FRANK PREGNANCY TALK Frank discussion of pregnancy symptoms, emotions, side-effects and oddities.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Gushing Expenses

Here's another one of my favorite Embarrassing Pregnancy Moments. Enjoy!

Gushing Expenses
-Melissa, Georgia

Days of Braxton Hicks told me that my baby could come at any time. And let me tell you, I was ready! That Friday My hubby and I rode the subway on our way to have lunch together. Since there was only one seat available, I sat down and my husband stood to my left. A young, college student seated to my right eyed my huge belly and looked at my husband in a way that said, "I don't envy you!" As the train came to a stop more people got on. I began to feel a pressure down below like never before. All of a sudden I heard myself moan, "OOOOOHHHH! MY WATER BROKE!" Some people report a small trickle, but this was no trickle. This was a GUSH! College boy jumped up. "WHAT THE!?!"

I looked up at my husband and he had a deep furrow in my brow. Rather than tending to me, he began apologizing to the kid who was sitting beside me. At first I was hurt but, when I realized why, I understood. The kid's shoes were SOAKED!! So was the entire area where I was seated. Talk about humiliation! The entire train's eyes were on me. Luckily the hospital was only two stops down. That gave us just enough time to get the young man's name and phone number. Needless to say, the first check we wrote after the birth of our son was to a college student for a new pair of shoes!

Artwork by Shirley Chiang

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Embarrassing Pregnancy Moment

Have you ever had a horrifyingly embarrassing experience due to your pregnancy?

On my Frankly Pregnant web site I've shared many of my own experiences and had many women submit their stories as well. Besides sharing a good laugh, I hoped that some women would take comfort in knowing that they’re not the only one who's passed trumpet-like gas in the library.

Here’s one of my favorite submissions:

Jurassic Fart

During my second pregnancy I had some horribly loud gas. One day, my oldest son was playing with his dinosaurs so I decided to get my big butt down there and play with him. He was making all sorts of sounds with the dinosaurs, making them talk to each other. As I bent down to join him, I let out a HUGE fart. My son thought it was incredibly funny. Now when he plays with his dinosaurs he thinks that is the sound they are supposed to make!
-Kathleen, Texas

Do you have any Embarrassing Pregnancy Moments that you'd like to share?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Another Blogger Birth

Morgan of Dobbyland gave birth this week to a whopping 8lb, 13 ounce baby boy this Tuesday, June 20th at 1:45am. His name is Fletcher Ray Dobson. I don’t know the details of the birth yet. But, I do know that everyone seems to be doing well and the birth process exhausted Mom, Dad and baby. Check out this cute photo of sleeping Daddy and Fletcher. Too precious!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Grosser Than Gross

Do you remember that game we used to play in gradeschool? "What's grosser than gross?" One person would ask and then we'd be on a tirade of terrible and taunting images, trying to top one another. It usually ended with some viserale image of a naked person sliding down razor blades into a pool of dead bodies. Gross!

With pregnancy, there are a gazillion pregnancy oddities that we can gross each other out with. So, I'll start...

"What's grosser than gross?" -Stacy

"What?" -You

"The stinky steam that comes off my pregnant vagina when I pee."

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Don’t Skimp on the Pedi

Even if you’ve never been one to get frequent pedicures, during pregnancy is the time to indulge in them… a lot. As your belly bulges it becomes more and more difficult to reach your toes, let alone hold onto one puffy digit long enough to clip a nail.

I can remember, at eight months, trying to trim my toenails and practically passing out from the effort. My husband came home to find me contorted, huffing and red-faced on the family room floor. In the third trimester, you really do need the help.

Plus, those toes get a lot of viewing, particularly when your feet are up in the stirrups for hours on end. Who wants to look at dirty, long, yellowing and ridgey toenails? And let’s admit it ladies, even during the winter months, we sometimes wear sandals because of the swelling and discomfort of the closed-toe shoe.

So, for your sake as well as your husband’s. partner’s, doctor’s, friend’s and nurse’s, don’t skimp on the pedi!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Doppler Drama

My friend, Deb visited me while I was pregnant with my second daughter. She was also pregnant and is just beginning her second trimester. She had no interest in accompanying me to my weekly appointment until I mentioned that we might be able to sneak out the Doppler and listen to her baby’s heartbeat, too.

While we were waiting for the doctor, we spied the Doppler and lubricating jelly readied for use on the counter. Deb snatched up the tube of jelly so excitedly that she squeezed too hard and a big snake of it splattered on the floor.

“Ah well. We’ll get to that later,” I said as I grabbed the Doppler, swabbed up some jelly and began rubbing it around on her belly. The machine gave a loud “crack” and we screamed and laughed. The volume had been left on the highest setting.

