the last 39 weeks

I made a conscious decision at the start of this pregnancy that I would not complain about it.  We wanted this, it was a choice, it is an amazing thing.  It is not something (in my opinion) to complain about.  I have the belief that negativity is contagious and a virus.  I know that if I start complaining about something, it just grows – grows – grows and never ends.  Plus, this was a blessing for us and there was no way that I was going to allow it to become a negative – even if it was just grumbling about being uncomfortable or aches and pains.  **This is completely my opinion – everyone is entitled to their own opinion on the matter.  I know that a lot of women have difficult pregnancies and struggle the whole time.  I was lucky enough not to fall into that category.**

Here is my run down of the last 39 weeks.  I guess I am making this list more for myself in an effort not to forget too much.  Plus, it might be fun for others to read…. Maybe?  Derek’s recap is at the bottom.  He wrote his without reading mine first and said, “It’s not going to be 8 pages or anything” also “Geez… you are typing too much.”  Let’s see how this goes…

LAURA’S RECAP

FIRST TRIMESTER

Holy cow, grumpiness.  Poor, Derek.  I’m so sorry.  Mean things would come out of my mouth, I would immediately question why I felt the need to say them, then tell myself I had to stop, then 30 seconds later do it again.  I don’t know how he survived with me.  I also probably owe a late apology to my friend (and co-worker), Sarah.  Sorry.  I probably wasn’t as mean to her, but “Chronic Bitchface” definitely happened a lot.

Grumpy and bloated.  I’m pretty sure that around 7 weeks along I looked more like 4 MONTHS along.  It was bad.  Luckily that went away after a bit, because – boy oh boy – that was bad.

I never got sick.  Although, people sure do like to ask if you got sick.  I guess genetics has something to do with the likelihood that you will have morning sickness.  Thank you, mom!

Also, HELLO EMOTIONS!  I cried a LOT.  (It was never around anyone, though.  I am definitely a secret crier.)  And probably 99% of the time is was in response to a commercial (like this one: the GD Carter’s commercial), TV show, or movie.  Word of advice: if you are pregnant and love animals (who doesn’t?!), DO NOT WATCH Hotel for Dogs.  Just don’t do it.  I didn’t even watch the whole thing.  I just caught the end – this part (sorry for the crappy quality, it’s the only video of it I could find) and bawled my eyes out.  Like FULL ON cry-heaving.  It was bad.  Don Cheadle and those homeless dogs will make you cry like a friggen baby while you sit alone curled up in a ball on your couch.   SOMEONE GIVE THESE DOGS A HOME!!

The dogs need a home, people!

SECOND TRIMESTER

They say you are supposed to have more energy during these few months.  I don’t know.  I am, as a rule, a generally lazy and lethargic person so I’m not so sure that I’ve had any notable energy changes (unless I want to use it as an excuse for not doing laundry – then YES!  Pregnancy has REALLY been taking it out of me *wink wink*).

I felt great overall.  Honestly, throughout all three trimesters I felt great.  I was very lucky and I recognize that.  I try not to be a jerk about how easy I’ve had it.  The ONLY downside is super crappy pelvic pain.  And super crappy pelvic pain = no exercising.  Not that I am an exercise nut or anything, I just like to run sometimes.  I realized that this was the case in November (about 20 weeks) when I ran on the treadmill at the gym and COULD NOT MOVE MY LEGS afterward.  Whoa – pain.  Then it never ended, only progressively got worse as the weeks went on.  Blah.  But you know what?  If that’s the hardest part of this, I’ll take it.  It’s temporary and it usually goes away after giving birth.

I could feel the baby move at 15 1/2 weeks (like little muscle twitches) and Derek could feel the baby at 19 weeks.  This is probably the BEST and COOLEST part of being pregnant.  I am going to be really sad when I don’t get to feel him/her move anymore.

