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Jennifer's Pregnancy Journal

Weeks 31 & 32 ~ January 8 - 24, 2006
~ Seeing Spots!

Lordy, Lordy! I apologize for the huge gap in time between my last entry and this one! As things are starting to get more and more down to the wire, it seems like I barely have time to relax anymore, much less write! It's all painting swatches and list making and breathing exercises for me these days.

Well, we had a good doctor appointment last week; everything's normal, everyone's healthy. I finally got the results back from my gestational diabetes glucose test, and everything is fine (phew). It did show that I am slightly anemic, but only by about .3% under the normal iron levels. Nothing to worry about, they say, no need for iron supplements, etc. I have been upping my iron intake through meals, however, snarfing down on spinach and beans and other iron-filled goodies. You can't be too careful, even when it's only a .3% deficit I'm trying to make up. Good thing I like spinach.

We had talked to Dr. Abbott about our concerns involving food allergies, and could I harm the baby with my obsessive consumption of peanut butter toast if he were to have an allergy. I know, I know, it sounds ridiculous, but again, you can't be too careful. Dr. Abbott conceded that, as there isn't a whole lot known about allergy development in utero, he really wasn't quite sure what to tell me about my peanut butter fear (finally, I stumped him on something!) However, as I'm healthy, and the baby's healthy, and I'm not having any sort of strange or unusual reaction to food, he can't say that I'm doing anything wrong by eating the aforementioned toast. Good enough for me! I knew it was silly, but still, I felt better after having heard him tell me not to worry about it. More toast and dairy and seafood for me! Besides, I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the more varieties of foods you introduce to the baby, both prepartum and as a small child, the more diverse their palate will become. Or something along those lines. That could, of course, be my stomach dictating my life again, but what the heck, let's go with it.

We also finally picked a pediatrician, after our appointment with Dr. Abbott. Well, we've pre-selected a pediatrician that we're going to meet with, at least. As neither Aaron nor myself are from here, neither of us has a family doctor that we can rely on for the baby. Dr. Abbott gave us information for a Dr. Kaplan, the same man he took his own children to - I don't know if you can get a better recommendation than that. I reason that if we like Dr. Abbott, and he likes Dr. Kaplan, then it's likely we'll like Dr. Kaplan too. We've got an appointment set up with him for mid-February, to have a chance to sit down and get to know each other. Hopefully, he'll be wonderful (I'm sure he will be). And, hey, if he just doesn't click with us, at least we have someone lined up for right after the baby's born, and then we'll have tons of time to shop around. Anyway, I'm excited to meet him, and start making all the necessary appointments for Charlie.

And now, the meat of the journal entry: shopping diatribes!

We've had a very interesting few weeks on the shopping scene. First off: shopping insanity for me. Friday the 13th (of course), Aaron was working that night as usual, so I had made plans to drive down to Boulder for dinner with my girlfriend Taylor. I headed straight down after work, arrived, we had dinner, and then it was off to the big new mall for a little pre-weekend celebratory spending. For Christmas I was given a gift certificate to the Aveda store to buy myself some luxurious Aveda products. I've been using their daily facial regiment of wash, exfoliant, and moisturizer ever since, and it's done wonders with my complexion - cursed pregnancy breakouts be gone! As it really has been somewhat of a miracle worker, I decided that fateful Friday that I would treat myself to a tube of nice, sheer Aveda foundation and blush as well. A bit expensive, sure, but Aaron and I had discussed it and came to the conclusion that if I'm feeling better about myself in any way, shape, or form throughout this very difficult final stage, then it'll lead to a happier and healthier Jennifer and baby, and that's got to be a good thing. So, it's worth it to splurge a little! Hurrah! Taylor and I hit the Aveda store, and sat down with the consultant to have my colour matched. I explained to her what I was looking for, told her about the trouble I've been having with my skin since the pregnancy, etc., and she matched me to a very lovely, sheer foundation. That's when it all started to go downhill. I mentioned that I was also interested in looking at a new shade of blush, which apparently is the last thing in the whole world that I need at this point. Sales Lady started in on me with, "well, you could get a blush, butů" She drags me over to an entire shelf of skin repair products, and starts thrusting bottles at me. A $30 tube of Tourmaline facemask for microderm abrasion. A $28 microscopic bottle of skin brightening Radiance Fluid. Another exorbitant product for spot removal. I waited for the cheesy sales pitch, her dig for a bigger commission, but it never seemed to come. This crazy sales lady really, honestly seemed to be concerned about my face! She held my hand while she broke the heartbreaking news to me: not only am I suffering from random breakouts from the hormones, but now I also have spots. Dark spots. Terrible dark spots. She continued on comforting me that it's not my fault, it's just one of those things. She herself has never been pregnant, but she knows exactly what I'm going through - the hormones are creating dark spots on my face, and I need to do something about it NOW! Spots can darken and lead to the Mask of Pregnancy, which, according to her, I'll just never be able to get rid of. Ever. As she's going on and on about scraping and lightening the spots right off my face, my mind is reeling, wondering what the hell she's talking about. Unless I've suddenly become completely delusional, I don't have any spots. I've heard of the Mask of Pregnancy, of course, but this lady was NUTS! She's got my face in her hands, and is rubbing any number of high-end emollients into my skin that will save me from being scarred for life, while Taylor and I are desperately trying to find our escape. Finally, she let my head go (I think she ran out of product), and I quickly interjected with my deep and profound interested in looking into spot care further, but reiterated that, for now, I'm a pregnant lady on a budget, and only could afford the foundation and the blush. With that, she let me purchase my items, and we were free to leave - though not without a long, and vaguely creepy hand massage first.

