Thursday, September 30, 2010
SO CUTE! Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be big enough this Halloween season to pull it off. I'll be 20 weeks. Thoughts? Right, you don't even know how big I am right now. I promise I will post a belly picture on Saturday. Get excited!
(Robin, the title of this post has nothing to do with that adorable pumpkin shirt.) Right. True. Here goes:
So, the second half of the weekend story. After staying with my brother on Friday night, Jared, Brad and I woke up early-ish on Saturday and headed to Ikea. Shopped for Jared's must-haves (desk, umbrella stand -- yes, he requested one, pots, straws). I might have nudged him a little on that last one. But Ikea has great straws. I know this because Meghan knows this. Thanks Meghan!
After we finished up at Ikea, we headed to Charlottesville, where I dragged Jared and Brad down memory lane. (And I proved that you can get delicious sandwiches at an Exxon station. Don't doubt.) Sunday morning we put together the desk, which was in 250+ pieces. Seriously. It was the ultimate Ikea assembly project. And it went together without a hitch. Then we went out for brunch at a spot that wasn't open when I lived in Ch'ville, and I ate the best biscuit I've had in years. Picked up the newest issue of Fit Pregnancy at Barnes and Noble for in-flight entertainment. All-in-all, a swimmingly successful day. So I should have anticipated what was yet to come.
Our itinerary to get home consisted of a 7:15 p.m. flight from Charlottesville to Dulles, a two-hour layover, and then a 10:10 p.m. flight from Dulles to O'Hare. Jared drove us to the Charlottesville airport at 5:30 p.m. and we said our goodbyes. When we checked in, we found out that our flight was delayed until 8:30 p.m. Not ideal, but we still had a bit of a buffer to make our second flight. This just meant spending a bit more time at the Charlottesville airport.
Charlottesville's airport is not a hub. Far from it. We sailed through security, as we were the only people seeking the services of the four TSA employees at the time. Beyond security, the airport offers five gates, two sets of bathrooms, four water fountains, and one food/souvenir/reading material shop. After we set our stuff down at the gate, I grabbed a couple nibbles from the food shop, realizing we wouldn't have time to eat dinner at Dulles.
Time to kill, Brad and I watched a Netflix movie on his iPhone (the one with John Cusack's friend who had bit parts in all of Cusack's fabulous movies and now stars in Entourage; that guy stars as a used car salesman; I can't remember the title, but that's not a problem because this movie does NOT bear the Brad and Robin seal of approval).
While we were watching the wretched movie, the food vendor closed. That happened at 7:00 p.m. At 8:00, security abandoned shop, only after warning us that if we left the secured area, we would not be able to return and thus would not make our flight. At 8:30, the gate agent showed up to tell us that the flight was delayed until 9:00 p.m., and that most of us would miss our connections. While the gate agent was re-booking all 13 of us passengers, we learned that we wouldn't take off until 9:30 p.m. Brad made some comment about the airport being virtually abandoned, save our flight, and how it would make a good horror movie. Shortly thereafter the airport lost all power and we sat in the dark for about 60 seconds. Brad said if people started dying, we were not going to forget that we could simply walk through the revolving doors at the security checkpoint and escape unharmed. People would not remember that in the horror movie. We're so smart.
The delay just got longer over time. Turns out that the flight before ours (the one flying from Dulles to Ch'ville and then turning around to take us back) had been canceled. So they had a mechanic (who they had driven down from Dulles) working on a plane that had been grounded for mechanical problems earlier that day. But that plane wasn't looking great. Around 9:30, we learned that they were flying another plane in from Dulles which would arrive at 11:30 p.m. We'd take that plane to Dulles and get in around midnight.
So Brad and I started looking into hotels near Dulles, because I don't sleep well (or at all) unless I'm in a bed. Brad, on the other hand, will sleep on a rollercoaster if he's tired. Screaming and all. We found a decent option, but decided not to book it, just in case. Wise move, Robertsons.
