My cups runneth over

Ask most women what they look forward to most in pregnancy and they will tell you it’s the boobie fairy. This magical being comes in the middle of the night sometime early in the first trimester and adds an extra cup size whilst the mother-to-be lies in slumber. The boobie fairy returns many months later and does her thang all over again when a new mom’s milk comes in.

Now, in a world of logic and reason, the boobie fairy would bestows her full blessings upon smaller-chested women, while larger-chested women would gain, say, half a cup size. After all, pregnancy is hard on the back as it is!

However, in the real world, where chaos prevails, the boobie fairy has seen fit to add to my already ample bosom not half a cup size, not a full cup size, but TWO full cup sizes. That means that the salesgirl at Victoria’s Secret has to go back to the sample room to find a bra in my new, outlandishly large size. Which, just so you know, is so capacious that it could easily serve double duty as a support garment for my behind. (And I know, because I tested my theory.)

If “What to Expect” is correct, I can expect to add another cup size after the birth. I will then have to shop in specialty bra stores, where 700-pounders and heavily-augmented strippers buy cup sizes we’ve never heard of, and in whose windows hang brassieres that could easily pass for porch swings.

I realize that this is a natural and normal thing, but for goodness sake — how much milk can one tiny baby need? These things aren’t bottles or even jugs; they’re kegs!

Meanwhile, some other woman is probably sitting around, still a AA cup at three months and wondering where that capricious little fairy is …

Hello, my name is Ralph

Just when you get used to pregnancy, it throws you for a loop. Last week, my nausea was pretty much gone. I could eat whatever I wanted. Chris could make pasta with a garlic sauce upstairs, and I could smell it from downstairs even with the door closed. And like it. My appetite was getting stronger and smells didn’t bother me as much. Better yet, I had gone through most of the first trimester without vomiting once (except the time I was swabbing tea tree oil on my tonsils, but that could happen to anyone). Being pregnant ruled!

Then, two Fridays ago, I was riding in the car when suddenly I started feeling extremely queasy. Pretty soon, I was really queasy. Within five minutes, Chris had to pull the car over. Right! Now!

I vomited and vomited, then (since there had been almost nothing in my stomach to begin with) dry- heaved and dry-heaved. Shortly thereafter, I felt much better, except for having stinky nostrils, and devoured large quantities of chicken at KFC. I thought nothing of it, except how weird that I, who never vomit, had tossed my cookies.

Then, on another drive a week later, it happened again. I barfed and barfed until I couldn’t breathe, and then dry-heaved a bit for good measure. I gave Chris the go-ahead to drive. We made it a few yards, then I made him stop so I could projectile-vomit some more. Where it came from after all that dry-heaving, I couldn’t tell you. I felt fine the rest of the day, but later noticed I had broken copious amounts of blood vessels in and around my eyes.

The next day, I woke up feeling fine. I swallowed my prenatals, showered and applied my makeup. I looked fabulous. Then I started blow-drying my hair. I bent over at the waist and began working on the back of my head. After a very short while, I realized that an eruption was imminent. I ran to the toilet and, once more, hurled and hurled. I noticed that the adorable shirt I had selected had an unfortunately-placed ribbon that tied at the neckline. With great presence of mind, I peeled it off and proceeded to vomit and dry heave and vomit some more. Naturally, I broke yet more blood vessels.

Afterward, as usual, I felt absolutely fine and proceeded about my business, which unfortunately included the complete re-application of my makeup, and I am sad to say it didn’t look half as fabulous as it did before I offered up the contents of my stomach to the great porcelain god.

I have come to a few conclusions after ruminating over the curious occurrence of Week 10 and 11 vomiting.

1.) All three incidents occurred on a mostly empty stomach, rather early in the day. I have taken steps to remedy early-morning emptiness, and no more vomiting has occurred.

2.) Twice, the vomiting occurred after I had consumed pizza the night before. As pizza causes stomach discomfort immediately after consumption as well, I am staying away from pizza.

3.) Why am I just now starting to throw up, at the very end of the first trimester? Obviously, it is because I became cocky about not having vomited.

4.) At least I don’t have to use my heartbeat monitor every 10 minutes to make sure the baby is still there. Obviously, something is making me barf, and I’m guessing it’s bigger than an ant, smaller than a breadbox, and that its synapses are forming this week.

So yeah, while I’m enjoying being able to eat garlic and burritos again, I’m not going to get too excited about the glorious second trimester. If this baby likes anything, it’s letting everyone know it’s here. If it’s not sore breasts, it’s going up two cup sizes in two months. If it’s not nausea, it’s the amazing traveling vomit show. And as it gets bigger, I’m sure it will think of more ways to make its presence known. Broken ribs, anyone?

