Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Little Known Pregnancy Symptom

Every woman experiences several symptoms that let her know that it's time to take a pregnancy test. Things like missed periods, morning sickness, fatigue, etc. are usually dead giveaways that a baby will arrive sometime in the next nine months. I've always kind of marched to my own beat, so none of these symptoms prompted me to take a test. In fact, I just attributed the late period, the nausea, and the tiredness to stress since I did have a lot on my plate in November.

Then, one symptom occurred that I simply could not ignore: Italy. Back when I was pregnant with Jude, Jeffrey and I had paid for a trip to Italy that would leave on June 9. We could not wait to go. That is, until I got pregnant and due to have a baby June 4, five days before we would leave for the trip. Obviously,we did not go because Jude arrived to the world on June 7, and those jerk-tards with the traveling company wouldn't let us get on the plane! (Before anyone freaks out, I cancelled the trip and received a full refund. Always get the trip insurance. Now, had Jude come on his due date, allowing me five days to recover instead of two...) 

Fast forward to this year when an opportunity came a knockin' in the form of another trip to Italy--the perfect trip to commemorate mine and Jeffrey's upcoming ten year anniversary. We had the money in the bank, and all we had to do was sign up. Of course, I became suspicious. It was true that in the weeks prior to considering this romantic getaway that certain foods hadn't looked as appetizing to me and I had started to grow accustomed to falling asleep by 8 p.m. every night. "Wait a minute," I thought, "We've been down this road before." 

Before I could fully commit to getting on an airplane to head half-way across the world, I decided I might take a home pregnancy test just to be sure. Two heart pounding minutes later, there it was--a plus sign and a "Pregnant." (I took a couple of different  Clear Blue Easy tests, and I give Clear Blue Easy brand two very enthusiastic thumbs up (or should I say "two plus signs"? Either way, I am "Pregnant" with enthusiasm for Clear Blue Easy.)

I would like to say that my reaction to this pregnancy equaled my reaction to my first one in excitement, but sadly, the first thought that ran across my mind while staring at the results was, "Shoot. I'll never go to Europe!"

The lesson learned is this: planning a trip to Italy=baby. In fact, Jeffrey's a bit apprehensive about ever trying to go to Italy. I might could try to go another time, but we'll just see how this whole pregnancy/baby raising thing turns out!

I have now welcomed my second baby boy, Malcolm, to the world. He proves a far superior souvenir than anything I could have found in Italy, and yes, that includes a Louis Vuitton bag. Even Baptist Hospital humored me and served spaghetti one of the nights I spent on the post-partum floor. 

A few months after Malcolm's birth, my in-laws invited Jeffrey and me to go with them to Germany the following May. Jeffrey turned to me and asked, "You menopausal yet?"

We did not commit to Germany. For the time being, we will plan on staying in America. However, I'm not so sure I'm ready to give up planning yet another trip to Europe. I kind of want a little girl.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Dear Size 6,

I had wanted to get into you for so long, and come this past September, I finally did! In fact, even Size Smalls would zip up (although, Mediums felt better). In the world of clothing and self-esteem, I have had quite a successful year, and this success could not have come at a better time. In November, I received my biggest career honor to date, and that honor required me to give a presentation on stage to an audience. Many emotions swirled through my body that day--nervousness, excitement, nausea, fatigue, relief--but the one thing I didn't feel was fat. Despite the whirlwind of emotions, I delivered a presentation with a confidence I never knew I had, but I have a feeling that confidence came with the help of a little red dress. Wearing you--that smaller size--just felt good. However, yesterday while shopping, I tried you on, probably for the last time. You see, Size 6, we're going to have to part ways if only for a little while.I've had to return to a diet with carbs. Yes, I still try to incorporate as much protein as I can, but lately, a lot of protein-enriched food I loved during my dieting days now comes across as utterly repulsive. Not only that, but sometimes I just need some crackers or a carbonated beverage in order to spare those around me from catching a glimpse of what I had for breakfast earlier that day. While this new way of eating freaks me out after I had worked so hard for so long to alter my eating habits, I know I must adapt to the change in order to get through each day. For now, Size 6, you still fit. The dress, the tops, and that adorable skirt I tried on yesterday still looked as good on me as they would have in September, so even though the carbs and a few pounds have come back, my body is holding strong for now. I didn't buy you yesterday, though, because I really didn't see the point. I know you're thinking, "So why abandon me? Why go back to eating carbs? Please don't go! Wear me forever!" Well, Size 6, let me tell you. I knew when I began my diet, the side effects would include temptation and some moodiness. I had prepared myself mentally for these side effects to happen and just rolled with it when I experienced them. However, there's a hidden side effect--one I had not anticipated. Pregnancy. Apparently, I just looked too good to my husband, and now here I am craving carbs and trying not to throw up all over the place. Size 6, you have to know that as much as I have enjoyed wearing you, I'm enjoying being pregnant again even more (although I could do without this scorching heartburn). Yes, I will be packing on the pounds in the next few months, but come mid-July, when that nurse places that sweet precious baby in my arms for the first time, I know that weight gain will be more than worth it. And who knows? Maybe it will all come off pretty fast. I have every intention of returning to you, Size 6. I don't know when, but I'll get back to you. Yes, I will miss you each week my body expands, but please know that this pregnancy won't last forever (otherwise, humankind would cease to exist). For now, just find your way to another girl's body, but please don't ever forget or give up on me! Sincerely, Your Biggest Fan