Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mommy Moments :: Fall Family Pictures

Do you remember the horror that was taking family pictures when you were a child?  Can you recall the annoying matching outfits.  How stressed out your parents were with trying to make everyone coordinate and cooperate?  If your parents were on a budget like mine, that meant hunting through your closet because buying new, matching outfits wasn't an option.  Do you remember being forced to smile and the lectures about how much taking pictures costs and how messing them up meant throwing away money?

I remember family picture days like they happened yesterday.  Actually, they did just happen yesterday.  With the newest addition to our family, I feel like all the things we skipped with our Little Darling should be done, especially since we don't want more children.  I had my Little Darling when I was 23.  I was still in college and thinking about jobs to start a career path.  I was a busy Mom on the go, with little time to consider things like making memories.  I was also scarred by things in my past, like the annoyance of family pictures.  We all had forced smiles, except my dad who looked as angry as he was on the day of the photos.  Someone was always joking around and messing up all the pictures, and we would all get in trouble because of that one goofball.  Someone was always whining and crying... Maybe there were two cry babies?  I have a big family.  Someone always had the never-ending bad attitude and complained about everything and everyone.  I was that last character.

I just knew that I never wanted to subject my kids (or Myself) to that ever again!  We thought we were those "cool" parents that document memories via selfies and various quick untouched shots with our camera phones.  We were on the go all the time, too busy to stop and really think about family photos at the time.  Both The Hubs and I were in college and working.  And we wanted to be hipster parents so badly, defying all the stupid traditions of both our childhoods.

But then we had our second child.  And on top of it, we made the decision not to have anymore children.  Suddenly, those things we thought were stupid wastes of time and money became important to me.  I want a house with pictures on the walls.  I want pretty scrapbooks filled with memories of our girls, finally a set of sisters after waiting for this dream to materialize for so long.  And then it happened, without my even realizing it.  I became "That Momster" and we became one of "Those Families".

I was grumpily yelling at everyone the way my mom did growing up.  The Hubs was cynical and counter productive complaining about the time he had to spend when he would rather be home, kicked back on his day off.  Our Little Darling was running to and fro, being a complete goof all the way across the board.  And our Little Someone (who is in need of a new name!) cried half the time and spent the rest of the time eating leaves and pulling hair.  Basically, a disaster.  And to top it all off, because the clash of the personalities wasn't enough, the batteries in my camera died within 10 minutes of our arrival at the location and we ended up using my phone for all but a handful of these pictures.

The fighting got so ridiculous, that we had to have a sit-down talk.  The Hubs demanded to know why, if we both agree that we HATED being forced to take "fake" family photos as kids, would I want to continue with such a stupid tradition.  We are smarter than our parents, and we try to be better parents than ours were to us, as we learn and evolve, but he needed to know why I was so dead-set on keeping this one thing from my childhood that we both regretted experiencing.

My rationale:  This is our life, our children, their memories.  These are our moments and our chance to make it last forever.  None of these pictures were meant to be "professional" looking or perfect.  They were meant to be US: decent, normal humans living life with the hand we've been dealt, and choosing to see beauty and endless possibility in that uncertainty.  That is what these photos are to me.  Belief.  Hope.  Possibility.  Beauty.  Promise

So from that moment on, we got our shit together and we focused on making beautiful memories with our young children and with one another.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mommy Moments :: Postpartum Recovery

Today, I got the best news ever--  I am cleared by my gynecologist to return to my "normal" life, whatever that is/was. I couldn't be happier!  I have been waiting on the go ahead since the end of my second trimester.  Now that I am considered "recovered" and things have settled down a bit, let me tell you about my postpartum recovery.

It seems strange to be talking about my postpartum recovery.  I wish I had something meaningful or insightful to share, but the truth is my vagina exploded, a baby plopped out.  My world has been rocked with a newborn, hormones, and a whole new lifestyle over which I have managed very little control.
I know, I am making it sound so glamorous, right? Sometimes, in my Very Limited free time, I sit and wonder what postpartum recovery is like for B-list celebrities.  You know, people like Kim Kardashian's sister who doesn't really "do" anything.  What is it like to have a baby and be mega rich with nothing to do other than lie about while your lady bits heal, nursing your child?  I can't even imagine!

