We’re Not ‘Thinking Pink’

Both Mr. Not-So-Frugal and I were firm in our belief that the baby I’m carrying was destined to be a boy. I mean, c’mon — we both desperately wanted a boy, and in my gut, I just *knew* it was a mini version of Mr. NSF.

Oh, how wrong we were — it’s a girl!

Surprise!

I should know by now that when I’m strongly convinced of one outcome, the opposite happens. In school, anytime I thought I aced a test, I did poorly. During our attempts to conceive, every month I would think, “Hey, THIS is the month I’ll get those little blue lines on the pee stick!” — and every month, I’d be terribly wrong and disappointed. Finally, the one time I didn’t think it was possible, we got a positive test. And we are so happy that we finally got pregnant because it took some doing beyond the usual method.

So when I convinced myself that we were having a boy, it finally hit me: “Hey, stupid — you know that’s not the way it’s going to happen!” So deep down, I knew our baby would be a girl.

However, I am not going to go the “pink” route. Some people have said “good luck with that,” but that doesn’t mean those are things I’m going to keep if given. Sounds harsh, but it’s our prerogative and my one request. I don’t push blue on boys. There are other pretty colors out there. Girls don’t have to be bubble-gum pink princesses. I sure wasn’t. I was the one playing in the dirt, picking up worms, riding my bike with the boys and playing rough outside. I was the one carrying a wallet and not a purse in high school. I was the one riding motorcycles (and not as a passenger), camping and hiking. And I turned out just fine.

Don’t get me wrong. We’ll let our daughter develop a personality — and a style — all her own. But I want her to know that she can do anything she wants to do — she doesn’t need to be pigeonholed. If that means going against the grain, so be it. Heaven knows I did.

So if you want to get our little girl anything, skip the tiaras and the pink dresses.

A Present from the Uncle-to-Be

Mr. NSF is an only child, and I have one brother who’s a couple years younger than me. So our child will have one awesome uncle (and a bunch of honorary uncles and aunts, of course!).

Said awesome uncle told us he had “a present” for us. I could only imagine what it was. So he and his girlfriend stopped by the house the other night to deliver the gift, which was comprised of three parts:

Mr. NSF is especially psyched about the “Safe Baby Handling Tips” book, with its hand “Wheel of Responsibility” on the front!

I can only imagine what our kid will get from Uncle A when s/he’s born!

Meanwhile, I finally got my Snoogle body pillow. Had to trek to Buy Buy Baby on my lunch hour, but hopefully it will be worth the trouble. I did rustle up a 20% off coupon, so the $54 pillow only cost $42, plus tax.

I spent some time wandering around the store, and I must’ve seemed like a lost puppy, because I think every employee in the store asked me if I needed help finding anything. There was just so much STUFF. Some gimmicky, some useful, some essential. I took a look at cribs, car seats and Pack ‘n’ Plays (formerly known as playpens to us ‘old folk’), and I was amazed at the selection and breadth of price points. Yikes.

It was my first time looking at any stuff for the baby, and I’m not too proud to admit that I got choked up thinking about everything that’s going to come our way. A baby. We’re going to have a baby! We’re gonna be parents!

To steal a phrase from a newspaper comic that was NEVER funny: Aaacckkkk!

Putting Off Pregnancy Purchases

Okay, I’ll admit it — I’m being super-cheap lately (yes, cheaper than usual, my friends).

The only recent purchase I’ve made besides paying bills and buying groceries is to order two cell phone case covers off Amazon for me and Mr. Not-So-Frugal, which I got for free thanks to Swagbucks gift cards. And even Mr. NSF has been pretty frugal, aside from a recent rash of Chinese take-out cravings.

I’ve been putting off that pregnancy pillow purchase and wearing shirts that are way too tight for my current “condition” — and making some co-workers’ eyes pop out of their heads when they see my miniscule bump. It’s still mostly extra chub, ladies and gents, but just that the bitty baby in my belly is pushing it out further than it would if I were stick-thin.

But my back still hurts in the  mornings and now I’ve got this neat little thing where my upper left thigh goes numb every once in a while, in a line from my buttock almost down to my feet. But there’s no pain associated with it. I’ve narrowed it down to either Meralgia Paresthetica or Sciatic Neuralgia, but again, it doesn’t present with pain. Since it’s a new thing, I’ll ask my ob-gyn about it at my next appointment in two weeks.

So I suppose I should get that pillow, since it’s supposed to take the pressure off my back. I’m also contemplating buying a soft mattress topper.

