Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Babies, New Clothes, New Eyes?

In light of the crazy hours I worked last week, yesterday's eye doc's appointment, and a new baby bris scheduled for yesterday morning, I took a comp day from work yesterday.

The bris was quite nice. For those who don't know, Jews who have boys typically have a circumcision ceremony eight days after the baby's birth. It's considered a big celebration because the baby is being welcomed into the Jewish community. The new father gave a beautiful speech about the meaning of his new son's name, and people were crying--it was *that* moving. While I honestly have a few reservations about the procedure (it seems barbaric, the babies always cry, and while I know about 90 percent of all American males are circumcised anyway, couldn't a doctor just do it in a hospital so it's not so publicly barbaric?), it's considered a positive thing among the Jews we affiliate with.

On the positive side, I was able to see the new baby and a bunch of our friends, and the baby thankfully fell asleep after the procedure. The women there my age all had their babies or toddlers with them, (two are about to give birth with their second ones), and while I'm still in the closet about sharing my pregnancy news, I felt fine about being there (and admired one woman's pregnancy sweater and wondered if I could fit into it when I'm eight months pregnant myself. Yep, that's me. Look how self-centered I am).

The rest of the day entailed picking up items for Mr. Lyrehca's belated birthday gift (his big day was Monday) and, um, checking out a few maternity clothing stores to see what that scene is all about.

I'm of two minds about this. One, I'm only at week eight today, so couldn't I just get away with hiding myself in clothes I already have? It's not like I'm really showing, but jeez, my waist is definitely thickening. I come home every night and slip into elastic-waisted pajamas. It's one of the highlights of my day.

But then again, I put on about ten pounds in the year I spent trying to get pregnant, what with all the insulin fine-tuning and treating lows. Many of my clothes are tight anyway, and some that looked fine a year ago really need some creative layering to hide the unsightly parts. So it's not like I have bigger items lying around I can just burrow into (and sadly, wearing pajama bottoms to work might raise a few eyebrows).

I have learned a thing or two from those general-audience pregnancy bulletin boards that I mocked in my last post. There's a fancy mall near me that has both a Gap Maternity and a store called BabyStyle that featured nice but expensive clothes. So I spent the afternoon trying on stuff at both places.

What did I learn?

1. Despite my fears that maybe this pregnancy thing might end badly, I really shouldn't waste time trying on extra large stuff in say, Ann Taylor Loft. While I adore that longer tops are big this fall (a cropped top looks terrible when you have a belly bulge even without being pregnant), it doesn't make sense to buy anything non-maternity when I don't know how I'm going to look in the future. I did find a stretchy-waisted skirt that I could wear with an expanding body, but it wasn't a style I loved or would typically wear. And why buy anything like that if I don't have to?

2. Gap Maternity is still a small storefront. This particular mall I went to had FOUR different Gap stores: Adults, Baby, Kids and Body. I had high hopes because Gap is like the McDonald's of the clothing world. But the Maternity stuff was tucked into the back of the Baby stuff. And while there were scads of pants in sizes 2-10, the larger-assed sizes were few and far between. The sales rack had, inexplicably, a size 20 on sale for $3.97, but precious little else above size 10. (I tried on the size 20s and yes, they were too large. But had they fit even a little, I would have scooped them up for four dollars.) And while the store had slogans about "This is the stuff you'd wear even if you weren't pregnant," I had to disagree. While I've lived in Gap stuff ever since high school, some of the non-basic stuff seems juvenille, twenty years later. No surprise, huh? I did get a sense of some basic pants that fit me, so I suppose I could order it online.

3. BabyStyle, a place I'd never heard of before reading a pregnancy bulletin board, caters to the sort of upscale mothers to be that likely shop at this mall on a regular basis. Typically, I'd probably keep my distance from a place that charges the prices they do, but I went in and tried a few things on. Wouldn't you know, they fit the best (and they had plenty of things in my size to try), and the dressing room even had one of these pillows you can stuff into your clothes to get a sense of how you'll look when you're really showing. I was surprised, though. Does pregancy mean my arms won't get rounder? My ass won't expand further? With the faux-belly, I didn't think of myself as all that huge. And the pants all had stretchy waistbands without this odd sweatshirt-material panel in front (many of the Gap styles had such panels) so the BabyStyle pants all seemed flattering and fit me even at eight weeks.

But I still left all those stores and didn't buy anything. I just think I'm going to wait. We have another ultrasound scheduled for later this week, and I just want to see how that goes. Plus, I keep hearing that you shouldn't spend too much on maternity clothes because you don't wear them for long and will want to get rid of them as soon as you don't have to wear them anymore. I'm also starting to check out eBay to see what maternity styles/brands pop up there. Just research, mind you.

