Thursday, May 24, 2007

Getting reacquainted with Grace

Some new moms I've talked to recently just gush over how much they loved being pregnant. They talk about it as if pregnancy was a magical fairytale filled with nothing but pleasantries and catchy musical numbers sung in harmony by the birds outside their window.

At first I thought that made me unfit to have a uterus because I'm not of the same mindset. Don't get me wrong, I'm filled with excitement and wonder and curiosity, but dry heaves and itchy stretching skin are not my idea of a good time.

I know I've been fortunate. My morning sickness was very brief and only once resulted in actual vomiting. I've also discovered that the nasty prenatal vitamins that reintroduce themselves in the form of chalky-tasting burps can be quelled if taken right before bed. Plus, my inexplicable cravings and crying fits have subsided, leaving me feeling much more like a person these days and less like a host organism.

But just when I thought I'd hit my stride, when the second trimester (the one that every medical reference book refers to as the "feel-good trimester") was in sight, all these other things started happening.

Things like clumsiness and forgetfulness.

Ever since I was little, despite years and years of professional dance training, I've always been a little clumsy. Nothing drastic, but it's not unheard of for me to catch the toe of my shoe on the one-eighth of a difference in a crack on a sidewalk. For this, my mom often called me "Grace."

Well, Grace has not only reared her uncoordinated limbs, but I think she's taking up permanent residence. Well, at least until November.

A few weeks ago, I tripped walking up the back steps to our house and landed on my hands and knees stunned, wondering what the hell just happened. I was fine, not a scratch or bruise and certainly nothing to worry about, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I didn't have total control over my own movements anymore.

My clumsiness made itself known again last night when I broke a juice glass while making dinner. A no-longer-sold-in-stores juice glass.

I'm not even sure how it happened. One minute I'm straining orzo over the sink and the next minute my elbow bumps into a nearby cutting board, causing a chain reaction that I was incapable of stopping. The cutting board knocked into the olive oil, the olive oil collided with the recipe box and the recipe box pushed my water glass right off the edge. And I am convinced, CONVINCED, that the pre-pregnant me would've been able assess the situation fast enough to hold out my one free arm to stop it.

But, no, not anymore. Now I'm left with a set of 11 juice glasses. And I will forever obsess about the odd space in my cabinet and curse Crate & Barrel for discontinuing that glassware line.

The only thing worse is the forgetfulness. It appalls me. I am the together one. I am the one who remembers appointments and makes sure Jerry and I have everything we need before leaving the house. And I certainly never leave anything behind when we go places.

That was before.

Now I forget to put the milk back in the refridgerator or struggle to find my hair ties. The ones I always leave in one of two places. Well, used to leave in one of two places. Now I find them scattered all over the house. But only when I'm NOT looking for them.

Another example happened few weeks ago. After frantically searching every corner of our house to find my camera, I employed the childhood tactic of retracing my steps and came to the conclusion that I might have left it at my mother-in-law's house. One e-mail later and she informs me that not only is my camera there, but I left behind my sunglasses and a hair tie, too.


When I explain how exasperated I am about these changes, experienced mothers just nod their heads and smile. Annoyingly, it's often the same ones who say they loved being pregnant.

As for Jerry during all this? All I have to say is thank GOD he's reading a fatherhood book which explains everything. Whether I trip or lose or break something, he's there with exactly the right thing to say.

"The book says you'd be forgetful and clumsy right about now."

And for that I could just hug him. Well, if I thought I could manage walking the two steps in his general direction without tripping or breaking something ... else.


aahcoffee said...

LOL. Oh yes, I can totally understand. When I was pregnant with my daughter I was also teaching second grade. I had post-it notes everywhere. Even on the steering wheel of my car. Because I could remember NOTHING! And with both pregnancies I would do what I call "Falling Off My Feet". Really, that is all it was. I wasn't tripping on things. Nope, I was just falling off my own feet. It will get better. Well, not the forgetfulness part. I honestly think our babies take some of our own brain cells. I'm not sure yet if we ever get them back. My daughter is 5 next month, and I haven't seen them since she was in utero. Good luck, it is worth it all, but barely. LOL

Jennifer said...

Sounds like you have a case of baby brain. I always said the baby was draining all my intelligence while I was pregnant.

I put one of those microwaveable dessert thingys in for 30 MINUTES while pregnant. It was supposed to go in for 30 SECONDS. No it wasn't just pushing the 0 too many times either. I seriously read the back and thought it said minutes.

About 5 minutes in I wondered what the heck that burning plasticy smell was. It never even occured to my pregnant brain that 30 minutes was an insane amount of time for such a small dessert (or ANYTHING) to be in the microwave.

Nope you certainly aren't unfit for not enjoying every little aspect of pregnancy. I know I didn't enjoy everything. Its tough sometimes. Our bodies are hijacked!

Melinda Hale said...

My mother solved the clumsiness problem by having multiple children - that way the older children could do the chores so that while she was pregnant she didn't have to do much, and didn't break anything else!

But I guess that doesn't work for the first child. Maybe you could conscript Toby into making you juice... : )

the plains "glassman" said...

This goes into the learned something new today category, never knew about those two side effects of being pregnant. But the "grace" is understandable as the entire body and it's center of gravity is constantly changing.

