Friday, March 12, 2010

But....I EAT oatmeal!

As pregnant people go, I really have been fortunate.
I didn't have weird cravings. My feet never got swollen *until now!*. And I didn't start really showing until I was almost 7 months pregnant. I also gained very little weight, which made it easier on my entire body. Chris probably will debunk my thoughts on being "the ideal preggo". He seems to only remember me crying because he got me a small diet coke instead of a medium, and screaming because the girls at the drive-in forgot to give me honey mustard for my chicken tenders.

He also firmly believes he is a saint for sleeping next to me. He swears I take over the entire bed and kick him in the back nightly. Now basic math clearly proves me innocent being that I weigh a good 100 lbs less than him, and even pregnant am a much smaller person than he is. I also don't think my legs are long enough to reach his back to kick him.
I guess we'll just have to give the poor guy some grace, because I really have been tough to deal with the past three weeks.

At the beginning of my pregnancy I craved oatmeal, and still do. I normally eat it for breakfast or a snack everyday. I don't watch much TV, but I always saw the Quaker Oats commercials and assumed that I was being super healthy by eating "a bowl a day". I even thought I deserved some sort of little medal or perhaps a trophy for craving such a healthy snack. I haven't received either, but I've still got a couple weeks left, so I feel hopeful.

On Valentines day at 31 weeks, all my oatmeal ideas seemed to go to the wayside. While most couples were enjoying a romantic dinner and I'm sure a little Marvin Gaye playing on the radio, I was diagnosed with pregnancy hypertension and felt just awful, due to my blood pressure being super high.

As I was being checked into Baptist Desoto for high blood pressure, the nurse handed me a light blue hospital gown. Terrible color. I'm a winter. I look better in cobalt blue. I gingerly held the gown with two fingers and she explained I needed to put on the gown and sit in the hospital bed so she could hook up a heart rate monitor on my tummy for the baby, and get a BP cuff on my arm to monitor my pressure. After briskly informing me of all this, she began to walk out the door, to my cries of "But I EAT OATMEAL!!!!!!"

I guess I never watched the ENTIRE Quaker Oats commercial, because a bowl of oatmeal a day does NOT make you blood pressure stable. It's for high cholesterol. Dang it.

Needless to say, after two days, I was told to go home, be on bed rest, and collect a 24 hr urine test. Anyone want to know what's slightly less romantic than spending Valentines in a light blue hospital gown and your husband never telling you everyone can see your booty when you get up? Collecting a 24 hr urine test. I'm a very modest person, and I grew up thinking that there always needed to be SOME secrets between me and my husband. Yeah... That and the oatmeal theory didn't quite pan out.

Fortunately for me, little Benny, and Chris's sanity, my blood pressure returned to normal after a couple weeks, I was allowed to increase my activity level, and Baby Ben's growth continued to be healthy.
Everything was going swell until yesterday.
When people ask how I've been feeling lately now that I'm at the tail end of the pregnancy, I say one word. "Old" I really have been feeling old. My back hurts. I miss my ankles.
And I'm carrying a baby who is already certified with a black belt in karate chopping. Ouch.
I thought all this was normal however, until my regular check up with my OBGYN.
The nurse took my bp and her eye brows shot up "Oh my...It's REALLY high" she murmured.
I groaned inwardly and went to get Momma. The nurse put us in a room and soon after my doctor walked in. "Hey Mary Kathryn! are you in bed resting?" She said a little too perky for my taste. "" I replied. "Well you're officially back on bed rest! And you're going back to the hospital today because your blood pressure is way too high"
So back we went. Yay.
They took more blood, took my blood pressure so many times I think I lost feeling in my left bicep, and did an ultra-sound to check out Benny's activity.
As usual my little ADHD baby did not disappoint. He was rolling around, jabbing, punching, and wiggling to the beat of his own music. As the nurse wheeled me back into my room, we came upon the family waiting room. Since I was sitting in a wheel chair I could only see the top of one person's hair. A lonely family member of someone's sitting and waiting.
But I knew that hair anywhere- I did a beauty pageant wave as we wheeled passed the waiting room. My Daddy waved back.
After a couple of hours my Doctor allowed me to be sent home. With strict orders to stay on bed rest. AND another 24 urine test to complete. The medical community sure knows how to suck the romance right out of any marriage :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ice Cream and tears

On Sunday after church and lunch with the family, Chris and I partook of my favorite non-alcoholic past time EVER. We went to the Dip to get ice cream. Well, I got ice cream, he cheated and got fried cheese cubes. I didn't know that was an option or I would ordered ice cream AND food.
The sad thing is, I can recall a time when food didn't mean that much to me.
Oh the skinny, non preggo days....
As Chris and I were ordering our treats, I looked over to the left and saw a teen age girl with her apparent boyfriend. They were hugging, kissing, and having an all around fabulous time.

I couldn't help but smile at them and sigh a little with contentment when Chris pulled me closer and kissed my forehead. I didn't date in high school. I get asked a lot what I was like in high school, mostly because of the nerd factor from being home schooled, I don't have much to say. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVED being home schooled. But my family was home schooled, before it was cool. Another reason why I didn't date, or comment fondly on my high school years, is because those are the years I remember most vividly. I remember my brother Ben being the sickest then. I also can't ever forget the day he died, when I was a junior in high school.

I leaned against Chris, quietly letting memories take hold, when our order was called up. Chris walked up, got my ice cream, and handed it to me. I turned around to grab it, and realize that I knew the girl who was kissing her boyfriend. This girl, was the girl my brother had a crush on when he died. I grabbed my huge sun glasses I had bought in Italy last year, and quickly settled them on the bridge of my nose, right as the tears came. Poor Chris kept talking about how much he loves cheese, and didn't notice my mascara stained tears falling down my cheeks. My ice cream started to melt down my hand and I just kept staring at this girl.
The day before Ben died, he bought her a bouquet of yellow and purple wildflowers. He also bought some for my Momma, and our house keeper Nadine. I walked in 24 hours later, with Ben gone, and the flowers were in vases all over the house.

Filled with sadness, and a little anger I watched this girl out of the corner of my eye, enjoying the prettiest afternoon of the year with her boyfriend. I wanted Ben back so bad in that moment, I could taste it. It didn't seem very fair to me, that she was being embraced by her boyfriend, living a wonderful life, and Ben died without even getting his first kiss.
I know, that Ben is in a better place. I also am very aware that he is no longer suffering. Sure, all that knowledge is great on paper, but it still hurts.
I whispered to Chris I wanted to go home, and he nodded and opened the car door. As I was getting in the car, I took one last look at the girl- and then I felt a tiny foot kick up into my ribs.
Ben's nephew, Baby Ben was kicking me. Jer. 29:11 came to my mind as we drove home. I felt a ray of joy as Chris's hand held mine, and mine patted my tummy. No words can describe the grief I feel over Ben, but that girl can't do anything about Ben dying. Big Ben spends his days in heaven, living without pain. And now I am blessed to have my days filled with joy with my sweet husband, family, and Baby Ben.