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20 Weeks

Greetings from Week 20.

Here are two things I did this weekend:

1) I put a dress in the dryer that I suspected should not have gone in the dryer. Under normal circumstances I would have hung the dress, but I felt emboldened by a conversation we had with friends Saturday night about how if clothes can’t survive the dryer, they were not meant to be – Darwinism for clothes. I’ve always believed that about clothes in the dryer, but I decided to put this belief into practice. The dress shrunk. I might still wear it, because the dress was big to begin with. Please note I did not put BOTH dresses I was washing on Sunday into the dryer. I’m not looking to burn the whole thing down.

2) I performed in a Comedy Festival with my sketch-mates in North Carolina! The crowd laughed, which was a tremendous relief, because that is a long way to drive to not get laughs. They also laughed heartily at material I wrote, which is also satisfying.

The festival did cause me some anxiety, however, as eating healthy while traveling is difficult. I packed some mangoes, but that was it. There are not a lot of healthy eating options available at 1:00am, so after the show I could only eat fried foods. I felt tremendous guilt, especially after reading on Wednesday night that french fries and fried food in general link to higher mortality rates. I hope she’s okay. I read somewhere that the baby is developing a taste for things you are eating, so by now she should have a passion for avocados, apples, mangoes, marzipan, cheerios, milk, salmon and dates…and… if I’m being totally honest, fried chicken, french fries, cheeseburgers, Phish food ice cream, any ice cream, Lindt chocolates, ginger chocolates, French brioche.

Sometimes people tell me, “You will be a wonderful mother,” and all I can think is, “I HAVE ALREADY FAILED HER.”

Today I had a salad for lunch, and I’m planning on having salmon for dinner, and I only ate one two pieces of chocolate, if you don’t count four pieces.

I am also reading a book: Foundation by Isaac Asimov. This book is wonderful. I will never be able to write something like this. I also think it should be required reading for aspiring politicians.

On a more personal note, I have been feeling very unattractive these past few weeks. I confided to my brother that I don’t think David finds me attractive anymore, and in true sibling compassion, he replied, “What do you want from him? You are heavy now. What’s he supposed to do? You’re pregnant. It’s fine.” And that was that.
Finally on Sunday I decided it was all in my head, I was not looking particularly heavy, and there was no way to tell I was pregnant by looking at me. And then we entered my in-laws home and they gleefully exclaimed, “You are getting so big!” They immediately and sincerely followed that up with, “You look great!” which I desperately needed to hear. I also shared my feelings with David, and he was great too.

The most reassuring comment I received was from a stranger in North Carolina after I was wearing a dress from the fitting room. “You’re about 5 months, yes?” she asked, and I was like, “YES. Thank you!” I had been googling pictures of people at 19 weeks on the internet, trying to gauge if I was around the same size, but in usual internet fashion I figured out NOTHING. This kind retailer instantly put me at ease, explaining the dress I was wearing would only fit me for another month. I bought it anyway, because it had pockets, I plan to wear it after, and I liked her and her boutique.

This post was wildly disorganized, but also important.

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18 Weeks

We had an appointment this morning. Some appointments they just check for a heartbeat, weigh you, type information into their computers and send you on your way. The only fun part of these is hearing the heartbeat, which is my favorite sound right now.

Today’s appointment was an anatomy ultrasound. This is a detailed look to make sure the body parts are coming in well. So far so good! The baby was moving, so they said they could not check everything, but she did seem to think most of the important organs are looking okay so far. That was a relief.

I shared with the doctor that I’m having trouble sleeping and getting winded easily. She smiled, nodded, and said it would only get worse. Then she asked, “Any other questions?” and I asked about travel and exercise, and then we were on our way!

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Second Part

Hi!

I’m in the second trimester now – 15 weeks! Here’s something neat I learned: second trimester is defined slightly differently depending on the person you are communicating with. Our doctor puts it at 14 weeks. That’s because they can keep administering certain tests and making decisions if need be up until that point. Online they say the second trimester is at 13 weeks. Interesting, yes?

