Sunday, January 29, 2006

PB Plunges

Last year, PB signed up to participate in the Polar Bear Plunge to support Special Olympics. His company was one of the corporate sponsors, and a whopping two employees showed up to participate. The air temperature was about 28 degrees, and the water temperature in the bay was 32...and a half...degrees. The coordinators of the event had to go out with huge ice picks to break up the ice covering the bay so that all of the crazy people could actually jump in to water, and not slide belly first across ice. THIS year however, circumstances were much better. There were almost 2 dozen employees from the company present, and the water was 6 degrees warmer. The air temperature, likewise, was 60 this year, which is a huge improvement. The event raised over $1 mil, and there were several thousand people in attendance to jump in to the (almost) freezing cold water for the good of charity. It's a neat thing to see, and a very heart-warming event.

While PB plunged, I waited beneath the huge scaffolding holding the speakers that were blasting rock music across the beach. Namely, Pinball Wizard and Paradise City. This is how we came to find out that BB3 likes rock. A lot.

And may I just say, it is incredibly weird to feel something dancing *inside* your belly. Really, really weird in fact. But totally awesome, too.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Week 18

I have wanted to be pregnant pretty much ever since I met my husband over two years ago. I knew that I wanted kids when my niece was born almost 11 years ago, and ever since then I've just been waiting for the right person. Once I met my husband, I didn't really see any reason to wait any longer. However, we were trying to wait at least a few more years, since I just went back to school. Apparently, I'm in that 1% of the female population for whom the pill does not work. Go figure. Now that we are actually pregnant, I'm trying to enjoy every minute of it. I'm sure, that like most pregnant women, there will come a day about 18 weeks from now when I will no longer want to be pregnant, and would really like to see my feet again. Until then however, I'm trying to live it up and treasure all of the insane things that are happening to my body.

To recap:
I knew I was pregnant before I got a positive test result, because my boobs were so sore I could barely take my shirt off. Then they *really* started to hurt. The first few weeks were by far the worst, as they grew an entire cup size in about a week and a half. I lost the ability to see my feet much earlier than most pregnant women, but my loss was because of the boobs, not the belly. I still barely have a belly. At the height of the soreness, standing in front of the open refrigerator in a t-shirt made them hurt. PB had to walk slowly past me, for fear that he would stir a breeze that would make me wince in pain. They're great to look at, but man, do they hurt. And I hear it gets worse once milk comes in. Woohoo!

Around 9 weeks the nausea started. I couldn't leave the house in the morning without getting sick. It was part of my getting ready for work ritual. Wake up, shower, urp, brush teeth, get dressed, urp, brush teeth again, makeup, hair, leave. Good times. Then, I would spend the rest of the day feeling incredibly nauseous and unable to eat anything with any real flavor. I lived on rice, grits, and wheat thins for about three weeks. Around week 14, the nausea subsided, and was replaced by an intense, gnawing pain in the pit of my stomach if I didn't eat every hour and a half or so. That didn't mean eating full meals, it meant a few crackers, maybe a dozen grapes, and then I was full again. I didn't get to eat a full meal until about two weeks ago, and even that comes and goes.

The fatigue that forced me to get up and walk around every half hour between 1 and 4pm, for fear that I would fall asleep while working at my desk went away around week 14 as well. It was replaced, immediately, by the inability to sleep through the night. Granted this is not entirely due to the pregnancy. When we moved in to our house, we were greeted by our neighbor's dogs barking almost incessantly from midnight to 3am, and the volunteer fire company siren going off at all hours of the night. I adore living in a small town, because it's beautiful and quaint and all that crap, but seriously...get the firemen pagers or something, like normal people.

I finally started noticing serious baby bump last week about 2 weeks ago. I was blessed/cursed with some serious birthing hips, and as such, will probably not look *really* pregnant for about another 4-6 weeks. So I'm stuck in that intermediary stage, where my regular clothes are too tight on my belly, but I have to keep hiking up my maternity pants because my belly doesn't fill them out. I have noticed quite a bit of growth in the last week though, so hopefully things will start progressing. I totally want the belly. My body is handling this pregnancy thing much better than it handles most changes, which is a pleasant surprise. I was sure that I would balloon up the minute I found out I was pregnant, but instead I get grilled by my doctor as to whether or not I'm eating, because I gained a whopping half a pound in the first 15 weeks. There's apparently just plenty of wiggle room for baby. Seriously lucky on that front.

I started feeling real movement this week, as in, I no longer wonder if it's just gas bubbles. There are certain times of day when BB3 is more active, mostly around mealtime and, natch, bedtime. However, if loud noises occur, or if someone is yelling in my vicinity, BB3 goes bonkers and starts flipping around and punching. Not exactly comfy. This is the best part though. BBs 1&2 are greatly looking forward to feeling BB3 move around and kick, as BB1 loves the story about how she used to lay her head on her mom's stomach and get kicked in the cheek by BB2. BB2, in turn, wants to get kicked in the face. We're totally raising masochists. I can't wait until we can hear the heartbeat using our fetal monitor, or watch BB3 move across my stomach.