We finally did get it to work properly and we got to hear her baby’s “whoooooo, whooooo, whooooo” noise. We were both so mesmerized that we didn’t immediately notice the rustling of papers outside the door. The doctor was looking over my chart and about to enter. Ack!

Quick! Clean off the Doppler! Put it back in position! Put the cap back on the jelly!! In a slapstick, panicked fashion we got everything into place just as the door began to open. Oooooops! We forgot the mess of jelly on the floor! Deb casually took off her shoe and wiped it up with her sock. Whew!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Belly Shot: Deb and Me

Here’s a belly shot of my friend Deb, from Boston, and me. I was pregnant with my second daughter and about three days overdue. We were hoping that during Deb’s visit, I’d go into labor and she’d have front row seats to the delivery. She was pregnant with her first and was anxious and curious about the labor.

Deb was about four months pregnant in this photo and later gave birth to a healthy baby girl. “You didn’t tell me how much it would hurt!” she complained to me afterwards. Unfortunately, the months that followed her delivery were filled with much more pain. The doctors thought that her hips had become unaligned during delivery and that was the cause her excruciating and increasing back pain. Almost a year went by before she was diagnosed with cancer. It was a malignant tumor, pressing on her spine that had caused her so much pain.

It’s crazy the amount of family and friends that I’ve had that have been through cancer. The good news is; this story does have a happy ending.

Deb went through a year and a half of chemo, loosing the hair, being wretchedly sick and thin and then was declared in remission. She was fortunate enough to become pregnant again and just had her second baby girl. Isn’t she adorable?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Birds and The Bees

On Monday, Izzy posted this about how and when to tell children the story of the birds and the bees. It brought me back to my early childhood, when my mother had the courage to tell me the truth.

I was about seven years old and I found a compelling photo on the cover of a Life magazine in my parents’ bookshelf. It was a picture of a bluish, slimy baby just coming out of the birth canal. Inside the magazine was a pictorial essay detailing conception, pregnancy and childbirth. I was shocked to see a woman’s vagina stretched to the limits with a misshapen baby’s head peeking out.

The images brought many questions to mind. First and foremost, if a man’s sperm fertilizes a woman’s egg and the baby grows in the mother’s belly and then comes out of the vagina, how does the sperm get in there? I had to ask my mother.

Initially she claimed I was too young to ask these questions. My pleading finally wore her down and we had the “talk.” I learned that the man puts his penis inside the woman’s vagina to insert the sperm.


I could not wait to share the fascinating, scary, miraculous and disgusting news with my friends. I called a neighborhood meeting. With the magazine for visual aid, I spilled all the dirty details. A dozen pony-tailed heads with wide marble eyes were fixed on the pages of the magazine as I relayed the story. I closed with the pizza-like afterbirth picture.

There were a few moments of silence before Caroline exclaimed, “That’s not true! Babies come out of your butt, not your vagina.” There was no convincing her otherwise, even with photographic proof. Her mother told her that babies came out of your rear end, very much like a big poo.

A week later, I was at Caroline’s house playing dolls. Her mother stormed into the room and glared at me. “Stacy, do you know how to make babies?” she bellowed. Shocked and confused, I looked into the eyes of the plastic Baby Alive in my arms. Was she talking about dolls? Again, she taunted, “Do you know how to make babies?”

“Uh, no.”

“Then don’t go around telling my daughter lies about how babies are born!”

I still wonder, to this day, why Caroline’s mother was so angry with me. Maybe she was mad that she had been discovered as a liar? Maybe she had planned on having the “talk” much later and I’d spoiled it for her. Maybe she was too afraid to approach the subject and just hoped she’d never have to answer those hard questions.

I, for one, am very grateful that my mom had the courage and sensibility to tell me the truth. I’m a firm believer that knowledge is empowering, no matter what your age. If a child is old enough to ask a question, then she’s old enough for an answer. My 3 and 6-year-old girls already know that one of them came out of my vagina during childbirth and the other was removed via an incision the doctor made in my belly.

TMI you think? I’ll let you know how it affected them… in about 20 years.

So, even if you haven’t had a baby yet, this is something to start pondering. It’s good to be prepared. What do think your approach to “the birds and the bees” will be?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tracey's Belly Shot

Here's Tracey of Mother May I, right before delivering her second daughter. Pretty nice orb, don't you think? I wish we all could be this modelesk during the final days of pregnancy. Then again, she is a professional photographer. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Tracey says, "Yesterday was my daughter's third birthday and it got me thinking about my pregnancy and delivery and all that. Anyway, here's me and my big belly the day before I had my daughter. I took this picture of myself in the mirror. Aren't I tricky?"

