I LOVE BEING PREGNANT!!! (Warning: Don't read this if you don't want to read about the current state of my mammaries)
by Leigh Hope Fountain 7:52 AM 2 comments
The night before last, I started crying out of nowhere because my boobs were so itchy that I was scratching until the skin was pretty much raw. Then they burned. And aesthetically, they're a disaster. They were once happy, and perky, albeit too large. Now they just look fucking depressed. I'm already contemplating surgical intervention about a year or so from now. Good thing I work with some of the best plastic surgeons in the world.
In any case, my little outburst wasn't fun. The physical discomfort combined with a serious deluge of hormones and an ongoing lack of sleep only highlighted the seemingly endless list of other pregnancy problems I've been grappling with as I delve deeper into the third trimester of what is supposed to be this unparalleled blissful, wonderful, miracle-of-life experience that so many women profess to love.
I call bullshit.
I do not love being pregnant and have a very tough time believing that other women do. I am literally counting the days until I'm done - and I can honestly say with relative certainty that I will not be signing up for this again. If John and I decide we want another child, we will almost undoubtedly adopt. We've always been proponents of adoption anyway - and had even met with an adoption attorney when we were getting the impression that the chances of getting me knocked up were looking less-than-promising.
Am I thrilled to be pregnant, because it means we'll have a baby at the end of it all? OF COURSE - but I am not about to pretend that this is some kind of inexplicably glorious experience replete with feelings of earth-mother beauty and boundless joy. Nope. You know why? Because at this point, I'm pretty much uncomfortable, impatient and anxious 24/7.
While I understand that every pregnancy is different, let's look at some of the more common pregnancy symptoms:
Severe heartburn that increases in intensity each month
Leg cramps/Charley Horses
Mood swings (fairly dramatic ones)
Diabetes (Gestational - 10% of pregnant women)
Sensitivity to smell
Swollen extremities and in some cases, noses
Of the above 20, I've already experienced 17 - and I'm not even out of the woods yet. And don't even get me started on other aspects of pregnancy - like the inability to get comfortable on the subway, on my couch, or really almost anywhere regardless of how many positions I try to contort my ever-enlarging body into, my inability to maintain the fast-pace I'm accustomed to and my inability to walk long distances anymore without feeling like I might go into labor. Given the rather abhorrent humidity in NYC along with temps too high for my liking, I feel borderline house-bound, which makes me crazy.
Pregnancy is a veritable shitstorm of epic proportions. I can only identify two benefits:
1. Thicker, healthier hair
2. You get a baby
I guess the latter is what makes all of the torture more or less worth it - but again, let's get real. This does NOT make pregnancy loveable - it makes it tolerable. There's a distinct difference.
If the "Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse" is Here, Then What on Earth Will Happen to our Daughter?
by Leigh Hope Fountain 6:16 AM 0 comments
I'm sure most of you have already heard about the story that appeared in Vanity Fair this month: Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse thanks to the online meltdown that followed, courtesy of Tinder's own publicist. If you haven't had a chance to read the article, I strongly recommend it - particularly if you're a parent - more so if you're the parent of a girl. It's a great piece, well-written and quite eye-opening in terms of what the dating landscape currently looks like.
I had two immediate reactions:
1. Thank GOD I am happily married.
2. OHMYFUCKINGGOD we're having a girl. If dating is like this now, what on earth will it be like when she is actually old enough to date?
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It's not as if I've been hiding under a rock. I was familiar with Tinder before I read the article - and have friends who have happily used the app to date. Ultimately, I get it. It's quite simple really - swipe left to reject, swipe right to flirt/hookup/date/whatever. It's superficial as all hell - especially since there aren't profiles attached - but it's convenient as all hell too. I wonder whether or not I'd be willing to try it if I were single but again, I thank my lucky stars that I'm not because I have a tough time believing that I would find what I was looking for - a serious relationship with someone I could honestly see myself spending the rest of my life with.
Still, it's relatable. I met my husband online. That is STILL surprising to some people. Nevertheless, back in the day, I LOVED online dating. In my mind, it made dating easier - not because of the superficiality - but because it opened up the dating pool dramatically. I was exposed to people who I never would've otherwise met. It also helped eliminate non-contenders quickly. If you sent me a stupid email or an instant message telling me I was sexy/hot/cute/whatever, it was an immediate delete. If you bothered to read my profile - and had something intelligent to say in reply, I took notice.