Around this time I realized that I was freezing, wearing a thin knee-length skirt which does not have a waist and is thus incredibly comfortable. But it does not offer much in the warmth department. So I dug my pajama bottoms out of my bag, and put them on under my skirt. Style be dammed. I also put on a pair of Brad's used socks. Hygiene be dammed.
The plane lands at 11:30 p.m., as promised. Our gate agent morphed into the person with the illuminated orange sticks who guided the plane to the gate. Then she morphed into the person who took the baggage off the plane and drove it over to the baggage claim area. About twenty minutes later, she morphed back into our gate agent and we boarded the plane.
I wasn't a fan of this plane. It had propellers. I am generally against flying on planes that have not upgraded to jet engines. My phone does not have a rotary dial. I do not write briefs on a typewriter. And I prefer jet engines. But I was not given a choice.
The cabin door closes, we turn off our electronic devices, the engine starts, the safety admonishments begin (and I listened, because of the propellers). Then the engine stopped. Then the door opened. Then the gate agent-of-all-trades boarded and went into the cockpit. The thirteen passengers started mumbling -- what could they possibly be talking about? Ten minutes later the pilot came over the loudspeaker and told us that the right engine was overheating and they were going to have the mechanic take a look at it.
At this moment, a 75-year-old man with a flashlight walks towards the cockpit from his seat at the back of the plane. This was our mechanic? We were short on hope. Brad noted that, unless the plane was afraid of the dark, this man was ill-equipped to solve the problem. Sure enough, after pow-wowing in the cockpit for another ten minutes, the pilot announced that the plane had been grounded. But fear not! We would fly home the other plane. The one that the mechanic had been fixing all day. Is that one safe? "Of course" says the pilot. Then why are we on this plane? (...crickets...)
But there is one hitch. The flight attendant has timed out for the day, so they are going to call a U.S. Airways flight attendant to see if he can help us out. We'll know in a half hour. (Certainly, that won't be a problem. What flight attendant wouldn't want to get out of bed at 1:00 a.m. and fly home with us? Flight attendants are the epitome of good will.) In the meantime, the pilot will order pizza! Thirteen mouths smiling and watering.
We all return to the airport, reclaim our spots on the floor. I figure out that if I tuck a pair of rolled-up jeans under my stomach, I can lay comfortably on my side. A few minutes later, the first officer walks in with an armful of canned soda, three white boxes, and a sheepish look. Turns out that no pizza places are open for delivery at midnight on Sunday. Shocker. As a consolation, they are giving us the emergency stale granola bars they have to keep on the plane in case it is held on a runway for over two hours. Oh, how amazing pizza would have tasted.
Around 1:00 a.m., the gate agent returned to tell us that our flight officially had been canceled. She was going to talk to her boss to find out if they could bus us to Dulles. Perhaps this is a good point to share a bit of Virginia geography with those of you who are unfamiliar with the lay of the land in the tenth state in the union. Charlottesville is a two-hour drive from Dulles; a twenty-five minute flight. By 1:30 a.m., we could have driven to Dulles and back TWICE. A little advance-notice from United that the flight was a complete mess, we could have easily made our connecting flight at 10:10 p.m. Water under the bridge.
At 1:30 a.m. we learned that ground transportation was on its way. At 2:00 a.m., we boarded the limo bus bound for Dulles. Yup, a limo bus. Imagine the vehicle you would want to rent if you were 21 years old and celebrating your BFF's bachelor/bachelorette party. The exterior walls of the limo bus -- at least those portions which were not dedicated to the minibars or the shelves supporting vases filled with faux roses -- were lined with a low leather bench. The bench curved in odd ways (accented by the neon lighting on the ceiling which mimicked the curves). Also, the bench had no headrests. Because this is not a vehicle designed for a two-hour roadtrip. This is a vehicle designed for five minute jaunts between killer college bars that are lax on checking IDs.
We crammed onto the limo bus, which barely seated 13. Everyone tried to figure out a seating position which would not encroach on our neighbor's limited seat space, but would offer some hope of getting a little shut eye. I did not succeed. Brad did, however, because this limo bus was slightly more conducive to sleep than a rollercoaster. And he's Brad.
