Sunday, March 12, 2006

And so it begins...

Over my dead body
Over me
Over you
Over everybody

Too much information running through my brain
Too much information driving me insane

-- The Police, "Too Much information"

Apparently, the first phase in a pregnancy is the "I'm not allowed to eat or anything" phase. Don't eat most types of fish, and even then, not much of it. Don't eat soft cheeses. Avoid caffeine. Of course no alcohol. Limit junk food. Somehow gradually increase caloric intake, particularly protein, despite these limitations.

The thing is, I know it can be done, and without too much difficulty (easy for me to say, when I don't need to do this). The problem is that there are 63 gazillion sources for what not to eat, and it seems like Kathy may end up looking at all of them. It seems as though when something ends up on any one of the lists, it's out the door. I guess it could be worse -- no nausea so far (and with luck she won't have any at all), which would preclude many more options.

And the 63 gazillion resources all mean well (particularly the friends and family), but all provide slightly different info, which creates more anxiety for Kathy, which creates more stress for me (of course you knew this was all about me). Truly, I just want to help make things as easy as possible for Kathy -- funny that the stress all these resources create in Kathy is bad for the baby that these resources are trying to assist.

Closely related to the "don't eat anything" phase is the "don't do anything" phase. With all the difficulty we've had getting pregnant, Kathy is determined not to do anything that might jeopardize the health of the fetus. Exactly what's on that list is something that she's keeping close to the vest, but woe unto me when I don't pick up on the fact that her resistance to doing something is over concern for the unborn child. And I know that I need to be more cognizant of such matters, but I much prefer it when she can put them into words.

The fact of the matter is that I haven't been the best spouse this weekend, so I probably shouldn't be complaining. Despite the fact that I drink lots of beers, usually I'm very good about not overdoing it. I drink for taste, and there comes a time when one's senses can no longer discern the details that make beers enjoyable. It is then that I stop drinking, if I haven't already, and this results in buzzes but rarely full-on drunkenness. So amid all the stress of the new pregnancy, yesterday was not a good day for me to get drunk.

We went up to Baltimore with friends of ours. While Kathy, Marie Esther and her 5-year-old daughter hit the Baltimore Aquarium, Peter and I went to a great beer bar in town, one I've gone to several times as it's possibly the best in the area (and it's only ~45 minutes away). With Kathy not drinking, it would be nice to have someone to drink with (and to share beers with), plus there were college basketball conference tournament games on TV. Knowing that time at the aquarium would probably exceed the amount of time we'd want to drink, Peter and I killed a bit of time by stopping at a beer store on the way up -- it had a new beer from Colorado that's receiving all sorts of raves over at RateBeer.

But we did get to the bar (it was a beautiful day, just the sort to spend outdoors rather than in a dark bar, but hey -- plans are plans). We each started off with a mild pint, followed by sharing four fairly strong pints. And that would be the normal stopping point. But the women were still at the Aquarium, and there I was, a kid in a candy store, so I decided to get a 750ml bottle of a Belgian beer for us to share, one that I discovered was 9.5% ABV. And after that was consumed, they still weren't ready, and there was another Belgian 750ml bottle (8%) calling my name and which we consumed. So by my rough calculations, Peter and I each drank the equivalent of a 12-pack of standard (4.5% ABV) beer. Thus, by the end of those roughly four hours of drinking, I was drunk. In the afternoon.

Kathy wasn't happy. And she was even less happy when I went to sleep right after dinner, at 7:30. She was pretty beat herself from walking around the Aquarium all day despite feeling worn down by the demands the fetus is placing on her body. Fortunately, she loves me and after a mild chewing out this morning, has forgiven me, probably remembering that she on occasion has had too much to drink herself. Nevertheless, I know she's under a lot of stress, and by my actions I put her under more. Mea culpa.