10.22.2014

in defense of only children

a one-woman band, 1989-present 

I'm an only child. And you know what? I love it. However, society doesn't seem to love it, and I think that's weird.

I'm a fourth-generation only child. Not because that side of the family believes in only having one child, but because that's just the way things have played out for different reasons. To be perfectly honest, I don't understand the stigma behind only children. At all. What is it about us that makes us super-freaks to everyone sharing a bedroom? If I had a dime for every time I got the "oh, so you're a spoiled brat!" comment, I could pay off of the national debt. It's as though people expect me to also be isolated and weird, like the proverbial homeschooled kid. My mom told me the other day that someone introduced their daughter as "a good kid, even though she's an only child." What is that even supposed to mean?! And the thing is, I hear those sorts of things ALL the time. The snide comments and stereotypes abound. It's irked me for years, but the older I get, the more it confuses me, too.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did not like being an only child when I was younger. I didn't understand why I was the only one without siblings, not to mention the remarks and nasty things other kids said to me about it. My mom experienced the same thing as an only child, and she experienced it again from other moms when she became the mother of an only child. Every time I told someone I didn't have brothers or sisters, their reaction led me to believe that I had some great disadvantage in life. I can't tell you how many times I've been told I must have a very sad and lonely life. I've been teased, I've been pitied, and the older I get, the more ridiculous it seems.

A few weeks ago, I met a girl at church who asked me about my family. When I told her I'm an only child, she had a slew of questions for me. She has a baby girl and is afraid her daughter will be an only child because she doesn't think she can handle another difficult pregnancy (OH HOW I UNDERSTAND!). She was sweet and polite and asked really good questions about my childhood and how I coped with things. I've been chewing on that conversation ever since, and then when a girl I work with told me last week that I couldn't possibly understand true companionship since I don't have a sister, I figured it was time to set the record straight.

As I mentioned earlier, I didn't like my situation when I was younger. But I also didn't know any better. The older I got and once I more fully understood why my parents couldn't give me a sibling, I learned to accept it. As I grew and matured, I realized the kids who teased me had no idea what they were talking about. And once I became an adult, I realized how good it was for me to grow up without siblings.

At this point in my life, I can honestly say I am so thankful for the way I grew up. It made aspects of my childhood more difficult, but it shaped me into the person I am today. My favorite qualities about myself are all a direct result of not having siblings. My family moved several times when I was a kid. Each move meant starting a new school and making new friends. I am painfully shy, and I didn't have a sibling to lean on for support. I had my parents, of course, but I didn't have anyone to walk into a new school with. I did it all on my own, and I learned to thrive in each environment. I learned that when necessary, I can overcome my shyness and put myself out there. It toughened me up! Going through those experiences alone made so much more strong and resilient and able to take on other challenges in life. Alone, if need be. Learning that I could depend on myself gave me the courage to do things like transferring to a college in North Carolina on a whim. If I hadn't done that, I never would've met James! Who, by the way, is also an only child. I love that about him. It of course wouldn't have been a deal breaker if he had siblings, but there are certain things we inherently understand about each other, and that's such a comfort to me.

The "spoiled brat" stereotype annoys me the most. Anyone with brothers and sisters can be a spoiled brat! Did I get more attention from my parents since I was their only child? Of course. Were they able to provide more opportunities to me? Probably? But honestly, I have no idea. I have no idea how different things would've been with a sibling or two. But I do know that I grew up in an extremely loving and tight-knit household. I had my parents' full attention at all times. I was never able to get away with anything. And that's not a bad thing! It taught me accountability and responsibility. I spent a lot of time around adults and learned how to interact with them. To this day I have a stronger relationship with my parents than any of my friends do with theirs. I had more time and fewer distractions which allowed me to pursue my hobbies and interests, and yes, it was probably easier for my parents to encourage those things since I was the only one taking piano lessons. But I was also heavily involved in church and school activities and never lacking for social contact.