For me, I had to recover and continue life simultaneously.  No one pushed a pause button.  There were so many times that I was out running errands and I thought, "Holy Hell!  My entire reproductive system, ovaries and all, is about to fall out of my vagina right now!"  I am fortunate and grateful that never happened.  Unfortunately, however, even though my new vagina was able to hold up during my active recovery, I am currently sporting the Third Installment of my vagina.  I don't know about other women, but after having a baby, experiencing a perennial tear, and being "reconstructed", Old Girl never looks the same.  At least mine doesn't.  I liked my "pre-baby vagina" just fine.  It took a couple of years to get used to the second edition, after having my Little Darling.  That was a much worse tear and took months longer to heal.  This time, I am not particularly excited about my Third Installment of my vagina situation.  I keep staring at it.  I am sure I will get used to it.  I am not rich.  I can't just call up Dr. 90210 (remember that show?!) and have him give me a sweet little vagina that looks like it was kissed by angels and dye my pubes golden blonde to accentuate the virgin-like qualities of said angelic reconstruction. Instead, I am regular, broke, boring, mundane and of middle class status.  No new angel puss for me.  I will have to learn to love what I have here.  No, I am not in the porn industry.  No one is looking at it except me, and for all intended purposes, my wah-gina is a rockstar and she works just as exquisitely as she has all these years, but still.  When a part of your body permanently changes, you can't help but take note.

I was very shocked that I did not obsess about my figure immediately after having my Little Someone.  I was just focused on being a Mom!  Such a different feeling from when I had my Little Darling.  After my first pregnancy, I was hyper focused on getting my pre-baby body back.  It consumed me and I went after that body only three weeks postpartum.  It made a full recovery stretch to months and it ruined my pelvic floor. This time, I just can't stop staring at my precious Little Someone.  I literally had given up all hope of ever experiencing bringing home a new baby.  Now that I have one, I can admit that we all spend more time staring at, loving on, and enjoying our sweet baby girl more than we worry about anything else around us.
Now, that I am clear to start back with being active, I am trying to assess my situation so that I can set some realistic fitness and weight loss goals.  I believe that setting goals and aspiring towards them is excellent!  Accomplishing any goal leads to a sense of inner confidence that can't be taken from you.  That is extremely rewarding and very sexy!  Now that I have been cleared by the doctor, I plan on returning to my journey of getting in shape.  I now have Two kiddos I have to keep up with.  It was hard enough with my very hyper Little Darling.  I also have patella tendonitis in both knees.  The extra weight I am left with postpartum is causing me a great deal of pain.  It's hard to walk, take the stairs, drive my car. Shedding some weight will make that easier for me and will make it easier for me to be a better, more active and involved mother.  And that, folks, is what I live for!  Improving myself so that I can improve the quality of care I provide to my children.
 Most of my postpartum recovery was a combination of sleepless nights, sleep-filled days, watching more TV than I am sure is considered healthy, and eating lots of fast food, since The Hubs doesn't cook much and it took a few weeks for my back to stop hurting from the epidural.  I am fortunate that I haven't suffered from Postpartum Depression, but I would be a liar if I didn't say that I am anxious to find a way to return to the way things were. No, I don't mean "pre Baby Number 2".  I mean I want things to return to being less stressful and easier.  I miss feeling like myself: active, fit, fun, laid back.  Right now, I am a mutant combo of a frantic, over worked and over stressed personal assistant to everyone in my family, a sleep-deprived zombie wandering about eating whatever and doing whatever I can with the energy I've got and a robot going through the motions of day-to-day tasks without truly feeling anything other than a need to check tasks off my list so I don't forget.  I am ready for THIS phase to end, and I suspect that taking time to work out every day might give me the motivation and strength to start pushing things in that direction.