Also, I’m pretty sure I developed pregnancy-induced sensory issues.  Is that a thing?  I don’t know if this was always the case (and I just wasn’t as aware of it until now) or if it is a newer thing, but I CANNOT stand noises.  I can’t listen to music unless I am in the mood to, the TV needs to be on a super low volume setting, the sound of the dog licking his legs DRIVES ME CRAZY.  For Christmas, all I wanted from Derek (other than lots and lots of candy) was noise-cancelling headphones.  Not the Beats ones, but the ones that people wear to Nascar events.  Like these.  My co-workers make fun of me.  I can’t help it.  Maybe I just feel better wearing my headphones, with my heated rice pack, under a super soft blanket, knitting.  Maybe pregnancy has turned me into an old lady with sensory issues.  Probably.

THIRD TRIMESTER

I didn’t get very big.  I guess that is a good thing.  I’d rather be on the small side than be HUGE.  There was a girl in our breastfeeding class that I hope to all that is holy that she is carrying multiples.  I don’t envy her.  Thank you, mom, for the small frame.

Speaking of movies (and commercials) not to watch when you are pregnant, here are a few more:

  • Budweiser Puppy Superbowl Commercial – You know this.  You cried, too.  Don’t judge me.  I sat in a room full of guys during the superbowl and cried to this commercial – even though I had already seen it (and cried) and was watching it through my fingers while trying to think of other things.
  • The Other Woman – I watched this because I thought it was just about some rich man having an affair with Natalie Portman (who I LOVE).  Well, it’s not.  That happened BEFORE the movie.  This movie is all about how Natalie and her (now) husband are dealing with the loss of their young baby.  This was NOT in the description.   The movie doesn’t even really tell you all this right away, you have to spend the whole movie figuring it out.  Needless to say, it only served to increase my terrifying fear of SIDS (if that was even possible).
  • The High Cost of Living – I started watching this one because Zach Braff is my favorite.  I only lasted about 20 minutes.  Just long enough to see the 9 month pregnant woman get hit by the car that a high Zach Braff was driving, lose her baby, and have to continue to carry it around until she can deliver it.  At that point I shut it off.  I learned my lesson from the Natalie Portman movie.  No thank you.
  • What to Expect When You are Expecting – It’s just stupid.  I was looking forward to seeing it.  We waited to watch it until we were further along so we could relate to it more.  I also (mistakenly) thought it would be a REAL movie, not something like “Valentine’s Day” or “New Year’s Eve” where it is just a bunch of celebrities who never were on set together with 5 independent story lines that are barely (and very poorly) tied together in an insignificant way.  Dumb.  Plus, I don’t subscribe to all the cliche pregnancy stuff that this movie promoted (especially with Elizabeth Banks’ character – man up already… geez).

It probably wasn’t until about 37-38 weeks that I felt like I was ready to be done being pregnant.  But even so, I’m still enjoying being pregnant.  Although, it’s kind of like when you are in college and you know that the class is only 15 weeks long and toward the end (like week 12-13) you are just wanting it to end.  Not because it’s bad or because you are sick of it, but just because it is close to the end.  Anyone else feel that?  Maybe it’s just me…

Plus, I CANNOT WAIT to have some beer, wine (Bruno from Hudsonville Winery – yum…), and sushi.  I already told Derek that there will be a day shortly after having this baby that we go to Ming Ten where I can eat my weight in sushi then head to Hudsonville Winery to have some Bruno.  Obviously I am more excited to meet this baby and be a mom than I am to drink and eat raw fish, but man, I am looking forward to that… and sleeping on my stomach.

DEREK’S RECAP

Laura asked me to write on my experiences of our pregnancy by trimester. I explained to her that my story would be much shorter than hers. One of the things that I’ve noticed about pregnancy is that it’s pretty unfair. Women complain a lot about how men don’t have to do anything for child birth. They just have to stand there. They complain that they have to carry around extra weight in an awkward location, and that they have to experience the horrible pain of a baby coming out of their body. The unfair part for me was that I didn’t get to interact with a living, foreign object in my stomach. Because that would be pretty awesome, if it were a baby or even just something that pushed me back when I pushed on it. Or the fact that you pretty much get a huge head start on developing a 1 on 1 bond with that which is about to be so precious to you.

FIRST TRIMESTER

The first trimester went really smooth. We were brimming with excitement and counting down the days to our ultrasound. We were really upset that we had to wait so long! We counted down the days until we could share with our families, and we counted down the days until we could share with the rest of the world. We came up with cool plans for how we would tell our families, and we got to experience the joy on their faces when we told them.