And as for being lonely? PLEASE. Not even close. I've never been one to have a lot of friends, but I very carefully chose my friends and always seemed to have a few that were so close I would never know we weren't related. Both guys and girls came over and blended right into my family, and at the end of the day, I didn't have to share my room or my clothes. Best of both worlds, I'm telling you! And as a kid, I played outside with the neighbor kids every day. But most importantly, I learned the importance of being able to be alone. My parents raised me to entertain myself and to not rely on things and other people for happiness and a source of entertainment. I know a lot of this is my also due to my personality, but I love being alone. I am never bored. I learned to value solitude from a young age. I learned to deal with my issues without distractions. I didn't have siblings to go to for advice, but my older and wiser parents instead. If I needed someone my own age, I called a friend. It made me fiercely independent, and that's a trait I wouldn't trade for anything. I don't need a gaggle of girls to accompany me everywhere I go. I've traveled overseas alone to stay with people I've never met. Obviously anyone with siblings can do these things, but I believe growing up without them really pronounced those characteristics in me. I grew up to be a grounded, independent, well-rounded person, so it baffles me when someone thinks I should be pitied for my lack of siblings. I never felt like I needed to go "find myself." I've always known who I am and what makes me tick. That's something I see in my mom and my husband, as well as other only children I've known. We march to the beat of our own drums. Not in a weird way, but we're not afraid of being who we are. Of course people with siblings can be the same way. I just know that for me, personally, and for those around me, growing up as only child enhanced those characteristics.

Sure, sometimes someone will write some sappy little ditty about how much they love their brother or sister, and I'll think that would be nice to have, but I also feel that way when I see a pair of boots I like. It would be nice to have, but it certainly doesn't mean I have a void in my life without it or that I should be pitied. Call me ignorant, call me whatever you want, but I in no way think my life is lacking because I'm an only child. I feel no void whatsoever. I've lived a happy and full life so far. My childhood was awesome. James would tell you the exact same thing about himself. The weird stigma behind only children is a complete mystery to us. I have never met a fellow only child who isn't completely normal and well-adjusted.

A lot of people like to remind me that the problem with being married to another only child is that our kids won't have cousins or aunts and uncles, and we won't have nieces and nephews. I understand that, I really do. Of course I wish I could give those things to my kids, but aside from a couple short years as a kid, I've never lived anywhere near my extended family. I've spent most of my life on the opposite side of the country from them. I love them and I love seeing them the rare occasions I do, but living so far away has allowed me to recognize that my kids will be just fine without a large extended family. They'll have their parents and their grandparents nearby, and that's what's important to me. And who's to say I won't have an only child? I would love to give this baby a sibling one day, but I can't predict the future. James and I both have no qualms about raising an only child. Society may have something to say about it, but I would never apologize for not giving my child a sibling, because there's nothing to apologize for.

I think it's awesome that some people have big families, and I think it's awesome that some people have small families. I believe God gives us the grace and the personalities to handle whichever situation He places us in. Some people are meant to go through life with their siblings by their side, and some people are meant to be a little more independent. Neither one is wrong and neither one is weird. It's just the way it is. And I happen to love the way things turned out for me.

10.07.2014

currently

Anticipating: Thanksgiving. I ate some of my coworker's pumpkin spice cookie, and it made me think of Thanksgiving and how ready I am to lay in front of the fireplace in my stretchy pants with pumpkin pie. And maybe watch Elf. I don't know. Don't wanna get too carried away.

Listening to: I will neither confirm nor deny that Christmas music is playing right now. In the words of Harry Connick Jr., I'm doing my Christmas dreaming a little early this year.

Wanting: To learn how to crochet. And to quilt. I'm thinking those will be good winter projects.

Reading that makes me sound elderly. It doesn't help that my hips are aching again.

At least I didn't mention wanting to learn embroidery too.

Just kidding!

No I'm not.

Eating: Bagel bites and white cheddar cheez-its lately. Don't even start with me. I'm doing the best I can.

come to me my darlings
I'm currently trying to talk myself out of a McDonald's breakfast, but the more I try to say no, the more I want to say yes. Remember when I used to eat fruit and vegetables? I'm trying.

Watching: Season 4 of Gilmore Girls. And Call the Midwife against my better judgment. I cry buckets every episode. I don't know who I am anymore. Oh, and New Girl <3

Needing: More sleep. Strawberries wouldn't hurt, either. And to go dry my hair. Today will be the first day I've done my hair since early July.

Smelling: Nothing, thankfully. Smells are bad.

