Archive for August, 2007

Hello Internet, I’m Pregnant

Friday, August 17th, 2007

Just in case you were the last person on the planet to find out after the Peg/Mom aetherstorm…

I have been for a while. Here’s the backlog.

(May 20)

So yep. Pregnant. And even though I know exactly how this all happened, you know, technically, I was still completely and utterly shocked to see the little lines on the tester stick. I went straight out and bought a two-pack (they come in two-packs, didn’t you know?) to cross-check my original findings. I was still pregnant.

So this sort of plays screwy with all our PLANS. You know, plans, goals, where we intend to be in the next five years. Oh, I’m kidding of course; everyone who even vaguely knows us is well aware that planning ahead has never been one of our primary focuses in life—the both of us being almost pathological commitment-phobes. We’ve always felt more comfortable making spur-of-the-moment life-changing decisions and then adapting thusly. I guess this is just another of those, except for the “making decisions” part.

I did a bit of research since a whole insane world of things that never concerned me much before might be, um, suddenly relevant; for example: maternity insurance. Did you know that with all the insurance companies out there that jump all over any opportunity to take your money, add the word “maternity” to a simple google search, and you get absolutely squat. It’s really amazing. I wonder how they do that. Turns out that no self-respecting insurance company in the US will insure an already pregnant woman. This makes me sad and I’m thinking we’ll be financing the hospital/doctoring bills with the vast tubs of money we will save on booze over the next year.

Which brings me to the first thing I though of when I saw the two pink lines (aside from, “Holy. Crapinahandbasket”): Well, guess I better stop drinking. Which is really easy when the Rockport HEB wine selection is so grim. The next thing I did was rush out and buy some prenatal vitamins, since god forbid I not provide enough folic acid for the cells. Then of course I had to return said vitamins after discovering that the FIRST ingredient was cornstarch (what vitamin does that provide?) and find some better prenatal vitamins. About that time I was ripe for some serious internetting. The online world of pregnancy is full of don’t-do-this-and-don’t-do-that hysteria.

I also stopped drinking coffee. Like alcohol, I just went cold turkey without much thought but it turns out that coffee is way harder to stop drinking than booze; I spent the next three days with a chronic headache. I’m going to have to think creatively if I’m to figure out what the hell it is I CAN drink now since coffee, beer, wine, margaritas, cosmopolitans, and gimlets are off limits. Iced tea (that’s big here in South Texas) has caffeine, I don’t drink sodas (because of the corn syrup), and most juices that aren’t $7 per bottle are also loaded with corn syrup. Water also tastes nasty here. A few studious hours in HEB unearthed the following: fizzy water, Brita filters, squeezed grapefruit juice that is slightly less than $7 and doesn’t have added sugars, and berry lemonade flavored Jones Soda (sweetened with sugar, not HFCS), which is an amazing glacial blue and tastes like pixie stix (this one’s only for *special* occasions, ya’ll).

Morning sickness has been mostly a non-issue, although I have to say, I have a hard time not puking every time I have to look up something on the internet (e.g., what is a “mucus plug”) and some innocuous URL like “pregnancyfacts.com” hits me across the head and shoulders with a load of cheese. “First of all,” it will say, “Let me CONGRATULATE YOU, you MOTHER-TO-BE you, on what is surely THE MOST IMPORTANT, MAGNIFICENT, AND EXCITING MOMENT OF YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. Did we mention that it is a SPECIAL TIME??? Yes, SPECIAL too. You have SOOOO MUCH ahead of you and every MOMENT of it is sure to be BLISS BLISS BLISS and FAMILY WARMTH. Oh, and a mucus plug is a gel-like bloody glomp of secretions that block the cervical opening of the uterus.”

The internet can be a scary place sometimes.

(June 13)

Now I feel that ol’ morning sickness. More like any random time of the day and often at night sickness. I have very little appetite around dinnertime (mostly because I’ve been snacking all day—because keeping something in my stomach seems to help). The catch-22 of morning sickness. Morning sickness is a lot like sea sickness actually, which you know, has made my big transition to land life a smooth one.

