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Week 24

If being a mother involves being flooded with worry and guilt, I think I’m on the right track.

We just finished our baby moon in Italy and France, and I loved it, but every time I ate something delicious like gelato or a croissant I worried that I was doing her a real disservice.

The sites say to eat vegetables (not raw ones), fruits (make sure they are fully washed) and lean meats. No unpasteurized cheeses and raw eggs. This is fine when I’m at home, but abroad is a bit challenging with fruits and vegetables because I don’t want to grab an orange and ask a server to wash it for me.

I also felt guilty every time I rolled onto my back at night while sleeping. You’re supposed to sleep on your left side for optimal blood flow, but that wears on my left hip and thigh and I’ve always been a back sleeper. I also like sleeping on my right so I can face David, but apparently that applies pressure to the appendix.

And shopping. I love things – especially clothes. Not to go all Miranda Priestly on you, but each item of clothing is a display of so many collaborations. When we arrived in Italy and I took out my shoes to wear, I was dismayed to learn they did not fit! This turned out to be incredibly convenient, because it doesn’t take much to persuade me to buy Italian leather shoes. But I did feel extreme guilt any time I bought a jacket or clothing I did not _need_. That’s money that could have been spent on her! I justified these purchases by telling myself I need clothes I can fit into now that I’m bigger, and it’s true, but I still felt guilty. Admittedly I didn’t need _leather_ clothes I could fit into now that I’m bigger.

The good news is that my new bigger size did stop me from buying even more than I might have. I saw some super cute dresses, but I don’t know how my body is going to look after pregnancy, so I resisted.

One of the nicest things about being pregnant is other people. Women offered to let me go in front of them in the restroom (haven’t had to take them up on it yet) and have their seats on busses (also didn’t have to take them up on it). But it’s sweet every time. And I like smiling at moms with young babies, because I feel some camaraderie, and they smile back. At home I had been trying to smile at other pregnant women I saw, but so far they have had none of it. I wonder if now that I’m showing even more I’ll get more smiles.

In Rome I got a pat on the belly from a talkative hairdresser whose chatter I enjoyed, and in Nice from a waitress who encouraged me to eat raw scallops (I did not). My favorite was a server in Rome who told me I couldn’t eat tiramisu, and then when we were leaving he looked at my belly and waved, “Bye bye Bebe!” He seemed sincerely kind.

Tomorrow we have an antenatal scan, so hopefully they can take a look and make sure she’s doing okay. I felt her move some days, and that was always reassuring. But on days when she moved less or didn’t move I was worried until I felt something. I have an anterior placenta, so any movements I feel are more muffled. Sometimes I’m not sure if I feel her move or it’s just stomach churning.

Regardless of the worry and guilt, I am super excited.

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Week 23

Hello! We are on week 23, and I have yet to write a tight five comedy set about pregnancy. So I’m not capitalizing on my condition correctly.

Other than that things seem to be okay! I have an anterior placenta, which means I feel less kicking and movement than most people, and there’s an extra layer between the baby and my belly. I can feel her inside though, and she’s very sweet because every time I worry I haven’t felt her in a while she gives me a subtle nudge. I worry a lot.

This week we are on a baby moon! David planned it in February, when it was still early, and the rationale was that the trip would be a baby moon or a recovery moon, so thank goodness it is the former! It has been quite relaxing, but dining is a little different because I can’t eat all the things I want. Also I packed some clothes and shoes that don’t fit anymore. My feet are bigger now – perhaps to support the added weight. I took this as an invitation from the universe to go shopping, so a couple days ago David took a nap in the room while I took it upon myself to splurge on some pants, jackets, and a pair of shoes.

At the store where I bought the pants and two jackets, the shopkeeper cut me off, thank goodness. I was trying on another jacket I really liked and she said, “I don’t know, this is a special time in your life, and this jacket will not fit you next week.” Seeing that this observation wasn’t enough to deter me, she continued, “Also this jacket is a little warm for this time of year. It’s thick.”

She said all of this with a beautiful Italian accent. I still wanted the jacket, but better senses prevailed, and I did not buy that one.

After my spree, David was still napping, so I commissioned a street artist to draw my likeness in caricature form. The end result was deeply jarring and a true blow to my vanity, so immediately after that I ate my feelings in the form of delicious gelato. Fortunately David woke up shortly after that, and we went to a museum.

On a different note:
Last weekend I was in Boston for a Women in Comedy festival. It was inspiring and reminded me of how far I have to go. One panel was particularly good. There were senior executives from Disney, HBO, TruTV, NBC, Audible and Just for Laughs. The person from Disney, DMA, said so many good things I could not keep up.

Here are my favorite quotes. They are related to having goals and going after them:

“Speak what you want in this universe.” -DMA

“The universe moves on the speed you are moving and direction you are moving.
Pick a thing and be crazy for it. Stop dreaming and decide.” -DMA

“Say it out loud often and be specific.” -DMA
This was in relation to someone saying they wanted to have a career in comedy. She made the woman specify what it was she wanted, which turned out to be an actor in a comedy series.

“Doors are doors are doors – when you manifest them walk through them.” -DMA
This was in relation to setting goals and going down paths even if they were not the ones you originally intended.

Sitting in that panel discussion made me feel the way I imagine fervent church goers feel. I wanted to jump up and yell, “YES!” Every time she spoke. Instead I took notes and plan to state my goals and work to them.

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21 Weeks!

I am enjoying being pregnant. I think I’m getting the hang of my new body and embracing it!

And tomorrow is David and my eight year anniversary! I have two cards I could give him. One says, “You’re my person,” and the other one says, “I’m a big fan of you.” I found these in a boutique in North Carolina.
I’m not sure which one to use…first. Here’s the plan. I’ll write in one and put it on his desk so he sees it in the morning. Then I’ll write another and put it on his desk so he sees it later.

Now if you’re thinking, “That’s not impressive for an anniversary gift,” I am just going to stop you right there. Last week I asked him what he was doing Tuesday (not mentioning Tuesday was our anniversary), and he said he had language class and then was going to go out drinking with his classmates after class. So I have already won this anniversary.

I love him so much it doesn’t even matter.

I’m also thinking about a social media post to honor the occasion. What do you think of the following:

A. David and I got married in 2011, and if you told me then each following year would be better than the one that came before it, I would have told you that’s not possible. But it would have been true.

B. Today is our eight year anniversary and David has been playing George Michael’s Careless Whisper on repeat for the past two days.

C. Happy Anniversary to the best thing that has ever happened to me.

D. A few months ago, someone asked David what it was like working in the same office as his wife all day. “Well, it’s really like working next to your friend. We’re buds.” He replied.

E. One year into our marriage, we ate an incredibly delicious meal, but I had a bad reaction to it, so I ended up doing a number three in the bathroom. David found me and helped me clean-up. Then he waited the right amount of time to tease me about it. That’s true love.

F. Happy Anniversary to the best person in the world to laugh with.

G. David doesn’t believe in soul mates because of something about statistical improbabilities, so Happy Anniversary to the person I met in 1998 who I really liked standing next to and could make me laugh then and still makes me laugh now.

H. We’ve been married eight years, and I still get excited every time David enters a room. Happy Anniversary!

I don’t know. I don’t think any of those do him justice. I love him so much. The way he thinks through problems, the way he cares about people, the way he laughs, the way he plays tennis, his sweat after he works out, his coming to all my shows, his spot-on analogies, his trip-planning, his interest in fun meals, his twitter game, his support of my creative activities, his taste in programming and books, his listening to all my thoughts, playing tennis with him, his competitiveness, the way he looks, all of it. I love him so much.

<3

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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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