Laura didn’t have a whole lot of noticeable changes in this time. She was moody, she wanted me to make her random kinds of foods throughout the day for her to eat, demanded I buy her candy frequently, and she complained about my inability to do simple things like put my clothes in the hamper. So, again, nothing really seemed to change.

We began reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting; the book everyone says is so important during pregnancy. I will admit there is a lot of great information in the book. But don’t watch the movie. The only funny parts involve Dangle and Chris Rock. And the Davis guy they have a bromance for. The women are all stupid and annoying but maybe that’s because they’re supposed to be pregnant.

Why was it determined that our baby’s growth and development be compared to the size of fruits? I mean, I guess it’s something you can go to the grocery store and look hold in your hand. Laura smiled and told me what fruit our baby was every week. I appreciated the visualization, but became hungry.

The things that did change were our outlooks on life. Every time we encountered a significant event, such as our anniversary, we said things like “This will be our last anniversary without a baby!” Things were getting real. We were researching do’s and don’ts. We watched football (Lions were looking really good for the first trimester).

SECOND TRIMESTER

The second trimester really flew by. I felt bad that Laura couldn’t drink any beer, so I drank some extras for her. We went out and about, as fall is our favorite season. We did our usual fun fall things, and thought about how great it was going to be bringing our baby to them next year; and our toddler after that.

I made a significant life change. I retired my giant computer desk and comfy leather executive’s chair, and I moved my computer into a quaint, not-so-ideal location. I got around to all of those ‘honey-do’s I was supposed to be doing for the last three years. The bedroom that was formerly my computer room and Laura’s closet was emptied out and began getting filled with baby things. A crib, changing table, dresser, shelves, new lights; all new things to share with our future bundle of joy.

The second trimester was a great part of the pregnancy. For the first time I got to feel my child move in my wife’s belly. I still think it’s amazing that there’s a living human being in there. Laura was really happy that she was distinguishingly pregnant, and no longer just looking like she needed to exercise. She really was a beautiful, glowing pregnant woman.

We went to doctor’s appointments, eager to hear our baby’s progress and health. Laura was moody, required a healthy store of candy to be maintained, and constantly harped on me for not cleaning out the sink when I do the dishes. Laura wasn’t really changing all that much. The Lions started out a very promising season, looking like the team we’ve always wanted them to be. Then they blew it and missed the playoffs. Again, not much had changed.

THIRD TRIMESTER

It’s already the third trimester. I feel like the last nearly 9 months has flown by. So much has changed around our house. We realized how much our lives are now going to be different. Laura thought about how much she missed having a glass of wine with dinner, and another one with dessert. I realized how awesome it is to pretty much always have a designated driver wherever you go. Seriously though, I walk down the hallway from the living room to our bedroom and stop and look in the nursery every day. I think about how perfect it looks and how excited I am to share this new bedroom with our new baby. I also think about how professional the paint job looks and think whoever hung the shelves really had a level eye.

We keep talking about what parts of our baby are developing. How many more weeks until it’s safe for the baby to be born? According to Laura, that was the day after we got our maternity pictures taken. Even though we’re in the ‘safest’ part of the pregnancy, I feel like it’s the most anxious part of the pregnancy. I ask Laura every day how much the baby has been moving. I want to make sure that everything is going alright.

When we first got pregnant I vowed to not be that hyper-active parent that always thinks something may be wrong. I don’t want to bring my kid to the doctor because he/she has a stuffy nose. My mom did that with me and now I can’t get out of bed when my throat hurts. I go to work though, because I work at a hospital and I’m surrounded by nurses. It feels like going to the doctor I guess.

I’m counting down the days until this baby is born. Laura is too. However, she is counting them down because she can’t wait to be able to sleep on her stomach again, have a bottle of wine, wear her wardrobe full of clothes, or eat sushi. I just want that baby to come out safe and sound. It’s hard being an expecting dad this late in the pregnancy. I can’t feel the baby move  inside of my stomach, I can’t decide if something’s wrong, and I can’t make sure my wife eats healthy foods instead of candy all the time.

I’m counting down the days, hours, and minutes until I can meet my precious baby and future placekicker for the Detroit Lions; and become a Dad.

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