I then went to my eye doctor's appoinmtent, where I was told when I walked in that I was scheduled to have laser treatment that day.

Um, what?

"I drove myself here today and no one told me I'd be having treatment today," I told the tech. "I'm going to have to just have a regular appointment today and come back for the laser."

"Well, it says right here you're scheduled for laser," the tech insisted.

"No one told me this when they called to remind me of my appointment," I countered.

So the tech went and got my eye doc, who is a kind woman, and agreed to reschedule the lasering. On one hand, I knew laser would be in my future, and when I found out I was pregnant, this office was one of the first I called. But if I'd known I'd be having my retinas burned today, I wouldn't have driven to the office myself.

The rest of the appointment was uneventful. My eyes are the same as they were a few months ago when I wasn't pregnant: severe non-proliferative retinopathy in both. There are a few spots that might become troublesome (although it's not like having "severe non-proliferative retinopathy doesn't sound troublesome; it does. But my vision is fine, so if I didn't see the doctor, I wouldn't even know I had it) as the pregnancy progresses, which is why the doc wants to do the laser treatment (one session for each eye) now, and not hold off. She reiterated that this lasering could be uneventful, that I might not have any vision loss at all (as mentioned previously, the potential for night and/or peripheral vision loss is a possibility, while the possibility of eventually losing central vision if I don't have the lasering is also a factor).

We also talked about the pregnancy and she kept saying how exciting it was. I told her that we hadn't really told anyone besides doctors so that it's all still a big secret. As a result, I don't feel all that excited yet. I'm still in the tentative stage.

So now I'm scheduled for two separate treatments later in October. Mr. Lyrehca will accompany me. In short, I hope it'll be as uneventful as possible. And as the only positive to the eye treatment, the eye doc said again that if I do laser once in each eye, it may quiet everything down and I might not have to see her so often and I might never need laser (or have as many tiny popped blood vessels in the retina) again.

Wouldn't that be nice?


Violet said...

L, somehow in your blog history I think I had missed the backstory on your eyes. Bah, that sucks. But I admire how you're handling it. Good luck with the treatments.

Rachel said...

good luck with the eye treatments.

yeah, my friends all use ebay for maternity clothes.

julia said...

eBay is a good idea for maternity clothes. Old Navy has a much bigger maternity department than Gap and their sizing is more realistic. Sears, of all places, has a half-decent maternity section, as does JC Penney and some Kohl's - depends on which one you go to, though. Some of them suck. Target's maternity department sucks.

I have a ton of maternity clothes that I will NOT be using again - if you want me to send them to you, I'd be happy to. It's all trousers and nice shirts - I don't do skirts - that would be appropriate for a casual work environment. Shoot me an email if you want me to ship them to you.

There's a maternity consignment shop in Natick/Framingham - on the west bound side of Rt. 9, past the Natick Mall. I've never been there, since it's a bit out of my way, but it might be worth checking out.

art-sweet said...

Crossing (starring?) my fingers that all goes well with baby and eyes!

Sarah said...

The strechy waists are nice for awhile, but as I got bigger, those got more and more uncomfortable and I LOVED putting my big paneled pants on...LOL

My sister though, loves the strechy waists still at 7 months.

I guess it depends on how you end up carrying. I was all out front and anything that hit mid-lower stomach hurt.

Good luck with the eye treatments!!

Kelly said...

I go in for a pregnancy retinal scan on Tues and I'm now officially scared. Eyeballs kind of freak me out in general and the thought of lasering eyeballs rrrrreally gives me the heebie jeebies. Good luck with your treatments!!

Minnesota Nice said...

Ever since you announced the pregnancy I kept thinking, "oh goodness, I hope in all the excitement she has not forgotten about the eye doctor". (I knew you wouldn't).
I am glad that you insisted on not having the treatment without the Mr. to be by your side and drive you home.
Lasers have a tendency to "dazzle" you and make you feel very spacey.
Plus, the treatments are surgery, creating a physical as well as emotional stress on the body. You will most likely go home with a patch to wear for a few hours, and driving with just one eye is a lot harder than it seems because your depth preception is all goofed up.
Beyond that, they are pretty much a non-event. Zap, zap, done.
I am proof. You should be find.

nicolep said...

L - Best of luck with the eye treatments. No suggestions about maternity clothes, I'm afraid... But how exciting that you're starting to look. All the best to you and the Mr. - N


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