We walked out of the store in silence, and once we were far, far away, and were sure we weren't being followed by our overly zealous, spot-hating new friend, I turned to Taylor, and said, "Taylor . . . was she talking about my FRECKLES???"

Taylor, finally free from the insanity, burst out that freckles were the only thing that made any sense, as I haven't developed any pregnancy spots anywhere! Sure, spots happen, I understand that, but the honest truth is, I don't have any! I've always had freckles! My face looks exactly the freckly same as it did a year ago!

Nonetheless, I still went home and closely examined my freckled face in the mirror, and tried to find anything unusual or new. Nada. Aaron came home, and I asked him if I had spots. After a flabbergasted "whaaaaaaat?", I told him about my night of spot-induced panic. He blew up, and started to rant about my beautiful, freckly skin until I finally was convinced that the Aveda sales lady is just a wacky freckle-hater, and I'm just fine. Phew.

Ok, next: shopping insanity for baby = insanity for me. On a recent shopping jaunt with my mom a few weekends ago, we stopped by Target to add something to my baby registry before my upcoming shower. As we walked into the infant section, I couldn't help but notice that, well, everything was either missing, or in complete disarray. I tried not to panic as I went through the aisles, and noticed all my coveted little baby things that were simply not around anymore. Back up at the front counter, when returning the barcode zapper gun, I casually asked the clerk what was going on with the baby section. Apparently, she said, every January that section goes through a purge and restocking of most items. A purge? "Excuse me, my pregnant brain is a little slow these days, but what exactly do you mean by a purge?" The overly-cheerful clerk explained to me in her overly cheerful voice that all those missing items I had noticed were gone. Totally gone. Not to worry, they were all just being updated with newer designs and colours, and would be back in stock sometime in February.

Ok, maybe looking back, I overreacted just a little bit. But seriously, you simply cannot tell a VERY pregnant crazy woman that her entire nursery setup is missing, and expect her to react like it's no big deal. I did a lot of stuttering and stammering, covering my eyes and pulling my hair, trying to understand what she was saying to me. The items that I had registered for just a month earlier are gone. If they aren't on the shelves, they won't be coming back in until the updated versions arrive in February. The new versions will look "similar" but may vary in theme and colour. Exactly what part about this wasn't supposed to be a problem for me, I wondered? And the other big question, why hadn't anyone told us that this was going to happen? It was all too late by this point, the shower invites with our Target registry information had already been sent out, and the shower was in less than two weeks at that point. I had planned the entire nursery around several key matching items that were on my registry - our swing, highchair, and play pen. The paint colour on the walls matched this furniture. The animal theme was matched to this furniture. I knew exactly what I had, and what I needed to do based around this furniture I'd be receiving. The "New and Improved" version was not an option - it looked nothing like the original! And waiting till February to start re-planning the entire nursery was not an option! I need this thing completely done and lovely by March 1st (here's hoping the baby's a little early). I don't have time for an inventory purge!