Can't wait to see what happens next.

Fun With Pregnancy

As I mentioned before, I am, in fact, pregnant.

My poor, poor husband.

I have been, to put it mildly, a complete and total emotional basket case ever since "the stick turned blue" as they say. PB knew I was pregnant before we got a positive result, because while making breakfast one morning, I dropped half of my bagel on to the floor and promptly burst in to tears. I didn't even really want the bagel. Being the highly intelligent man that PB is, he said and did nothing, but simply acted as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening. So, when I did in fact get a positive result on the pregnancy test, he wasn't exactly shocked.

Ever since that first fateful bagel morning, I have been up and down more times than an elevator in a 50 story building. One minute I'm laughing hysterically, and then I'm sobbing and can't stop. I think that above everything else involved with pregnancy, the emotional side effects have been the hardest to deal with. My family has a bit of a history with mental health issues, so acting like a crazy person is not exactly cool with me. PB was brushing his hair one night before bed, and noticed that his hairline was receding. He has the thickest head of hair I've seen on any man, next to Dirt (who's almost 20), and by receding I don't mean it was a noticeable bald patch, I mean that he had maybe three fewer hairs at his temple than he had a year ago. Not exactly look-in-to-hair plugs worthy, but nevertheless, I burst in to tears and spent the next 5 minutes trying to stifle the racking sobs that were pouring out of me. Apparently, I really, really like his hair.

PB came up with the fantastic idea last night that he would create a Pregnant Bear doll. This doll would have one big button in the middle of her pregnant belly, and the fun part would come when you pushed the button, because you never knew what kind of reaction you would get. Could be good, could be bad, could be nothing at all. This, my friends, is what my hubby has been dealing with for the last 18 weeks, and has the pleasure of dealing with for the next 18-22 weeks.

I'm pretty sure he's even more anxious to meet our baby than I am, as it will theoretically mean that I will go back to being the fairly rational, mostly stable woman he married.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Getting to Know You

I am new to this blogging thing, but come from a long line of writers and have two blogger siblings, so I am at least not a complete stranger to the concept. That said, I have never considered myself to be even remotely as adept with words as either of my siblings, or my father. They are just too good. I will, however, make every effort to make posts interesting, entertaining, and intelligible.

Here goes nothin!

A few people I will refer to frequently in this blog are as follows:
portia: my older sister
dirt: my younger brother
m: mom
d: dad
PapaBear (or PB if I'm feeling lazy) : My husband
BabyBear1 (BB1) : My oldest daughter (technically step-daughter)
BabyBear2 (BB2) : Younger daughter (also technically step)
BB3 : Our as yet unnamed future progeny, expected in late June.

I am 22 years old, and have been married for about 8 months. My husband and I "eloped" to the county courthouse in May '05, because I was going back to school and needed financial aid ( not to mention the instant health insurance). At that time I was 21, and therefore not deemed old enough to be considered financially independent of my parents by the powers that think they be, which meant I was set to receive close to $16,000 less in financial aid. Hence the getting hitched. On September 24, 2005, we had The Wedding for family and friends, and did the white dress and all. Most everyone knew we were already married, but I'm pretty sure we held up the illusion well. It was very real for us, and a fancy-schmancy vow renewal of sorts. October 18, we found out we were expecting. Needless to say, this is a honeymoon baby. We are ecstatic, but a bit freaked out to say the least.

So, we frantically started searching for larger digs - we had been living in a very small two bedroom apartment up until that point, which was really only manageable because BB1 and BB2 are not with us full time - and a new vehicle for me, as a Saturn SL2 was not going to accomodate a family of 5, especially when three of those 5 members will have to be in car seats of some kind for the next 2, 4 and 8 years, respectively. Two months later, we had signed a lease and were moving in to a 4 bedroom house with a fenced in back yard and mostly finished attic, which meant we could keep our dog and have a separate play room for the kiddos, thus enabling their bedroom to stay somewhat clutter free. Talk about lucking out. Then, about two weeks ago, my amazing in-laws (I seriously hit the jackpot in that department) offered to sell us their SUV, as they are planning to take off in their RV come fall, and need a vehicle with lower mileage and more features for all of their cross-country motoring around they'll be doing. So again with the lucking out.

And here we are. We're about 5 1/2 months away from meeting BB3, 1 week away from finding out if we get to shop for pink or blue onesies, and living in a real house. Life is, as they say, pretty schweet.

Sometimes it's hard to believe I actually get to live this every day. Talk about blessed.