After a verrrrrrrrry long 19 hour drive in a car with a thousand Christmas presents, a toddler, a hyper poodle with a set of pogo stick legs boring bruises into my thighs and uterus, and a pregnant woman (me) who had to pee constantly, we are finally at my parents' house down South where we'll be for the next week or so.
The amount of gifts sitting under the tree for MP is staggering. I have no idea how we are going to truck this home. How can a two year old possibly require this many presents? Especially after witnessing her occupying herself happily for an hour in the car with three napkins? (And yes, I am also to blame. Haba and Djeco toys are dangerous. I am a sucker for anything European, wooden, and painted.)
But MP is thrilled to be here and J is in his humping leg glory and we are thrilled to be here and it is all good good.
Last week I met a lovely woman who is 19w with twins. We chatted, and she asked me how far along I was. I told her 14w. She gasped and told me I looked farther along than her. Errrrkkkkkkkk.
It was true. At least at that moment, in that lighting, in that shirt, I did. Strangely, my belly has become a moving creature--somedays I look positively giant, others tidy and small. At night I can feel things stretching and growing and there's no real way to explain it other than that it hurts. This is the first time in 12 years that I am allowing my husband to touch my stomach on a regular basis; rubbing it is the only thing that makes it feel a bit better, aside from slathering it in Mustela lotion. But it's so cool to look down and see it there, my round thing, somewhat tangible evidence that things are growing.
Oh, and I have a horrible chafe going on under my boobs. Possibly because.... I never take off my bra. When I take off my bra it's only to switch bras. (And here's another thing I didn't know about pregnancy: your boobs ITCH. Like crazy. All over. At any given point of the day there I am, both hands scratching away at my boobs like a gorilla. I am turning Random on like crazy, let me tell you.)
Over the weekend I watched a Tivo'd episode of CSI. It happened to be sponsored by the ASPCA. I am a bit of a crybaby recently over commercials featuring, oh, mostly anyone going through something difficult, or starring an animal, or a baby, or a sweet phone call between two people. Anyway, sad animal faces stared out at me from the TV screen and a big fat tear trickled down my left cheek. And then a smaller tear trickled out of my right eye and traipsed down my right cheek. I got up to go to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and saw....
two bright red welts, one on each cheek, stretching from my eye to my chin. The one on the left was wider and bigger overall.
I couldn't figure out what they were. I poked and rubbed and examined and washed my face gently with cold water and the red, irritated, slightly raised skin stayed angry.
I went and showed Random.
"What the hell is on your face?" he asked.
"Oh," I said. "THOSE ARE MY TEAR TRACKS. It would appear that I am suddenly allergic to my own tears."
"Wow," he said. "Pregnancy is FUN!!!"
Then he came close, brows knitted, and peered at the area around my mouth.
"And why is your mouth all red?" he asked.
I don't know why my mouth was all red, but it was. Areas are blotching up everywhere. I am an extremely colorful pregnant lady: my veins are bright blue and everywhere (my father is convinced I have drawn blue marker down the side of my face); my skin is blotched red; my hair is brown at the roots and bright blonde everywhere else. It's fascinating, actually, to watch the changes my body is going through and to know how little control I have over any of them. It's kind of nice to be able to surrender this way. I'm like a science experiment right now; every day is a mystery as to what new symptom will crop up. (The nausea, by the way, has mostly given way to incredible hunger--which then resorts to nausea because I eat so much I, as my mom puts it, "crowd the baby out.")
I also have a solitary nomad hive that migrates to a different part of my right cheek every day. Sometimes it is smack in the middle, sometimes off to the right, sometimes down by my mouth. But I can count on good ole Mr. Hive to show up at some point during the day.
Oh. And Random's final words on my freakish tears?
"I'm going to write you the SWEETEST most ROMANTIC card EVER and make SURE you cry BUCKETS in front of EVERYONE, heh heh heh heh heh heh heh!!!!"
Here's the best part of this post: On January 4 I have an ultrasound to check my cervical length (I told you my doctors were monitoring me closely because I had a LEEP surgery. Apparently my cervix was mauled, which is why it bled every time I had sex and between periods for millions of years until my doctor cauterized it last year).
I didn't think much about it past the obvious "coolness, u/s, another peek at babe" factor, but then I realized that I will be 16w1d, and that a u/s at that point can show gender.
ACK! So I might know whether Rocky is a boy or a girl in less than two weeks. Y'all.