I can't wait to experience the stress relief of doing cardio and see the transformation from a one form of a Strong Body, able to create and carry children full term and survive the terrors of labor and delivery to the another form of a Strong Body, one that is fit, toned, and capable of handling the physical task of being an active and involved parent. Working out always has a positive affect on my mood and my creativity.  I get my BEST ideas when I am working out (cue scene from The First Wives Club with Goldie Hawn boozed up on a treadmill).

In all honesty, my sanity depends on it.  Let's just say the emotional recovery is just as hard as the physical one.  I have experienced "post partum rage" more so than depression.  Usually, all responsibilities regarding the house fall on my shoulders alone.  I am nursing for the first time and my Little Someone has colic.  They say each baby is different, but I don't think that reality fully set in until I went three weeks with 2 hours of sleep each night!  It has been really wearing on my nerves and my relationship as we all struggle to figure out how to get everything accomplished and how to keep everyone satisfied.  Unfortunately, I am usually the one doing the most accomplishing and I am the least satisfied, as I have very little, if any, time left for myself.  It has been frustrating, but after 6 weeks of trying my best to get things sorted, I think I have finally figured some things out!
The things they don't tell you about bringing home a new baby is all the relationship strife.  There is some unspoken rule that the children are just "the mother's problem".  It's even more difficult to break that misconception if you are a stay-at-home mom.  There was a point, when, if my husband asked me just One More Time, to justify how I spent my day, I was going to pack my bags and leave.  I couldn't handle it.  I won't lie, I didn't think we would make it.  The fighting was really bad, but I can be ever so thankful that ultimately, The Hubs will literally do ANYTHING to keep me happy and in his life.

Ladies, if you are a new Mama and you need help, DEMAND IT!  I felt incredibly guilty for not knowing how to handle everything on my own.  I felt irritated when The Hubs refused to help because he feels all things house and home related are only my responsibility.  I was also ashamed of the example I was showing our little girls of how women should be treated and their role in society.  In the past week or so, things have changed. The Hubs and our big girl have been stepping up and helping me out so much more!  I can finally breathe and relax.  It also helps that my Little Someone is getting better with nursing and sleeping better. She still has pretty bad acid reflux, but I have figured her out so much more than what I understood about her one month ago.  It's amazing to me how time, just the passage of time alone, can make things so much clearer.
Now, let's see what the next phase is all about.  I have survived pregnancy, labor/delivery, and my postpartum recovery.  I feel like I can take on the world.  So what's the next step?! 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Where It All Began

This week has been really hectic, but I am trying desperately to get back in the swing of things.  I need to start feeling like myself again as soon as possible.  On the other hand, I don't want to rush anything!  This past weekend, my Little Someone turned one month old.  It's already been ONE MONTH?  How did this happen so quickly?  That realization has been hitting me hard this week as I push with trying to find a schedule so that I can have some free time to blog and to be creative.  The struggle is so real though.

What seems like forever ago at this point, I made some blankets for my Little Someone.
This was definitely a turning point in my little crochet life. All within a few weeks of one another, I figured out how to do an easy ripple stitch for the first time and I figured out how to make African flower squares.  Yes, I did my happy dance!  I can never figure out these gorgeous patterns that I see everywhere.  I always get a little green with envy when I see these beautiful ripple stitch blankets or afghans with a floral stitch.

I was so determined to figure it out, but I would get frustrated with my lack of skills and revert back to my "boring old granny" stitch.  Nothing motivates me more than BABIES!  Hahahaha!  For some reason, I get all crazy and inspired.  Making things for babies gets me in the zone.  I feel overwhelmed with creative ideas.  I also have a bad habit of never finishing projects I start, especially because I love working in motifs.  I never connect them once they're all done.  But let me find out a sweet little baby will be freezing somewhere without my warm, handmade-with-all-sorts-of-love, soft blanket wrapped around its little delicate body.  Uhm.... Ok.  Maybe I am a little crazy and I take things a little too far in my mind, but you get the idea.
I just love all the pictures I see with babies wrapped warmly in handmade blankets and quilts.  There is something extra special about it, and of course, being the attention whore that I can sometimes be, I have to get in on the action and contribute my own source of handmade love out into the world.  This was different though.  I usually don't make blankets that I plan to keep. I also never work this hard to finish something that I start if there is no designated recipient.  Finishing these two blankets was a huge milestone for me. Not only did I manage to finish what I started in a timely manner (the ripple came with us to the hospital), but I was also able to learn a new stitch and a new motif.  Honestly, that's a game changer for me!  Now, I have several projects on the hook following these two designs. What fun is it if you don't change things up a little and experiment with smaller vs. larger ripples and bazillions of color combinations?  Right now, I am on a rampage!

