Friday, April 15, 2011


I think my favorite part of pregnancy ever is the cute belly. Maybe it's because when I struggled with infertility I was so jealous of that rich, round sign of impending baby. And maybe it's partly because I felt cheated out of showing off my belly when at 17 weeks I was bedbound for the remainder of my last pregnancy, and because I didn't get nearly as big as I would have liked to.

In any event, I love having a belly, and watching my bellybutton shallow out to a faint star in the middle of a heavy mass of mama, and trying to walk like a normal person when there is another person hanging out the front of my abdomen.

So now, finally, I am starting to get that nice, big, third-trimester belly. I'm carrying round. The rest of me is roughly proportional to my pre-pregnancy self (you know, from the two weeks I got back into those size 8 jeans before having to surrender them to the "clothes that won't fit for another year" trunk). Oh, and my second chin has even retreated a bit! But my belly has stretched the front of me from boobs to C-section scar with shocking evenness. And while I'm lucky not to look too chubby from the front, the belly definitely takes up the width of my abdomen too. I am by no means carrying small.

And I thought I'd paid my genetic dues last time, when I stretched from upper thighs to belly button in big, red streaks the cocoa butter was just barely starting to fade into shiny lines. I supposed that the postpartum shrinking had effectively nail polished the ends of the giant runs in my skin, so I could continue wearing it without worry that my runny-stocking skin would tear through the rest of me.

Naturally, I was super, super wrong about that. Now that I'm passing the limits of my prior belly stretch, I'm starting to get growing pains once again, and to top it off last night after my bath I found a new, tiny tear sprouting from the top of one of my old ones. It hit me instantly: I am going to have giant stretch marks from head to toe. By the time I carry this baby to term (and I WILL carry her to term), I will be that old stocking you thought you could wear one more time, but by the end of the night it was only a scrap of barely-held-together nylon gossamer, embarrassing you with its complete decrepitude.

Which brings me to a strange realization. Before that tiny rip appeared in my otherwise good-enough-after-delivering-twins belly, the technology that had most inspired my gratitude for living in this particular time was indoor plumbing. Screw the internet. But now, another holy blessing of invention shares that spot: cosmetic surgery.

Say what you will. Before this decade is over, I am going to see about having these shiny marks tattooed back to my normal skin color, and then having some of them just completely removed. I'm talking tummy tuck. I don't need a bikini body, but hey, I know when it's time to buy new stockings.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dear Pepsi,

I am a fan of many caramel-colored, caffeinated, cold, carbonated beverages. Colas have been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. And though I had my youthful flings with orange soda and cherry syrup, the classics remain my favorite: Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper still top my list.

Dr. Pepper wins for unique flavor. Pepsi takes second because everyone carries it and it's better than Coke (sorry Coke). But Coca-Cola gets the nod because (a) Mexican Coke has cane sugar instead of higher GI corn syrup, and (b) Mexican Coke is somehow way tastier than Mexican Pepsi.

But along with my fancy new unsweet tooth, I've gotten a heightened sensitivity to caffeine, so I've been struggling without my Mormony equivalent of booze the way some women suffer for red wine when they're pregnant. It's not a bad sacrifice, but I still want the good stuff if I can get it. Pregnancy exhaustion/stress plus wrangling a one-year-old who is not as mobile as he really, really wants to be leaves me extra needy for the little joys in life.

So today, Pepsi, you have won my affections. Pepsi is the only caffeine-free version of my favorite drinks easily located at stores outside of Utah, and there it was, on the shelf at King Sooper's, for only a dollar per two-liter bottle. And it was SOOOOOOO good. Without the caffeine heightening the sugar taste, the flavor was beyond perfect, at a time when everything else I eat tastes just a little wrong.

Knowing that I won't be up all night made it even better. I have another bottle and a half left to enjoy, preferably before my glucose tolerance test results come back. The next few days should be totally awesome.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Breaking the Trail

I haven't been to this part of a pregnancy before. Baby girl is due in 3 months, or 13 weeks from today. She's got enough uterus time for some serious advantages in life, including a better than 90% survival rate outside the womb if she were born this week. The even better news: she probably won't be born this week.

Which brings me to my point: Suddenly this pregnancy seems to be going on forever, and I'm in the part of it I've never technically experienced. Of course, every pregnancy is different, and this one is doing some strange things. I can't complain about a long pregnancy, but if history has taught us anything, we should know that I can find something to complain about.

It's my sweet tooth. It's been injured. I tend to love sugar. I crave it, I eat it, and I thoroughly enjoy it. Hormones have taken away the two most important parts of that equation. I don't crave sugar. It's the best candy season of the year, and while some of my favorites catch my eye when I walk through Wal-Mart, I just don't have the same desire I once did. On the other hand, I still occasionally buy and eat it. Robin Eggs, Pay Day bars, Cadbury Creme Eggs, chocolate covered marshmallows - and that's just in the last few weeks. It may not be a complete accounting of my indulgences, either.

Full disclosure of my sugar binges is not important; the problem is that though I continue to eat sugar, it has become rather awful. I never wanted to know why some people don't like Hostess products and cheap candy, and I do, and it's terrible. This must be what drug addicts feel like when their regular dose stops delivering a high. And that thought is even more depressing, because I realize how much I use sugar to change my mood. It is my drug of choice.

Now that I'm seeking out snacks and easy foods that don't have tons of sugar, I'm finding out how sugar-infused American non-perishable grocery items are. Even beef jerky, that pinnacle of easy protein, is coated in sickly sugar. Do not want. So snack foods are limited, and since I am awful at keeping veggies good long enough to remember to cook them, and since I am far too lazy to actually cook up a piece of meat when I need to eat lunch, I am seriously struggling with meals.

Yesterday and today: tacos for lunch. Easy because Tim made the meat and everything else is pretty simple. During the week: I find things around the house. Cheese. Crackers. Nothing. And half the time I'm too tired, busy, and braindead to even remember to eat, and then I end up having a nearly-passing-out episode in the middle of relief society. Because I ate a cupcake for breakfast after only a few hours of decent sleep. Depending on the calendar you use this is about the first day of my first third trimester, and I already suck at it.