Title: Does this baby bump make me look fat?
Phoenyx Halliwell - June 21, 2011 02:34 PM (GMT)
had the day off, and had decided to spend it shopping...something that was a rare indulgence for her. This wasn't purely for fun, though. She needed to start getting ready for the baby. She already had a crib and mattress, bedclothes for the crib, car seats, a swing, and plenty of bottles and paraphernalia including a breast pump. She had been given everything but the pump and bottles...those she'd bought new.
She was going to be breastfeeding...no formula for her baby, especially after all the drama in the news about tainted formula. She just didn't want to take the risk. Besides...breast milk was usually healthier than any formula devised in a lab, and she wanted to do the best thing possible for the baby. She also had a few baby clothes that were gender neutral as far as color and style, but anything more specific she'd wait on until she found out whether it was a boy or a girl. Diapers and wipes she'd wait on until later in the pregnancy too.
Today wasn't about the baby specifically. It was about herself too. She was now entering her eighth week of pregnancy, and had noticed her jeans, shorts, and some of her shirts were fitting a little tighter, and so were her regular bras. Pajamas, loose shirts, and sports bras she was still okay with for now. Phoenyx wasn't showing as being obviously pregnant, but that would start before too much longer. It was time to pick up a few things in larger sizes, and some maternity things.
It didn't take her long to pick out a few items in bigger sizes to hold her over until she had to start wearing maternity things. She'd decided to skip the jeans and instead had gone for long loose skirts. Most of her shirts she'd be okay with for awhile yet, and those she wasn't she could just put away for now. When it came to picking out maternity things, though...she was entirely lost.
Phoenyx wandered through the racks browsing here and there, picking a few things she liked but not sure what sizes to get. She had no idea how big she'd get, and didn't want to get things that would end up being too small. Maybe she ought to get a couple of different sizes, just to be sure. She looked around for a sales person, or even another customer that might be able to help her select a few things or give her some suggestions.
Erin Dow - June 25, 2011 03:25 PM (GMT)
[ooc: I'll jump in on this one, if you don't mind!]
It had been almost three weeks since the gala, and Erin
was feeling even more like a whale. And what was worse, she still had a little over three months left to go. She was 26 weeks pregnant and due at the end of September with a little girl who, though already the light of her life, had made her miserable for the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy. Now that she had spent the last three months vomit-free, and after they found out what they were having, Erin and Parker were starting on the nursery with the help of his sister. Today her husband was at work, and Erin took her car out so she could shop for things for the nursery. It wasn't an easy task. The lever that adjusted the driver's seat had broken off of her ancient Buick, so she'd had to cram herself behind the wheel, which felt like trying to stuff a marshmallow into a straw. Not only that, but it was the first day of summer, and it was hot
. Maybe it was just the pregnancy hormones, but Erin was roasting, even in a light sundress.
Once she got to the store, things got easier. Since Parker had pre-ordered most of the furniture online, all she had to do was present her sales receipt to the clerk and they told her they would load the larger items in her car for her while she shopped. All that she was bringing home today was the crib and the changing table top -- the dresser and chair were coming from IKEA later this month. She was here today to look for some baby clothes for the winter, toys, and a couple of pairs of maternity jeans for her. Wandering slowly through the maternity clothing racks, Erin let one hand rest on her belly
. From a few racks over, she noticed a red-headed woman also browsing and smiled briefly. The other woman wasn't really showing, but she was wearing loose-fitting clothes. Erin thought she could have been shopping for someone else, but the sweatpants kind of gave it away. Selecting two pairs of jeans in her size, she headed in the woman's direction. Poor thing looked kind of confused, and Erin remembered feeling that overwhelmed. All the maternity clothes were in different sizes and it was hard to know what to pick."How far along are you?"
she asked with a smile, since she was reasonably confident that the girl was indeed pregnant and not just too lazy to get dressed.
Phoenyx Halliwell - June 25, 2011 07:19 PM (GMT)
"I'm just into my eighth week" Phoenyx replied, smiling in return. Her smile was probably a little on the sappy side, but she didn't particularly notice. Besides...she wasn't the first woman to have such an expression when talking about her pregnancy, and she wouldn't be the last. "I'll be starting to show in another few weeks from what the doctors said, so I figured I'd get a head start." She indicated the clothes she'd been looking at. Her free hand automatically went to rest on her belly. "It's my first" she added, figuring that would be plenty of explanation for her relative lack of knowledge.