Wearing: Do you really want to ask? I threw on a hoodie Sunday afternoon to go get my hair cut. I then came back home, kept it on, and fell asleep in it. I woke up 5 minutes before I needed to leave for my doctor's appointment this morning (Monday morning. You're confused. So am I.), so I left it on and threw on jeans. I was going to change into a sweater before work, but then I didn't feel like it (fist bump casual dress code!!). And I'm still wearing it. I'll change tomorrow, I promise. I'll also shower.

At least I left out the part about my hoodie being covered in cat hair.

Oops.

Drinking: So much English Breakfast tea lately. It tastes so good to me and usually settles my stomach. Coffee is still horrifying.

Reading: Nothing. NOTHING. I've never not been reading something. I need a lighthearted, easy read to get back into the swing of it.

Feeling: Exhausted and still elated over hearing the baby's heartbeat this morning. It took the doctor a minute to find it which terrified me. I almost started crying out of fear, and then we suddenly heard it and I cried from relief. Maybe I also shrieked.

Loving: THE WEATHER. It has been so dramatic lately, like a girl after my own heart. In the last 3 days it has flurried, sleeted, rained, and thunderstormed. I was the only person in Ohio reveling in the cold and sleet. It helps when you're bed-ridden and wearing Christmas pajama pants. Bring it on, fall and winter. I am forever ready for you. You got a lot of haters, but I got your back.

Hating: Insomnia.

Planning: Nursery things. Baby blankets to knit. Projects to work on. I walked into Hobby Lobby last night to buy some supplies for nursery things. I fondled the Christmas section for awhile, and then got overwhelmed by all the decisions and walked out empty-handed.

Missing: Being able to do normal human things like run errands and make dinner and sit up for longer than 20 minutes at a time.

Thankful: for James, who does my laundry and makes sure I eat and refills my water 27 times a day. He's essentially the reason I'm alive right now. And for Sarah, who puts up with my whiny, nausea-related texts and who lets me have meltdowns when I get overwhelmed researching baby things. Which is every single day. And for flannel pajama pants.

(Especially when they have Christmas trees on them.)

(Too soon?)

(Never too soon.)

10.03.2014

thursday

Yesterday was a day.

I am currently in the throes of pregnancy-induced insomnia and have been a walking zombie all week. Wednesday night was particularly bad, and I only got a couple hours of sleep. I woke up angry and nauseous and bone-tired. I stumbled into work, half awake and on edge, and opened my email where I was informed I had to train a new employee for several hours, which is exactly what I want to do while I'm fighting to keep my eyes open and my breakfast down. 

I walked downstairs to treat myself to a cup of English Breakfast tea, where I was accosted by a coworker interrogating me about my pregnancy. She finished the conversation saying "I feel really bad for you. Having a baby is the worst. I hated everything about it. I won't lie to you, it's awful." 

Thank you. 

I turned around to make my tea and to calm myself down when I was smacked on the back by a girl walking by. 

"Ouch!" I mumbled in surprise. 
"Oh, c'mon, that didn't hurt."
"It did, actually." I said with a smile despite the fire in my eyes.
"Well you're too sensitive." 

It was a great start to the day. 

I started training the new guy and it wasn't too bad. He was goofy and I love anyone I can laugh with. He asked me about college and what I studied, yadda yadda yadda, I studied English and now I'm here. Your typical humanities degree success story. "English, huh? I bet you love to write. Let me guess, you have a secret blog and everything." Before I could catch myself, my eyes widened and I laughed, completely giving myself away. I scrambled and went back to explaining the file cabinet system before he could ask more questions. Keeping my facial expressions in check has never been a strength of mine.

All was going well enough until my mom texted me a picture of some Amish guys in a restaurant. I got the giggles, and due to his strange stare, I showed him the picture and briefly confessed my love of stalking the Amish. NOT THE WAY TO MAKE FRIENDS, MICHELLE. And instead of stopping while I was ahead, I kept going. It was like word vomit I couldn't control. I told him story after story of my Amish stalking. He laughed, but I'm sure now thinks I'm a freak with a fetish for straw hats and suspenders. I didn't help myself when I made an accidental innuendo and made myself laugh so hard I couldn't breathe. It's the minimal sleep, I swear. Keep me isolated when I'm tired, or I become a danger to myself and others. 

