been. It's not so bad. In fact, the second trimester kinda rocked.

Then came the third. And the eight million moms who come out of the woodwork and start telling you a thousand times over....and over....and over about how painful their deliveries were, how horribly long they were, how little sleep they got when their infant arrived. I've heard now about a million barfing baby stories, 200,000 breastfeeding horror stories, and so many poopy diaper stories that were so utterly gross, I've lost count and developed a way to look like I'm paying attention...but really I'm watching I Love Lucy in my head....

I don't really understand this concept of scaring the poo out of women who are weeks or a few short months away from giving birth. Is it really necessary to make mommyhood seem so awful, so messy, so exhausting and so BLAH that I almost kinda want to keep my kid in my belly forever? I mean, really...what is it about a hugely pregnant woman and the need to tell her about the sleepless nights and husbands who weren't super hands on?

I'm not a fan of this concept. I want to like being a new mommy. I don't want to look back and think of giving birth as this horrifically painful experience...I want to look at it for what it is: labor. It's work, it won't be easy...but the end result will be so worth it. And those sleepless nights, spit-ups, poops and breastfeeding troubles? The goal isn't to resent them or look back with disdain later down the road. The goal is to take everything as it comes and deal with it all...and then look back, appreciate the experiences...and laugh.

Now, that doesn't seem so bad...does it?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Surreal

As it gets closer and closer to the arrival of my little one, I'm finding myself often in a surreal state of mind about this whole thing. It still doesn't seem quite real to me that at any point within the next few months, I'll be holding a tiny little baby in my arms...and that the little peanut I'll be holding is mine.

It's funny because rationally I know it's coming. I'm obviously fully aware of the baby inside of me...and I'm obviously preparing for his or her arrival. I feel every move...every jab, kick, roll and stretch....and I pretty much watch them all at this point too. My apartment has gone from the home of two newly-weds to the home of two soon-to-be parents: we've moved from china patterns to bottle racks, and cook books to baby books. And I'm certainly feeling every physical and emotional strain that pregnancy takes on a woman...I'm tired, getting big, and starting to get achy and painy in ways I've never felt before (hello, sciatic nerve pain).

So yes, rationally I'm aware that I'm having a baby....but really, it still seems a bit unreal to me.

As a teenager I was a bit nerdy. Boyfriends weren't necessarily my forte...they never seemed to last long and I was always the one being dumped. As a result, at 17, I had fully convinced myself that I was going to be the girl that was single forever but who desperately didn't want to be. Yep, I said it. I was 17 when I convinced myself of that fact. Sad, I know....And then along came Derek, strolling into my senior Sociology class. It was all over at that point. When I was 18 we had our first date, when I was 21 we got engaged and when I was 23 we were married. I have proven my 17 year old self wrong.

However part of having convinced myself that I'd be alone forever was the fact that babies weren't going to happen either. Funnily enough I have always known that I was meant to be a mommy. Being raised Catholic we were always told that God has a plan for us...and somewhere deep inside I always knew His plan for me was to raise a family....I just didn't believe Him right away....

And now here I am, at 24, having a baby. And at almost eight months along, it's still just so surreal....

But in a very beautiful way.