At 4:00 a.m. we arrived at Dulles. All 13 of us collapsed in front of the United ticket counter, set to open at 4:20 a.m. We are a haggard group -- I am still wearing my pj/skirt combo. And loads of fresh-faced passengers are starting to arrive. We are easily distinguishable. Do the ticket agents comment or apologize? No. They tell us we are in the wrong line and need to wait in a different line. Around 5:00 a.m., we finally receive boarding passes for the 6:00 a.m. flight to Chicago.
We reach the gate five minutes before boarding, and rush over to a Mexican cafe to order two breakfast burritos. Board the plane, eat our burritos (oh boy were they delicious, even though they wasn't much about them that would qualify as breakfast fare), and settle in for the flight. Plane has jet engines, so I'm feeling okay. Even though I know I won't sleep, because sleep and airplanes don't mix for me.
Guess who doesn't have that problem? There was a sweet little baby who cried, screamed, for 80% of the two-hour flight home. Brad slept 100% of the time. Envy. We landed at 7:00 a.m., made it home around 8:00 a.m. I immediately called in sick and crawled into bed. Ahhh.
Silver lining: Tater was on his/her BEST behavior. I was exhausted, but no more exhausted than anyone else in that situation. I was not nauseous. Didn't have a headache. Best of all, I wasn't irritable. Not sure I would have been able to maintain my sanity if I hadn't been able to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.
Good humored, but not stupid. Dear United. You are not a beneficiary of my zen attitude. We are no longer friends. But thanks for reminding me why I love Southwest.
Monday, September 27, 2010
The closest Ikea to Charlottesville is just outside of D.C., so we flew into Reagan National on Friday night. The plan was to spend the night with my brother so we could head to Ikea first thing on Saturday morning. This seems like a solid, simple plan, until you remember that my brother likes to throw wrenches into solid, simple plans.
Let's turn the clock back fifteen years or so for a good example. I was a college student at the time, eager to do something nice for my mother on Mother's Day. We hadn't taken a professional family portrait in a number of years, so I decided to arrange a session with a Roanoke photographer for a picture of the Price kids. Home for spring break, I forced Randy and Caty into color-complimentary ensembles and we headed for the park. Randy was in 10th grade at the time, and Caty was in the 6th. The photographer finds a picturesque spot, puts us in a casual "just sitting close to each other in the park like we do every Saturday" pose, and walks back to the tripod. When he peers through the lens, he finds my sister in tears. Randy has been pinching her as hard as he can, and she is a blubbering mess. Even after he is reprimanded by the photographer, Randy doesn't stop. End result: 25 pictures of three siblings, one of whom is obviously forcing a smile through a flood of tears in every shot. Happy Mother's Day!
Here is a visual:
Randy is now older and wiser, but still a bit of a pill. I love him so much I cannot begin to put it into words, yet he somehow loves himself even more. Which means that when I visit Randy, I do not get red carpet treatment. So you'll understand why I'm not 100% sure that the young man I encountered on Friday night was actually my brother.
First, we arrived at his apartment building and only had to call three times before he buzzed us in. (Normally, he never answers, and we have to stalk the front door until someone walks through with an armful of groceries.)
Second, he did not give me hell when I told him that I wouldn't be going with him to a show at the Black Cat that night but would be going out to eat with my wonderful friend Cheryl. Instead of twisting my arm, he recommended the best place to get something vegetarian for dinner nearby. (Randy is usually incapable of taking "no" for an answer. This makes him a great lawyer, as well as a PITA sibling when there is a difference of opinion.)
Third, when I asked how I should get back in the apartment while he was at the show, he gave me a spare key and a building fab. It almost made my heart stop. (A few months ago, I threw a wedding shower at Randy's apartment for my sister. We were expecting a gaggle of women, and Randy decided his best move would be to abandon the apartment entirely and hide away at a bikinis and board shorts party. Randy left us with no way of getting in and out of the apartment, because he took all of his keys with him. We did a lot of front door stalking that weekend.)