And as for the memory thing, what Jennifer said in jest might bear some truth - perhaps more of the nutrients and vitimins are mainlining to the baby, so to speak, leaving the mom a little off her normal game.

And about that glass, let me know the design/shape and exact size (height & diameter). My late mom used to love C&B as well as WS, PB and even pointed me to those places when I had bought a house and needed that kind of stuff.

She had many of those glasses in sets, all sizes and even bought a spare or two of each for let me know as have so many now, mostly packed away that I could run a B&B here!

Tracibobaci said...

I totally know what you mean!

For one amusing example see here:

Plus I walk into walls and crap all the time. No surprise since the very day I found out I was pregnant I fell off a log. Really.

I think that mainly pregnancy is enjoyed more in retrospect!

gora_kagaz said...

wow. i never knew that those were side-effects of pregnancy. i did remember someone telling me that pregnancy weakens the mother's memory. and if clumsiness is a side-effect as well, i might just have to restrict myself to using only unbreakable things, because i'm extremely clumsy already =]

Chelsea said...

I learn so much about pregnancy on your blog! I heard a little about the memory not being too sharp, but nothing about being clumsy!

Chels said...

I would look for the glass on ebay. They pretty much have everything you could ever want :D

Janice said...

Wow, I never knew that could happen. Sounds tragic--- not too much longer!

Kriston said...

First of all, not all of us formerly pregnant ladies enjoyed it. So don't feel bad. I have nicer thoughts about it now that I'm no longer pregnant and maybe you will too. Still, I can't say that I feel particularly pleasant. Secondly, give yourself a break about the clumsiness. You are changing your center of gravity these days. You don't have to get used to will gradually change it back to what it used to be. No worries..except about the glass. Sorry....
Maybe someone will sell you one on ebay?
I enjoy your blog very much.

Anonymous said...

i have to say,i felt i was reading a page from my own life when i read this post....not that i am just tripsy these days missing my foot all over the place but also creating chain of events wherever i go.....
just couple of nights ago while i was taking the prenatal vitamins,i dont know how,the next minute the tea powder bottle which was on the counter fell down and the month's supply of tea powder was all over the place....thanks to the ever understanding husband who cleaned up the whole area at 11pm at night.

and i absolutely agree with you that forgetfullness is the twin sister of pregnancy....not a single day passes by without me forgetting to take my keys,office entry card,train pass etc.

Ray said...

Cute, post. I NEVER knew that pregnancy made a woman clumsy and forgetful. That's crazy.

I too find myself to be a klutz. Especially if I'm nervous, I'm an even bigger klutz walking! And I constantly forget where I left something even if I've just left whatever it was JUST minutes ago. It kind of scares me and I wonder if I'll ever have alheimier's because of it but I just tell myself I'm being nuts! What's even crazier is that I can remember phone numbers, I can remember people and other sorts of things, but ask me where my belts at and I have no idea!

As for pregnancy being all flowers & butterflies lots of woman do say they love being pregant. Well at least from what I've seen anyways. Even a mother from televison who gave birth to 16 children, said she loved being pregnant. Which is not all that hard to imagine considering the number of children that she was pregnant with! I just find that crazy to believe.

I mean "yes" pregnancy is beautiful and sometimes it has it's good points, like long hair and lethal nails like you've mentioned, but to want to be pregnant all the time is bizarre.

But anyway's, be careful while walking, KELLY! We wouldn't want anything to happen. If anything grab a hold of Jerry! ;o)

Take, care.

P.S. I love your honesty and humor. They go hand in hand together and I love you for it. <3

Ray said...

P.S. Not every woman enjoys pregnancy. My cousin's wife is pregnant and she barely talks about it. Sometimes I think it's rare that she doesn't seem happy about the pregnancy, which I know she is. I just think that the ability to feel your baby kick should make up for all the other unwanted pregnancy crap. Also not every woman glorifies her pregnancy, that's just in the movies I guess.

Marina said...

This made me think of you. You've totally cornered the market on anything pregnant-related in my head right now. Haha.

Anonymous said...

Remember way back when to your good ol' ebay days?
They just might have some of your discontinued glassware on there.
And then you might even have a few back ups in case you break a few more.


jsi said...

I always called it "oatmeal head" and never found it fun, but my sweetheart of a husband found it endearing that the "together one" of our couple no longer had the last word on every single thing.

Hate the clumsiness, but your reflexes will quicken, especially if whatever you have dropped or caused you to trip could endanger that litte one.

Anonymous said...

LOL, I remember those days. I hated them too. My mom used to call me "Grace" also.

Thanks for the memories.

Marsha said...

Clumsy and forgetful, yep. You know, for me I have anxiety/depression almost all the time and it's been worse since I've had kids because I think there's a hormonal component to it.
Despite the crying jags, irrational thoughts, clumsiness, forgetfulness, and downright aphasia of pregnancy, I feel serene and uplifted and lighter (obviously not in weight LOL) So that is what makes me enjoy some parts of pregnancy./
Afterwards it's about two years of anxiety, depression, irritability, and just plain slogging through mud mental feeling.
So lots of being pregnant just sucks, but my memory of it is a pleasant time because of that peaceful serenity feeling.

~rita ... said...

Anything no longer sold in stores can almost certainly be found on ebay :)