I am also hoping.... Wait for it.... To do a giveaway with a couple of blankets in the very near future.  I just think babies and kiddos sleep so much better with yarny treasures like this...

I love seeing both of my girls wrapped tightly each night in blankets I have made for them.  I want to be able to share that in the coming weeks with two lucky winners.  Stay tuned, as it will be a few weeks.  Life is still a little crazy out in these woods!

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mommy Moments :: Labor and Delivery

Well, my grace period for postpartum hibernation has finally lapsed.  I no longer have Tummy Tuesday (aka Tummy Whenever) posts.  I will be moving things to Mommy Mondays, when I can get myself together well enough to post consistently on the correct days.  Ha! 

I am totally in shock that my Little Someone (who shall be renamed at some point, ha!) is already One Month Old!  How did this happen?!  I mean, I feel like I was just in the hospital with her, holding her tiny little body for the first time.

As requested, I will share my labor & delivery story with you all.  I didn't plan on it.  I actually just blogged about my pregnancy because I knew up front that I wouldn't be pregnant again.  Blogging about my daily life and motherhood afterwards never really crossed my mind.  I do love talking about my little family and all the crazy that ensues on a daily basis, but I guess it just never occurred to me that it would be something blog-worthy.  I guess I was wrong.

I will beg your pardon, however.  I am not a pretty girl when it comes to labor & delivery.  I am without hair and makeup.  I am greasy, swollen, exhausted, and typically goofy looking in all pictures.  I also apologize for the quality (or lack thereof), as I was not in charge of the camera for once.  I was in charge of all the action! Kidding... I was just lying about, trying not to die.

My labor and delivery was totally boring.  I imagine it was the same as any other mother's... Wait, everyone has a totally different story to tell each time! I knew that by all of the advice I had gotten regarding whether or not I was going into labor and the tricks people used to induce their own labor. I had every symptom that signaled imminent labor, only no labor followed all of those "sure thing" signals.  At 39 weeks, I scheduled to be induced on a Thursday so that my Little Darling would be out of school by the time I delivered.  The OBGYN on call requested that I come to meet her, as she does not deliver babies without a checkup beforehand.  I was happy to go because she basically told me that my body was the complete opposite of being ready to have a baby! Because of that she had me come in the night before I had originally scheduled my induction.

Everything after that moment up until I was put into my hospital room is a blur!  I was a complete and totally crazy person the day I was induced.  I was barking and yelling at The Hubs.  I was a monster from hell and impatient with my Little Darling.  I wish I could say it was all "hormonal" or pregnancy related, but the truth?  I was scared shitless!  I needed my apartment to be perfectly clean.  I do all the housework and I didn't want to feel stressed or compelled to clean upon my return from the hospital.  I wanted meals prepped, marked, and frozen.  I wanted paper plates, cups, etc and plastic cutlery.  That's just what I do...  I freak out and I try to force a sense of control in my life by hyper focusing on perfecting the few things over which I do have control.

I had no plans of telling anyone I was being induced outside of a few close friends.  We hadn't chosen a name for our daughter and I didn't want to be wrapped up in social media and answering questions/comments/texts during labor. I don't know if you know this, but I am IN LOVE with social media!  LOL.  I am linked into everything and I check it all throughout the day. I know, what a wonderful use of my time.  The only time I am not logged on and scrolling through social media is when I am driving.  I never check it or text.... Everything else is fair game!