We’ll find out if we’re having a boy or a girl in three weeks — we’re excited — and then comes the craziness of trying to figure out which car seats, cribs, strollers and other baby items are high-rated and safe. There’s so much to think about, but I’ve been putting it off for now and working a lot of freelance gigs to beef up our savings. And Mr. NSF is going to (attempt) to quit smoking, which will save us even more money.

Pregnancy Pillow May Be Necessary

I’m really trying to spend as little as possible during my pregnancy. I only bought new pants because I absolutely had to (nothing much was fitting anymore after a while), but besides that, the only expenses have been my doctor co-pays.

But now I’ve got a strange new symptom — early onset lower back pain. While I fall asleep on my left side most nights, I tend to sleep on my back, even though I know I’ll wind up on my side as my bump gets bigger, and without fail I wake up on my back in the mornings. So when the alarm goes off and I need to rise and shine for work (there’s only “rising” — definitely no “shining” until I’ve been awake for a while), I find myself having trouble getting out of bed due to lower back pain. It’s more of a soreness than anything else, which I feel during the day to a much lesser degree, but in the morning, hoo boy. It’s difficult to sit upright and then stand up to get off the bed. It lessens almost immediately, but I feel stiff.

So I asked my ob-gyn about it today and he said it’s not uncommon. While the baby is still tiny (weighing 2 ounces, maybe?), my uterus continues its domination of my lower trunk, pushing aside a bunch of other internal organs. So when I’m sleeping on my back at night, it’s probably putting pressure on the other stuff, such as my kidneys. Joy.

A few friends have suggested getting a pregnancy pillow that I can use to stay on my side during the night. It’s about 5 feet long and you’re supposed to put it in between your legs so it takes some of the pressure off your back. I’m not sure how well it will work, but if this achy feeling is only going to get worse mornings hence, then I’m ready to drop the $40-$50 it will cost. I’m going to use the $10 or so in Amazon.com gift cards that I redeemed through Swagbucks, unless I can wait until I get another $5 GC in order to take some more of the sting out of the purchase.

Other issues I asked the doctor about today:

1. Should I get a flu shot? YES. I was glad to hear this because without my annual flu shot, I get the flu twice each fall/winter, along with numerous colds. With an already suppressed immune system (due to the pregnancy), I need all the help I can get to stay well.

2. Can I still exercise? YES. I mentioned my little episode at the gym last week after walking on the treadmill — it felt like my blood sugar dropped. He figures it was because I had simple carbohydrates, rather than complex carbs, when I ate beforehand. That dropped my sugar too quickly.

Other neat/interesting things:

— Got to hear Pea’s heartbeat again with the handheld Doppler. Totally awesome. Whenever I hear the word “doppler” I think of weather and radar. There’s probably a connection, but I’m too lazy to look it up right now.

— I didn’t have to cough up a co-pay today. Maybe I don’t need to every visit? Not sure how it works, but I’m not going to complain. That $40 can stay in my pocket, thanks.

— My blood pressure is freakishly low. It was 100/50 today. Crazy talk. Actually, now that I think about it, it was something like 90/45 last time, too. I was assured that it’s normal for it to be low during pregnancy.

— My in-laws came back from their trip to Wisconsin (for a family wedding) with a gift for Pea — a Chicago Bears teddy bear. Cute!

My Adventure at the Gym

Now that I’m just days away from the end of my first trimester, I decided it was time to use the gym membership I’ve been paying for the past few months. Initially, I was scared of ‘jostling’ the baby too much during the crucial early development period, but once I realized 6 weeks of nausea equaled 8 pounds of weight gain (and almost no clothes for me to fit into anymore), I felt the need to do something about it. While I obviously do not want to lose weight, I’m now eating healthier and trying to get a bit more exercise.

Food-wise, I had to stop the ridiculous snacking all day long. Plus, all the ginger ale was drinking added unnecessary calories. I had even given in to a craving for McDonald’s, something I hadn’t eaten in years. I’m trying to eat more fruit, and I’m getting some veggies through the low-sodium V8 I picked up. Otherwise, I hate vegetables and won’t get any of that nutrition any other way.

During my lunch hour on Wednesday, I headed to the gym down the street, workout bag in hand, ready to walk slowly on the treadmill for a half-hour (you’re supposed to keep your heart rate below 140 while you’re pregnant; another fun tidbit I’ve learned). It’s been warm here in New Jersey this week, with temperatures in the mid-90s, and the gym was slightly warm. With a bottle of cold water at the ready, I stepped onto the treadmill.