Monday, June 12, 2006

Belly Commenting– Don’t Do It

Just after giving birth, most women’s bellies remain fairly full with a still-swollen uterus. It can take weeks, or even months for you to return to a somewhat normal looking figure. I can remember when my snooty aunt came to visit my new baby and I, just two weeks after giving birth.

“You’re still fat,” was the first thing she said. I was stunned at how rude and purposely hurtful she seemed to be.

“I just had a baby. What’s your excuse?!” I wanted to retort. I decided not to get into it with her– she’s just an ignoramus and there was no point in trying to give her an education.

A few days later I left my newborn with a sitter for an hour so I could get some errands done. On that brief trip to town two random strangers asked me when my baby was due. “I just had the baby you stupid fucktards*!” I wanted to screech as I ripped their faces off.
*Vocabulary, courtesy of Cecily.

Looking back on it now, I can see I was clearly hormonal, as most women are postpartum. Regardless, I promised myself that I’d never make that mistake. I would never ask when the due date was, no matter how pregnant someone appeared to be and I would never negatively comment on a woman’s postpartum belly.

Last weekend I went into a local department store, looking for a gift. There was tall, blonde saleswoman arranging a display of gift bags and boxes. She turned to face me and said hello. I’ve seen this friendly woman almost a hundred times before but she normally worked in the nursery department.

“I see you’ve had you baby,” I said, noticing her diminishing belly.

“Uh, yeah,” she responded, “a while ago.”

“What did you have?” I pressed on, “How old?”

“I had a boy and he’s six.”

“You mean six months?” I asked. I felt a small drop of perspiration form on my brow.

“No. Six years.”

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGG!” I was screaming in my mind. “I did it! I did what I said I’d never do. I crossed the line. I had mistaken her previously swollen belly for a pregnancy when she, in fact, was just fat. Oh no!! Or even worse, maybe she had some kind of tumor or intestinal problem that made her belly bloat. I’m terrible, just terrible!”

“Uh. Well. Hmmmf. It seemed like the last time I saw you, you were pregnant. Time really flies. Doesn’t it?” I said and slinked off behind the scented candles.

Boy, did I feel like the biggest ASS ever! After a few minutes of mental flagellation, I decided I had to do something. I went back to the rounder of gift bags but she was gone. I finally tracked her down in the nursery department. “Look. You must think I’m an ass,” I said. “I mistook you for my old friend, Carol and I didn’t realize you weren’t her until I saw you back in your regular department.” Her crinkled up brow loosened and a slow smile spread over her face.

Good! She bought it. I left the store, congratulated myself on a well-told white lie and vowed never to make that kind of pregnancy inquiry again. Never.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Blogger Babies Escape Evil Fate

This week two of my pregnant, blogging buddies gave birth, producing two beautiful and angelic babies on June 7th. Both women voiced concerns about the possibly of giving birth to the Antichrist on 06-06-06. Gerah, in fact, even wondered if she could love a son with red, glowing eyes and a forked tongue. Both Gerah and Cecily’s babies have escaped the fate and fame of being the Antichrist and are doing well.

Cecily’s baby, Victoria, was born on 06-07-06, via C-section at 11:05am, weighing in at 6 pounds 4 ounces. The baby is reportedly gorgeous and perfect.

Victoria is pictured here with her Mom, Cecily and Dad, Charlie. Isn’t it a heartwarming photo of a new family? If you know anything about Cecily’s hardships with fertility and maintaining a pregnancy, you’d know that this is a well-deserved and triumphant ending.

Gerah’s baby, Nikolai, was born on 06-07-06, at 3:30pm, weighing 8lbs. 13oz., and 23" long. This is Gerah’s second baby, with her first being the now-big-sister, Kyra.

I don’t know about you but, I think Gerah looks too good to have just given birth. Do you think that’s lipstick she’s wearing or are her lips just naturally full and red? Good genes, I guess.

We’ll have to stay tuned to her funny, tell-it-like-it-is mommy blog to see how she handles being the mother of two little ones and if she’ll ever go back to work again.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Jean’s Belly Shot

Here’s Jean from riceandsoup. She was actually in labor with her first baby when this photo was taken. Who could tell from the look on her face? She seems so calm! Jean is due to have a second baby this November.

Jean says, “I was in early labor when this picture was taken. I'd gone to 12 days past my due date before my doctor got concerned about the baby's erratic heartbeat. He then induced me and sent me home with instructions to check in at the clinic the next day. But, I misunderstood him as saying to check in only when I felt things moving along, so it was 13 days past due by the time the clinic called to ask where in the world I was, and by the way, your doctor had to go on emergency leave so you've to see a backup gynecologist. We went down to the clinic, I was induced again and made to stay in the labor ward for 24 hours. Things never got beyond 2cm although I was contracting a fair bit. Alison was born 14 days past due on 13 June at 11:25am by C-section.”