The boobs continue to grow. The underwire on my bras just levitates about a centimeter off my chest. I tried on my normal bathing suit and it’s sort of obscene. This is not good because with the family reunion coming up, there will surely be water activities.

We still haven’t told anyone, but Joshua’s dad figured it out and asked me point blank. I turned beet red and mumbled lots. He said he thought of it because I wanted to buy pickles at the store, but as far as I’m concerned, this is a stretch (pickles just aren’t such an unusual thing to buy). I think he figured it out some other way but didn’t have any good reason why. I’m guessing that Cheyenne the Champion Beer Drinker suddenly turned Cheyenne the Boring Old Bottled Water Drinker may have been a clue.

I continue to scour the planet for insurance options. We considered moving back to Central America where health care is actually affordable but then it turns out that Oregon has some options for the already knocked up. We don’t qualify for any of that low-income Medicaid stuff because we’d get dropped if we got jobs, which is a totally stupid way to do things. I talked to a couple people on the phone and they asked me some questions to see if I could possibly be eligible and of course they are all shocked when I tell them I am [older than 19]. What sort of a person who is [older than 19] doesn’t have insurance already?! They are skeptical; they raise their eyebrows. The next question is always if I am a citizen. I’m not optimistic. Even the one that boasts that it insures people who can’t normally get insurance (like people with leukemia or pregnant women) still has a six-month pre-existing condition clause (this means that they do not cover you for six months after you start paying monthly) and, well, six months is cutting the due-date pretty close. I did the math and after the monthly fees, the deductible, and the out of pocket maximum, you end up paying just about as much as you would pay normally to a hospital for a typical birth (with no complications). And this does not include any of that prenatal doctoring stuff recommended between the second and eighth month.

Oh, for kicks, I did some online due date calculator (based upon the first date of your last period) and my due date was last April! Ha! Actually, according to my slightly adjusted math, it should be February 14th, 2008.

(June 19th)

Symptoms? Tired. Cravings have been minor (no more than typical cravings), unless you count the craving for a nap.

(June 23)

Emotional freakishness? Nope. I’ve felt downright perky so far. Pukey, but perky.

I had one OHMYGODMYLIFE’SOVERI’MGOINGTOENDUPASUBURBAN
SOCCERMOMAAAAAAHHHHHHH freakout moment one night but that passed and now I sort of try not to think about it at all. Which is working out pretty well for me.

(June 30)

I did some research on the whole sushi thing. Turns out that in Japan, they caution women against eating beef and chicken, not fish. How about that? The biggest concern might be mercury content since the danger of getting sick or eating parasites is no more than it ever was (slim—and I was always willing to chance coughing up a wiggling larva a month or two after a phenomenal sushi feast). So, I think I might have to have a few pieces of sushi when we go to Hotaru, which is my favorite sushi restaurant and much like a japanese tapa restaurant with all the little plates of snacky things. There are plenty of delicious non-raw fish items on the menu anyway.

(July 1)

I still don’t really feel very pregnant. I took two positive tests and my friend Michelle assured me that they are indeed accurate but I haven’t yet gone to the doctor yet for the definitive YES. I need to get moving on the doctor scene but I called some places in Corpus Christi and was totally freaked out by the receptionists lack of knowledge of how much anything costs (like consultation even), what was required for a first visit, when one should be scheduling a first visit in the first place, where she was, who she was, anything in general at all—so I gave up spectacularly (huge harangue in the general direction of Joshua about how lame it all was) and planned on visiting my old ob/gyn in Palo Alto when we swung through the following month (you know, on our way to HOTARU ohmygodIcannotwait).

I’m a little apprehensive about it all, partially because I find it somewhat embarrassing to be pregnant. I wasn’t necessarily planning on having a kid. I never really cared for small children, never got along with them all that well. Ignored them mostly. The whole “precious vessel” approach to gynecology always totally irritated me and I tolerated my annual checkups mostly to get the year’s supply of free pills.