And now, the Week 12 belly shots. Without makeup, because when you’re this exhausted, you just don’t care anymore.

Love Train

I’d been looking forward to yesterday for a long time. It was my 11-week appointment, and at 10 weeks the baby’s heartbeat should be audible on a handheld Doppler. I was prepared for the worst — no hearbeat and a confirmation by ultrasound that the baby expired a few weeks ago when I had the flu. I was prepared for other scenarios, such as no audible heartbeat, but then a quick ultrasound showing that the baby was fine and its heart was still beating. I was prepared for everything except what actually DID happen.

I got up on the table and rolled down the band of my stretch jeans, and Dr. Goncalves placed the Doppler on my belly. Immediately, the examination room was filled with a rapid chugging noise, like a little locomotive racing around my uterus at 156 clackity-clacks per minute. Without having to so much as move the Doppler, the doctor confirmed that the baby is just fine and dandy and that I am a paranoid crazy person.

And here they are: the Week 11 belly shots!

Hard body

A few years ago, when I was working out for an hour and a half every day, I had rock-hard abs. That all went away for awhile after I decided to start taking med-school prerequisites in addition to working, but today, once again, I possess a tummy of steel.

No, I haven’t spent my first two months of pregnancy doing crunches. Although I had started running daily before I knew I was pregnant, that regimen fell prey to extreme exhaustion and I am still as out of shape as ever. Nope, my hard tummy is all uterus.

In the past few days, while doing my daily routine of petting the baby and admonishing it to stay in there, I’d been noticing firmness in my pelvic area — even on the rare occasions when I didn’t have to pee. I thought it was my imagination until yesterday, when Chris was feeling my tummy as usual and announced to all who had gathered to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving at his parents’ that he could feel a very definite “pooch.” If you run your hand down my abdomen, it will start out flat and (thanks to my recent lack of activity) rather soft, but then starting below my navel and ending above my pubic bone, there is a round, firm, definite pregnancy pooch. (Either that, or a really stubborn pocket of gas.)

You could see the pooch, too, if I were to wear a close-fitting top. That, however, isn’t happening, since I am only bulging enough to look like I have PMS bloat rather than an adorable baby belly.

Of course that will happen soon enough. The baby has officially graduated from the embryonic stage into fetus-hood today. It has all the same parts (in some form or another) as an older baby and is now gearing up for accelerated growth. If I’m anything like my mother, this little one has nowhere to go but outward, and in another six weeks I will start to look as if I’m smuggling Al Roker in my midsection.

So for now, I will enjoy my rock-hard tummy, which, if I stand up as straight as I can and flex my abs, could almost pass for one that hasn’t been co-opted as a baby apartment.

And without further ado, here are the Week 10 belly shots:

And I Am a Maternal Girl

Well, here we are at nine weeks and two days already! It’s looking more and more like the little bean is here to stay. I’ve been getting a break from the nausea lately, although it’s still mostly bland foods and citrus here. Onions are out, as are smokies, fish, and anything that smells remotely like coffee. Fortunately, hot peppers and wasabi are still in, as are green olives. While I still bear some resemblance to a postsurgical Pam Anderson, I am not in quite as much pain (assuming she still has any nerve endings there). And while the literature I’ve been reading says it is caused by progesterone’s relaxing my digestive tract and causing gas and constipation, I would like to think that at least a little bit of my bloating is caused by that little grape-size embryo.

When Chris came back from California, he stopped at Thyme Maternity at my behest and bought a few maternity items. No, not the hideous jeans where the hips and above are cut off and replaced with a navy-blue Lycra panel. These are cool fattie pants. They look like something I’d normally wear, except they have elastic in the back part of the waistband so they will stretch as I grow. I realize that it is silly to wear maternity pants at nine weeks, but hear me out: I am too bloaty for 80 percent of my pants and skirts, which usually lean more toward “fitted” than toward “plenty of room to smuggle embryos.”

At this point, I am left with:

One pair of unforgiving but still wearable low-rider stretch jeans
One pair of last year’s supertrendy (and now not) stretch pants that tie at the ankle and have satin cargo pockets
A pair of tan Limited flares that will fit me for a few more weeks.

I have two options. 1) Buy new pants one size bigger, which will fit for approximately a month or two, or 2) buy maternity pants, which theoretically should fit for all seven months. I think the answer here is pretty obvious and does not involve the dreaded Moving Up a Size.

And now, for the Week 9 belly shot (in which I model those stylin’ cargo pants):