Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's a...boy? Maybe?!


Here is my image from my second ultrasound! This was in the beginning of my 11th week, just two weeks after the 'bean' image! I can't believe how quickly these little seamonkeys grow! You can see a big head, and a little hand it the background! On screen in person, I could see the heartbeat, two arms and two legs in the air, and I even saw it move a couple times! It was so crazy. The ultrasound technician asked if I wanted to know her thoughts on gender, if she saw anything suspicious. Heck yes!

While it's impossible to be 100% certain this early (have to wait until after week 20 for that), she said from what it looked like to her, there was a good chance it was a boy. 70% sure, was her guess!

I had no idea I would even have a clue this early on, but it sure has gotten me looking into boy names more seriously. I had barely given any serious thought into naming, much less a BOY name specifically, but now I think is the time to start making lists!

I have no preference for a boy or a girl, but it has always been easiest for me to imagine having a girl. Probably because my only friends who have kids have girls. And I always just assumed.

But it might be a boy! Maybe. 70%? We'll see...

First Trimester Fun

I am 11 weeks pregnant today, going on 12. I'm almost 3 months down! What a crazy ride this is! Now, where did I leave off? Actually, I kind of skipped over some of the finer details. What first...how about...

Morning Sickness!

Nope, it was actually all day sickness, especially for me. I thought I had it bad, but after reading about other women's experiences, I feel incredibly lucky. I only threw up twice; once in a bag in the car, that emotional day when I told my mom, and once at work in a bathroom...luckily one was vacant for once, because it certainly wasn't waiting for anyone! But aside from that, I had a mostly ever-present feeling of slight nausea, sometimes worse than others.

The first couple days were the worst, and I'm sure the emotional torment I was going through elevated my feeling of unwell. As soon as I decided to 'think about' keeping the baby, the nausea and fatigue all seemed so much more tolerable. The physical sensations didn't cease, but my ability to accept them increased. Every time I would get nauseous, I would remind myself that the baby was growing, and that morning sickness was a sign of health. There was a ton of new things going on in my body, of course I'd be feeling sick from all the changes! Sometimes I would pretend the nausea was the baby's way of reminding me it was there. And when I would get really tired, I would imagine the little bean saying, 'Hey, I'm doing a lot of work in here, so I need all of your energy and health because this week I'm growing arm buds!'

I made a 'care bag' that I took with me everywhere. I had crackers (saltines or wheat crackers), candied ginger, fruit leathers, lara bars, and ginger soda. I ate crackers first thing in the morning if I was nauseous. I ate a small snack every time I started to get hungry (any slight feeling of hunger gave me the most painful nausea!), drank plenty of water, ate candied ginger or ginger soda to calm nausea, and avoided anything on my growing list of food aversions (chicken, red onions, plus many more 'impulse' aversions.)

Surprisingly enough, I actually started craving some healthy foods, for the most part! I felt like my body would 'tell' me when it needed salad or spinach. I have my share of junk food cravings too, but my desire for sweets seems to be at an all time low; I usually only want dessert foods every couple days instead of ALL day like pre-pregnancy! Spencer has been a real lifesaver in the food department (as well as every other department, actually). I'm so glad he can cook! I rarely have enough energy to make dinner, and he's so good about catering to my food aversion and providing me with the nutrition I need in my meals! I'm one lucky gal. Now onto...

Fatigue!

I definitely have my share of fatigue. I move much slower than I usually did before. I started my new second job as a housecleaner just weeks before my pregnancy symptoms started kicking in. It's much harder to clean a three story house, 7 hours a day, two days a week now than it would have been pre-pregnancy. But I've let my boss there (and at TJ's) know my situation, so I can work at my own pace and take it easy when I need to. My energy is low, my social desires are low, and I love naps. But as I am now starting to leave my first trimester, I can already feel my energy levels slowly returning, like I have been assured they would by other mothers. My morning sickness is rare, and I feel clear-headed (aside from the pregnancy brain!) and much more excited.

Weight Gain!