Fourth (and I only know this by word of mouth), he was about to leave the apartment with Brad, Jared, and his three friends to go to the show when he stopped shot. "Wait, everybody. Robin might get home before us. We have to make her bed." Brad: "Why? She can make her own bed." Randy: "BRAD. She is PREGNANT."
Fifth, when we ran into the crew of gents on the street while walking back to the apartment after dinner, Randy stopped his friend from smoking. "Dude, you cannot smoke right now. You have to wait until she is a safe distance away. She is PREGNANT."
Sixth, when Randy got home at 4am with a crew of friends for the after-after-party and found Brad on the couch, he brought Brad to bed. When he noticed that I was awake (Brad and Jared had returned at 2:30am and knocked on the unlocked front door, because they couldn't open it), Randy asked if he could get me a glass of water. When I showed him that I already had a glass, he asked if I wanted some ice. When I declined, he asked if he could get Brad some water. That seemed like a wise idea (the evening involved very many tequila shots as I've been told), so I accepted. Randy got the water for Brad, and then forced Brad to drink it.
Seventh, when he started playing loud music for the after-after-party, he selected Mumford & Sons, because he knows I'm a fan. Yes, I was wide awake until 6am when the after-after-party shut down, but at least I was singing along.
Eighth, when we woke up at 830am to make it to Ikea, Randy got up on his own and came out to give me a hug goodbye. He even looked at my slightly protruding belly, which freaks him out but also makes him smile.
Turns out that pregnancy transforms Randy into a pseudo-gentleman! It's my favorite side effect to date. I am a pinching-free zone for the next sixth months. Ahhhh.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Pregnant ladies are supposed to stay hydrated. I've found this difficult. I'm supposed to be drinking ten 8oz glasses of fluid a day. Even have an app on my phone with a hydration counter, because I like checklists. At the start of the day, ten seems completely doable. By the end of the day, I feel like a fish. A fish who has not yet mastered essential life skills.
This is probably because I'm also trying to eat 75 grams of protein a day. Not easy. And trying to do it and simultaneously avoid adding 1000 extra calories to my daily intake is even harder. Here's how all of this played out at dinner tonight:
I went to this fabulous vegetarian restaurant in Chicago with a couple friends from work. Karyn's Cooked. Delicious. To cover the fluids requirement, I ordered a lemonade. Selected the faux meatball sandwich on a wheat bun because it looked heavy on the protein (and sounded yummy). But it was served with two potato wedges and coleslaw. So I added a side of steamed broccoli to hit the veggies/fruit quota for the day. Finished the lemonade, started in on the water. Drank two glasses! Hydration queen! Then we shared the bread pudding for dessert, because Liz said it is the best, and I trust her taste buds. It WAS the best. And I ordered a decaf coffee, to keep the fluids coming. After dinner, I headed to another restaurant where Brad was hanging out with our dear friend Gus. Ordered a root beer and managed to drink half the glass before I began to feel like a water balloon. By then it was too late. Much too late.
Now I'm marooned on the couch, daydreaming about burping. And to think I just barely satisfied the hydration, fruit/veggie, protein, and bread pudding requirements for the day. How am I suddenly so bad at eating and drinking? Or is it so good at eating and drinking? Meh.
At least good TV has returned.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Brad, mind you, is doing nothing wrong. He's been marvelous these past few months. For example, I will crawl into bed, fully knowing that I want a glass of water. When he is within earshot, I ask for one. If he fills the glass from the tap, I send it back and ask for Brita. And when he brings the Brita water without a straw, I send it back again (straws are the best). Does Brad complain? Tell me to get my rump out of bed and prepare my own glass of water per my exacting standards? Nope. He just fulfills my requests. And memorizes my order, so that the following night, when I do the exact same thing, he gets it right the first time. See? Brad is wonderful.
So why did the following things get my hackles up last night and this morning?
