Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Getting to 23 weeks - This has been child's play!

Hello world!  My name is Leslie Paffe and I'm just your average South Texan.  I work in the restaurant industry where I sell food and alcohol safety training products and provide strategic support for a myriad of other products and services to my customers.   I love my job, the industry I'm in and the customers I call on.
Prior to becoming pregnant I also enjoyed some extra-curricular activities:  I'm a country singer, write songs, run marathons, am a triathlete, bake, socialize with friends but my proudest accomplishment and the thing that means the absolute most to me in this world is being Gayland Paffe's wife.  I like to call myself a "late bloomer", I married my partner, best friend and soulmate at the ripe 'ole age of 34 on October 19th, 2011, over-looking the crystal clear waters of Caribbean sea on the sugar-white sands of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  It was the happiest day of my life, until the next day and the next day and the next day....
Perhaps I'm unusual but I have never had a burning desire to be someone's mother.  I never thought I would be someone's wife so when that worked out so well I thought, "What the heck!  Why rock the boat?  I don't need a kid.  Let's just enjoy each other."  My dreams consisted of putting out another album, traveling to Europe with my better half, eating fabulous foods, spending time with my girlfriends,  running the New York City marathon and many others.  My husband, on the other hand, felt differently.  He waited to get married until he was 44 (he'll be the first to tell all those naysayers that, "yes, I haven't been married before but I've also never been divorced."  I always loved that line...I for one couldn't say the same).  He's always had a burning desire to be a father so I reluctantly agreed to go off birth control the day we got married.
We decided to run the Nashville Marathon in April of 2012.  This would be Gayland's third full race and my first.  We trained hard together and successfully completed the race!  It was awesome!  Since we had been "not trying" but "not, not trying" and had not become pregnant, I thought we would be one of those couple's that would have to do fertility treatments at some point.  Not being in any rush and wanting to fulfill my dream of completing another album, we made a decision to start tracking my ovulation in an effort to NOT get pregnant.  Yea, that worked out well!  Perhaps I should have done a little more research on the birds and the bees...as you guessed it, the month we tracked my ovulation in an effort to avoid making a baby is the exact month I got pregnant.  To say I was surprised and sickened when I peed on the stick and it gave us two lines before the urine even reached the first window, is the understatement of the millennium!  Please don't judge me when I say, I was totally PISSED OFF that I was pregnant!  I was not emotionally ready for this child and all I could do was cry and begin my weekly sessions with bad ass counselor, Sara!  The worst was calling my mom friends and family and having them tell me how excited they were for us.  If one more person told me how "GREAT" motherhood was I would have puked!  You see, when you're 35 and have a full life of amazing friends, freedom and the ability to do whatever the hell you want to do, the freight train rolling down the track in front of you is almost unbearable!
Wouldn't you know I had the worst first trimester ever!  Up until 14 weeks, I had debilitating nausea.  I travel extensively for my job so I prayed on every flight and in every minute I wouldn't yack in front of customers or fellow flyers!  I was the Chief Exit Strategist, always locating the nearest trash can or restroom in case of an emergency.  Looking back, it was quite comical!  The other challenge I faced was my body trying to adjust to the baby.  Exercise dominated my life along with very healthful eating prior to becoming pregnant.  The minute I got pregnant that all came to a screeching halt!  All the foods I loved (YEP, brussel sprouts, broccoli and carrots at least five times per week) tasted awful and things I had not thought to eat in years all-of-a-sudden became number one on my list of things to eat!  And exercise, FORGET ABOUT IT!  I was so dang tired all I could think of doing was eating in an effort to try and dull the constant nausea! What a nightmare!  My smallish framed body began changing very rapidly before my eyes!  It was humbling, to say the least.
I think things changed for me on September 14th.  I was in Beaver Creek, CO, attending a customer meeting and in the middle of one of our breaks, Baby P gave me a good, old-fashioned kick!  I was 18 weeks and 2 days pregnant and in instant went from being someone that was just pregnant to being someone's mother.  It was life-altering for me.  I almost cried in sheer joy that there was an actual person growing inside of me and not just an alien object.  It was a moment in time that will always be dear to my heart.
Moving forward I slowly began adjusting to our little angel.  I love the moments that my sweet husband rubs my stomach, but never too hard for fear he will squash Baby P (that always cracks me up).  Every sonogram we've had has been exciting and enlightening as the baby continues to grow!  I stare at the sonogram screen as the sonographer meticulously measures every limb, the baby's head and counts the heart beats.  I just want to capture every moment and put in in a mason jar for us to continuously admire on our mantle.  And, I hold my breath for fear that we will learn something is wrong with the baby...I never knew stress until I fell in love with our child.  I now understand why people say pregnancy is a miracle...it truly is a gift from God!  We've decided to wait to find out the sex of the baby when he/she is born she it's also fun guessing what we're going to have in a few months.  It truly is a joyous time.
Since we do love to travel, we made a decision to take one last trip prior to Baby P's arrival in February for our 1st wedding anniversary.  Since Gayland had never been to New York City, we thought it would be a fun weekend get-away to celebrate our first year of marriage and enjoy time together before the baby arrives.  We landed in the Big Apple on Thursday, October 18th and very quickly began our tour of the city.  The weather was mild, tons of amazing things to see and do and excitingly for me, the chance to get out and exercise like I used to prior to becoming pregnant.  We had a lovely anniversary dinner at One If By Land, Two If By Sea, a New York City landmark.  We visited the Met where I over-heated and almost fainted...not fun!  We planned to see "Rock Of Ages" on Broadway on Monday but learned at another restaurant (David Burke Kitchen...beyond fabulous brunch) that we needed to eat dinner on Sunday night at Riverpark.  Prior to our dinner, I told Gayland my back was really hurting and so was my abdomen.  Having never been pregnant, I just chalked the pain up to over excursion from sight-seeing and a lack of rest.  When we got to dinner, the pains continued and were intense enough that I would have to stop what I was saying during our conversation until the pains subsided.  Again, didn't think much about it.  We went to a jazz club after dinner and then went back to our hotel.  I didn't sleep well during the night and immediately woke-up and called my Austin-based OB/GYN.  She asked the usual questions physicians ask:  Are you having contractions?  (UH, hell if I know...what do those feel like?)  Are you bleeding? (Of course NOT)  Since I answered, "No" to her questions I was instructed to take it easy, take (2) Tylenol and call if things changed.  We shrugged our shoulders, took it easy on Monday morning and about 11am decided to take the train down to Wall Street, take the ferry over to Brooklyn and walk back over the Brooklyn Bridge.  On our way to the ferry we stopped at a Subway at the height of lunchtime so Gayland could get a Coke and I could use the restroom...This was the moment that changed my life forever and made the trials and tribulations of the first 23 weeks look like child's play...