After two and half hours of training and small talk, I needed the nap to end all naps. But instead, I gathered up my remaining strength and called my eye doctor to make an appointment since I'm quickly running out of contacts. The receptionist informed me that my doctor, my favorite eye doctor of all time who was the only one to cure my 3 month eye infection, was no longer there. I nearly sobbed into the phone as she scheduled me with someone else. Finding a doctor I love and trust is hard. Losing one makes me feel like someone ate the last piece of cake. 

At that point, I had to leave work for a dentist appointment. In my hometown. An hour away. I know I need to find a dentist in town, but finding a new doctor of any kind is mildly traumatizing. I left work with plenty of time to spare but still had to call the dentist's office and say "Hi, I know I'm ten minutes late, but I'm currently stuck behind a tractor. I'll be there soon." And I quickly remembered why I live in the city now, because if it's not a coal train making you late in the country, it's a large piece of farm equipment on the main road leading into town.

It didn't matter that I showed up 15 minutes late, because the hygienist was running an hour late. When I was called back, I realized that my favorite hygenist, the person who made me feel like going to the dentist wasn't actually a biannaul punishment for something I had done wrong in a former life, had left. I nearly sank to the floor. She was the reason I continued to drive an hour to get my gums stabbed. And now she's gone. First my eye doctor, and now my hygenist? It was far too much upheaval on such short notice.

I gave a disclaimer to the new hygenist that due to morning sickness, brushing and flossing wasn't a high priority for the last few months. I mean, I was doing it, but I wasn't doing it well. Putting anything in my mouth wasn't a high priority unless I was prepared to throw up 30 seconds later. 

"You need to make sure you do better, because otherwise bacteria builds up in your gums and then you swallow it, and that's basically poison." 

Well. 

She poked and prodded and stabbed and within minutes my mouth was full of blood. No really, I had A MOUTHFUL OF BLOOD. The hormones have made my already sensitive gums so much worse that if you look at them sidewise they start to bleed. I finally had to point to my mouth and gurgle because I was about to drown in my own blood. 

"Oh! You could use some suction."

Yes, I could use some suction. 

She asked me about my job, which was great, because the intensive small talk and training at work hadn't exhausted me enough. I explained the gist of what I do, and she asked, "So did you even go to college then?" 

Sigh. 

She rinsed my bloody mouth out and got ready to suction it again. The taste of blood had been making my stomach churn, and then I got a whiff of it on her gloves. My hormones went into overdrive, and I couldn't force myself to close my mouth over the suction hose fast enough before I involuntarily sat up, gagged, and spewed bloody water through the room. 

I then calmly laid back down, smiled, and let my eyes dare her to ask me another question with her fist in my mouth. 

The dentist came in after and immediately told me what wonderful teeth I have. Excuse me? I've been coming here for 13 years, and you more than anyone know my mouth is a trainwreck. But he praised my teeth as though they had assaninated bin Laden. I knew he must've had me confused with someone else despite my x-rays right in front of him, but I soaked in the praise because I know I'll never hear something like that again from a dentist.

Once the dentist walked out, the hygenist tried to schedule my next appointment, but I told her I'll call in the spring since I will have just had a baby.

"But you'll be on maternity leave! I'm sure you have lots of friends who will watch the baby (cue a discreet eye roll from me). Now what about this day?"

"No, really. I'll call. That's only a few days after my due date."

"Just bring the baby!"

No. I would like to let other parts of me heal before I voluntarily inflict more pain on myself. I'll just call. In fact, I think I finally have the courage to call another dentist's office. 

I walked out of the office, cranked up some sweet jamz in my car, and took the back roads home, past cornfields and groves of orange trees and old white farmhouses with porches full of pumpkins and firewood. And all was well, despite the fact that my gums were still bleeding and my teeth ached as though they had run a marathon.

And then I woke up this morning and realized I forgot to take my nausea medicine last night. So if you need me, I'll have my head in the nearest toilet. 

9.29.2014

lately

1. I haven't left the house on a weekend in 10 weeks. I counted. I usually crash really hard from forcing myself to go to work every day and it makes me feel sicker than usual, so I more or less sleep through Saturday and Sunday. But on Sunday evening I decided I needed fro yo with rainbow sprinkles for dinner, so James took me one mile down the road to get some. It's pathetic but I felt like I partied really hard. I left the house for something non-essential which means I completed the first step toward becoming a human again. The second step is to survive the dentist on Thursday...

