Recently, we all - and by "all" I mean me, my husband, our son the 2 1/2-year old Juban Princeling, and my brother Mr. Funny - flew down to Miami to celebrate my parents' 40th Anniversary with them.
And if you've been a regular reader of Grey Skies and you're now thinking to yourself, "Gee, Meredith sure flies down to Miami a lot to see her parents. She must really love doing that!" then you are an idiot. I do it because my parents want to see their grandson, not me, and they buy our tickets for us because they have a Zero Tolerance Policy when it comes to excuses why they are not able to see him. Every once in a while my mother calls me up and says, "Window, or aisle?" and I know I have another trip down there to look forward to. She's already bought our tickets for Thanksgiving. I kid you not. Travel between New York and Miami is a pain in the butt at best, but for the Holidays it turns into a circle of HELL. So naturally it makes sense for my parents - who are two grown, self-employed people - to stay there while four adults - three of whom have jobs they are not the bosses of - and a toddler go to them. At Thanksgiving. Kill me.
Anyway, we went down for my parents' 40th Anniversary, which is not the sort of thing you can get out of even if you have a really bad sore throat that the doctor has told you is not strep. No, you go down there because you love your parents and because Miami has Dairy Queen and New York does not.
And since Mr. Funny and my husband had to work on Friday I got to fly down with the Princeling all by myself. With a non-strep sore throat.
Know what's more fun than flying alone with a 2 1/2-year old while you're super sick?
Flying alone with a 2 1/2-year old while you're super sick AND PREGNANT.
The day before I left I peed on a stick, and whaddya know, there's a giant "+" sign letting me know that another little bundle of joy is shacking up in my womb for a while.
Instead of pluses or minuses, pregnancy tests should say "Whew!" with a photo of a martini glass, or "Oh, Sh*t!" That would be funny. Because although we planned this one - as well as the last one - pregnancy is just not my thing. More on that later.
So we get to Miami, and I've agreed to wait until my husband arrives the next day to tell my parents the blessed news, which means my father spent 24 hours pushing hardcore pain medications on me like he was a doctor from the 1950s. Because I assume all doctors in the 1950s pushed hardcore drugs, right? So, he's begging me - begging me - to take at least a Tylenol, and I'm like, "Just say no, Dad!" Because I grew up in the 80s and stupid Nancy Reagan is stuck in my head. But I can't tell him why I won't take drugs, so he keeps pushing and by the time I was ready to flush his bottle of Advil down the toilet he finally gave up. Or fell asleep. Whichever.
But my favorite part of the weekend was when one of my parents' friends made the comment, "What a great anniversary present!" As if my husband and I were sitting around the house a few weeks ago saying to ourselves, "Now, what can we get them for their 40th that would be cheap, easy, and a complete burden to US but fun for THEM? I know, a baby!" while meanwhile poor Mr. Funny shows up with his sad little Hallmark card and a poem, or something.
What we actually got my parents was two dozen ruby red roses in a ruby red vase, because I looked it up on the internets and 40 is the "ruby" anniversary, and there was nothing else Mr. Funny and I could come up with that would make our parents happy while also being cheap.
And then, in an early case of Pregnancy Brain, after we told my mother-in-law the good news I went ahead and posted it on Facebook like this: "I feel a disturbance in the Force...a BABY-SHAPED disturbance in the Force." Unfortunately, I forgot that the hubby hadn't yet told his brother, Gilligan, the news. Since Gilligan lives in LA he was 3 hours behind us, which means my husband made a panicked phone call to Los Angeles at 7:45am their time on a Sunday, which means Gilligan's reaction was less "ecstatic" and more "thrilled yet churlish."
With a second baby, people are slightly less over-the-moon than they tend to be with a first one. The Princeling's birth caused one of my friends to get a divorce and another one to start in-Vitro fertilization treatments. No joke. His birth was that profound that two of my friends made major life decisions because of it. I'm not being sarcastic there, they really did.
With this announcement it was more like, "Yay. Aren't these red roses pretty?"
And that's fine, because I hate being pregnant. I am not one of those glowey, annoying women who walks around like I am At One with The Universe and being pregnant gives me insight into What's Really Important.
Quite the opposite.
My husband, friends and family all barely survived my last pregnancy, so I have no reason to believe any of them will still be around to love and support me in 8 months when Nugget* makes her** appearance. I am not good at being pregnant. If my husband and I were settlers out in the plains in the 1800s, or Catholics, or some other group that doesn't believe in birth control, I would have killed myself by now. In fact, the only reason we're doing this again is because we're dead-set on having two kids and this way is cheaper, easier, and faster than adoption. Though we did look into that. But we'd rather save up for a down payment on a super hot Park Slope condo instead of a stupid baby.
The last time I was pregnant I had "morning" sickness from two weeks past conception up until the day of the Princeling's birth. One weekend early on I threw up so much I lost 5 pounds in three days. My doctor had to put me on Zofran just to stay alive, and every time I tried to go off it I'd hurl my guts out. They even had to put it into an IV drip for me when I gave birth. It was that bad.
And for all of you out there thinking, "But every pregnancy is different!" I'd like to point out that I'm only 5 weeks along and I've already barfed several times. So shut up.
If pregnancy were an equation for me, it would look like this:
When I was pregnant with the Princeling in 2008 my feet swelled up so badly that people were actually horrified. I remember meeting a friend for dinner and she took one look at my feet and said, "Oh my god, I thought you were exaggerating but they are actually worse than what you said!" My obstetrician actually made me get an ultrasound on my left leg because my left foot was swollen disproportionately larger than my right. My husband nicknamed my left foot "Monstro." He used to play with my feet like they were Silly Putty, poking his finger into the mess and then making sick little noises of disgust when the indentation stayed there.
So with all that in mind, I really just want to get through the next 8 months as quickly as possible. And I'm sure you do, too. Because I am not a "suffer in silence" martyr type. My misery is your misery. My swollen feet, hemorrhoids, gas, backaches, cramps, and vomit are YOUR swollen feet, hemorrhoids, gas, backaches, cramps and vomit. But, together we will get through my pregnancy. And let me just say it now so you all know: I love you. You are special to me. I can't do it without you. Please don't leave me alone. And for god's sake, do NOT block the way to the bathroom.
*That's the in-utero name we're using this time around. We got it from the new recruits on Battlestar Galactica. Yes, really.
**Three fortune-telling devices have all predicted a girl: the Chinese Gender Predictor on thebump.com, my mother-in-law's Cuban numerology voodoo, and my son's girlfriend. Of course we'll be happy if it's a boy, too, but my MIL and a 2-year old and the Chinese don't lie.