To me, it was fun. Delete, delete, delete, delete, delete - Hey... wait... This guy's profile is HILARIOUS and he clearly read mine! Hmm.
That was my reaction to John on match.com - the man I'd eventually marry.
By today's standards, online dating is now somewhat archaic - and mobile dating is where it's at. Has been for a while now - and apps like Tinder, as aforementioned, make it incredibly easy - perhaps too easy.
A few quotes from the piece that made me cringe:
"There's always something better."
"It's like ordering Seamless." "But you're ordering a person."
"Sex has become so easy."
"It's rare for a woman of our generation to meet a man who treats her like a priority instead of an option."
This is depressing, right?
I guess there's the possibility that things have always been this way to some extent - and now its just more visible on account of the invention and undeniable popularity of apps like Tinder.
And the thing is, I'm among the most open-minded people I know when it comes to dating, relationships, marriage, etc. In other words, I don't think marriage and/or monogamy are for everyone, I think everyone/anyone who wants to get married should be able to, (yay for this year's legislation) and I think everyone should calm the hell down on all fronts when it comes to what other people choose to do with their own lives that has no direct impact on yours.
That being said, I really love the idea of our little Gypsy finding someone really, remarkably special - someone who makes her a priority... THE priority, because they just love every little thing about her... even her flaws. I love the idea of her wedding... though I fully recognize that she may decide marriage isn't for her. Regardless of what she does choose, I just hope she finds relationships of substance, where she is treated with plenty of respect and care. I can't say I always was, and from what I can tell, you always want better for your own child.
P.S. Look at this picture. Can people even socialize properly anymore? There might be a Part II to this.
It Was Fun While It Lasted!
by Leigh Hope Fountain 9:22 AM 0 comments
Prior to being pregnant, I rarely consumed much in the way of carbs or sugar. Even if I dared to ingest a carbohydrate, it was usually one of the healthier seed-based types like Quinoa. I knew better than to mess around. I've been pre-diabetic twice and apparently my body just detests anything other than meat, fish, natural fats, (avocados, oils, nuts), low carb dairy and green veggies, (the non-starchy ones). The minute I start experimenting, I start packing on the pounds, and if I let that 'experiment' become more of a regular occurrence/lifestyle shift, I eventually wind up in the doctor's office listening to a warning that I am borderline diabetic and need to rein things in... again.
It sucks, because I generally eat what most would consider to be a VERY healthy diet - even when I am ingesting an occasional carb, so the limitations seem unfair. *Sigh*
Admittedly though, I do feel much better when I stay the hell away from all things carby.
When I got knocked up however, it became much, much harder to resist things like pasta, bread and ice cream especially because certain foods were becoming such a turnoff - even ones that were my "Go-Tos" just didn't seem appetizing like salads, hummus, roast chicken, etc.
I happily let myself indulge in starchy carbs and even some... GASP... sugar in the form of 1/2 and sometimes, whole pints of Ben & Jerry's. Americone Dream? Holy shit that stuff is like crack. Anyway, the carbs helped settle my stomach and while I never had the stereotypical morning sickness, I was consistently battling headaches, heartburn, food aversions and an ever-so-subtle hint of nausea. Me, carbs and sugar became fast friends, and for the past many months, I've enjoyed a much more diverse diet consisting of things I would never normally even look at. It's been GRAND.
Then I went in for the standard pregnancy glucose testing and my pregnancy party came to a screeching halt.
I didn't pass. 147 blood glucose after fasting. (The cutoff was 140). So, I was subjected to round two: the dreaded 3-hour glucose tolerance test. This is where you stop eating and drinking anything other than water at midnight, go to the doc's in the a.m., where they draw your blood (fasting), and then once every hour for three hours after you consume 100 grams of what tastes like pure liquid sugar - a syrupy, overly-sweet concoction attempting to masquerade as a delicious orange or fruit punch flavored beverage.
All the while, you are fucking starving because you're pregnant, and not eating is a bit counterintuitive and going nearly 14 hours without food is outright INSANE.
I brought my laptop to the doc's office and was happily distracted by work, though my growling tummy was a little hard to ignore. At the end of it, I raced over to Le Pain Quotidien and inhaled an iced coffee and an open-faced chicken curry sandwich. I swear it was the most delicious sandwich I have ever eaten.
