What To Do When You Have Nowhere To Put Your Baby

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Like most first-time moms, when I discovered I was pregnant, one of the gazillion things that crossed my mind was one of the more superfluous and giddy:  “Ooh!  I get to set up and decorate a nursery!”  Except, there was … Continue reading

Fastest 6 Months. Ever.

So, I’m officially in my third trimester.  I find this calculation interesting, and I’ll get back to that later, but let me start by saying this first:  HOLY COW, THAT WAS FAST!

In the beginning, it was amazing to think about what was happening – the fruit comparisons (“this week, your baby is the size of a grape!”) and how MUCH TIME we still had.  Creating a registry, taking childbirth classes, writing our birth plan, setting up the “nursery,” choosing names, and feeling those first wonderful kicks and movements were still in the future.

But now, they are here.  We are in the full-on swing of things, and even though we still have SO much to do, hitting the Third Trimester mark has thrown me for a bit of a loop.

I find the calculation of being in my third trimester interesting.  If you go by “the average” pregnancy being 40 weeks, then yes, at 28 weeks I hit this third trimester stage (I am currently 28 weeks, 3 days, and this is the coolest pregnancy calculation website I’ve seen so far, btw).  However, since most women do not give birth on their due date, and most first-time-moms actually go into spontaneous labor closer to 42 weeks, I suppose you could suggest that I haven’t quite yet hit my third trimester.  Any way you look at it, I am less than 3 months away from my due date and whether I want to realize it or not, January will be here soon.

I’ve often wondered if I’ll be one of those women who starts to get antsy around my due date.  I wonder if a week before my due date I’ll start wiggling around trying to get labor started.  I wonder if a week after my due date I’ll start hanging from chandeliers to get things going.

Since I’m letting nature take it’s course, I’ll probably do neither, but I will most likely start assuming every twinge is the onset of labor sometime around Christmas.  Let’s hope baby stays put until the holidays are well over and done…

And when I post things on Facebook about being in my third trimester, I expect that at least one person will ask me to post pictures of my growing belly.  I would love to, but unless you know me personally and have seen me at least once since I got pregnant – well, I don’t look particularly pregnant.  I guess it’s the way I’m carrying – baby is sitting low and wide and tucked in.  So, I just look like I’ve been hitting the doughnuts a little too hard.

But, in case you’re really curious, here is what I don’t look like:

Hopefully, in a few weeks, that will change.  Eventually, I will post pictures of the real me.  Stay tuned!

 

I have to do homework to have a baby.

So, our first childbirth class was this past Wednesday night and what a lovely experience!  Chris and I have decided to use the Bradley Method for the birth of our child, and we’re pretty stoked.

In a nutshell, the Bradley Method is a husband-coached childbirth method that focuses on a positive, natural birthing experience that gives the mom-and-dad-to-be skills and strategies to overcome pain and anxiety during labor and delivery.

The class was made up of 6 couples, of which I was pleased to learn, we are not the latest due.  Another couple is due January 24th, and another is due February 10th (as compared to our January 8th).  I was also happy to see that I’m not the only lady who isn’t yet sporting a fashionable “bump.”  Out of the 12 people in attendance, 5 are special education teachers – how funny is that?  It’s a special ed class… hah… get it?

Ok… moving on.

The instructor is a sweet young woman, about my age, who has two very young children of her own, and also teaches yoga.  I’m super excited about this because I’ve practiced yoga for the better part of 12 years now and I just know she’s going to throw some yoga stuff into the class.  I love yoga.

We also learned that another couple in the class lives near us, and are also working with the same Midwifery group that we are.  And, and, AND!!!!  The husband is special ed teacher – how excited am I right now?  You tell me:

Our babies are totally gonna be best friends.

I should probably stop.  I’m starting to sound like a stalker…

Anyway, the class concluded with a few exercises that Chris and I (mostly I) have to practice on our own.  We also have to read the workbook, the textbook, answer questions, and track my nutrition.  So, it’s like homework for having a baby.  Who knew?

That’s alright though… one day very soon it will all be totally worth it.

The 5 Emotional States of Pregnancy They Don’t Warn You About.

Pregnancy is roughly 40 weeks of hormonal cocktails that have a woman reeling faster than any alcohol-based cocktails she had prior to being “with child.”  Since I’m currently one of these lucky ladies, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing 5 very common emotional states thus far – emotions that I was never warned about.  Since I’m only in my second trimester, there may be more emotional states to come, but for now, and for your reading pleasure and information, I present to you: The 5 Emotional States of Pregnancy.