No baby bump yet, but my normal, cute jeans no longer button comfortably. Good thing I read about the rubber band trick in The Baby Bump! It's where you loop a rubber band through your button hole and over your button, giving you a couple inches of breathing room. Whew, that will give me like a month. I need to start investing in stretch pants! It's still too soon for maternity clothes, but too late for me to wear my normal t-shirts without looking like a frat dude with a massive beer gut. Hello Spencer's t-shirts and flowy tops. I can't wait for the summer when it will be obvious that I'm pregnant (not just fat!) and can roll around in loose, flowy sundresses and sandals!

Keeping a secret

I don't know how some women keep their pregnancies a secret until the beginning of the second trimester, if not later! I wanted to tell my bosses asap so they wouldn't think I was just hungover all the time! And I wanted to tell my friends and family so I could have support. Now, I know a lot of people wait until the risk of miscarriage lessens, but I would want all these same people to know what I was going through, should something go wrong.

My mom was immediately supportive, and quickly went on to spread the wonderful news (yes, she was very excited) to my close family members, all of whom responded with support and encouragement. I told a few friends (especially during my 'decision' period, where I needed opinions and support) and then a few co-workers. Spencer told his parents, who were supportive and excited and well! But while I'm growing more and more excited about what lies ahead and would love to talk about it and post updates all over facebook, there are still a LOT of people who don't know. It's hard to tell one person, without it spreading to the next, and there are a few people who just don't need to know yet...some of Spencer's friends in particular. I'm afraid of the response he will get from some people, and I don't want them to know until he is ready to tell them. So if you are reading this, please keep this to yourself, and not spread the word until it is obviously public.

Irritability!

While I haven't quite experienced the hormonal rage I have heard comes with pregnancy, I have had my share of feeling flustered and 'snappy.' I find that I don't have as thick of a 'filter' when it comes to speaking my mind. When someone annoys me, I tell them in a straightforward way. When I feel like ignoring someone who's energy is just bothering me, I do. When someone comments on my moodiness, I just say 'mmmhmm' and ignore them. It's almost as if the opposite has happened; I'm LESS emotional than before. I just am what I am. I'm tired and I don't have patience for you to make really stupid jokes, or bait me into a dumb conversation. I might hurt your feelings, but I'm just being honest right now. And when I do get irritated or flustered (especially when I'm working at my housecleaning job and everything seems 100 times more difficult!) I remind myself that stress isn't good for the baby and that I should remain in a calm state. I snap myself out of my stress by saying 'zen for the baby.' It seems to work so far!

So I still have a little farther to go until I am officially out of my first trimester, but I am so excited to start the next chapter!

An unexpected surprise: It's a bean!


After the first couple weeks of march, I started getting this slight yet constant feeling of nausea and fatigue. And as it corresponded with an absent period, I was a little worried. Uh oh...

I spent many, many years convincing myself that I never wanted kids. I wasn't always like that. As a child, teen, and young adult, I knew I wanted kids. I knew I wanted marriage and a family. There was no question about it. But as I got older, I grew fearful and cynical and also fell under the impression that men (in particular the guy I was dating at the time) didn't want families, and that it would be impossible to be with someone who wanted what I thought I wanted. I'm ashamed that I pushed aside my own secret wants and needs to adapt the needs of someone else so thoroughly that, for a very long time, I believed they were my own. But you can't lie to yourself for long.

As much as I promised myself and others that it wouldn't happen, sooner or later that little, hidden desire to become more, to share my life, to create life, nudged its way to the surface. Now, I didn't one day just realize I actually wanted a family. I just starting noticing a sense of absence. A feeling of stunted growth. I felt like I was denying myself the possibility for positive change. I realized that all I wanted was the possibility to start a family. The option to maybe one day experience that kind of growth.

And the opportunity for embracing possibility came. I accepted it. I played with the idea. I wasn't exactly warm to the idea of starting a family any time soon, but I loved the fact that I was finally being honest with myself. I finally felt free to truly be me. And to become more.

But I never gave much thought to what would happen, what I would want if I did become pregnant any time soon. It was a scary and unrealistic thought. It just wasn't something I could grasp.

And there I was, peeing on a stick, hoping I was just 'late' (I was two months late about a year before for no reasonable explanation)and that the constant feeling of unwell was just a coincidence. But that little window showed a plus sign so fast, I didn't even have time to doubt that I was, in fact, pregnant.