Since I have been lucky enough to not have any symptoms, barring my period not showing up, I completely understand the people who say, “I didn’t know I was pregnant.” But if you want to be pregnant, the lack of symptoms are jarring. I’m constantly wondering if the little baby is still in there. My bowel movements have been on point, but they’ve been on point since I started the estradiol months ago, so I can’t count that as a symptom. I’m a bit emotional at times, for example yesterday I started tearing up watching New Zealanders do the Haka dance in support of the mosque victims, but I think I might have felt deeply moved by that anyway.

There is one symptom I have that I thought I wanted. The ladies have gotten bigger. I’ve always been humbled by my modest offerings, and I was over the moon in 2001 when Shakira’s Whenever, Wherever came out with the lyric:

“Lucky that my breasts are small and humble
So you don’t confuse them with mountains”

I loved these lyrics! They spoke to me!

But now that I am bigger, not even that much bigger mind you, they are a total nuisance. When I pass a mirror I have to remind myself that “my eyes are up here.” When I cross my arms over my chest, they sort of get in the way. I had free range before. They hurt sometimes. OH, ALSO, THERE ARE GROWTHS ON THEM. WTF.

I’m also wildly confused about weight gain. I wasn’t sure whether I should be or not be gaining. And I am not certain if I have a bump or a perpetual food baby. I had food babies before, and this baby looks like the food babies that preceded her. I honestly thought I had a bump two weeks ago, but when the doctor checked for heartbeat, she put that device somewhere far from my “bump” and I was like, “Uh…so that’s where the baby is right now? WHAT IS THIS BELLY I HAVE?” The doctor just shrugged and said, “She’s down here right now.”

Also my friend asked me if I had any cravings, and I said no, and then I ate half a pint of Phish Food ice cream. But that’s something I would do – and have done – under regular circumstances.

Last night I watched Amy Schumer’s special, in which she is pregnant. It’s time I wrote some jokes and got on stage. I cannot miss this opportunity!

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Fallen Ill

Hello my beloved blog, I have terrible news. I’ve fallen ill.

Here’s what happened:

The first trimester went quite smoothly, with me showing so few symptoms that I was worried that something was amiss. People would ask, “How are you feeling?” and I would reply, embarrassed, “I don’t feel much,” and they would say, “You are so lucky.” I did sleep eight or more hours a night, which is a big deal for me.

Then while watching the Grammy Awards, I learned that Cardi B wrote and put out her Grammy award winning album when she found out she was pregnant. I’m no Cardi B, but I thought I could at least direct a short and perform in a comedy show before most people knew I was pregnant. And this plan was good in theory, but it also meant that I would be around more people than normal, meaning I would also be around more people that might have the flu. And sure enough, I heard people coughing during rehearsal, and I saw on Facebook that our tech operator had a fever.

“Just a cold I’m getting over,” the coughers assured me. I didn’t even talk to the tech operator. And since my body is changing, I was having trouble sleeping.

Well after a stellar performance Saturday night, potentially one of my last for a while, which a lot of wonderful friends attended thanks to Ian, we all went to a crowded bar. I started to dry heave, so we left after an hour and half, and came home to eat pizza. Well by Sunday I had a 102.5 fever! This resulted in a vigorous and panicked internet search and what this means for our little one. We called the ob-gyn, and the on-call doctor said to take a Tylenol and go to the general practitioner in the morning if it kept up.

Monday morning we went to urgent care, and they gave me a test for flu and strep. I was negative for strep, Flu A and B, and he said the tests aren’t 100% conclusive, so he prescribed tamiflu, and asked that I run it by the ob-gyn as well. I called them, and they said that tamiflu is safe for pregnancy. So then I took a tamiflu and vomited within 10 minutes of one tablet. I believe that was my body’s way of saying, “No.”