Number 1:  Joy-Induced Weepiness.  It strikes without warning:  there you are, minding your business just making a smoothie and “Isn’t She Lovely?” by Stevie Wonder comes on the radio and you burst into tears.  It is the Most. Beautiful. Song. Ever.  (psst… it’s not).  But today, right now, while you’re standing in the middle of your kitchen attempting to make something healthy to eat and you’re out of vegetables so you decide to mix frozen peaches with milk in a blender, Stevie has hit a nerve and by-golly, he’s hit it good.  You start to imagine your husband, teary-eyed and smiling, holding your new daughter* just after she’s born and you’re ready to melt into a lump of goo, right there on the linoleum.  It’s just so joyous!  You start to imagine your parents, first time grandparents, staring lovingly at your new bundle-of-joy, their first grandchild, while Stevie belts it out:  “I can’t believe what God has done; Through us he’s given life to one…” And you think you’d better hit the “frappe” button on the blender to drown out the music, because if not, you may need medical assistance.

Number 2:  Worry-Induced Weepiness.  This emotional state, very much like #1, also strikes without warning.  But, unlike #1, it is most likely to strike at the most convenient time of day:  late night.  Also, unlike #1 it is extraordinarily unpleasant and can usually only be resolved by falling asleep, eating ice cream, or eating ice cream and then falling asleep.  The slightest cramp, the smallest headache, the littlest lightheadedness and suddenly you think, there’s something wrong with me or the baby.  Dear Lord Almighty I need an ambulance!  Since it’s usually late at night when this strikes, the poking-husband-while-he-sleeps-routine ensues:

“Honey…. (poke, poke)… honey?” 

With muffled snorts, husband responds, “What?”

“Um.  There’s this tiny little twingie feeling just above my left hip and I’m a little concerned.” 

“Mmmphhpph….”

“Do you think I should call the doctor/midwife?” 

“Mmmphhpph…”

“Hmm… I don’t know.  I’ve never felt this twingie feeling before.”

“Mmmphhpph…”

“Ok, well, you’re probably right.  It’s probably nothing.” 

“Mmmphhpph…”

“I’ll just go get some ice cream.” 

“Mmmphhpph…”

So, you start to convince yourself that everything will be O.K. and just to make sure, you go get the ice cream.  You feel sad eating ice cream alone in the dark kitchen, so you go to the living room, turn on the TV, and there’s a commercial for Johnson & Johnson baby soap, or something akin to that, and you fall into the weepy world of pregnancy.  You feel helpless and worried and all alone… you sob and worry about the baby and whether or not you’ll be a good mother and what kind of baby soap is best and what is that twingie feeling anyway, dammit?!… and the next thing you know it’s 4 AM and you’re on the couch being awakened by two dachshunds that need to pee.  The twingie pain is gone and you’re too tired to care.  And you also need to pee.

Number 3:  Mama-Bear Obstinacy.  This emotional state hits when someone has dared question your choices or suggest something other than what you have set your mind to do.  If you want to give birth while riding a gazelle and strumming a ukulele – by GOD that’s what you’re going to do!  And, if you are riding that gazelle and strumming the uke through a meadow and you decide to name your child Meadow (whether it’s a girl or boy, by the way), God help the soul that merely hints at suggesting anything otherwise.  Afterall, you’ve done a lot of research and you’ve just about driven yourself to the edge of insanity with information about the best way to give birth, and you are at that point where you know your shit and you are Superwoman.  Roar.

 

Number 4:  Murderous Rage.  You get cut off in traffic, the credit card company is giving you a hard time, the cable guy didn’t show up during the 27-hour time slot, your dogs ate your favorite hand lotion, the semi-adult kid next door had yet another late night party (on a Tuesday!?!), and once again your husband has left dishes in the sink (when CLEARLY the dishwasher is empty) and finally, it is just too much – you are pushed too far and you lunge headfirst into the Murderous Rage state where you want to scream obscenities you haven’t used since college at everyone and flail a mace wildly in public.  Afterall, don’t they KNOW you’re pregnant?!!  There is really no way to cure or ease this emotional state, and it’s best that everyone simply stay out of your effing way until it passes, or until you hear another sappy song about babies and/or love and/or parenthood.

Number 5:  Rainbow-Unicorn-Fairy-Peacefulness.  The rarest and most fleeting of the emotions, this happy-go-lucky state is when you perceive all is right with the world.  There are no weird twingie pains, your husband is being goopy-sweet, a family member has called without pregnancy advice, you just ate a fluffernutter sandwich, the sun is shining just right, the dogs are happily prancing around the deck chasing bumblebees, and all is well with the universe.  You feel peaceful, almost zen, and suddenly want to do yoga.

“I will be a good, no, excellent mother…”

And then, after 5 minutes of bliss, something triggers emotion #1, 2, 3, or 4 and you’re feeling like your regular pregnant self again!

Good times.

 

*We do not yet know the gender of our child, in case you just got really excited for a minute there.  Sorry for inducing your excited state.
Also, thanks so much to Allie over at Hyperbole and a Half for the artwork that most accurately depicts my emotional states.