Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fun with Hormones!

I've had the kickiest baby for the past couple of days. It is awesome! I suppose "kicky" isn't really the right word because it still doesn't feel like a kick, exactly, more like a flutter, but the flutters are definitely getting more intense and consistent. I think Penn should be able to feel him/her from the outside any day now. If I'm alone when I feel the flutters I always use the sensation as an excuse to talk to the baby for a bit. I feel a little ridiculous talking to my stomach, but the baby's hearing is beginning to develop and I know it is good for him/her to hear my voice talking in "baby" tones and it's good for me to start getting used to narrating my day to a little person.  At this point I mostly just tell him/her how much fun we're going to have together if s/he will just stay put until March. Penn mostly tells him/her about how terrible the Eagles are playing right now but how they'll be much better in the future.

I just found out that one of my friends in the department is pregnant. I noticed she was drinking Sprite with dinner tonight and returned a pizza when the chef put blue cheese on it, so of course my pregnancy police radar went off immediately. I texted her afterwards and asked if she was pregnant, admitting that I knew how nosy and obnoxious I was being and telling her to just ignore me if she wanted to, but she called me back right away to say that yes, she's pregnant.  She's due exactly 2 months after I am. I'm excited to have a local mom friend! (I actually have a lot of mom friends, but the ones with babies are all long distance and with the exception of my cousin all of my mom friends here have kids that are at least 3 already.) I really, really hope her pregnancy goes well. She and her husband struggled to get pregnant. They had already been trying for over a year when I got pregnant, and she was very gracious when I announced my pregnancy but I felt bad because I knew it probably hurt her to hear my news. She was going to start fertility treatments this month but she got pregnant on her own just as she began to arrange the treatment. I'm happy for her and keeping my fingers crossed, both because I just want her to have the baby I know she so badly wants and because selfishly I'd like someone nearby who is going through the same infant parenting stages that I am. Also selfishly, I'm glad that I was the one who got pregnant first. I like this woman and she means well, but she can be a bit of a know-it-all at times and I feel like she's less likely to spout off the unwanted advice if I'm the one with more experience (9 whole weeks more experience but, you know, good enough).

On another pregnancy-related note, pregnancy hormones are wacky. Most days I feel like my normal self, but sometimes it's very apparent that there are some pretty intense hormones at work. Like the time I burst into tears at a music festival because I'd waited in line for food for an hour and the concession stand was out of nacho cheese (and when I say "tears" I mean gulping, heaving sobs; people were staring, it was humiliating), or the time Penn was making fun of a magazine I was reading and I was trying to defend myself and I was getting annoyed except that the mocking things he was saying were actually really funny so I ended up crying and laughing at the same time. On more than one occasion in this pregnancy poor Penn has looked at me in utter confusion and said, "Wait, are you crying? Why are you crying? I don't understand, what happened?" After the second or third time this happened he just put his hand on my knee and calmly said, "I guess sometimes you just need to cry, huh?" Exactly.  So, yeah, 95% of the time I feel normal and 3% of the time I just need to cry about nothing for a quick second. The other 2% of the time I'm full of righteous anger at all of the women who post on my internet birth board about how getting the flu vaccine will give you the flu or how the only way to be a good mother is to give birth to your baby in a kiddie pool in your kitchen, let your husband sever the umbilical cord with his teeth, and then fry and eat the placenta.  I can get on board with a lot of hippie nonsense (ask my husband, he calls me a hippie almost daily!) but it infuriates me how ill-educated some of these women are and how they spout off these nonsensical conspiracy theories about doctors and hospitals and modern medicine. [Incidentally, I am not against home births. A home birth is decidedly NOT for me--I actually find the routine and security of a hospital soothing and want to at least have the option of an anesthesiologist with an epidural nearby--but I respect that it is the best choice for some people. But the people who act like it is the be-all-end-all-only-path-to-a-fulfilling-motherhood-experience piss me off to no end. I hold back and don't actually respond to the crazy posts--other sane people do that for me--but it really makes me angry.]
So, yeah, anyway, today my pregnancy hormones manifested themselves in the oddest way yet. I happened upon a song I hadn't heard in years, Sujan Stevens "For the Widows in Paradise, for the Fatherless in Ypsilanti" and I got kind of emotional listening to it, and then I decided I wanted to listen to Mumford and Sons' "Timshel" for the dozenth time this week, which has been making me tear up ever since I first heard it. And then I was like, "Hey, listening to these sad songs is kind of cathartic and nice, I should make a playlist of songs that are good to cry to!" and then I was like, "What in the world is wrong with you, what kind of person purposely makes a playlist of songs that make her feel weepy?" And then I went back to writing my dissertation, which was what I was supposed to be doing at the time, but ever since this afternoon I've been thinking of songs that I would put on my hypothetical "I Need a Good Cry" playlist. Here's what I've come up with so far in addition to the two songs listed above:
1. Hallelujah by just about anybody who has ever covered it. That one is a good downer.
2.  Love Lockdown by Kanye West
3. Hurt, Johnny Cash's version
4.  What Goes Around Comes Around by Justin Timberlake
5. One by U2
6. By Your Side by Sade (I don't know why this one makes me teary, but it does)
7.  Jerusalem, the hymn (only certain arrangements, and I have no idea why, and I realize this is effectively the British national anthem so anyone from the UK will find this particularly bizarre)

Anyway, I know there are some other really good ones that I am forgetting. Give me suggestions, because my next step is a perusal of all of the soundtracks from the various seasons of the OC. That show was amazing at coming up with the most melodramatic sappy indie music.

So, nobody else ever does this sort of thing out of the blue during what has been a normal, happy week, do they? I can definitely chalk this one up to wacky pregnancy hormones, right? [Also, please don't worry about my sanity, I promise it really has been a normal, happy week (month, year). I'll take curative action if listening to weepy music becomes more than a fun recreational pastime.]

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