1. Brad fell asleep while we were watching TV. How in the world can this bother me? Here's a fun first trimester story. One Saturday, I am eager to run a long list of errands. I come into the living room to find Brad lying on the couch watching a movie. Brad works insane hours and treasures his weekends. He deserves some quality couch time. What do I do? Tell him to get off the couch and get in the shower so we can get moving. And he does it! What do I do next? Climb onto the couch and fall asleep. For THREE HOURS. When I wake up, Brad's feathers aren't ruffled. He's lying on the bed, watching the same movie on the small TV in the bedroom, having taken care of a bunch of chores around the house before resuming his relaxation time. Had the shoe been on the other foot, I would have blown a gasket. Yet Brad falling asleep at 10:30 when we are watching a really lousy TV show on a Tuesday night? My blood boils uncontrollably. Who am I?
2. Brad did a few loads of laundry last night, and did not fold the sheets to my ridiculous standards. Also, when he hung up my items to dry (because I am a high maintenance laundry sort of gal, and he is okay with that), he did not smooth them out perfectly beforehand. Who cares? Did I somehow forget about the bliss that should result from the first part of the sentence? Brad did a few loads of laundry! He hung up his own no-iron shirts! He folded his own massive collection of summer camp T-shirts! How can this ever be a problem?
3. Brad tried to kiss me and give me a hug after he got out of the shower this morning, while his body temperature was still high. Heaven forbid. It was the first time he'd seen me that morning (well, the first time I'd been vertical and not poking him to get him to snooze or shut off his alarm), and he was all smiles and happy to see me. Even after he realized that I was a grumpalumpagous, he was still smiling. This fabulous man who puts up with my ever-changing moods wanted to give me a hug and a kiss. And I cringed because he was warm. Know what I'd really like right now? Yup.
See? The sane part of my brain still exists. It just wrote this blog post. It is just silenced by and in awe of the crazy part of my brain which rises up out of nowhere and takes over. Serenity now!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Thankfully, both of our docs are okay with nail salons, so we met up for cheap mani/pedis this afternoon. A full hour to discuss our expanding stomachs and increasingly uncomfortable pants, maternity leave plans, etc. Most interesting point of comparison from the discussion: Katie uses babycenter.com for her fruit size estimates, and I use what to expect. WTE says tater will be the size of an orange by the end of this week. Last week Katie was told that her her stomach resident was the size of a beefsteak tomato. How do you choose beefsteak tomato over orange, babycenter.com? Plain tomato, fine. Beefsteak? Random.
Also, how is there something that is nearly the size of an orange swimming around in my stomach that I cannot feel? It would be a piece of cake for relatively small aliens to take over the human race.
I also learned that Katie is not itchy all the time. I am suffering through that symptom alone. Little red bumps on my thumbs and wrists that itch something crazy when I wake up in the morning. Folks say this is normal. If it gets any worse, I'm calling the doc to find out how to wage a full-blown attack on these bumps. I think this may be one of those symptoms that people just say is normal to take the easy way out. Anyone? Anyone?
At least the mani will reduce my scratching impulse. It will also increase my use of Neosporin, as I inevitably suffer from horrible hangnails every time I get a manicure. But Neosporin appears to be on the "okay" meds list. Phew.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
The cough started yesterday while Brad and I were at a friend's BBQ. (aside: I love attending parties and being able to tell people why I'm not drinking and why I keep touching my ears. Perhaps the other guests don't enjoy learning that they are hot and itching. But my filter doesn't work as well these days. And it amazes me that no matter how random and seemingly unrelated something is to the growing embryo in my belly, someone online insists it is a perfectly normal pregnancy symptom.)
Anyhow, as I had yet to dig up that a-ok meds list, and Walgreen's was around the corner from the party, I decided to head over and buy something that surely couldn't be bad for tater. Vick's vapor stuff to the rescue! Brad and I are staring at the options and I see a pad that you stick onto your shirt. Doubly brilliant! This must be okay for tater! It doesn't even touch my skin.
Get home, get ready for bed, pull the Vick's sticky pads box out of the shopping bag. Decide to read the warnings, which surely will affirm my wise purchase decision. Nope. "Not safe for use while pregnant." BOLLUCKS! Seriously? Apparently I have no natural instincts when it comes to guessing what's okay for tater. I almost fumigated him/her with menthol poison.
So this morning I dug out that list. Vick's is not on the list. But Robitussin is. I have been hacking like a 80-year old lifetime Marlboro addict. But I couldn't bring myself to buy a bottle of Robitussin at Target today. I've been enjoying these last few days sans nausea a little too much. And I loathe the taste of Robitussin. Gag. Double gag. Ricola will have to do.
At Target I DID purchase awesome Halloween decor for my office, including Halloween straws. Straws are the best. This cold, however, is a jerk.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
But now tater is on the way. And I will probably have a lot to say about that, but I'm guessing only a small audience will be interested. To avoid becoming the annoying girl on Facebook who rants about why-oh-why itching must be a side effect of pregnancy, I'll write about it here! Brilliant!
To bring folks up-to-date on the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy, I'll add some post-dated pictures and posts. Here goes!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
So, the doc called this morning and left a message with our final genetics testing results. Good news! The results cut our risk in half. Before the testing, the risk of Down's was 1/180, and now the risk is 1/370. The doc said the cutoff they use for recommending additional testing is 1/220, so he doesn't think that we need to pursue any of the invasive tests at this point. Also, the risk for other chromosomal disorders is way down to about 1/10,000 (trisomy 18).
Going in to the test, I thought that my base risk (due to my age) was 1/250-1/400. So it was welcome news, and I'm happy to now be officially in the risk range I'd originally presumed.We've been sharing the news this past week, and it's been a lot of fun. So far, the much-anticipated waning of my 1st trimester symptoms has yet to begin. In fact, the symptoms are going out with a bang, if at all. And now I'm getting headaches. But it is, of course, entirely worth it.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Back to the Be Band. For those who haven't encountered one, it's a spandex band that you can wear over the top of your pants. It holds your pants up, and disguises that they are unbuttoned. Brilliant. Brad thinks they should be marketed to EVERYONE, as he often wants to sit at work with his pants unbuttoned. Good information.
It made a world of difference. I can now sit on the couch in my jeans and let it all hang out. Ahhh.
In other news, I cut my hair to above my shoulders and dyed it brown. (Well, I didn't do it, my stylist did it. Must teach tater about honesty.) It was time for a change. I am not feeling particularly photogenic these days. (Have I mentioned the disaster zone that used to be my face? It's like I'm 14 again. But without the awesome asymmetric haircut to distract folks.) Anyhoo, when I finally get around to taking a belly picture, you'll see the new hair. Brad likes it. You should too. :)
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
We had our genetics ultrasound this morning! As you can see in the picture, tater is a stomach sleeper (he got that from me). As luck would have it, in order to measure the nuchal skin fold (which is a marker for things such as heart problems and chromosomal abnormalities), the fetus has to be on its back. The ultrasound tech was incredibly patient and creative -- she had me eat a snack, she tilted the table so that I was inverted, she had me cough, and she tickled the skin above the uterus, among other things. Finally, after a half hour of gazing at tater, s/he flipped. She said tater was probably sleeping and not interested in moving around all that much. Regardless, we finally got the measurement and it was normal! Such happy news. We also learned that tater is 7 centimeters from crown to rump (they don't measure the length of the legs because they are always tucked under). Almost three inches! And his/her heart rate was 152; also normal. All good things.
The genetics testing results are made up of a combination of the ultrasound measurement results (1/3 of the final risk computation) and blood test results (2/3). They took my blood today, and my OB/GYN says I should hear from him next Monday. We are so happy to know that the results are normal thus far. And we are praying that the blood results are the same.
Next appointment is at 16 weeks when we'll get to hear Tater's heartbeat for the first time, and they will test for spina bifida. (We're at 12 1/2 right now, so that will happen in about four weeks.) Then the 20-week appointment, when we're learn the sex!
This Saturday we enter our second trimester. Huge hooray. The weeks seemed to be crawling by at the time, but now I can't believe the first trimester is almost behind me. Is six months enough time to get ready? Really?
Friday, September 3, 2010
So I made an emergency run to Old Navy and found a few dresses that put no pressure on the belly. Add leggings (in size large, for maximum belly comfort) and I should be good to go. Guess I should start taking the belly pictures soon.