27 February 2013

pregnancy is a weird country

And yes, that's really true. My latest list of odd pregnancy things involves pre-natal vitamins, awkward conversations, and me eating probably too much sugar because it doesn't upset my stomach, among others.

Prenatal Vitamins: So, when I first got pregnant, I ran out and got folic acid tablets, which are something like $6 for a bottle of 120 pills. This I knew I was supposed to take, since it helps make the brain grow. When I couldn't keep the folic acid down for a few weeks, I wondered out loud if my kid wanted to be born without a brain, but since the ultrasound shows it does have an actual brain and spinal cord, it's probably fine. I knew I was also supposed to be taking pre-natal vitamins but there were so many kinds that I was really confused. I figured I'd ask the doctor.

Doctor=not helpful. "Take pre-natal vitamins." "Which kind?" I ask. "Oh, whatever." No, don't tell me whatever, tell me what I need in the pre-natal vitamins because the number of choices is overwhelming. Finally, I wandered into the local health food store, where the person in the shop that day pressured me really hard to buy the $30 dollar bottle of 60 tablets which you have to take 5 times a day. I told her I was going to do a little more research, left, and went to the pharmacy a little further down the street. They had one kind of pre-natal vitamins, a generic type that looked like it had everything the fancy ones did. And the bottle had 120 pills, to take once a day, and only cost about $15. Sold. They're overly large pink pills so I tend to take my daily dose at night right before I go to bed to minimize the possibility of vomiting the pill back up. At least now they can't guilt-trip me at my next appointment.

My brain: Pregnancy is melting my brain. I look at words and see something else. A friend's phone rang the other day, caller unknown, and I saw the screen when she picked it up, and I swear I saw "unicorn" instead of "unknown." I need to pick up shea butter for something, and I swear, I couldn't remember what it was called. The only word I could think of was "xiaolin" and I knew that wasn't right. It did come back to me, of course. 24 hours later.

On Monday, I needed the kitchen step stool (I am short) to get something and I couldn't find it. I walked around and around the apartment, feeling like I was losing my mind, only to realize that my husband had set the lid from a rubbermaid container on top of the stool, effectively hiding it from me. Last night I confused vertical with horizontal. To be fair, I usually have to stop and think with those terms, but the stopping and thinking didn't happen and the word vertical came out when I meant horizontal. This makes me worry about my upcoming thesis defense.

Meeting new people: The other week, J. and I had a super-awkward conversation with a couple who are also having a baby around the same time as us. It was one of those things where someone at church said, "Oh, you should go talk to them, they're pregnant too!" But other than the pregnancy thing, we have zero in common with this couple. They're younger than us (not necessarily a problem), have been married for less time (again, not an issue), work in drastically different fields (not an problem either), and we couldn't really discover interests in common (that is a problem). It's just going to get worse once we do birthing classes and the post-natal community group. The assumption that we should hang out with people simply because we all have kids might be nice for the kids, but it doesn't seem so great for the adults.

The thing is, we do know people with kids whom we already enjoy hanging out with. One of my friends, whose youngest is six months old, has been really helpful (e.g., recommending stretches to deal with the weird aches in my hips), and another who has two-month old twins has also been really great (she lets me hold her kids and ask questions about random stuff). And I like spending time with them,, and presumably (since they haven't indicated otherwise), they like spending time with me. So the groups we'll end up going to might introduce us to people we'll actually get along with. We don't know.

There are other things...the way sentimental stuff on television makes me cry like it never has before, my new aversion to the smell of garlic, how I'm not showing yet but I've had to start wearing maternity jeans because the zipper on my normal ones won't stay up any more, and how I'm tired all the time. It feels very strange much of the time, because this is all so new. I told the doctor at my last appointment I was a bit stressed, and she demanded to know what I was stressed about, like I had no right to be concerned or confused because I'm pregnant with my first child and I've had the morning sickness that refuses to stop. They grill me about my mental health every time I'm at the doctor's because I have a history of depression and I'm currently not medicated for that. I don't need to be medicated for depression right now, since I'm doing quite well, but at that appointment, because I admitted to feeling stressed, it felt almost like the doctor was trying to push me into getting back onto meds. The public health nurse who called to chat was much nicer. She went through a list of questions with me designed to evaluate my mental state, and said it sounded like I was fine. We'll see what my next appointment looks like. Maybe I just need to learn how to summon my assertive self for things like doctor's appointments like I do for activities like rambling about stress assignment in language in front of an intro phonology class.

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