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Gerah's Belly Shot

Here's Gerah of Baby Poop and Business Suits. Fab blog BTW!

Gerah works part time; has an almost-3-year-old, cutie pie daughter and a hot husband; is always wondering if she should work more or less and if she's a good enough mother; and is about to give birth to a baby boy. In fact, her due date is today.

Gerah says, "We're going into the hospital today and they'll either break my water or try Cytotek on my cervix (I think that's how it's spelled) to get things rolling. SOOO.... If all works out as planned, baby may arrive tomorrow!"

Em's Belly Shot

Here's Em from I'm Ready for my Close Up Mr. Demille. She's 28 weeks pregnant in this belly shot. Nice dress. I think black lycra is always flattering to the buddah belly.

Em says, "I think I went to the bathroom 17 times today! And my belly buddy, he is still as squirmy as ever! I don't mind except when he jumps on my bladder 5 minutes after I've gone to the bathroom and I suddenly have to go again, RIGHT AWAY. I'm going to miss this when it's gone, right?"

Monday, June 05, 2006

Hairy Shoe Fairy Belly Shot

This is the first belly shot submission from Hairy Shoe Fairy. This is Ms. Fairy, at home, sporting her eight-month mound. Very cute! She is due to have her baby this July. Frankly, I’m quite jealous that her ass is even smaller than mine– without being pregnant.

About this photo, Hairy Shoe Fairy says:
"My mom was totally surprised I'm having a girl cuz it just looks like I'm smuggling a basketball under my shirt. From the back you can't really tell I'm even preggo. She carried girls all around her middle and the boys were out front. Guess everyone is different."

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Belly Shots

I thought it might be fun to post some pregnant belly pics. This photo is of my friend, Lucia (left) and I. We were about eight months pregnant and getting a bit nutty with my photographer friend, Peter. He asked us what labor felt like. Being that it was both of our second pregnancies, we had a pretty good idea what was in store and pantomimed labor.

When the proofs came back I was surprised to see that our fake labor session birthed a pretty good photo. At the time, I was writing Frankly Pregnant and thought it would make a great cover for the book. When I shopped it around to agents and publishers, they all loved the photo. Even up to the final days of production, this photo was to appear on the cover. I cannot tell you the details of how and why my publisher changed the photo at the last minute, for fear of being blacklisted. But, I can tell you I was supremely disappointed for a number of reasons.

First, I thought the photo really depicted what the book was all about: going through pregnancy with a girlfriend and sharing the experience with laughter.

Second, having Lucia on the cover may increase the chance of the book getting a mention on Live with Regis and Kelly. Lucia and I had been to the show a few times and she reconnected with her childhood friend, Michael Gelman, the producer of the show. I had fantasized about going to the show again; giving Gelman a book and asking him to have Kelly hold it up during the host chat. “That’s my friend from the beach,” Gelman would shout from stage left.

And lastly, and most importantly, I wanted that photo on the cover for Lucia. She is one of my dearest friends and is the most giving, kind and thoughtful person I know. She is always the one to organize our “girls” dinners, trips and birthday celebrations. She sends hand embroidered thank you notes for having a simple chicken dinner at my house. She buys presents for everyone she knows for each birthday, anniversary, baptism, Bar Mitzvah, confirmation, graduation, baby naming, memorial or holiday.

Lucia and I became really close during our second pregnancies. We shared every baby kick, hemorrhoid, horrormonal hysteria and hating our husbands. Later, we even shared those precious times just wondering at our newborn babies.

While breastfeeding together one day Lucia asked, “Have you ever had a blocked milk duct?” Yes, I had. They’re usually quite painful. Her lump wasn’t painful. “Feel this. What do you think?” she had asked. I leaned over and felt the hard node on her breast. It felt solid and black and cold. It was cancer.

Today Lucia is still battling cancer and her prognosis is not good. It breaks my heart when I think of what may happen to her children…. Aggggh. I’m not going there now.

Anyway, the point is, I wanted to have this photo on the cover to be a gift, a tribute if you will, to Lucia and let her share, in some small way, the fame of being on a book cover.

Geeesh! I thought this was going to be a short post. I guess a picture really does tell a thousand words.

I’d love to see your pregnant belly shots too. I thought about linking to photos on other blogs of such bellies and commenting but decided against it. These photos are private and should only be shared and discussed willingly. If you want to share your belly shots on this blog, please email me with the photo and a brief or not-so-brief (you know, the thousand words thing could take over) description. Please don't be intimidated by my professionally photographed pic here. There will be plenty more layman shots to come.