2. Call the Midwife is such a good show, but watching it while pregnant is the worst idea I've ever had. I'm in complete denial over what has to happen at the end of 9 months. 

3. Speaking of BBC shows, I'm hooked on The Paradise right now. It's essentially the same story line as Mr. Selfridge (so darn good), but it's great in its own way and doesn't stab you in the heart every episode like Downton Abbey. Or Parenthood, for that matter. I finished season 1 on Saturday and discovered season 2 was premiering on Sunday. I couldn't have timed that better if I tried. I live for a good BBC miniseries. 

4. I caught two women blatantly staring down my midsection yesterday at work trying to discover if I'm with child or just eating too much. It's a little weird, but better than the time a man at my last job asked me how my baby shower went, thus confusing me with the girl 7 months pregnant. 

5. Not only has food become my worst enemy, but I've developed aversions to all the things I once loved (except the BBC, apparently). I can't read anymore. I kind of hate to read. Early in the summer I went through a book every weekend. I have zero desire to read now. I've tried to force it and I just couldn't do it. There's also a slew of music I can't listen to. I fell head over heels for a new band back in August, and I used to listen to them while driving to work to help me forget the nausea so I could get there without pulling over. I now associate them with nausea and the taste of Orbit peppermint gum, which also makes me sick just by smelling it now. Which is unfortunate because my purse smells like Orbit peppermint gum. 


That's my life these days. Netflix and napping, and I'm completely fine with it. If you have any Netflix suggestions, lay 'em on me. Speaking of which, all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls will be available to stream starting tomorrow. I declare a national holiday!

9.23.2014

the first trimester: my journey through hell

I always thought I'd know I was pregnant before I ever took a test. That's how it seems to usually go, right? Woman has sneaking suspicion, takes a test that turns positive, a rainbow appears, and she plans an elaborate surprise for her husband. A few weeks later they hire a photographer for an announcement photo shoot involving lots of makeup and ultrasounds and a pair of baby shoes and probably a chalkboard and so much glamour you'd think she'd never even heard of morning sickness.

That is not my story.

A few months ago, my body went crazy in all kinds of TMI ways. Pregnancy crossed my mind, but I was convinced there was no way. I know my own body! I think I would know if someone else was living in it. After a couple weeks of feeling progressively crazier, I took a test to definitively rule it out. I wasn't even nervous because in my mind, it was a guaranteed negative. Except it turned positive immediately. I shrieked, probably swore a little, and ran downstairs shaking and shoved it in James' face as he pulled enchiladas out of the oven. He ran to the store for more tests. Still positive. I experienced the full spectrum of human emotion and cried all night long, and here we are several months later. So if you're wondering the age old question, yes, it was a surprise. A very wonderful one we very much wanted, just one we thought would be a few more years down the road. Though now that it's happening we're so glad it's happening now.

I hadn't even begun to wrap my mind around this bombshell when the morning sickness hit not four days later. And it hit like an F-5 tornado in a trailer park and knocked me flat on my back. It turns out I am one of the SUPER LUCKY 2% of women with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Yes, just like Kate Middleton. Pin a rose on my nose. It's an extreme form of morning sickness (ALL DAY 24/7 FOREVER AND EVER sickness) that basically means that I can't keep food or water down without prescription medicine. And even then it's still a fight. I've always known morning sickness would one day be hard on me since I'm very prone to nausea, but I almost never, EVER throw up. It just doesn't happen, except on horrendously turbulent plane rides, but that's another story. I'm terrified of throwing up. If I actually do throw up, it's a huge deal. Cancel my day and make me some soup while I go crawl in bed and cry about it, and then please hug me every hour to remind me how brave I am for throwing up and surviving it. And when should I expect my Purple Heart?

I immediately began throwing up every thing I swallowed. Nearly every bite of food and every sip of water came right back up. It was horrifying, and I deteriorated really fast. Within days I got so weak I couldn't stand up in the shower. I had to crawl up the stairs. I didn't even have the strength to speak above a whisper. My skin lost absolutely all color and I honestly felt like I was dying. I called my doctor's office in tears, and they said "get thyself to the hospital stat!" Several hours later, I was sitting on the floor of the ER in my pajamas with unwashed zombie hair, crying into a bouquet of Kroger grocery bags in case the demons in my stomach struck again. I've never actually seen The Walking Dead, but I can guarantee you I could've gotten a role and not needed to go into hair and makeup. It was truly a rock bottom moment. The nurse immediately wheeled me back to a room, and I spent the day there with an IV. God Bless the IV. I was so excited to not die that I didn't even flinch at the big@$$ needle they stuck in my arm. I left with a zofran prescription and a little hope that a human the size of a sesame seed wasn't going to kill me after all.

