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How dare you, I guess?

I was walking back from Whole Foods, and there were young people on one corner raising money for a cause. One of the women called out to me and said, “Excuse me!” And I just said sheepishly, while crossing the street with my reusable grocery bag, “I’m so sorry…”

And she yelled sincerely, “Oh my gosh! You look so tired! I’m sorry!” and let me continue on my journey.

At first I was relieved to be granted a reprieve from a pitch on some cause I probably support but don’t want to support by giving money while walking on a street. But then I thought, “WAIT HOW TIRED DO I LOOK RIGHT NOW?!” The walk to the grocery store was supposed to be refreshing and envigorating!

I know I look big, and I know I have bags under my eyes, but I really thought I was pulling this whole thing off masterfully.

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Nervous

There are a slew of classes you can sign up to prepare. We’ve gotten mixed responses, but I think we have narrowed it down to these ones:

1) Infant care
2) Infant CPR
3) Breastfeeding
4) Hospital tour

My ob-gyn said the last two weren’t necessary, because you don’t know what your breastfeeding situation is going to be until the baby arrives. She also shared the tour wasn’t necessary because that baby is coming out, so knowing about the room isn’t going to matter. The one class she recommended was Infant CPR, which wasn’t on our radar. I appreciated her relaxed approach for a few weeks. But panic just set in, and I have registered us for extra classes.

Also we have to find a pediatrician. I have never had a dedicated doctor or a pediatrician, so this is new.

I learned yesterday that some of these charming body changes might be permanent! I’ll keep the boobs, but my friend yesterday said she never got her regular sized stomach back, and someone else shared their bigger shoe size was permaement. Another person shared she still has her linea negra. WHAT. That one might be okay because I don’t plan on wearing anything where that will be an issue, but still!

And our home is such a mess! I want to pack up all the winter clothes to make space, but I can’t bend over because I am a walking balloon!

Ruh-roh!

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Got Moo Thru

Hello! Should have warned you the title was a bit of a spoiler. We were driving home and the internet told me the Moo Thru would be closed on Monday (today). Well that was not well-received by yours truly, but I handled the news with grace and dignity.

Then as we drove closer we saw a line and that the Moo Thru was in fact open. We pulled over, waited patiently, and the line was helpful because it helped me narrow down my selection to five flavors:

Chocolate
Dark chocolate
Mint chocolate chip
Banana
Strawberry

I could only pick three (that was the maximum) so after some consultation with the ice cream teller I landed on dark chocolate, banana, and strawberry. They were extremely satisfying. I did not get a cone, but their cones are delicious as well.

Now we’re back home, and it’s time to begin the nesting phase of the pregnancy. Note that in the literature it says I will naturally begin this phase. The spirit of cleaning will compel me in the second trimester, they said. This has not happened. Rather, I need to start cleaning now before it’s going to be even more physically difficult to keep bending over. I have to force myself to clean, my least favorite thing. Play time is over.

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Making Tough Choices

For Memorial Day we rent a home with some friends!

This year’s home is near Charlottesville, Virginia. Charlottesville is picturesque, especially in the spring, summer and fall. But my favorite thing about Charlottesville is the Moo Thru on the side of 29 on the way down that serves ice cream from local dairy farmers. All morning yesterday, I was super excited to stop at the Moo Thru. I had big plans: three flavors, one chocolate, the other two would be ones that looked most promising. Three scoops is a lot of scoops, but I’m pregnant, so I can do that guilt free this time. And the taste of gelato was fresh enough in my mind where I could compare the two. I’m not an idiot – I know gelato and ice cream are different, but it’s still fun to compare.

We got on the road in the afternoon, which admittedly was later than the original plan. I ran into a technical hurdle at work that required extra attention.

David was not pleased about our late departure, and the traffic was especially grueling. The total drive was only supposed to be two hours, but by the time we neared the Moo Thru, it was three hours later, and we still had 40 minutes to our destination. There was also a long line at the Moo Thru. This makes sense: it is the best. “Let’s skip this,” I said, “It’s going to take too much time.” I literally said this while holding back tears.

David asked me if I was sure, and I said, “Yes,” determined not to add further time to our trip. He said, “Okay,” and then we kept driving, but he could tell I was distraught. “Let’s turn around and go to the Moo Thru,” he said, slowing down, “You’ve been looking forward to this all day.”

“No no,” I insisted, “Keep going. That’s a long line, and no one here is going to be in a rush to select their ice cream flavors. That’s not the right way.”

So we kept driving, and I knew I had done the right thing, but that didn’t stop the tears for the next five minutes.

Anyway we slept in separate beds last night.

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Appointment Recap

Hello! Fresh material! Hot off the presses!

We had an antenatal appointment today where they wanted to look at her heart and her spine. We have these appointments because I am high risk: over 35 and IVF.

There were portions of her they weren’t able to see last time during a full scan because she was moving too much.
Today she was facing my back and refused to turn around, even after the technician prodded a lot, had me move to my sides, go to the bathroom, move around. Baby refused to turn. So they saw her spine the entire time, but they were not able to examine her heart. We heard her heartbeat, honestly still my favorite sound in the world right now.

Part of me is wondering whether she was like, “Ehem, where is my morning croissant? Why would I move before receiving that?”

The scans we did see looked like Rorschach tests. Nothing looked like anything to us, but the technician was like, “Here are her kidneys…here is her foot, this is her stomach.”

There is one image I did see that stood out to me. One of the angles of her heart looked to me like the image of a woman holding a giant bow and arrow. I wanted to ask David to take a picture, but photos aren’t allowed. But I saw it twice, I really did. It looked a little like below, but in black and white. The bow was bigger than the one in this image. It made me excited. And then I thought, “Maybe the name we picked for her won’t fit this warrior heart she has revealed to me.” I might be overthinking it.

Since she was facing my spine the entire time, they also could not see her face, which is supposed to be fully formed by now. I didn’t mind that. She will reveal herself when she chooses, perhaps when it’s time to attack!

Anyway we have to go back Tuesday so they can look again.

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Oops! I’m getting repetitive!

I read my last two posts last night, and I’m so sorry. They were pretty much the same post! I am either boring or forgetful now, or perhaps a mix of both. This is terrible. I have no one to blame for this but myself.

I spent free time during our travels reading the news and Game of Thrones analyses, and the news was upsetting, as usual, and the GoT analysis was just fun to read. Last year during our vacation, the latest news was of the child separations at the border, and this year on vacation (nothing from last year is resolved) the latest development is that we are on the brink of war with Iran. Admittedly this has been brewing for years, but it seems over the past two weeks congress has gotten on board with Bolton, and that’s more concerning. Keep in mind: the group Bolton endorses for the new regime should the US try to overthrow the current one endorses a more extreme version of Islam. Politically emboldened extremists from any religion are a problem. I don’t hear anyone talking about restoration or rebuilding efforts should we enter in war, so it’s extra frustrating to see our great nation repeat mistakes we made fairly recently. WHY ARE WE SO QUICK TO ABANDON THE POWELL DOCTRINE?

Anyway, the news consumes most of my thoughts in general, but I don’t have additional information to add, so it seems writing about it here would be silly. And I’m not a good enough comedian to laugh or make jokes about tragedy. So I followed the “write what you know” rule of thumb, but that resulted in two posts that read the same way! Oops!

I’ll do better. Don’t leave me.

….

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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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