mama's secret pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

Gestational week five, from BabyCenter:

Deep in your uterus your embryo is growing at a furious pace. At this point he's about the size of a sesame seed, and he looks more like a tiny tadpole than a human. He's now made up of three layers the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm that will later form his organs and tissues. The cells are forming for his major organs, including his kidneys and liver, and his neural tube is beginning to develop. This neural tube from which your baby's brain, spinal cord, nerves, and backbone will sprout develops in the top layer, called the ectoderm. This layer will also give rise to his skin, hair, nails, mammary and sweat glands, and tooth enamel. His heart and circulatory system begin to form in the middle layer, or mesoderm. (This week, in fact, his tiny heart begins to divide into chambers and beat and pump blood.) The mesoderm will also form your baby's muscles, cartilage, bone, and subcutaneous (under skin) tissue. The third layer, or endoderm, will house his lungs, intestines, and rudimentary urinary system, as well as his thyroid, liver, and pancreas. In the meantime, the primitive placenta and umbilical cord, which deliver nourishment and oxygen to your baby, are already on the job.

2006.11.21. the test

pregnancy tests times two
Today I took a test. I knew I was pregnant, really, by this point. No sign of a period after 36 days? Even my cycle (a few days over the normal) isn't that long.

Somehow, though, over the weekend I'd convinced myself I wasn't. I'd even thought to myself, darn it! and here I thought Jonathan and I were so fertile. We are fertile, in the past, it's been pretty much a guarantee that if there's an incident in my ovulation window, it happens.

In this case, there had, indeed, been such an incident. So when I decided I wasn't pregnant, I had started to diagnose our fertility troubles. I'd wondered if it was because Jonathan had been smoking occasionally. Or because he was working in a bar. Or because we've been riding our bikes so much! Or...

But I took the test, and there, quick as could be, the little vertical line appeared, crossing the horizontal in the "easy to read!" plus sign.

Larissa was there, so I called Jonathan first to tell him at his Grandma's house. And hung up, and told Larissa. Sure enough. I was a bad mom.

And, if everything worked out, I was going to be a bad mom of three.

2006.11.22. if you know, you must be sick

taking a picture of my knitting in the millennium broadway hotel
Last night, I learned that I was pregnant -- five and a half weeks pregnant, to be imprecise (as it's a total guess). This evening, suddenly, I hated myself for it.

I'm happy about the baby part. Ummm, happy-ambivalent. It's growing on me. But wishing I hadn't known. Because suddenly, I'm green around the gills.

Someone offered me a snack, chocolate cake or something. I snapped, under my breath, "that chocolate cake is awful. It tastes like chemicals!" and started rifling through the fridge and freezer. Nothing... nothing... nothing... I couldn't come up with a solution to my bad-mood belly. Toast? Too sourdough. Crackers? Rachael Ray is on the box. Cereal? Hello! That means milk. Milk? Cheese? Blech, blech, and WAY blech on the blue cheese-stuffed olives I was raving about the night before.

I wonder if the knowing and the yucky feeling in my stomach are connected?

2006.11.23. tell all

woman telling stuff by the rockefeller center tree, november 15
Today was Thanksgiving and, of course, it was time to start telling. As a family, we're not what you would call good with secrets. I know people who (for instance) waited to tell the older children until 12, or 16, or 20 weeks. Ha! Like we could keep anything from them, those smarty pantses. People who didn't tell their friends about their pregnancy until the threat of miscarriage had passed. And certainly not, umm, the taxi driver-cook at Uncle Jimmy's restaurant-bartender-guy waiting at the bus stop with us-random friend you haven't seen in months.

Before you know it, our open ways meant that my husband's entire family, most of my friends, and not to mention those individuals to which I referred in the previous paragraph, were in on our not-secret. So why not all of you, too?

I'm pregnant. I don't know how long this state will last, but, I'm nearly at 6 weeks. And already nauseous as all get out.

No more taxi rides. Blehh!

2006.11.25. what, me worry?

latte at the busy corner grocery, october 31
It is a truth universally acknowledged that if a woman is pregnant, and has ever previously had a miscarriage or known a friend to have a miscarriage, or, for that matter, just tends to the anxious, she will worry that every twinge, twitch or twiddle is the end of her pregnancy.

Today's exhibit (a): lower abdominal pain. I woke up late and took Truman on a walk to the Busy Corner Grocery, a lovely lovely place in my neighborhood. I had one perfect latte and some sort of Spanish lemon/orange cake. Yum. We walked home, enjoying the loveliness of the bright November day.

Back home, I made fried eggs for everyone, still feeling nauseous but quelling the burbles with whole grain toast, mayonnaise, eggs over-easy. And then the pain started.

It was just localized for long enough to have me googling "ectopic pregnancy." The problem with the symptoms of most pregnancy ills is that they mirror so closely the symptoms of pregnancy. Missed period. Nausea. Lower abdominal pain.

Halfway through the height of my worry, when I was already imagining how I'd dial my doctor's answering service, tell them I was pregnant and already crisis-ing, how I'd rush to the hospital for ultrasounds, IVs, surgery... I felt pain on the other side, then all around. Ummm, I think this is just gas pain.

There you have it. No wonder pregnant women get heartburn.

2006.11.26. this won't be the last pain you'll cause me

lots of mamas at anita's house, last winter
It's really not the 26th any more, no, it's firmly into 27th territory. The computer clock says 1:51 a.m. and I'm huddled, shivering because I'm already in my bedtime clothes, at my desk looking up 'ectopic pregnancy' again and, since I totally don't have the right symptoms, 'gas pain.'

Oh, oh, the gas pain. It's truly awful and I've been reviewing my diet tonight for a culprit, finding nothing but broccoli to blame. Oh, you broccoli, green and full of all sorts of healthful vitamins my growing baby might need. And, damn you, cruciferous. A pox on all your kind, yes you cabbage, and you watercress. Collard greens. Cauliflower. Daikon. Radish.

I guess it's a good thing I have a giant brand-new bottle of prenatal vitamins.

Yes I took the papaya enzymes, yes I drank lots of water, yes I do the fish oil supplements (supposedly it helps with digestion). I tried cat-cow in bed, before giving up for a little wee hours googling. But evidently the sway of the dark green florets, it is too much. Owwwwwwww.

2006.11.27. not taking it seriously

taking a photo of my hat, november 23
A lot was going on today, and I didn't have enough sleep. Up late last night writing and writhing, anyone? I had written something excellent, and woken up early enough to broadcast it to the team. Everyone loved it.

I kept telling everyone. I was brilliant! I'd identified a whole new niche and, what's more, I'd described them far better than anyone else. Things were good.

Until, that is, things were bad. Someone missed my subtleties and I was sunk into a funk about my poor ability to communicate my true passion. When I wanted to be taken lightly, I was taken seriously; when I wanted to get across an important value, it was taken as braggadocio.

This is all a long way of saying that I called the doctor's office today to make my first appointment. Which was good, I'm terrible at doing things like this, making appointments, calling people on the phone. And there was the terrific gas pain of the night before, my brushes with terror for a cruciferous vegetable. Damn you Vitamin B.

I wanted the appointment setter to ask, "so, please tell me more! Which child is this for you? How are you feeling? Are you in any pain? Is there a crisis?!?" but instead she set me up for an appointment in two weeks (and two days).

Not taking me seriously enough. The world just isn't getting me today.

In other worrisome troubles, my belly is suddenly huge. I swear to you that it has grown to three times its size overnight. I look at least three months pregnant. I wonder if I have that date right?