I didn’t even break a sweat, which isn’t unusual for me and my slow metabolism. I kept a pace of 2.9 mph and was feeling good up until minute 28 or so, when I suddenly felt weak and lightheaded. I stopped the treadmill and my hands were shaking, too. It was the same feeling I get when my blood sugar is low, but I had eaten breakfast about 2 hours prior and had some pretzel sticks not 15 minutes before I left. So I thought I was covered.

Needless to say, I won’t be going back to the gym until I discuss this exercise thing with my ob-gyn on Tuesday. I’m hoping it was just a fluke, since I’d planned to keep my gym membership until December or so. It “only” costs $21 a month, and there’s no enrollment or cancellation fee.

See what happens when I try to do something healthy?

A Letter to Dad

Dear Dad,

I love you dearly, but I really, really want you to finish painting the upstairs bedroom that you lovingly helped renovate over the past 11 months so I can get some carpeting put down and do the molding. I know you don’t want any help because you’re a perfectionist (like anyone should wonder where I got that trait from), and I know it’s going to be hot again and that it will have to wait, but I’m thisclose to just doing it myself, even though I shouldn’t be in the middle of paint fumes in my ‘condition.’ Evenings after sundown will be cooler, and you can wear shorts to beat the heat…

And you can paint the kitchen for me, too, while you’re at it, since the paint samples I streaked in various places (pre-pregnancy) are driving me nuts.

Love,
Your Freaking-Out-Because-We-Need-to-Move-on-to-Renovating-the-Rest-of-the-Upstairs-Before-March Daughter

 

No worries — I won’t be painting. I know it’s not healthy for the baby — I wouldn’t even use the low VOC paints they have on the market nowadays. But I can’t stand looking at a project that’s taken this long, knowing it’s so close to being finished, and WOULD be finished if I could just do it myself!

Once the room-that’s-taken-a-year-to-renovate is finished, we’ll be moving our bedroom into there and starting on the bathroom and bedroom upstairs. I’ll leave the gutting to the boys (dad, brother, Mr. NSW & my dad-in-law), since that’s the fastest part. But then we’ll probably hire a professional to do the rest, because I sure can’t wait another 11-12 months to get the rest done.

And I know if we don’t finish what we started upstairs BEFORE the baby arrives, we sure as heck won’t be finishing it after Baby Frugalista shows up, since we’ll be pretty distracted for a while!

P.S. If anyone wants to paint my kitchen, please, by all means, just volunteer! (Hey, brother of mine, doing anything next week? Haha.)

Symptom Central

Finally, FINALLY the nausea I’ve had for the past 5-6 weeks is letting up. It’s not so bad that I have to secretly run to the ’empty’ ladies room in our office building to dry heave, nor is it waking me up in the middle of the night. I never knew how awful you could feel from wanting to puke your guts up (and then not even getting the satisfaction of doing that 98% of the time — just a lot of gagging). My need to eat 24/7 has also finally gone away, at the expense of no longer fitting into any of my old clothes except one pair of capris and my dresses/skirts. It’s time to eat more healthily.

Instead of nausea, I’ve been getting headaches that feel like someone is trying to put an ice pick through my skull. Only once did I break down and take one Tylenol. Another fun symptom, one that I haven’t had since I was a kid, is nosebleeds. Apparently, the extra estrogen and progesterone are causing all sorts of extra blood to run to the mucous membranes, resulting in more-fragile capillaries in your nose. And it also makes you more congested/stuffy — exactly how I feel every morning when I wake up.

I’m not falling asleep by 8:30 pm anymore, either. I can make it until 11 pm if I want to, but I think I still require more sleep. There are the occasional after-dinner naps still.

There’s the strange twinges in my lower abdomen, where my uterus is rising through my pelvis, which are apparently round ligament pain. It’s an odd feeling — cramp-like, but not like menstrual cramps. More akin to a pulling sensation.

Moving on to constipation. Wow. Nothing I more I really need to say about that, right? Trying to increase my fiber intake to get things moving a bit better.

And my recent favorite, the end-of-day bloating. I start out the day pretty okay — my stomach isn’t sticking out too far (that would be “food baby” rather than “baby baby”). But no matter what I eat, by the end of the day, I wind up looking 6 months pregnant. Bloating also brings with it what I like to call “air flow” issues. I’m drinking a lot of water/seltzer during the day, but now that I’m writing about it, I wonder if the carbonation in the seltzer is partly to blame.

Ah, the joy of pregnancy, right? You men are lucky you don’t have to go through this. Mr. NSF actually told me the other day that he can’t wait to see me ‘waddling’ around to go to the bathroom 10 times a day. Nice, right?