Cue the tears, the overwhelming fear, the sadness. All I could think about was how impossible and difficult it would be to have a baby. How not ready I was. How me and Spencer were only 6 months official. How could our lives change so much so soon? How would we survive such a life changing experience? How could I handle such a thing? How could I afford it? What would Spencer's friends think? What would Spencer think? Who would support such a change? I had only just started opening up to the idea of maybe starting a family someday, but even in those futuristic fantasies, I was married for at least a couple years. How could I do things out of order?

The answer that I thought was obvious was that I couldn't. We couldn't. It wasn't possible. I just wanted it gone. Done. Forgotten. I was so depressed and horrified at what was happening, at what choice I was having to make. It's difficult for me to admit how horrible this stage was, and it would be too easy to gloss over this part, and go straight to 'I'm so excited to be a mommy!' but that wouldn't be very honest of me. And I know there must be numerous other women out there who went through/are going through the same thing, so I must share my journey as it was...

For a couple difficult and tear-filled days, I was convinced the right thing to do was to have an abortion. Discreetly. And then move on, go back to normal. But something didn't feel right. I felt so conflicted, yet I didn't understand why. It was the only thing to do, wasn't it? Or was I being blinded by fear? I did what I always do when I'm conflicted and confused and sad; I called my mom. I remember this conversation so well, because it just may have changed my life...

I woke my mom up, crying, of course. She asked what was wrong. I sobbed that I was pregnant. She asked why I would be crying about that. I said, 'because I have to get an abortion and I'm so sad.' She asked why I would think that I had to get an abortion. I listed off all my fearful reasons; how I'm not ready, I can't afford it, I don't want things to change. She gently reminded me that no one thinks they are ready, and life happens in strange ways. Everything happens for a reason. I'm 27; not too young, not too old. I'm doing ok financially and there are plenty of women having children who are far worse off than I am. I have a two bedroom apartment. I have insurance. I'm with a really wonderful guy who I love dearly. I can do it.

I was still incredibly fearful and doubtful, yet I started feeling better. I promised I'd only consider maybe keeping it, but my outlook immediately improved. I talked to Spencer, who was as scared shitless as I was, if not significantly more, and we started thinking and talking about the possibilities. It seemed horrifying, yet possible. Something we could figure out. We weren't exactly warm to the idea, but we were playing with it.

And the day came when I knew I couldn't give up the little seamonkey in my belly. It took awhile, but I knew I loved it and was going to love it. We went to my first prenatal exam, saw what looked like a little bean with a fluttering heartbeat. Possibility was embraced.

Always taking me somewhere new

As if I didn't already have enough unused blogs waiting idly by for me to revisit them, I'm starting a new one. I just don't fit into those other blogs. They represent past facets of me. I'm no longer the health-obsessed raw foodist, taking pictures of every delicious thing I make (although I currently feel healthier and more nutritionally balanced than ever before.) I'm no longer the lost and confused girl who traveled through a year of change, journaling my clouded thoughts and posting poetry of self-loathing, fear, and regret. A lot has changed and a lot is going on in my life right now, and it really seems appropriate to start fresh.

So here it is: my new blog. The current title 'My life is ever-changing' really sums up how I feel. In fact, I rarely experience such a lull in change where I don't feel that way.

So much has changed in this past year. And if I want to look over my 27 years of life, it's crazy to realize how much can change in that length of time; how many different people you become, how many times you grow, how many life changing decisions you make. It's almost overwhelming. But while you can learn from your past, you shouldn't dwell on it. I'm not here to share my entire life story and tell you how I became the person that I am; I'm just here to be me, living life, adapting to change, finding myself, becoming someone new, and remaining who I was always meant to be.

I have some pretty exciting news and changes to share, but I feel like that deserves its own chapter. So to begin, I'll give some background. Just a little bit.

My name is Tessonja Odette, I am 27. I'm a musician, artist, and writer (only when I'm feeling creative.) I'm a sign artist at Trader Joe's with a second job as a housekeeper in a private home. I live in an adorable apartment near Alki beach with a lovely view of the water. I live with my amazing boyfriend, Spencer, and my Shiba Inu, Kitsune. I feel like I finally have the things I've always wanted; my dream dog, my dream guy, my beach apartment, a decent income, and supportive and loving friends and family.

Yep, things are really awesome. But everything changes....