Your Dad and I don't have the greatest track record with holidays. New Year's 2007 saw your Dad sitting on the couch, puttering around on his laptop, while I alternately moaned on the couch and sprinted up the stairs to the bathroom to purge the tainted guacamole that had come on my New Year's dinner taco salad. He had some kind of major respiratory infection on his birthday in 2006, 2007, and 2008, as well as a good number of previous years. My birthday is generally safe for personal health, but it is typically rife with personal tragedy (for example, getting the diagnosis about your heart literally three days before my birthday this past year). Valentine's Day is pretty much an annual reflection on our shared poverty, though we do typically do something nice for dinner, and we basically ignore St. Patrick's Day. Halloween is inconsistent, as some years we have really fun plans and others are just massively disappointing. The Jewish holidays are safe, since we don't really do anything about them, and we've safely relegated Easter to just being a large and delicious dinner with egg-themed decor at the in-laws' house. Christmas has stood alone as the one substantial holiday we celebrate that hasn't been tainted by poor health, disaster, angst, or ennui...until this year.
Batman, two of my biggest preoccupations since I knew you were coming have been been eating and drinking enough. I was so sick during the first trimester that just eating - at all - was a major accomplishment, so I didn't put too much focus on eating specific things, like vegetable or complementary proteins. During the second trimester, my interest in food was massively inconsistent, so I continued to just eat whatever sounded even vaguely interesting at the time. Drinking enough, throughout all this time, was still dicey; if I had too much in my stomach at one time, I got sick, and water just took up space, so I often prioritized food. Even now, I still get majorly nauseous when I have too much liquid in my system. I know I haven't gotten enough to drink at any point. Christmas, this past weekend, saw the perfect storm of all my prenatal fears coming to a head at once.
Thursday night was your Dad's mother's birthday. In a rare display of throwing her dietary caution to the wind, she requested that we order in pizza and a salad from a generally excellent local joint. (Oh, cheese pizza. I never get just plain cheese pizza, but it is so damn good.) In hindsight, I should have trusted my mild skepticism about the freshness of the salad, since less than twenty-four hours after we ate it, both of your Dad's parents, he, and I were all violently ill. I won't go into details, but let's just say that things were very ugly, and that your Dad and I will never buy a house with less than two concurrently accessible toilets. Neither of us slept the night the sickness set in, so we spent the next day drifting between consciousness and...um...expulsion.
A simultaneously comforting and awful part of this whole experience was the sheer volume of Braxton-Hicks contractions I experienced during the duration. There was a point mid-Saturday afternoon when I seriously considered the merits of dragging my sorry ass off the couch to put together a bag to bring to the hospital. I even began to panic about the fact that we don't have the car seat bases installed in the cars yet, and the fact that we don't have nearly enough socks, or ANY little caps, or nearly enough receiving blankets...and we still haven't washed all the clothes we do have...and we still need to hang up art in our bedroom so it isn't taking up otherwise needed storage space...and AAGH! I never had a fever, but some combination of starvation, dehydration, and sleep deprivation threw me into a paranoid state that made our lack of sufficient sock supply seem disproportionately catastrophic to...well, everything else in the world. I was briefly so convinced that I was actually in labor that I started plotting out things like phone trees, the best place to park at the hospital, and who to call to check in on the cats...before dozing off again and realizing that none of the contractions were even vaguely consistent or strong enough to mean anything.
Let's just say that Christmas was not the merry and raucous time one typically hopes for it to be. We ate uncomplicated carbohydrates, sipped water and Sprite, and generally didn't move too much. It was still a lovely time, but even three days after the fact, I'm fighting to get back my appetite and energy level. When I went to a regular doctor's appointment this afternoon and explained my panic at starving and dehydrating you over the course of so many hours of just vomiting back up everything that went into my system, nurse and doctor alike shrugged it off, explaining that babies always take what they need from their mother whether she has it to give or not. Apparently my continued exhaustion is mostly because you're still happily sucking all my water and nutrients away. Of course, they're all yours, but dang...this is not a fun part of pregnancy.
In case you were curious, I didn't get that one particular thing that I was kind of flipping out over (only because the supplier was out of stock: you Dad's on the waiting list for when they get more, and he warned me in advance so I could manage my childish disappointment maturely), but we did end up not feeling like the holiday was focused on baby things, and we both got one another really thoughtful and lovely gifts. Oh, and it was a pleasant time spent with family, unfocused on consumeristic intent and all that jazz. Batman, I'm really excited to have you around for a holiday, but I am sort of terrified that we've broken the seal (so to speak) on Christmas being dangerous, so here's crossing our fingers that the only vomit that happens next year is something utterly benign coming out of you just because that happens sometimes with eleven-month-olds.