When we arrived at the hospital, I found out that people were calling to see if I was there and where I was.  Bizarre, yes.  No, that's not my daily life.  We checked in and they gave me a robe for someone my size who Was Not Pregnant.  So, calculating my belly into the equation, that mess did not fit.  I am not comfortable with waddling about, having my ass all over the place.  I am not comfortable with bending over, and giving everyone some sort of a poon-shot.....  Not unless I am getting paid for it.  I have modesty in the oddest times, and for whatever reason, when I am in a hospital, I become modest.  I made them exchange my robe for a Triple XL.  Yes, I wrapped it around me two and a half times and sat myself down feeling accomplished, cloaked, covered, and safe.

For some reason, I am oddly obsessed (irrationally) with the idea that I might catch crabs or a flesh eating virus from a hospital robe, yet I chose one that was huge enough to fit three of me inside of it. 

I was given Pitocin and I just felt bored.  I knew what to expect, and nothing major was happening.  The only "interesting" thing that happened was listening to The Hubs snore like a wild ancient Greek serpent caught in a ginormous bear trap, only waking to yell at my stepmom and me to get some sleep before shit got real.  I should have listened.

Out of nowhere, the contractions started coming faster and stronger.  I wasn't ready.  I thought they would be the way they were the last time, starting in my back and flowing to my uterus.  These demonic waves of fury flowed only across my lower back.  It was the worst pain ever!  I thought I knew what to expect and I thought I might be able to make it through with no epidural, but not my BACK!  Back cramps/contractions are a special creation of Beelzebub himself.  I neeeeeeeded the juice!

 But let's talk about my epidural.  With my Little Darling it wore off in 20 minutes.  I asked the medical staff if my legs should be itching and they said that was normal.  Suddenly, I could move my legs.  I asked if that was normal and they looked at me strangely before scurrying away.  By the time I realized that I wasn't numb it was too late and I felt E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

This time, I could barely sit still for the epidural because the cramps were in my back and staying in a hunched position for the shot just made my contractions worse.  I knew that it was messed up because I only felt medicine on half my back.  So it wasn't much of a shock when I awoke from a dead sleep with hellish contractions on HALF my back and uterus.  Yes, for real.  Only 50% of my uterus was going through the absolute worst time of my life. I assure you that Satan himself showed up each time to scratch, claw, nibble, and twist everything from my spine to my uterus during the contractions.  And the anesthesiologist strolled himself back in, as though he KNEW he would have to come back, and gave me more medicine, but not without making some sort of arrogant comment.  First, don't be an asshole to a woman while she's in pain, especially if said pain is connected to child birth.  Secondly, if you hate your job, PLEASE do not work with women who are delivering babies in the middle of the night.  Please.  Thank you, asshole.  If I weren't scared that I might burp, fart, poop, pee, sneeze, and vomit all at the same time, I might have gotten up and face-palmed the anesthesiologist after his unnecessary comment. But I promised to behave this time, as I was apparently a cruel bitch to everyone around me when I birthed my Little Darling.  Uhm, sorry I'm not sorry!  Child birth Hurts Really Badly and if my meds wear off, my fangs might come out.

I will say that I am really great at pushing out babies.  LOL.  I was made for that.  Although I was exhausted from 10 full minutes of one sided contractions and hyperventilation, I managed to push out my Little Someone in just a few minutes.  So.... Here's the part where I am honest, and I don't say what you want to hear.  For some reason, in all my insanity, I just listened to my stepmom who told them to place the baby on my chest immediately.  I don't think I understood what that meant.  As soon as they popped my Little Someone out of her sack, they plopped her on my chest.  EEEEW!!!  NOOOOO THANK YOU!  I don't do slime, gruel, icky things, sticky things, or... well, you get the idea.  I just don't.  I can barely pull of my own band-aids.  Seeing the sight of my own blood makes my stomach turn violently.  When they placed my Little Someone, all grey and covered in placenta goop or afterbirth glob or whatever with the umbilical cord dangling from her body, I thought I would die.  I think I said something to the effect of, "What?  Oh No No No NO!  Why?  Uh uh.  I can't.  Ew no! Please, take her. I'm sorry.  Can you wipe her off, hose her down, something?  She's... Uhm, I'm so sorry."  Add some pauses for dry heaving, gagging, and deep breaths so that I didn't vomit on my newly birthed child.  I am sure I lost count of the eye rolls, but honestly?  Who wants a goop-covered baby all over their chest for skin-to-skin contact?  Ok, I am selfish and squeamish.  But they cleaned her and gave her right back and she was perfect!
 Although the recovery immediately thereafter was significantly quicker and easier than with my Little Darling, I do so solemnly swear never to experience child birth again.  Absolutely nothing about it appeals to me whatsoever.  It's painful, scary, unpredictable, messy.  But Oh! My sweet, precious baby girl that I got as my prize for being able to make it through. She was so worth the mess!  This sweet girl we were told by doctors that we couldn't and wouldn't have. Well, my Little Someone is here.  You were wrong, you fertility assholes.  You were wrong!