The whole situation was ridiculous, and finally ended when my mom took my hand and dragged me out of the store because it became very obvious that I was about to start sobbing hysterically all over the clerk. Luckily, we made it to the car before the tears came. I was in a massive panic - what on earth was I supposed to do now? Sure, I know that the colour scheme and matching animal prints won't mean anything to Charlie, but colour and pattern mean everything to artist Jennifer, and how could I feel like a good mother if I couldn't give him the best of what I'm good at?

My mom drove the hyper-emotional me back to my house, gave me a big reassuring hug, said we'd figure something out, and let me go. Aaron was off at his friend's house watching football, so I called him up to see what time he'd be home. I hadn't intended on guilt-tripping him into coming home immediately, but the house was so gloomy and oppressive that, when I tried to tell him what was going on, I started crying all over again. Aaron, of course, panicked, and rushed home despite my attempts to assure him I was all right. He found me on the couch, still crying, and tried to sort out exactly what I was so upset about. Probably the most frustrating thing about the whole ordeal was that I was completely unable to convey to Aaron the importance to me of getting the nursery just right. He's a dude, he doesn't notice if the animal patterns have changed. He sat there, annoyed, while I literally spent the entire rest of the night trying to make him understand again and again just what I was so upset about. No luck, not even one tiny iota, and finally he just put the exhausted and overly emotional me to bed.

When I woke up the next morning, unfortunately, I didn't feel any better about the situation in the least. I moped around the house, trying not to think about the overwhelming task I had before me, to entirely re-plan and put together the nursery with only a month or so left to go. All attempts to rid myself of the misery in my brains were squashed when my mom called to see how I was holding up. She tried to tell me that it was all ok, which just set me off again on how much not ok it was, and then I was crying all over again. However, my clever mother had a plan, which, if not overly practical or convenient, would at least fill my day up with activity so I couldn't sit around and mope. She proposed we just get in the car, and hit up every Target we could find in northern Colorado, to see what we could see. Astonished by her brilliant suggestion, I agreed. An hour later she was at my door, and we were off. While driving, she told me stories about herself while pregnant with me, and how she had been similarly obsessed with making everything perfect for her first born. Then she told me about my aunt Lindy, who, perhaps was even more neurotic that myself, sent her husband back to the paint store time and time and time again because the yellow on the wall just wasn't quite right. Motivated by her support and understanding, and high on shopping adrenaline, we went on a whirlwind marathon, and after four targets, were able to track down my matching swing, play pen, high chair, bouncer chair, mobile, sheets and crib bumper - now discontinued and all on clearance! It was ridiculous, and admittedly a few items are actually on order for us to be shipped from the manufacturer, but we got it done, and I am free to worry about something else. Phew!

The best part was when, later that night Aaron and I were at my parents' house for dinner, and my mom had a whole little talk with him about how much things like this mean to pregnant women. He doesn't have to understand it, because admittedly it's not always rational, all he has to do is just be supportive and go along with whatever I say! Ha!

She also told him the story about my aunt Lindy and the paint, which may not have been the best of plans as he and I were going to pick out our paint colour that very next day. The new and improved sensitive-to-my-decorating-needs Aaron was visibly nervous while looking at the various colour swatches with me. He even went so far as to (very nicely) inform the paint mixer guy that I have a colour-theory background, an art degree, and I do know what I'm talking about, so please just do whatever it takes to make me happy. How's that for supportive?!

In the end, my Wistful Beige is absolutely creamy and soft and lovely, and Aaron did a gorgeous job painting the baby's room. We're working on putting together the crib and changing table, and everything's really starting to come together now. The last few things we have to do is find a little dresser for Charlie's things, and I'm going to paint his name and a little monkey on the wall above his crib. Then we're done! Really done! Of course, my painting Charlie's name will require us to go to the paint store once again in search of the perfect sage green, but methinks we're up to the challenge. Hurrah!

All right, I'm going to end this now on a happy note before I think of something else and become even more rambling than I already am. In next week's entry, I'll try to be more consistently upbeat! Tomorrow is my shower, and my birthday's in less than a week! Good things! Yay!

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