Joshua put it very well: we have gotten so used to doing fairly unconventional things (frequently to the chagrin and befuddlement of our respective families) in contrast to what is being done around us. Incurring the sudden approval of society in general for doing what is typically believed to be upstanding and normal is irritating and embarrassing.

Telling my parents and friends is going to be weird. I have a feeling they will be in for quite a shock.

(July 2)

I survived the Texas reunion without it being fully obvious that I’m pregnant. I was sort of terrified of people finding out and my sudden fertility becoming the focus of what was supposed to be a Coxwell family reunion. I am not exaggerating when I say that every single attendee at this party (with exception to the under-nine set) asked me when/if Joshua and I were planning on having babies (often more than once too). But in general, turns out everyone was drinking enough beer/wine/sundry booze that they didn’t notice I drank only bottled water. I was appointed bartender to make margaritas for the big shrimp/crab boil and this further camouflaged my non-drinking status. There was one emergency point when everyone headed over to Joshua’s dad’s place for an impromptu tour and I realized that the “What to Expect when you are Expecting” book Michelle sent me was sitting right out on the night table next to the bed (a major giveaway). I was all “WAIT! I have to make the bed before anyone goes upstairs” and nearly freaked out when I heard people stomping up the ladder to the loft but Joshua luckily had the foresight to sneak ahead and hide it under the pillow (and make the bed). They probably thought I had left a sex toy collection lying out or something the way I was acting.

(July 10)

1. Am I the only person in the world who thinks that it is totally stupid to calculate the 40-week gestation period from the first day of the last period (when supposed conception happens about two weeks later)? Why don’t they just say 38 weeks for gestation? Because of this, I was off in my calculations and am actually eleven weeks pregnant now instead of nine. I guess that kicks my lovely due date (Feb. 14th!) back to boring old Feb. 1st.

2. Having to buy clothing to fit an increasingly wanged-out body is going to be a bloody nightmare. Online shopping is the best bet but I never know what my size is anymore since American size inflation has made everything all weird. I know full well I am a size eight but have to buy size four at places like the Gap. What the hell do real size fours do?

3. While in the Gap trying to pick out some of those long t-shirts they have these days before I had a total meltdown, I noticed that the current style of shirts around these parts (all over? Just south Texas?) is remarkably similar to what I would consider ‘maternity.’ I actually tried one on thinking it was just a normal shirt and emerged from the dressing room to find Joshua patiently waiting for the madness to end. I tossed the rejects onto the Gap reject heap because, “this shirt makes me look like a pregnant hippy.” As we walked through the mall trying to find the same door from which we entered, I noticed that every single high-school girl traipsing through the place was wearing a similar shirt. Pregnant teenage hippies. God what an awful fashion.

(July 24)

Went to the doctor yesterday and had the ultrasound. I was almost expecting to hear something along the lines of, “Hmmmm. Wellllll. Huh. You might have a large abscess here but I don’t see anything like a baby. Maybe you have a thyroid problem.” But instead she said, “Whoa. I am seeing a LOT of baby here. You are considerably more than eleven or twelve weeks I think.”

Which, holy crap. I’m pregnant.

All looked normal and perky and I had a billion gallons of blood sucked out of my left arm for tests. I’m fifteen weeks pregnant. Here are the glamour shots.

ultra sound 15 weeks pregnant

What the hell is that? Some strange frost pattern on the windshield? At night? Here I’ll provide some graphic guidelines.

ultra sound 15 weeks pregnant annotated

One for the baby book for sure.


Sonoran Desert Toad

Monday, August 13th, 2007

Sonoran desert toad. Rio Rico, Arizona

Rio Rico, Arizona

These guys congregate outside the door to feast on bugs attracted by the porch light. They leave surprisingly large poops. Never in my life had I though about toad poop.

We’re in Portland Oregon, by the way. Stay with us and we’ll get some current stuff up soon.


Panting Frogs

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

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A group of Canyon Tree Frogs hiding from the heat of the day.

Rio Rico, Arizona


Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell