Tag Archives: Reproductive Health

I’m Tired And My Socks Are Too Loose

My Baby Shower this last Saturday made me pregnant. Of course before, I was pregnant, but now I’m like pregnant pregnant. Like need a chair and gallons of water pregnant. I’m tired, my ankles are swollen, my stomach gets in the way of sitting down and I can barely reach the stick shift or brake release on my truck. I can’t even stop complaining! It’s making me crazy, but even with  threatening to punch myself, I still can’t keep my mouth from whining.

Before the Baby Shower I was feeling pretty good. A little sleepy but able to function 100%. I even prepared myself for my BS by staying up until 2am the night before so I could do it again for the party. Well it worked. I was able to stay up until 1:30am for my BS and got home with a backache and two stumps for legs. It didn’t register at the time, but I had spent the entire evening standing up. Why? Because I didn’t feel pregnant. Even when I got home and saw the state of my legs, I figured I’d just put on some sexy compression socks  and sleep off those Jabba the Hut bulges riding over my bloated feet. But no. The morning after was like that first hangover that takes more than a day to shake off. For the first time in my pregnancy it took two days for the swelling in my legs to subside and for me to recover from the pregnant woman’s equivalent of an all-nighter. It was time to admit it to myself: I’m pregnant.

Okay, so now what? Nothing. Sorry, but I just can’t write a thoughtful blog this week. Now that I’m pregnant I stopped working. Today’s my first day off and I just want to watch some bad romantic comedies, read A DANCE WITH DRAGONS because I can, and do some pre-natal yoga. I may even watch another episode of REVENGE on Netflix. Yes, I may be smart, but when I’m tired I enjoy the easy and dumb. And now that I am finally feeling pregnant, I just don’t care how lame I am. Go ahead, Me. Punch me and get it over with. I’m just too pregnant to care.

*Will be back next week rested and ready to mock. 

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I Am “Pregnant Lady” See Me Bulge

Every day when I go to work, the security guy at my office says in a high-pitched voice with a piercing Guatemalan accent, “You’re getteeng beeeeegger, Rene.” A week later… “Getteeng beeeeger.” Seriously every day… “Hey Rene… Getteeng beeeeger.” Until finally last week he said, “Oh! You can RRRRREALLY tell now!” Since then I have become “The Pregnant Lady.” I was sure I would have resented this but in fact it’s been somewhat of a relief. For the first time in my life, people know what I am.

Before this nine-month baby marathon, I have always been hard to figure out.  No one can tell my ethnicity or marital status, my career is as unfocused as my skill set, my husband and I look nothing alike, I get nervous if my friends ever start to make up a decipherable demographic, I never see bands in corresponding attire, my birth name means the sea and the sun, astrologically I’m on the cusp of Cancer and Leo, and I am a middle child first generation American who grew up with two cultures and two languages. No wonder I have a hard time getting cast in shows or films–no one knows what I am or what I represent. But now, I am “The Pregnant Lady” the “Preggo” “Preggers” any way you say it, I am pregnant. My ever-expanding stomach has made me a definite someone in the eyes of others. I no longer need to explain myself because everyone thinks they know pregnant womenPregnant women are delicate flowers. Pregnant women are coy. Pregnant women have to be careful to not over exert themselves. Pregnant women are inherently motherly. Pregnant women are all alike. Because of these stereotypes that see us as helpless warm angels, simple demands are met without question like needing a bathroom break, water, or snacks, a place to sit and some me time so I can get emotional if I feel like it. “Yes pregnant lady,” everyone seems to say to me, “Anything your heart desires.” Oh really?! Well then I don’t want to wait in line, I’m going to flake out on our date at the last-minute because suddenly I don’t feel like going out, and I don’t care if everyone wants to eat vegan food tonight, I need some meat!

By being clumped with an identifiable group, pregnancy has somehow given me a more effective voice. People want to know what I want and what I need. It’s given me renewed confidence to state my desires without hesitance because when people know what you are, they pay more attention to you because of their expectations. They want to see their hopes and fears in what you represent come alive and can’t wait for you to fulfill them. Thing is, as I’m encouraged to express myself more, people around me are finding that I am far from anything they had in mind for a pregnant lady.

To the shock of gym members I work out 5 days a week not swimming or just doing yoga, but Boot Camp and basic weight training; I still accompany my husband and friends to bars and clubs and have a glass of wine from time to time; my clothing is still as revealing, although much more comfortable; if the ground is level enough and my feet don’t hurt, I wear platform high heel shoes; and a few weeks ago I performed at The Echo with some comedians I met at SF Sketchfest earlier this year. I showed up as the ex tambourine girl of a really bad metal band named Sad Vicious. And  although pregnant she still believes she must show off her midriff to hype up the crowd. And hype them up I did.

At first no one believed the pregnancy jokes I was playing up, like bathroom breaks and snacking onstage, because no one expected to see a pregnant woman actually perform at a rock club. And then my stomach came out. Scary for a moment yes, but going onstage and flaunting a far from flat stomach was thrilling, freeing and dare I say it like an old-school feminist? Empowering. I could see the stunned faces in the crowd. Still holding their beers, no one seemed sure if it was safe to have another sip just yet. And then, only a few seconds later, cheers went up. They loved it. I loved it too. After performing, one man in the audience who got onstage on all fours to act as a chair for me before I lifted my shirt, apologized, “I didn’t know you were really pregnant!” As if being pregnant would have kept me from sitting on his back long enough to put on my stiletto heels. And women in the crowd kept approaching me afterwards to say how excited they were to see me do what I did. One after another these 20-something year old girls gushed about how they couldn’t wait to be pregnant and asked me if it was as wonderful as they dreamed it might be. “I have no idea,” I told them, “But it sure is fun.”

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Prego Brain Attacks

I can’t believe I’ve got Prego Brain this week. You’d think being a news junkie at a most newsworthy time would be enough to overcome this pre-birth state of mind. But Prego Brain is an unstoppable beast that crushes your focus and makes your concerns humiliatingly narrow in scope. I’ve been trying to fight it–thinking of ways to include other subjects besides pregnancy in my blog. This week I was sure I could do it with so much   riveting news that listening to it on NPR and reading it online wasn’t enough; I had to include old-fashioned primetime television for even more news coverage. Thank you Brian Williams (who by the way, is lookin’ awesome at 53).  For instance there’s been the Supreme Court rulings on Arizona’s Anti-Immigration Law, causing different groups to… oh sh** my stomach has just popped out!  And their upholding the Health Care Mandate which has… and it’s not gas. As of July 1st foie gras will no longer be sold in California making our state… we don’t have a dishwasher or a washer and dryer! How are we going to survive living in our apartment with a baby?! And Morrisey became president of Egypt to the delight of every goth kid and old new-waver alike. Cool.

Of course this isn’t the only form of pregnancy brain. You’ve got your frequent memory lapses, emotional ups and downs (though not too different from PMS except it’s more like PMS + mid-life crisis) and the short temper caused by lack of patience. These symptoms though all seem to stem from one thing: attention to baby and nothing else.

So I’m hoping that this is just a phase and soon it will pass. I don’t want to be a woman with only baby on the mind. It’s a dangerous state that can make women lose focus on the general population and make them rally to turn cool urban artsy neighborhoods into family friendly enclaves. It’s what makes women and men split into single sex groups at parties. And most dangerously it’s what can get women to forget about taking care of themselves and their relationship with their significant… I wonder if there are any cute maternity clothes out there?

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Shut-up I’m Pregnant!

I’ve been learning over the course of the last few months that once you get knocked up the general female neuroses are expected to get knocked out of our lives momentarily. I’m a woman as many of you know, so that means I’m always worried about my weight and I love talking about my feelings–two nearly destructive obsessions that have taken me years to develop with the help of family, friends, dating and the beauty industry. But since entering this bizarre pregnant world of THE BUMP and never-ending doctor appointments, I have found two things to be true:

1. Pregnant women must restrain themselves from announcing their pregnancy until after the first trimester.

2. Pregnant women are supposed to love their big gut.

WAIT TO TELL

So I found out I was preggers about 2 months ago and my husband and I thought we should tell our family right away. Then I remembered some weird thing I had heard–don’t tell anyone you’re pregnant until after the first trimester to make sure the baby’s in there. So at the most womanly time in a woman’s life, going through something only a woman can go through, I’m being advised to completely abstain from my womanhood and not tell everyone everything going on with me? Sorry, I am not that kind of woman. In fact I don’t know many women who are.

Is there anything more unnatural for a woman than to not express the good or the bad in her life? In general we women like to talk–A LOT. If we stopped doing so half of the male stand-up comics wouldn’t have an act. So it throws me for a loop to know that women are made to feel scared and superstitious over wanting to announce their pregnancy as soon as they find out. We don’t wait to announce when we’ve been accepted to a college of our dreams even though something tragic could happen that could prevent us from going. When we get engaged we’re expected to run around and show off the ring seconds after it gets put on our finger, even though there’s still time for things to go sour during the engagement. So why is it that with something even more life-altering, out of your control, and just plan crazy are we told to keep mum?

Well you could have  a miscarriage.

Oh happy day, sunshine. Yes, and if you did wouldn’t you want people to know about it so you can have some shoulders to cry on? For those who are terrified of saying anything in case something bad happens, I understand. Fear is a powerful motivator. But why do we allow it to grip us when it comes to having a baby? Aren’t negative thoughts also bad for your kid? Besides, in all honesty something bad can happen with the baby at any point in the pregnancy, so why do we have to focus on the one period of it when you still don’t look pregnant and people are going to want to know why you’re suddenly on a health kick of not drinking coffee, not drinking booze and staying in on Saturday nights. “I’m just taking a break,” only works as an excuse for so long.

I think we’re getting into the habit of not announcing the big news more for the sake of others than for ourselves. As if we need to add anymore anxiety to our lives by making sure our pregnancy is a good-time gig with only good news for others. But how does that make sense? The people around you are not the ones going through this momentous time, you the woman are. And so what if a miscarriage happens? That’s a part of life that people should be aware of and be comfortable in accepting. It’s like growing a plant from seed. Some of them don’t make it, some of them do. You never know, but you don’t not show off your seedling just because it might not take. I say us ladies take back this major event in our lives, stop being scared and tell the world the minute we find out… if we feel like it. Of course there are other things to keep us from telling the world: work, not ready to be besties with other mommies and not wanting the pregnancy to be the central point of conversation with friends so early on. I’m still not ready for any of it, but I figure besides our family and some close friends (who we enjoyed telling after the official test at the doctor’s office week 6), it’s about time everybody knew why I won’t toast with a proper cocktail, why I can’t step into that jacuzzi and why I so desperately want to go to a dance club while I can still dance.

Next up…THE GUT. 

To be continued.

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