Side effects of tamiflu are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and hallucinations. These side effects are exponentially worse than what I was experiencing. Anyway then my mom came by and brought me cooked turnips, which taste foul, but they seemed to help. David and I decided yesterday that I would not keep taking tamiflu, and my temperature dropped too 100 last night before bed and this morning was at 99! Yay!

Today I have a sore throat and phlegm, but I believe that is progress. Tomorrow the ob-gyn will hopefully check on our little one to let me know she’s okay.

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Me, Online Shopping

Me: This looks like a nice dress.

Me: *Clicks on dress.*

Me: Oh good there’s a video with a model.

Me: *Clicks play button.*

Me: Okay very nice, walk, turn, put your hands in the pockets.

Me: PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE POCKETS.

Me: *replay video*

Me: ARE THERE NO POCKETS ON THIS DRESS? WHY DID YOU POP UP ON “RECOMMENDED DRESSES!?”

Me: *Looks for pictures of model with hands or hand in a pocket on the dress. Do not see any. Read the specs.*

Me: Well that’s a shame.

Me: Okay, I guess I just saved myself $78.

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It’s February

It’s February! I was slow in January. Very slow. I slept more than usual and did not exercise much at all. I plan to exercise more in February. But boy oh boy am I tired. For example, I had to take a break between writing the first sentence of this post and the second one.

Deep breath.

I’ve learned that adding cheese to vegetables is one way to make vegetables delicious.

And I suspect lentil soup – covered in cheese, of course – is correlated with devastating bowel movements.

Also multi-vitamins aren’t really regulated, so you might not be getting the dosage you think you are, POTENTIALLY JEOPARDIZING YOUR HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF ANYTHING GROWING INSIDE YOU. IS THERE NO END TO THE HELL THAT IS PARANOIA ABOUT EVERYTHING GOING AWRY AT ANY MINUTE?!

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Writer’s Block

Hello. A quarter of the government has been shut down for 32 days, I’ve recently returned from a performance in Chicago, and I’m stuck. I can’t think of any new jokes or concepts! Desperate for laughs, I’ve turned to Twitter. On Twitter, John Mulaney posted a link to a Buzzfeed piece about how Hollywood failed Brad Renfro, a child actor. Perhaps it will be hilarious. I bookmarked it.

I think I can write a stand up bit about the whole IVF process, but I don’t know if people will laugh or feel bad for us. We saw a movie on Netflix about the, let’s use the word “journey,” and it was not a comedy. It was rather dark. I should have known it would be. The same director was responsible for The Savages, a truly miserable movie mislabeled as a dark comedy.

I read two books this month: The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman and Small Fry, by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. These books better not foreshadow the reading I’ll be doing this year. I struggled with both for different reasons. The Forever War is Hugo and Nebula award winner. I should find it inspiring because if he can win an award for that, then maybe I too can win an award for something I write. This is not meant to be a compliment to Mr. Haldeman. It is meant to be a scathing criticism of a novel that lacks purpose, makes lazy predictions about the future, and does not address time travel math. Small Fry was a beautifully written memoir that shed light on the romanticized notion of single motherhood you see in movies. I did not envy her upbringing. And maybe I’m not a real writer, because I could never share the inimate details she shared about her family.

Okay. Let’s hope I come up with something funny soon. Or read or see something funny soon.

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It’s all chaos.

We had a snow storm here over the weekend, and I spent it doing something I should probably not do. I spent it reading EVERY ARTICLE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, REUTERS and then starting to read the New Yorker, but stopped on page 18 on a personal story by David Sedaris, because I didn’t know people living lives of comfort were still writing personal stories.

I should read it.

Admittedly, I did scour the contents of the issue for reporting on Russia, immigration, international gaffes, the shutdown or general bureaucratic negligence and found the headlines wanting. So the odds I pick up that issue again are 50/50.

Anyway, chaos ensues.

