Saturday, June 30, 2012

Who's That Girl

I've spent my entire life stubbornly and to a fault taking care of myself. If it is to be it is up to me, the ten most important two-letter words. I've exploited what it means to be a Type-A personality. Always in control, always calling the shots, always following the plan (mine, of course).

Until now. Enter my alter-ego. I didn't plan it, I didn't think about it, it just...happened.

Plan? What plan? It's like my pregnancy is happening to someone else, it's fuzzy and I can't seem to recognize that I need to prepare for this life-altering event. Independent? Forget about it. Ask my husband, forced to be my personal butler and having to make every decision because I've forgotten how to do that. He's currently in Mexico, and I am lost. I hate him for this (despite knowing it's wrong to begrudge him this guy time).

My confirmation that this is really happening? I haven't cleaned my house in weeks. Weeks. Scott's been helping out, but former Courtney would be spending this solo Saturday doing it her way to ensure everything is sparkling clean. Nope. This Courtney is wandering aimlessly around the house because she can't decide what to do today. I haven't even picked up my breakfast dishes yet.

On the positive side, I am noticeably more relaxed. I may even go so far as to say I'm "unaffected". By anything. With one exception. Work. Fewer things ruffle my feathers, but I've otherwise seemed to maintain my former self. It takes more effort these days, which might explain why the peversely opposite is occuring in my personal life, but I'm still exploring that theory.

I don't know this person, and frankly she frightens me. Is this my body's natural response to calming the crazy while carrying our child? I sure hope so, because I can't stand myself some days.

The days I bother to care, of course.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Memories Echo

I was born with a congenital heart defect commonly known as VSD. It means there was a hole in it. My ticker fixed itself spontaneously before I turned 10 (although I don't quite know when, something I probably should), and I went on to live a pretty normal life. Physically speaking.

In my early years, I endured endless echocardiograms over what seemed like centuries. An evil crushing wand held by a tech wearing too much Charlie, skating across my tiny breastbone (with no padding at that point I might add), taking pictures of my broken heart. You do know that 20 minutes is a lifetime to a 4 year-old. It was intolerable.

Being pregnant, I'm once again under a cardiologist's care. Who knew your blood volume increases 40-50% during pregnancy and your heart works twice as hard? I always thought the potential issue would be delivery and the stress it may put on my heart -- not my first trimester. You can imagine my disappointment in being told they prefer natural delivery for people with my condition. I had always assumed I would have a C-section. No painfully waiting, panting or pushing. Scheduled and surprise -- baby! Not so much. I was misinformed.

Since it had been awhile, I was sent for another echo to rule out any stenosis and aortic stretching (if you look it up, I'm told it's not likely, so don't freak out). This appointment was the closest thing I've experienced to time travel. As soon, and I mean immediately, as she put that wand on my chest the intense need to get up and get it OFF of me was present. I lay twitching like a patient with a severe case of Tourette's. Mind you, this isn't a painful procedure, most people probably nap. But impressions formed as a child are ever-present, especially in those 20 minutes. It was, again, intolerable.

Ever seen your heart? It's the ugliest, scariest looking little machine...and yet beautiful and amazing at the same time. I can't for the life of me understand how it just keeps pumping. We are truly miracles, every one of us. And tomorrow I'll find out how fit my miracle is for pregnancy.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Older than Dirt

That's about how I'm feeling right now. It may have something to do with the excitement couch-surfing and television brings me these days, or the level of difficulty in getting around despite being only 4 months pregnant, but I am feeling like a 70-year old woman.

What's provoked this line of thought in my consciousness? My littlest sister graduated from high school recently, which means I've been out for 18 years. That is not possible. The thought of a 20-year reunion (shudder) doesn't register. Of course, I probably won't be invited, like my 10-year when they didn't bother to find me. I wasn't that bad.

What gets me the most though is those things we did in our early 20s through early 30s that are now "over". Mainly freedom to be selfish. Right now I'm not necessarily missing getting hammered on random Thursday's, flirting with disaster (for the record I married him), and taking off for vacation on a whim. But I do mourn the passing of this phase. It was a good one.

Now it's marriage and anxiously and eagerly awaiting the arrival of our little Bean. I'm certain this will be a high point in my life as I reflect on my death bed (hopefully a long time from now), but this particular transition has me feeling aged. Gardening, nursery decorating, reading and eating healthy are my new hobbies. I've even taken to wearing a lot of cardigans. Basically becoming everything I never thought I'd be.