"How far along are you?" she asked the blonde. Phoenyx noted the other woman wasn't much taller than she was. She wondered if she'd mind giving her a little direction on the sizing, but thought it might be rude to ask right off the bat.
A few things she realized she didn't have came to mind. She scribbled them down on a small pad of paper she kept with her for such things. "Sorry" she said, so the other woman wouldn't think she was ignoring her. "I just remembered a few things I need to get still. If I don't write them down, I'll forget them." She'd had to start doing that recently. It was a bit annoying, because she hadn't had to before the baby. Her mother had called it CRS syndrome - 'can't remember shit'.
"I'm Phoenyx, by the way" she said when she realized she hadn't introduced herself yet.
Erin Dow - June 30, 2011 02:50 AM (GMT)
Erin nodded happily at all of Phoenyx's responses, just glad to meet another pregnant woman in town. Not that there weren't a lot of them, it was just hard for her to get out of the house, let alone talk to people all on her own. But here, she felt in her element. For once, she could say she'd been there and could maybe help someone else. "Your doctor's probably right. I didn't start to show until I was about twelve or thirteen weeks, but I was a little heavier than you, too. You're nice and thin, maybe you'll show earlier." She smiled. Erin had been no slouch, really; she wasn't ever heavy, but she would admit to having a few pounds on Phoenyx, especially now. She didn't really know why it had taken so long (or at least it felt like it had taken forever) for her to start showing, but now she kind of missed it. "This is my first, too, and believe me you'll start to wish you weren't showing after awhile. I'm twenty-six weeks and I can't even see my feet anymore. And we still have fourteen weeks to go before we meet our little girl. My husband and I, that is."
She watched the other woman jot down a few items in a small notepad and smiled, nodding sagely. "I know how that feels. Sometimes I think I'd forget my head if it wasn't screwed on." Shifting the two pairs of jeans she had in her arms, she smiled a little wider. "It's nice to meet you, I'm Erin. Do you think you'll find out what you're having, or are you going to be surprised?" Erin asked, noticing the gender-neutral outfits Phoenyx was holding. Obviously it was too early to tell the gender, anyway, but she was just curious. "I thought about waiting, but I just had to know. And everyone kept asking. Thankfully Parker felt the same way!"
Phoenyx Halliwell - July 1, 2011 05:31 AM (GMT)
"With as tight as my clothes have been getting and as heavy as I feel, I wouldn't be surprised" Phoenyx replied, amusement in her tone and expression. She wouldn't really mind if she showed early or not. She chuckled softly. "I don't doubt it. At least times I'm biggest will be in the colder months, so...hopefully that won't be too bad." Phoenyx's due date was estimated around January 30th. Whether the baby stuck to that or not...that was a different matter entirely. She wondered how she would shave when she got that big, but that was something to worry about later.
"It's nice to meet you too." Phoenyx glanced down at the package of sleepers she'd picked up for the baby before she'd started in on her own shopping. Finding gender neutral things was harder than one would think, so she tended to get them when she found them. "I want to know as soon as possible" she answered. "I'm just too curious for my own good sometimes, and besides...it's a pain in the ass trying to find gender neutral baby things." She wondered if the thrift store had anything, and jotted down another note to check that out later. It couldn't hurt anything. The worst that would happen is that it turned out to be a dead end.
"How big a problem is it with strangers wanting to touch the belly?" she asked, wondering what she could expect once she was showing. "I mean...I keep hearing things about how random people will just come up and touch without asking." Phoenyx wasn't really sure how she would react if someone came up and touched her without asking. Probably not very favorably, though. She might not mind if they asked first, though. She wouldn't really know until she got to that point though.
Erin Dow - July 1, 2011 02:10 PM (GMT)
"Yeah, you got lucky not looking like this over summer," she said, gesturing to her bump. Erin loved everything about being pregnant and her daughter was already her whole world, she wouldn't actually have changed a thing about when and how they got pregnant. But if it happened to be over the winter next time, she wouldn't have minded. "Not only am I hot all the time, but I look really funny in a bathing suit. Then again, we hadn't exactly planned on getting pregnant." She smiled just wide enough to make it a silent addition of 'but I'm happy we did'. It was funny how she couldn't talk about her daughter without talking in terms of 'we' and 'us', as though she had to include Parker in the conversation even though he wasn't there. She was talking about her family, after all.
Finding gender-neutral clothes was an issue, and she nodded. "Seems like everything's pink or blue in here," she agreed. "And don't even try to find crib bedding that doesn't have baseball bats or ballet shoes on it. It's impossible." That's why she was making hers. Another of her purchases after she and Parker got married had been a sewing machine, which she'd always known how to use (and well) but never really had a use for. Now that they had their own personal interior design assistant helping out with the nursery, it had seemed an appropriate time to break out the needle and thread. Phoenyx asked about the random touching, obviously a little uncomfortable with the idea. "It's not really a problem, per se. I mean, I didn't like it at first, especially when they wouldn't ask me if they could touch my belly beforehand. But once the baby started kicking, I started to kind of like it when people wanted to touch. Actually now when people ask me, I'm like, 'yes! If you didn't want to touch it I'd be offended!'" She giggled.
"I think the weird questions are worse than the touching. Feeling like a Buddha is great, but when somebody asks a weird question... Like you'll get the typical 'do you know what you're having', 'when are you due', kind of questions. But then for every four of those you get one 'did you plan on getting knocked up' or somebody tells you they heard being pregnant makes you constipated and they want to know if it's true." Shrugging Erin shook her head. "It's weird."
Rhiannon Helquist - July 2, 2011 02:41 PM (GMT)
OOC: Hope you guys don't mind me popping in!
Rhiannon couldn't believe she was doing this. It was only yesterday that she found out who she was to be married to. And what was even better, her husband-to-be did not even know she was a baby mama. It was just getting better. Having a baby at 19 years old is a bit of a shock for Rhiannon. What's more, her baby was a love child. DId she regret concieving the baby? No. Did she regret the way her baby was concieved? Yes. Her baby would never even meet its biological father. For he died in an accident two weeks later.
She was only coming into the store for two reasons. 1: She desperately needed maternity clothes, even her too big clothes were getting tight. Being 36 weeks pregnant and engaged sucked. and 2: She had no crib, no baby clothes, no bottles, nothing. She talked to her father on the phone, who gave her a nice stack of money to buy it all. Her daddy was a successful business tycoon. It was a bit cliche that the daughter of a rich man getting knocked up, don't you agree? In fact, the only reason Rhiannon had been placed in The Vow was because she was knocked up.
Coming into the store, Rhiannon smiled. There were two other women in the baby section. It was quite nice. She hesitantly came up to them and said "It seems to me I'm not the only mom-to-be in this town afterall". She smiled at the two women. They were obviously not as far along as herself. But the older one seemed to have a nice baby belly just like her. "When are your guys' due dates?" she asked.
Phoenyx Halliwell - July 2, 2011 07:21 PM (GMT)
"I can't even imagine trying to find a bathing suit with a belly. Winter is going to be tricky enough, trying to find warm clothes that are big enough" Phoenyx replied. "Hell, I'm not even sure how to figure out what sizes to get for the immediate future, let alone for when I really start showing." She grimace slightly, wishing her mother was there with her to help her figure it out, or one of her aunts.
"I was given the few sheets and blankets I have right now. I have a few more things on order from 'Babies R Us' that should arrive in a few days" Phoenyx replied. "I'm thinking about hitting up the thrift store too." The idea of making her own hadn't occurred to her, and even if it had she had no sewing machine and didn't know how to use one. Counted cross stitching she could and did do...but that was the extent of her sewing knowledge.
"I did plan on getting pregnant, though the way of it was...rather unconventional" she replied, choosing her words carefully. "I was acting as a surrogate for some friends of mine who couldn't have their own. There was a car accident...drunk driver...and...well...here I am now." She mentally kicked herself, not having intended to bring that up or at least not this soon after meeting Erin. Phoenyx did manage to stop herself from going into more detail than that, at least.
She nodded as Erin talked about people wanting to touch the belly. The idea of strangers that weren't medical professionals doing so made her a little uncomfortable, but... "Maybe I'll get like that when I get to that point in my pregnancy" she laughed lightly, hoping that would be the case. She didn't want to be one of those women that bit everyone's heads off while she was pregnant.
Her nose wrinkled a little at the talk of the weird questions. "Questions like that I wouldn't mind answering for friends and relatives, but...coming from strangers it would weird me out even more than the random belly-touching, I think" she said, half amused. Only time would really tell how she'd react to different things.
Phoenyx turned when another woman joined them, and smiled in return. "Mine's due at the end of January" she replied. "When is yours?" She would guess is was fairly soon, going by how big the woman's belly was. Bigger than Erin's even. "Do either of you know what you're having?" she asked, both grinning and cringing slightly at the cliche question.
Erin Dow - July 6, 2011 07:02 PM (GMT)
"I can help you with that," Erin said, confident that she could at least help out with guesstimating how big Phoenyx would be at least until the mid-pregnancy weeks. The later weeks she was still a little clueless about herself, which was why she was glad she'd invested in lots of looser, flowy maxi-dresses instead of tops and bottoms. That way she could get wider without having to buy more clothes. They were trying to save money, after all. "It will be harder to find winter clothes when you're bigger, but I would say at least for the first few months, buy one or two sizes bigger than you think you're going to need and let yourself grow into it." She nodded when Phoenyx said she'd been given a lot of her baby stuff. She and Parker hadn't been so lucky -- they were the first ones to have kids in either of their families for a long time, so there were no hand-me-downs to be had. Still, Erin didn't mind. It meant that they got to start from scratch, and they were making sure to buy good quality furniture and clothing so that it could be handed down or used again later. They planned on more kids, of course, but what if this was their only girl? (Erin hoped that wasn't the case; she had the feeling that both she and Parker wouldn't mind being surrounded by daughters, at this point.)
Phoenyx's story about how she came to be pregnant was really surprising, and also sad. Erin shook her head. "I can't even imagine. My mother was killed by a drunk driver." Yes, with strangers she still reverted to her old stand-by story. The truth was too ugly for just anyone to hear. "You did a really selfless thing, though, being a surrogate for your friends. That's amazing. I don't think I could ever do something like that." Unconsciously, Erin found herself touching her belly, unable to imagine ever giving up her daughter... even for a close friend's benefit. At least now Phoenyx got to keep her baby, even if it was because of a horrible accident. That was still a blessing. When they went back to talking about random belly touching and weird questions, she was almost relieved. Pregnancy had Erin's emotions running high, and if she had to think about a drunk driving accident or giving up her child for a minute more she might have cried. She offered a little smile when Phoenyx demurred. "Well, I guess you'll have to wait and see. I was always kind of a touchy-feely person, so it didn't bother me as much as it would have bothered other people, I guess. You get used to it, though."
It was around that time that another woman came from alongside and joined them, and Erin greeted her with a smile. Another pregnant lady! Although this one looked younger and more pregnant than both of them. She asked when they were due and Phoenyx answered first that she was due in January, to which Erin nodded. "I'm due September 26th," she said proudly, practically beaming when Phoenyx asked what they were all having. "And we're having a little girl. How about you?" This last part was directed at their new companion, since Phoenyx wasn't far enough along yet to know.
Rhiannon Helquist - July 11, 2011 05:47 PM (GMT)
"Oh, I'm do July 29th. I'm 37 weeks now. 38 on Friday." with a smile. "I'm having a girl as well." she said, smiling at the blond haired woman. "I'm Rhiannon by the well. Rhiannon Helquist. Soon to be Katashi..." she said, trailing off. "What are all your names?" she said, almost giggling at the silly question. She could tell everything was going well, so far.
"Have you done much shopping yet?" she said, asking them both. "I am just starting to. I tend to procrastinate." she said with a shrug. She searched through the summer clothes and found some cute ounsies. She was not a fan of pink. So she found some purple and yellow ones that she liked a lot. "Ooo." she said, slightly cooing. She started to really like a light blue newborn dress she found. She grabbed it and smiled. She knew she'd have to move on to winter clothes, too. But couldn't that wait? "So got any names picked out?" she asked them. "I am debating between Sophia, Minako and maybe Hotaru. My fiance is Japanese, you see. I'd like to honor him a bit." she explained. She wondered what they would be thinking once they connected two and two together and realized her fiance was not the father her child biologically.
Phoenyx Halliwell - July 12, 2011 04:36 PM (GMT)
"Oh...thanks" Phoenyx said with a grin. She put back the smaller sized things and kept the larger ones. "Yeah, that's the one thing I won't like about winter. In summer you can wear the loose light dresses and such, but not so much in winter...at least not without freezing your arse off" she continued. She had a small selection for now, and figured she could always come back later. She didn't want to overdo it on the summery stuff, and not be able to make much use of it all. She did try to keep it to things that she could wear when it started getting cold out too...to prolong the life of the clothes so to speak.
"That had to have been hard on you" she replied sympathetically. "Yes, it is. And it hasn't been easy. I would still have been a large part of the baby's life, and would still have had equal legal rights with the..." Phoenyx paused, catching herself before she said fathers. "...with my friends. But...even so..." She paused again, and turned her head a moment to wipe away the moisture that had built up in her eyes before it could fall.
Phoenyx was glad Erin let the topic go when she switched back to the safer subjects of strangers and their belly-touching obsession and weird questions. "That's all I can do" she replied with a grin. "Just wait and see. I'm touchy-feely with people I know well and like...but with strangers, I'm used to keeping some distance and personal boundaries at first."
"I'm Phoenyx Halliwell" she replied.
I've done some shopping. The crib and carseat I have were given to me and a few other things too, but I'm having to buy most of what I need. I knew I was moving and didn't want to overburden myself. Besides...until I know what I'm having, there's not much point in getting much in the way of clothes and blankets and such" she continued.
The talk turned to baby names, and Phoenyx grimaced slightly. She should have been thinking of that too. "Those are pretty names" she said. "I have a few I like, but I'll get more focused on that once I find out what I'm having."
It wasn't hard for Phoenyx to figure out Rhiannon's fiance wasn't the father of her baby. It didn't bother her one bit, though. She'd been raised very liberally, and in addition to that it would have been rather hypocritical of her to be bothered by it.
"I haven't met my fiance yet. I did talk to him though, and arrange a meeting. We're supposed to meet at the coffee shop tomorrow. I hope he doesn't mind me being pregnant already."
Some men were rather touchy about that, and didn't want a woman who had someone else's kids, or was already pregnant by someone else. She supposed it was a primitive territorial thing or something. At least they weren't part of a culture where the men killed off any offspring from his wife's previous marriage or something else barbaric like that.
Erin Dow - July 12, 2011 06:05 PM (GMT)
Erin couldn't help but have mixed feelings when she realized both her new friends were pregnant without a husband. On one hand, she knew it was totally normal and happened all the time. No matter what situation it came from, a child was always a blessing, sometimes a blessing in disguise. So she didn't think badly of either of them, not hardly. She was a little sad for them, though -- for Phoenyx because her story was so heartbreaking, and for their new friend because she looked to be in the exact same situation as Erin's mom. Pregnant, probably college-age, and alone. Getting married to find a father for her child, maybe. She could only hope that it didn't turn out as badly for Rhiannon and her baby as it had for Erin, Jane, and their mom. "Wow, only two weeks to go!" she said to Rhiannon. "You look great. I'm only 26 weeks and I still feel like I'm moving in slow motion most of the time. I've never been this big in my life." She smiled and ran a hand over her bump, really not even caring that she looked like a whale. Their baby was worth it.