I've been on three different prescription nausea medicines. For the majority of the population, they wipe away the nausea and everything's wonderful. For me, they just help me keep some food down. And for that I am forever grateful. Instead of gaining the normal 4-5 pounds in the first trimester, I lost 8, but the baby is fine so no need for concern. I know there are people out there that are like omg, it's just nausea you pansy. And you'd be right. I am a nausea pansy. However! This isn't your mother's nausea. This is the kind that forces you to curl up on the floor in the fetal position and cry, except you can't cry because you're too nauseous so you cry on the inside instead. Just ask my coworkers; I've pulled a nausea-induced George Constanza under my desk more than once lately.

As truly grateful as I am that my hormones are doing their hormone thang and keeping things chugging along, these past few months have been some of the hardest, maybe THE hardest that I've experienced. I have become a professional puker. No really, a professional. I don't even cry for ten minutes afterwards anymore. If barfing were an Olympic sport, I would win based on my Pterodactyl noises alone. It's a gift, it really is. Sometimes I throw up so violently I am led to believe that Satan unleashed a legion of demons on my insides, as I can only imagine that my heaving is what an exorcism feels and sounds like. My bathroom has become an excellent demonstration of 17th century Catholicism. Come watch! The cost of admission is listening to me cry afterwards.

Do we dare even discuss all the many things in this world that led to exorcism puking? I shouldn't dare to mention, but I will. I've suffered in silence long enough! It's time to bring you all down with me. SOUNDS. Different sounds have actually made me nauseous. Remember how coffee is my most favorite thing in the world? I hate it now. HATE it. The smell sends me into a downward spiral. The mere THOUGHT of it, no really...just the thought, grossed me out so much a few weeks ago that I barfed on myself in the shower. The smell of my shampoo has also been responsible for a few of those episodes. As soon as the morning sickness hit, I had to throw out all my scented lotions. If you walk past me I can tell you what soap you used in the shower this morning and what you ate for lunch yesterday. My sense of smell horrifies me with its supernatural powers on a daily basis. If I even go near my pantry, I have to wear a gas mask or the smells of the seasonings will once again be my undoing. I can walk through my living room and smell every candle that has been burned in the last year. My nose has become my own worst enemy. James occasionally has to eat in a separate room from me so I can keep my food down. Pinterest and Instagram are minefields. The food pictures have killed me over and over. If you've instagrammed or blogged something food-related, I love you, but you're dead to me. You may have been the reason I puked in my neighbor's bushes like a drunken sorority girl.

I've had several (albeit ignorant) people comment that I don't seem as happy as I should be about being pregnant, or that I must not be as sick as I say because that's not possible. Let me address that now so I don't beat those people with a steel rod. I am thrilled. TRULY, thrilled. When I think about having an actual baby, I get so excited (and terrified) that I can hardly handle myself. Change is a scary thing for me. Even good change. It takes me awhile for me to make peace with a changing routine. I didn't have a moment to wrap my mind around the fact that one minute I was putting enchiladas in the oven and 5 minutes later I discovered I'm having a baby before I was in the hospital from vomiting myself into oblivion. And I've been extremely sick ever since, nonstop, for the past three months. It's REALLY hard to show happiness and joy when I can't get my head out of the toilet and I'm fighting to keep down one bite of food so this baby can grow. Think about the worst food poisoning you've even had. That is my life 24/7. That sounds dramatic, and yes, I'm a very extreme case, but it's the truth. And when you have food poisoning and can't think about anything other than severe nausea, it's hard to appear giddy about anything. It's why I've completely cut myself off from the outside world. Interacting with anyone in any form took too much energy away from trying to keep my lunch down. Around the time I got really sick, someone posted something online that basically said she's sick of hearing petty complaints from pregnant women. In a previous life, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. But instead I was like put a stamp on me, because I'm going postal. There is nothing petty about morning sickness. Nausea in any form becomes debilitating when it's 24/7 for weeks and months on end, especially when you can't stop throwing up.