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tummy Whenever :: 40 Weeks & Reflection

Right now, my hair is a mess.  I am sweating from cleaning and packing and making phone calls to get everything arranged.  I am going to be induced in just a manner of hours, and all I can do is think about capturing this moment.  I have been hustling around my apartment, finishing things up, and every time I pass my reflection, I find myself feeling a whirlwind of emotions.  Now that I am finally ready to do something with my hair and shower to leave, I feel compelled to just sit and reflect for... what honestly may only be about five small minutes.

I am in shock and incredibly humbled that I got to have this experience.  I never thought I would be pregnant again, and now that this has come to an end for us, we have decided we don't want anymore children.  I just want to remember my body like this.  I want to remember feeling soft and curvy.  Not fat, pudgy or insecure about my feminity. I want to remember the feelings of a sweet baby kicking me without  mercy all throughout the hours of the night.  I want to remember how capable and strong my body really is!  Many women find their strength and confidence in shrinking themselves, focused on becoming as thin as possible.  Some women find their beauty in becoming hard and muscular, focused on training themselves to eliminate curves and fat.  I find it so wonderful that, even though I have had my seasons in both of the aforementioned categories, I find my Truest Confidence and Security in watching my body grow and expand in order to carry my daughter.
I want to remember all the belly rubs, well wishes, and advice from other mothers.  I usually just write most people off, but during this time, I needed compassion and friends and Help!  I am so grateful that I was able to not only get advice and consolation from wonderful friends when I needed it, but I was able to be in a place where I was accepting of the advice given.  In a time where everyone expects you to Google everything and figure it out all on your own, it felt magnificent to have a small community of mothers and women sharing their experiences, ideas, advice, and positive energy in one spot.  As a former tomboy who never truly expected to settle down and have children (although the idea of this life was always appealing), I learned so much about being a woman when I was pregnant with my Little Darling.  I could have never dreamed that I would learn and grow so much more with a second pregnancy!
A large part of me is unexpectedly saddened that this is all coming to an end.  The nine months was so quickly finished that I feel like I didn't get a chance to really make peace with the fact that The Hubs and I don't want anymore children.  I think I expected more time to let that reality set in, but I don't have that time anymore.  I just have these few minutes. 

I don't regret a single thing.  Not one moment of excitement, humor, frustration and not one single joke, complaint, or outburst. This has been the greatest surprise journey I could have ever been blessed to experience!  I so happy to have been able to share it.  For now, however, it is time for me to shower up and get my self to the hospital.  It's finally time to see my Little Someone!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tummy Whenever: Family Photos Part Deux

Dun... Dun... Dun...  I am slowly but surely creeeeeping up on my due date.  I honestly can't even wait! I am peacefully enjoying this Sunday afternoon.  Tomorrow is my 32nd birthday.  Everyone keeps asking me what I want.  Considering that I am due the day after my birthday, I would think that answer is obvious: I want to have this baby and meet my daughter!

