Friday, February 19, 2010

The Extra Chamber

I grew an extra chamber in my heart this past Monday. It’s the one Moms have to have to comfortably accommodate the amount of love you possess for your offspring.

Back at Littleton Regional Hospital at 8:30 am – and, I don’t care who you are, if you’re pregnant in your first trimester, this is impossibly early – and I am already welling up at the registration desk. I am terrified. I am slightly non-responsive to Stacey’s inquiries and remarks, as I am on planet What If. What if, what if, what if there’s nothing there again? I can’t handle more bad news.

We took the early appointment to avoid waiting, our doc’s recommendation as apparently the later it gets in the day, the more backed up this specific area of the hospital gets. Wouldn’t you know it, the place was already packed. Not even a seat available in the waiting room. Not good zsa zsa if you asked me!

We let the receptionist know we are there, and proceed to a homemade kiosk detailing the horrors of heart disease in women these days. Whoever made it dressed it up with red construction paper and online print-outs, it was actually pretty in an alarming way. Distracting to say the least – downer zsa zsa.

I am pacing now, within 3 minutes of signing in, and my patience has only so much oomph this morning.


Hey, that’s me! I’m here! I’m ready! That was fast – great zsa zsa!

We got the same guy we did the first time – John. John has seven lovely kids and he is a total peach. He doesn’t remember us, but says he’s been looking over our previous empty ultrasound. That’s all we get – no comment otherwise. Sometimes just hearing “It will be OK this time” could momentarily calm my out of control nerves. I’ve come to learn that medical professionals make no promises, false or otherwise, they simply rely on advanced scientific equipment to answer their questions.

So, never mind my belly is sticking out-to-there and my hormones are literally shooting out my ears, there are no reassuring words for me until he performs the ultrasound.

Gooey blue stuff on my tummy, Stacey’s hand in mine, tears of sheer terror oozing out my eyes, fingers crossed:

“Thump, thump-thump, thump, thump-thump, thump, thump” – I guessed the machine was picking up on my heart beat in overdrive and the sound ricocheted off the walls and into our ears.

Still nothing. 30 seconds go by before John speaks up:

“Oh, by the way, that’s not your heartbeat.”

O, Happy Day! He turns the volume up and we all quietly dance to the world’s most magical music. 179 beats/minute of what can only be described as God’s miracle. I am bawling, losing it completely at the relief of life inside my round belly. Thank you, God, thank you, thank you, thank you!

I could have listened all day, but John still had to find Kangaroo in there somewhere. She is still very small, only about the size of a kumquat and barely over an inch long. She weighs a fraction of an ounce, so why am I so plump? He glides the device back and forth, up and down, and locates the yolk sac. This! He says, This, if we see nothing else, is the sign of a growing pregnancy. Phhhhheeeeewww. Good, yolk sac, good.

“So I have some sad news,” John says in such a relaxed and impartial way that my heart hardly had time to sink. “The writer of ‘My Sharona’ died today.” Oh, John. If you only knew how close I am to completely annihilating your existence right now. Thank you for that tid bit, now find my baby.

And then there she was. Head, body, arm and leg buds, and a sweet little halo. Stacey and I, almost at the same time, deeply sighed and laughed. “Hi, buddy”.

This moment changes you. You make room for a deeper kind of love, and because of it, you resonate on a different level. From where I’m sitting, you don’t ever go back to who you were, and you don’t want to. You begin your transformation into a parent. You grow your extra chamber.

Kangaroo, Mommy is waiting. I love you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chubby Bunny

At this risk of sounding cliché and somewhat whiny:

Morning Sickness is not applicable for morning time WHATSOEVER. The current time is 11:05 PM, and as I listen to both my boyfriend and pup snore loudly next to me, I feel like barfing. Forgive my choice of words – it is wildly appropriate, however, to emphasize this feeling for what it is – gross!

It might just be considered Sac religious to barf up the coveted Rosa Flamingo’s pizza/wings. Pizza Gods, I am sorry. I have done so twice, all that’s left is a dark empty pit inside and a beautiful raspberry-sized embryo named Kangaroo.

It’s somewhat difficult to imagine that a human is developing inside what was already a fairly round belly. My jeans are definitely tighter, even though I’ve reduced my caloric intake by approximately 25,000 a day (reason: vomit), but… well… where’s this big belly? No matter how teeny-tiny ‘Roo is, shouldn’t there be some evidentally-pregnant change? I just feel flabby and fat. Stacey says I am more beautiful than ever. He is a very, very wise man.

But seriously, when was the last time a regular drinker/bad eater completely changed her ways – ie: NO booze, healthier diet, extra exercise – and GAINED weight? Oh, right, when she gets pregnant. Very exciting, I must admit, to see Mother Nature hard at work. She clearly never spent $180 on Seven For All Mankind Denim (which, tragically, tore from butt to waist the other day).

Friends keep telling me to stop complaining. Let me clarify one time – I’m not complaining, I’m in a minor state of shock. And why can’t I be a little timid on the prospect of, in the words of my good friend Shauni, inevitably growing to “the size of a house”? Women are almost instinctively hyper-sensitive about their weight, is that impulse supposed to shut down for 10 months? I’d argue that now more than ever, I am very aware of the changes in my body – the muffin top, for instance, has become a substantial fixture in my day-to-day.

Here’s hoping that Stacey and the pups put on some sympathy weight to balance out the family.

In all seriousness, I am thrilled for the extra weight, the daily nausea, and splitting of the jeans. I really am. I feel like the world’s luckiest girl, and how could I not? An amazing partner in my life, a baby in my belly, two of the greatest canines on the planet, AND we’re going to look at a house today – THIS IS MY LIFE. Forty extra pounds…. Bring it on.

Think I’ll go eat.