Plus, preparing for a baby has to be worse than wedding planning. Have you guys seen the price of cribs these days? And rocking chairs and dressers? And why does everyone have a bassinet and a rocking sleeper thing too and a swing? Listen, I am not Beyonce. All I need is a rectangle of wood my kid can sleep in that doesn't cost as much as college. Remember when babies used to sleep in dresser drawers during the Great Depression? They grew up just fine without $900 strollers and video baby monitors. I can't even finish this paragraph because I need to go stick my head in a paper bag, because in the words of every white girl ever, "I literally can't even."

And now, some pregnancy symptoms I wasn't exactly expecting:

1. I hate food. I hate it so much I can't begin to tell you. I eat only because I have to, but I have no appetite. Fruit is the only thing I can eat without gagging. I have an aversion to every food. Every day is a battle just to find something I can swallow without wanting to spit out. One time I tried to eat a grape and was so grossed out I nearly projectile vomited on an intern. She hasn't come near me since. 

2. Lack of dignity. WHERE DO I BEGIN. You guys, I haven't dried or straightened my hair or worn makeup in three months. Say it with me now: it takes too much effort away from trying not to throw up. Those women who gussy themselves up everyday and say they're having "bad" morning sickness? They're living a lie and I'm not afraid to say it. I will call you out so fast your head will spin. I have completely given up on my appearance, but it has been out of necessity. I have to wear the same jeans everyday because they're the only ones that fit and I've been too sick to look at maternity clothes. I no longer care. I officially don't. My coworkers either must've immediately guessed I was pregnasty or assumed I had contracted Ebola. I wouldn't blame them for guessing either. 

3. Crumbs in my bra. Hear me out. I have to do all my eating in a reclined position to help with the nausea, which means 73% of my day is spent trying to discreetly (but not too discreetly, because lack of dignity and all) fish crumbs out of my bra. It's exhausting. And itchy.

4. Black eyes. Oh man. I went through a stage where I was throwing up so frequently and violently that the blood vessels around my eyes started to burst. One day it got so bad that my eyes were swollen, and I literally, truly looked like I had been punched in both eyes. It terrified my coworkers. I looked like a victim of domestic violence, except my black eyes weren't at the hands of a man; they were at the hands of my precious unborn child the size of my pinky.

5. Emotions. I knew this would be a thing, but I didn't know that I would bawl over more than one episode of Gossip Girl. I didn't know bursting into tears at work would become a normal thing. I didn't know I would want to plot the murder of the girl who dared to eat bratwurst and sauerkraut next to me. I didn't know I would have to physically hold my mouth closed from telling one of my bosses to can it when she bragged to me about her sickness-free pregnancy. I am so happy for everyone who didn't get sick and in a few months I will forgive you for not being sick and telling me about it, but right now I need to you turn around and walk away. 

6. Aches and pains. Ligament pains. Shooting pains. zOMG, ouch. No one told me about this. No one told me sneezing would sometimes make my stomach feel as though it's ripping open. No one told me I would occasionally wake up in the middle of the night with my hips aching as though they're about to part like the Red Sea. 

7. Sneezing. I got so desperate I finally googled "SNEEZING AND PREGNANCY?!?!?!" and much to my surprise and relief, it's a legit thing. I sneeze 10 times a day and I'm over it. It's like a vomit flashback every time, and I can hear my abdominal muscles start to cry because they don't know if I'm sneezing again or they're once again going to be ripped to shreds. 

I had no intentions of disappearing for months and then dramatically reappearing with a human inside me. But as you've read, I think you can hopefully understand why I've needed to hide for awhile to get myself together. You're probably not even reading at this point and are instead refilling your birth control. I understand. But if you are reading, I have some promises to make. 

1. I will not post weekly updates. No one cares about my food aversions except for me...and James when I make him eat in another room. But if you're hankering to know, I will be more than happy to tell you anything and everything. 

2. I will never compare my child to the size of a fruit or vegetable. 

3. Most importantly, I hereby solemnly swear that I will never, EVER, create a custom hashtag for my baby. Never. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go hide the Cheez-it box from myself because it's making me want to hurl.