On a lighter note:

We saw Aquaman on Friday night, and I just love superhero movies so much. I love them so much. One conflict in the movie is that the people who live underwater think they are under attack from humans, because the humans keep dumping their garbage in the sea. I thought, “You know…that perception of attack is valid. Their feelings are valid.” And in the movie there is one scene where the ocean dwellers/Atlantis people spit back all the garbage onto land! I wish the sea really did that.

We also saw the Little Mermaid, and I have something very important to say about it. So thank goodness I have a platform to share this important thing I have to say:

A couple months ago I read that Keira Knightly said that she would not let her daughter watch certain Disney movies, because they sent the wrong message. Among the list, she thought the Little Mermaid was not appropriate for her daughter to see. Here is the quote from this piece.

Still, when it comes to The Little Mermaid, Knightley is a bit more conflicted but says she’s “keeping to it [the ban]”

“This is the one that I’m quite annoyed about because I really like the film, but The Little Mermaid. I mean, the songs are great but do not give your voice up for a man. Hello?!”

Well upon re-watching the movie, I think the message is actually:
Anyone that makes you give up your voice is a demon.

Ariel shouldn’t have given up her voice – EVERYONE KNOWS THAT. As a kid you know it, Flounder knows it, Ariel knows it. Eric doesn’t want to marry her because she does not have a voice. Disney does a good job of driving that point home: giving up your voice, especially if you can sing like an angel, is a mistake. And really, the talking point to explore with your children is constructs that would compel you to give up your voice, whether it’s a witch or societal norms that should change.

And of course, not signing a contract you have not read through in detail. That is bad. Kids, who probably can’t be contractually bound to most contracts, should learn that lesson at a young age too, just in case.

Anyway Keira Knightley, I’m a big fan of your work and hope you’ll reconsider…

Well. Now I feel silly for throwing shade at David Sedaris earlier in this post.

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What if it’s bad news?

I haven’t gotten a call yet, and I was expecting one 24 minutes ago. WHAT IF IT’S BAD NEWS?!

No. I need to stay positive.

BUT WHAT IF IT’S BAD NEWS?

No, no, there are laboratories, and people, and phone calls before mine that could take longer.

BUT WHAT IF THEY ARE DELAYING THE INEVITABLE?!

They call in order that the results come in, and they are busy. That room was full of other people, and that’s just one of many offices in the area that needs to process information. So multiply the number of people you saw by 10.

BUT WHAT IF THE SAMPLE WAS LOST?

They don’t lose samples, do they? Wait, is that a thing that happens?

SURE, HUMANS ARE FALLIBLE. MACHINES ARE FALLIBLE, BECAUSE THEY ARE MADE BY HUMANS.

I could just call if I don’t hear back eventually.

YES DO THAT.

And eat a small chocolate while I wait. And have some warm water. With a lemon.

OKAY.

And lentil soup. Lentil soup is good for you.

FINE. WHATEVER.

I love lentil soup.

TAKE THE PHONE WITH YOU.

I’m just going over here.

WHAT IF YOU DON’T HEAR THE PHONE RING?!

I’ll take the phone.

GOOD.

I finished the lentil soup. It was delicious. I squeezed some of that lemon I cut for the warm water into the soup.

OKAY.

It made the lentil soup even tastier, if you can believe it.

OF COURSE I CAN BELIEVE IT. IT’S NOT THE FIRST TIME YOU HAVE DONE THIS.

Yeah but it just delights me every time.

WHERE DID YOU PUT THE PHONE?

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539

I’d like to write a story this year. I started one last year, but it was bleak. So I would like to write a more pleasant story.

It will have characters.

And an arch.

And maybe the world will be compelling.

This is a goal I have for this year.

Will it have magic? I don’t know. I like magic, so maybe. But since I am not a conjurer, and I don’t have wizard blood, it might be challenging to write about what I do not know. And what if wizards are like, “Cultural appropriation!” I would wilt under the criticism.

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