behind-the-scenes in New Orleans

So, when I wrote the New Orleans recap there were a few things I left out. It’s kind of funny that I had so convinced myself that I wouldn’t be pregnant because I didn’t want to be disappointed again, that I had gotten myself all psyched up for this trip to New Orleans, where I could eat oysters and drink hurricanes from Pat O’Brien’s. Since I found out I was pregnant about a week before we left, obviously my dreams of alcohol and raw shellfish were dashed, but I didn’t really care when I considered the trade-off.

That whole first week when I knew I was pregnant? I didn’t have a single symptom. I mean, ok, I was a little more tired than usual, and my boobs were sore, but it wasn’t anything bad. Friday, the day we flew out, is when all of this morning sickness stuff decided to rear its ugly head for the first time. I hate to fly, and I would normally have a drink or take a Dramamine before getting on a plane so I could sleep most of the way. Neither of those are an option for me right now, so instead I learned the hard way that:

motion sickness + morning sickness + one layover + 6 hours of actual flight time + the middle seat (because I’m short, so I always give Dave the aisle) = absolute, pure hell.

Seriously, when we were taking off from Dallas (the location of our layover), I thought I was going to have to make use of the barf bags that they put in the seat backs. I’ve never been that sick on a plane before. (Well, except for the time I flew from Atlanta to Seattle with quite possibly the worst hangover of my life. But at least on that trip, the airline accidentally upgraded me to first class, so I suffered quite comfortably.)

I had made it very clear to my immediate family beforehand that I didn’t want the news of my pregnancy to be announced. This weekend was for my cousin and his fiancee, I didn’t want them to feel like I was stealing their thunder by showing up and being all, “hey everybody, guess what?” Plus the fact that it was still so early that I just didn’t want to talk about it yet. (For the record, I’m still terrified about the risk of miscarriage. I think I’ll feel safer about that when I’m in my second trimester.)

The trip started off ok. My uncle Stanton and aunt Susie (Cat’s folks) went with us when we toured the city on Saturday, and I’m sure they might’ve wondered what was up with me when I was the only one crying over all of the devastation. Or, when we stopped at a gas station to use the restroom, and all they had was one un-air-conditioned porta-potty outside, and it was well over 100 degrees in there, and I seriously almost fainted. Which, ew. Can you think of a grosser place to pass out? I kept thinking that I just needed to get my pants up so I could open the door – that way, if I needed to faint, I could fall forward, land on my aunt (who was next in line) and that would cushion my fall somewhat. (Sorry, Susie!) I made it out of there ok, but then I was all, “Um, could someone please get me a bottle of water and an apple juice, like, oh, NOW?!?!!” (My sister came to my rescue on that one.)

The wedding was that night. And I did ok at first. Then, you know the part of the Catholic service where everyone kneels on the little prayer benches? While I was kneeling, I started to shake and sweat (even though the church was probably 65 degrees), and I thought I was going to pass out. I tried to hold it together, I really did. Dave got me to sit on the pew rather than kneeling, and that was ok. I was still sweating and feeling sort of cotton-mouthed, but the shakiness wasn’t as noticeable as it had been when I was kneeling. The next part of the service was where everyone stood up – everyone except for me, that is, and Dave, who was holding my hand and looking at me really intently because he was waiting for me to keel over any second. I lasted about about another minute like that before I said, “ok, I need to get out of here.”

Both Dave and my mom helped me out – it was mortifying because it was one of those really old cathedrals that doesn’t have a restroom inside. Instead, we had to go out the huge 20-foot door on the side of the sanctuary, and when it opens you can suddenly hear all of the street traffic outside, so it’s really, really noticeable. I think only – oh, everyone – saw me leave in this very non-discreet fashion.

Then, my aunt Michele came chasing after us to make sure we could find the bathroom, because it was sort of confusing – you had to go around the back of the church and through a fence to enter the rectory, and somewhere hidden back there was a bathroom. With no air-conditioning. Again. And no lights, either. Lovely. I drank some (disgustingly warm) tap water out of the sink, splashed a bit on my face, and my mom flipped the lid of the toilet seat down and made me sit on it. After a minute or so, it started to occur to me just how big a spectacle we were, leaving the church like that. I said to my mom, “I guess I’m busted now, huh?” She said, “Well, unless you want people coming up to you all night asking if you’re sick…”

So. We snuck back into the church just as the Communion part was wrapping up. We sat in the back while the ceremony finished, and then we went forward to catch up with the rest of the family. Everyone was sort of milling around the church and chatting, so I went ahead and told everyone then about being pregnant. It wasn’t quite the way that I wanted to handle it, but it was pretty cool. Everyone was really excited for us. And throughout the reception, people kept coming up to Dave and me to congratulate us – all people we hadn’t told, of course, that’s just how fast word spreads in our family. But that’s fine.

Also, when I said to one of my great aunts that I wasn’t planning to talk about it yet because it’s so early, she said, “You told people in church, honey. It’ll be fine.”

Let’s hope so.

6 thoughts on “behind-the-scenes in New Orleans

  1. Didn’t you have your first appointment today? How did it go?
    There is very little more miserable in the world than morning sickness. 🙁 But, I always thought the bright side was that if I was sick, it meant the hormones were high, and that meant things were good for the baby.

  2. My first appointment is in a couple of hours. I’m getting really excited.

    My mom keeps reminding me of the old wives’ tale that the sicker the mom is, the healthier the baby will be. If that’s true, I don’t mind the suffering one bit.

  3. I was miserably sick with Gaby, for at least 6 weeks. Then one day, it was magically gone.
    Some stuff that worked for me: lemonade, gingersnaps, yogurt (the whips kind, that really is just a lot of air), mashed potatoes and gravy, scrambled eggs and canteloupe. I also hear crystalized ginger and peppermint are both good for soothing the stomach. And unless you like saltines, don’t even bother. 🙂
    And if you have trouble taking pills, they make chewable prenatals. They don’t taste good, but it’s better than gagging while taking your pills, when you already don’t feel well. 🙂

  4. Ya see what I mean about the Obi Mom Kenobi factor? The Shannon, SHE KNOWS STUFF. 🙂 And interestingly enough, at the baby shower I went to yesterday, the women all SWORE up and down that the sleepier you are during your pregnancy, the more hair the baby will have.

  5. Yeah, I’ve heard the sleepy thing before, too. I was exhausted while I was pregnant, and Gaby was born with a full head of hair.
    (although I’m not sure if it was the sleepiness, or the fact that she’s half Filipino)

  6. Well, considering that I was blonde until I was 3, and Dave’s a Brit, I think the odds of having a baby with hair are practically nil.

    There are probably a few recessive Creole genes on my side, but still, I’m thinking it’s pretty unlikely.

Comments are closed.