Saturday, October 16, 2010

14 weeks

So according to the weekly email that my co-worker signed me up for, this week our baby-to-be is the size of a lemon.

lemon

Which is considerably bigger than a few weeks ago when s/he was the size of a kumquat.*

71059092

The good news this week is that I've been feeling better. I've still got a headache pretty much every day, but oddly this isn't that much different than the headaches I had pre-pregnancy. I had a particularly painful migraine a couple of weeks ago, and I called my doctor to see what I could take besides Tylenol. Their advice was to take what I normally take even though it contains aspirin (which is widely classified as a no-no during pregnancy, but apparently there is an important and unreported caveat to the "no aspirin rule") and to drink more caffeine (which is usually suggested only in moderation). And thus begins my rant about some of the ridiculous (and often conflicting) information that is circulating about the dos and don'ts of pregnancy. They range everywhere from you should do nothing more strenuous than brushing your teeth and eat only organic vegetables to everything's ok in moderation. I'm trying to stay somewhere in the middle - abstaining from the obviously really bad stuff but not going overboard.

I've been trying really hard not to read too much about what can, may, or will happen as we move forward. While some people probably find that kind of information reassuring, I'm confident (and I think Rykert will back me up) that too much information will just turn me into a crazy(ier) hypochondriac who would ultimately get fired as a patient by her doctor due to incessant phone calls and emails. So I'm reading very little except to Google symptoms as they occur for reassurance that they are normal. And what I've discovered is that pretty much any symptom you can imagine will probably be classified as "normal."

My kind and well-meaning (and excited) friend and co-worker gave me a stack of baby books. Among them was the ubiquitous "What to Except When You're Expecting."

what_to_expect-when-youre-expecting


I think I read about 2 pages before tossing it across the room due to it's insanely condescending tone. I find this father-to-be's review on Amazon to be about spot-on:
"Guys ... consider this a warning; this will be the worst book that your significant other can read and will make your life utterly miserable for the next nine months. It's been over four years since I had to deal with this series' 3rd edition and I still can't stand the sight of it.

It may have been intended as a self-help guide, but its alarmist tone and condescending attitude leads this to act more as a bible for every worst-case scenario imaginable. After spending a few hours perusing this book's contents, your wife, girlfriend, whomever will become so overworked and paranoid that every little ache, pain, and irritation will become a sign of the baby being born with a forked tongue and three heads. The diet your partner will be instructed to keep is impossible for any human being alive to follow. She will be told to try and avoid ... damn near everything it seems like.

I was also incensed that after reading up on the author, all of this "wonderful" information was being brought to me by someone with NO MEDICAL BACKGROUND. If I'm going to want advice on dealing with pregnancy issues, wouldn't I want to consult an expert (i.e. someone with a degree)? Murkoff is no more an expert then I am ...

I'll be blunt, WTEWYE seems to be an EXTREMELY popular gift for someone who's pregnant for the first time and it's probably unavoidable. I came into three copies without any effort at all. I'm not going to stand here and pretend I know of a better source for information either, because (outside of ... oh I don't know ... a doctor) I don't. All I know is that if THIS is the definitive volume on the pregnancy experience, then God help us all.

I absolutely guarantee you, someone your partner knows WILL buy this for her. Your mission is to "lose it." If you're already stuck with it and you can't hide it or burn it, at least do your best to temper its pages with as much perspective as you possibly can. Again, for a first-time mom-to-be, who, frankly, is probably a bit nervous anyway about all the changes her body is going through, all this volume is going to accomplish is completely freaking her out.

Batten down the hatches and break out the antacid my friends, it's gonna be a long nine months."
It sort of highlights one of the problems with the amount of information (sometimes contradictory) circulating about pregnancy. Much of what is being passed along as "fact" is being spread by non-experts. It's sooooo frustrating. I guess, right now, I'm not really feeling the need to know "what to expect." I'll just take it as it comes.

I had my regular appointment last week, and heard the heartbeat loud and strong. Observations from this week: my clothes barely fit which is shocking since I've been on a carb-centric diet which has relied heavily on Lucky Charms and Ben & Jerry's (shocking in that, with the crap I've been eating, you'd think that they wouldn't fit AT ALL). The best news is that our next appointment will include an ultrasound and if baby cooperates, we should be able to get a peak to see if it's a he or a she. This has raised the question of whether or not we should find out or wait to be surprised. My older sister is the only person who we've encountered who is firmly established on "Team Surprise." I could probably be swayed either way, because it truly doesn't matter. But frankly, I have knitting to do and a nursery to set up, and gender specific seems easier to me, and Rykert, always the pragmatist, thinks it's simply more practical to know. Anyone else have opinions? Team Boy/Girl or Team Surprise? We have about a month to decide.