When I returned to the office, one of my lovely colleagues offered me a peanut butter cup. I didn't reject it, because I knew it would probably be my last - and I was right. The next day, the doc called. "You failed your test." That's exactly how he put it too. For a brief moment, I felt like I had actually done something wrong (and maybe I had), but it was too late now anyway - Gestational Diabetes had taken hold - and there would no more Americone Dream, peanut butter cups or much else in the way of sugary-carby-overly-indulgent foodstuffs in my near-future.
Welcome to my New/Old Normal. I say New/Old, because this is the diet I'm supposed to follow all the time - 365 days a year, without deviation - so in essence, it's new again - but it's old hat for me.
Fortunately, once the sugar and carbs are out of my system, (and apparently they already are), I adapt quickly and the diet part isn't really torturous, despite being preggo.
What IS an adjustment is monitoring my blood glucose level four times a day.
Today was day 1.
Woke up, lanced my finger, put blood on a test strip - waited for the result.
Ate breakfast, (pictured), waited an hour, lanced my finger, put more blood on a test strip - waited for the result.
I'll be doing this one hour after lunch and dinner as well - and repeating this cycle every day for the next 80 days. Pregnancy party this is NOT.
I guess it isn't so bad. If nothing else, I won't gain too much weight during this pregnancy - and seeing as how I had 15 to lose going in, I'll probably be in decent shape.
Okay, I Think I've Fully Braced Myself for the Inevitable Backlash, So Here Goes...
by Leigh Hope Fountain 9:36 AM 2 comments
I have a weird obsession with names. I always have. I'm sure it's in large part due to the fact that I hated my own name until I was old enough to appreciate it. Definitely had to grow into it as they say. By the time that happened, I was also lucky enough to find a man with a cool last name that made my first and middle sound even better, so I married him and did just that. If I hadn't liked his, I wouldn't have changed mine. I've always been of the opinion that you should keep the better sounding name. Call it superficial, call it what you will, but I'm not a traditionalist and I'm not really religious, so for me, it was just a personal preference - and now I'll readily admit that I thoroughly enjoy being complimented on my name. It happens fairly frequently too. It's not too terrible to be outright arrogant about it because it wasn't my doing, right? It was my parents' and my husband's. They gave me the gift of my name and I adore it.
My parents gave my brother a kickass name too. His name is Hayes. How cool is that? If anything, I grew up to be a bit jealous thinking his name is cooler than mine. He also got the better eyes, but I digress...
Anyway, I'm so obsessed with names that I actually knew what our daughter's first name would be long before we even decided that we were definitely going to kid. I've been protective of this name... sharing it with only a select few, fearing that it would inevitably become incredibly trendy overnight were I to share it with someone a little too mouthy.
As social media continues to proliferate and word truly spreads like wildfire, my fear has become even more pronounced - or at least it had - until I finally realized how lame my thinking is here.
Ultimately, names come and go, trendy or not. I've also come to recognize and fully accept the rather polarized reactions we receive when we do disclose the chosen name to friends, family and colleagues. Some flat-out hate it. Others utterly adore it - and certainly there are those who are in-between or simply too afraid to tell us that they're not fond of the moniker. Regardless, we love it, we're not changing it - and we hope she loves it too. If she doesn't, she can be the one to change it. We won't hold it against her, (at least not for long).
If it winds up on a top 10 list, so be it. I guess I'll just have to congratulate myself for finally coming up with something that people respond to. Thing is, I don't actually think there's any real chance in hell of that happening. The name is a bit polarizing because there are unfortunately still a number of negative associations with it, which I think is an absolute shame because of how beautiful I think it is. I have spent ample time trying to think of other names I might like to bestow upon on little girl more and I can't come up with a single one. I'm done trying. This name resonates with me on so many levels:
- It's sort-of strange, but not so left-of-center that it isn't palatable.
- It's girly, (and the trend this year is for non-gender-specific names, so yay for lessening the chances of it becoming popular on that front).
- It's cute but not sickeningly so - and in my opinion, straddles the fence between cute and sort-of mysterious/sophisticated. (In other words, balanced).
- I totally love it. In fact, I'm obsessed with it.
Gypsy Valentina Fountain