"I'm Erin. Erin Dow," she replied, letting Phoenyx answer all Rhiannon's questions first. "I'm actually picking up some of my nursery furniture today. My husband ordered it online, I think they actually have someone here loading it for me now. But the sheets and curtains I'm sewing myself. And we're waiting on some of it for the baby shower." She had no idea when or if that was happening, but Parker had assured her that his mom and sister wanted to come out closer to her due date for a small baby shower. His sister had actually helped them design the nursery, so Erin was sure she'd come up with great shower ideas. "We did pick out a name actually... but it's a secret. I've been telling people her name is Agatha Amaryllis to keep them off the scent, but that's not what it really is! Her middle name is actually after a star, it's a tradition in my family. Like, I'm Erin Cassiopeia, and my sister is Jane Andromeda. I think it's great you want a Japanese name in honor of your fiance. Minako is pretty. You could call her Mina for short!"
Erin smiled, watching Rhiannon go through baby clothes and pick out little sweet summer dresses and onesies. She was young, but Erin could tell she was going to be a good mom. Phoenyx, too. "I hope it goes well when you meet him tomorrow," she said to Phoenyx. "Everything will work out for the best. Sometimes the Vow knows what they're doing even if it seems crazy... my husband told me he didn't think he'd make a good father. Three months later we were accidentally pregnant and now he's the most amazing father and husband I know." She grinned, not really able to help the glow that came over her when she talked about Parker. He was her everything. Hopefully the Vow could give these two girls a match even half as good as hers, and everything would be great.
Rhiannon Helquist - July 12, 2011 08:05 PM (GMT)
"I have no crib, no nothing. But I am very thankful for my father. Without him, I would never be able to afford any of this. I still wonder how he took me being pregnant so well. He took it quite calmly." she said. She really did not want to get into the details of how her father was a successful business tycoon and how he had loads of money, it would just make her seem like she was bragging. "The Vow is pretty crazy. But I met my fiance yesterday and he was actually quite cool with it. But I had to give him a long explanation." she said with a laugh. "Great? Thank you. I feel like an oversized, bruised watermelon. This little sucker won't stop kicking." she said with a smile and a shrug.
"Agatha Amaryllis. Nice. I'm glad they bought that. I don't know if I could come up with a cover-up name and keep it a secret." she said with an apporving nod. Just then she found an adorable, purple sleeper saying "Mama's Diva'", she grinned and held it up for Erin and Phoenyx to see. "Must have it!" she said. She was having way to much fun with this. "I'm not sure of the style of the nursery. As long as I don't see a speck of pink I'm good. I was thinking of doing an under-the-sea theme. With mermaids, dolphins, all the good stuff. You guys have any themes in
mind?" she asked, grinning. "Props to you, Erin. I could never sew, I'd prick myself to death." she joked. She then came across a batch of some nice long-sleeve shirts she could have her baby wear when winter came about. She grabbed at least ten of them, she could have sworn she even grabbed one pink one! "Shopping for a baby is fun!" she said witha snicker.
Phoenyx Halliwell - July 14, 2011 08:50 PM (GMT)
"The only nursery furniture I have so far is the crib. I still need to get a dresser, changing table, and rocking chair at least. More might occur to me later, but those are what's at the front of my mind" Phoenyx said.
She grinned at the cover name Erin was using, though she didn't quite understand why they were keeping it a secret. Maybe to avoid having people give them things with the baby's name on them or something. She wondered what names her fiance liked. What would they do if he was dead set on having a name she absolutely hated? What if they couldn't agree on a name? Technically she supposed she had the ultimate say-so, but she wanted to include her fiance in the decision making. She would worry about all of that later.
"My family tradition is...a little more unusual" Phoenyx said. "When the women of my family get married, they keep their maiden name and pass it down to any daughters they have." She wondered what they'd make of that...and if her fiance would have a problem with it. There wasn't much she could do about it if he did have a problem with it, and they'd just have to work something out.
Phoenyx was a bit surprised Erin was making her own baby bedding. "The most I can do when it comes to sewing is counted cross stitch. I haven't the foggiest idea how to use a sewing machine" she admitted.
"I was thinking maybe a fantasy sort of thing. Dragons, knights, elves, faeries, unicorns...all that fun stuff" she mused aloud. "Or...maybe a science fiction theme. I'm not entirely sure yet."
She found a green one that said 'I can't be good all the time' and held it up to show Erin and Rhiannon. She flashed a grin at Rhiannon when she held up the sleeper. "Yeah, it is. I'm looking forward to finding out what I'm having so I can really go nuts with it" she replied.