*An aside about kumquats: I don't think I knew what a kumquat was until I was in college. While I had been jokingly (I think?) offered a gourmet meal of kumquats and rain water as a child, I am confident that I did not know what a kumquat actually looked like. But then when I was living in a really crappy house in New Orleans (that had been converted into two 4-bedroom apartments by our slumlord) there was a huge kumquat tree growing right outside my window. It was HUGE. So I tasted my first kumquat. And guess what, I now know how threatening a meal of kumquats and rain water truly is...

12 comment(s). Tell me what you think!:

Jennifer said...

Congratulations! Best of luck with your pregnancy.

I laughed at your comments about the book. My friend called it "The Hypochondriac's Joy of Pregnancy" and it sure was. I did like the part about eating clay/dirt. I figured if anyone was going to want to eat dirt it would be me (fortunately, it did not happen). But you're certain to get many more forms of unwanted advice along the way.

Of course, I love the forwardness of complete strangers who want to touch your "public belly". Yikes!

Sit back and enjoy it. Can't wait to see what you'll be knitting. Hope it's a wonderful journey.

Jennifer said...

Congratulations! Best of luck with your pregnancy.

I laughed at your comments about the book. My friend called it "The Hypochondriac's Joy of Pregnancy" and it sure was. I did like the part about eating clay/dirt. I figured if anyone was going to want to eat dirt it would be me (fortunately, it did not happen). But you're certain to get many more forms of unwanted advice along the way.

Of course, I love the forwardness of complete strangers who want to touch your "public belly". Yikes!

Sit back and enjoy it. Can't wait to see what you'll be knitting. Hope it's a wonderful journey.

Emily said...

I see more babies born than ANYONE you know... and I say: SURPRISE SURPRISE! Be surprised! You'll thank me later! Just knit for both genders. What else do you have to do?

Liz said...

I have that book and it is valuble because it does make a good doorstop!

One thing we did do that was helpful the first time around was take a parenting class. Actually it was required since our son was a preemie but we learned a lot of valuable information that we would have never even considered. Infant CPR, etc. I do highly recommend it especially through the hospital. But isn't Rykert a nurse? Does he already know this stuff? I suppose he does....

We were firmly in the Team Boy/Girl camp. I mean, why withhold information? It's a surprise whether you find out via ultrasound or on the big day.

So is Rykert going to be Sue Sylvester? LMAO... funniest costume idea ever. You have such a great sense of humor.

J A Hynek said...

With my 2nd pregnancy, I had a rough time through my 1st trimester and into my 2nd trimester. Then the PA (bless the woman!) at my OB/Gyn suggested that I take an extra Vitamin B6 each day. She was right. It took care of my nausea and amazingly my headaches too. Don't know if it would work for you but it might be worth trying.

Also I had the same opinion of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and circular filed the copy given to me. The book that became my pregnancy bible was "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books" by Ann Douglas. I also recommend "The Girlfriend's Guide to Baby Gear" (don't remember the author). The other Girlfriend's guide books are worthless but the Baby Gear one was really helpful to me in defining what is useful and what is a waste of money for the nursery.

J A Hynek said...

Oh Yeah..... I am firmly on team surprise! We kept both our pregnancies a surprise. There are very few real surprises in life anymore. This is one of the best. Also it drove my MIL crazy, which was entertaining to watch.

Also keep the names you choose a secret or you'll an endless number of "helpful' criticism of what you've chosen.

Ruby Banshee said...

I totally agree that What to Expect is a harmful book.
If you do want a reference (and it's certainly fine not to want one!) I recommend to my patients "Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month" by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
It probably won't give you the warm fuzzies, but it shouldn't scare you either. It is not colloquial in tone; it just lays out the facts.

https://www.yourpregnancyandchildbirth.com/

Congrats, by the way!

amy said...

team surprise - the anticipation will keep many of the not-so-fun things of being pregnant in check.

Crafty Girl said...

I agree completely about that book, it's crap. I usually went to the Mayo Clinic or WebMD. The Mayo clinic has a great book my friend who's a nurse got me. It's about pregnancy and the first five years of baby's life. I think it's called Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy.
Just ignore as much as you can. Moderation is the way to live your life anyway.

Lovemook said...

Every mother knows that this book and books in this series are evil and unproductive :) I didn't even read your whole post because it would make me upset. i hate that book! don't read the one "what to expect the first year" either.

Abby said...

You have got to find out if this is a baby boy or baby girl or someone might have to call 911. I have been sitting on the edge of my seat for what already feels like forever, and if I don't get to buy gender appropriate baby goodies for this little one soon, I will likely collapse from holding my breath.

Wish I was more romantic about it all, but I say, find out the sex and let the baby's NAME be the surprise...

Just my two cents. I will now return to holding my breath.

Abby said...

Oh, and one more thing: if you want to read something that is at least partially worthwhile, the Girlfriend's Guides are at the very least amusing.

Post a Comment

 
Blog Design by Delicious Design Studio