There is one thing for certain however that I know will not change. I will not be cutting my hair. Long live the long hair, even if it's gray (found one of those the other day too).

And now for a nap.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Little Less Heart

I made Silver Medallion by February*, and I would like the first three months of this year back.  I jumped through a wormhole and landed in June. To say I was busy is an understatement, and overwhelmed not quite powerful enough.

Trying to be perfect at everything. Which is impossible, in case you were wondering. It only took me 35 years to figure that one out. And I consider myself intelligent.

I wanted to quit my job. And while most people fantasize about this daily, I can truthfully tell you it never seriously crossed my mind in 14 years.Until March. I spent many sleepless nights pondering how I may actually do that (and of course my dramatic exit). Then this thing called reality stopped by to let me know that was not a good idea. A wine/grilled cheese/book/ice cream shop wasn't going to materialize overnight, and really, do I want to work weekends? And of course I recalled the numerous horror stories where the proverbial grass wasn't so green after all (just fertilized with bullshit). So I sucked it up and stuck it out.

Randomly, one day a friend/colleague/mentor/pain in my ass told me to take my heart out of it a little, after observing my soul-sucking posts on Facebook (also cheaper than therapy). People like me will always give more than necessary, and take it all personally. It's true, and it was killing me.

So I did...just a little. And mainly in regard to things that really don't matter (i.e. those I cannot control). Enough to maintain my sanity, and quite honestly the hardest thing I've ever done. But I learn quickly, and I practice often.

As a result, I'm saving my marriage, my friendships, and myself.  I learned that my 100% is perfectly acceptable and more like most people's 70%. I don't carry any guilt about leaving at 5:30 when I'm done with my work, as for every day I leave on time there are at least 10 where I've worked (or will) well past my 8 hours. Make no mistake, I am committed to my life's occupation and it has me by the hair (neck, arm and leg) while I'm there...

But it can no longer join me for dinner.

*Achieving Delta's Silver Medallion by February is just ridiculous, without opening a credit card. This milestone is typically not reached until June. I'm an overachiever.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The $12,000 Question

The other night at dinner, I remarked at how inexpensive our greatest expense had become lately. On average, $60 less than usual. Seeing as a good 2/3's of every restaurant bill was booze, and that was usually me and my wine snobbery, pregnancy had turned me into a cheap date.

And then my husband remarked, "What do you think we spend on wine a year, $12,000?"

$12,000? As in dollars? No way, no how. That's insane. But he was pretty sure of his figure. So I did the math. And much to my chagrin, he was about right.

I came up with $8,000. Conservatively. Granted, I can technically claim it as a decorating expense since it's a must that I fill the wine hutch (and the cooler), but I do ultimately drink it. Or, I did. Now I just stare at it. Open it. Smell it. Rock the bottle to sleep.

Frankly, I was a little embarrassed. Not of how much I drank of course, but of how much I spent. The equivalent of some mortgages. But then I learned I was not alone. This figure was not surprising to friends and relatives that shall remain nameless, and in some cases exceeded my ridiculousness.

Seems this is a popular way of coping. I suppose it's cheaper than blow. Or therapy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

And We're Off

I'm pregnant. That's about how I told my husband too. As he walked in the door, and before he put his keys down.

I didn't plan to pee on that stick. My evening was about to begin the way it always does -- by piercing a cork and letting it (and me) breathe. I opened the bottle. And, for some unknown cosmic reason, I POAS (peed on a stick).

Then there was a second red line, and I learned that there's no such thing as a false positive. Yep, you're preggers. No matter how "pink" or thin that line may be. No matter how many different brands of test you take, or what time of day, or even three days later. You are still pregnant.

It's a good thing I wanted to be. I just didn't think we'd be so good at it. It really does only take one time. It's beyond me how this didn't happen in the first eight years of our relationship.

I'm 6w1d. That's six weeks and one day. Another annoying abbreviation I picked up from the countless pregnancy forums I've been reading. Because I can't tell anyone, and my husband is tired of my constant questions, what ifs, and incessant and relentless desire for information. Already. It's gonna be a long nine months.

So I write. Which means, dear reader, that this blog post is 6 weeks old and I am now 12 weeks pregnant, well on my way to delivering our Christmas baby.

Don't worry, we'll catch up quick. For now, ponder this news. Baby. I'm overwhelmed, elated, excited, terrified, worried, consumed, and above all wondering what I did so right that I've been blessed with this precious gift.

We're having a baby. What a difference a year makes. Or three.

Don't worry. This isn't a baby blog. But I had to start somewhere.