This has been one hell of a roller coaster for me emotionally.  I have been very stressed out in these final days, as I prepare for child birth and bringing home our new baby.  The Hubs and I have been arguing and fighting with one another like nobody's business.  I am overly emotional.  He is pig-headed.  I am demanding.  He is overwhelmed with my demands.  I am terrified and I lack trust.  He doesn't feel a deep connection to a child that he can't see or touch.  So many emotions and running back and forth between us that until we took these family pictures and had a day out together, I was really concerned that we might have to take a break from one another.  It was crushing me from the inside out because I thought growing your family was supposed to bring couples somewhat closer as they plan and prepare in unison.  Well, we didn't plan anything together.  We didn't prepare anything together.  I planned, plotted, prepared alone and griped at The Hubs for not helping.  Finally, we both sat down and looked at the calendar.
It's a Saturday afternoon.  Our Little Someone is due Tuesday.  We haven't even made up a crib for her.  We have no clothes for her.  Nothing.  It's not the vision I had going through this.  The Hubs apologized for being absent and disconnected and suggested we heard out an redo our family pictures, have dinner, and get pedicures as a family.  Just what the doctor ordered!!!

But then I really stopped and I started to think about other moms I have been talking to.  They are also loaded with anxiety about getting ready for their new additions.  They are also angry with their significant others for not jumping when these mamas need something done.  So many other expecting mothers were also concerned about whether their relationships would last through the stress.  We have been encouraging to one another, but I have to be honest:  It is easier for me to give positive, motivating advice than it is for me to take my own good advice.

So when The Hubs came to me, waving his white flag, I knew I had to at least try to reconcile our situation for the sake of our little family.  Both of us were hurt.  Both of us are nervous. Both of us are anxious.  With that being realized, I figured I would take time to spread some positive vibes for couples expecting children... couples who are in new relationships or expecting for the first time in a very long time.
For men out there, I know your role is difficult.  I know you are handling an emotional, frustrated, excited, stressed out woman right now.  I know you are worried about provision and taking good care of your woman and your family as it grows.  I know that you want what's best, but you may not know how to best provide those things.  I know that you care deeply, otherwise you would have run for your life upon hearing you'd be a father.

Try to Be Compassionate.  When women are pregnant, they are terrified.  Most women don't want to do anything that would harm their fetus, which is where you come in.  There should be a desire to leave your ego behind and pull through where she falls short.  If she asks you to do something, do it as soon as humanly possible and to the absolute best of your ability.  No, you aren't her slave.  This isn't about following orders.  It's about providing a sense of security.  It's about showing her that you are ready (even if you know in your heart that you are worried/scared) to provide for her and that you will do whatever she needs and whatever it takes to make her comfortable.  It's about building stability and trust. 
Remind her that she is Number One and Most Important.  Not your job, friends, free time, your other children... Nothing and no one comes before your woman right now.  Let her know that if she stumbles, you won't be distracted. You will be there to catch her, help her to her feet, and support her on the rest of her path.  Being pregnant can be the loneliest feeling in the world.  Women need to know that their significant others are putting them first.

Be a Team Player.  No, you have no deeper connection with your new baby at the moment, but it helps so much to trust your preggo.  You may think she is being crazy and frivolous, but I promise that every instinct is being driven by a greater force that is our of her control.  If she needs to buy a crib, save the money and buy it.  If she needs 40 onesies in 4 different sizes, get them for her.  I am not saying go broke, but I am saying take an active part in the planning and preparation for your child.
LADIES!!!  I know that you are uncomfortable.  I know that you feel lonely as everyone is moving faster than you are and seemingly having more fun than you are.  I know that you are anxiety ridden about finishing your pregnancy healthily, having an uncomplicated labor and deliver, and about bringing home your new baby.  I know that you are frustrated because you are being forced to relinquish that control over your body and your life that keeps you feeling secure.  I know that every day the stress becomes greater as you come to the realization that your journey of pregnancy is coming to an end, and with no down time to rest, your journey as a new mother begins.

Be Direct in what you want/need and how you feel.  With hormones raging and emotions spiking, it can be really difficult to even know what you want, let alone communicate it.  Take time to make sure you are getting to the root of your frustrations so that you can express them in a direct and concise manner to your significant other.  It will make it easy for him to respond.  Men think differently than women.  They think in more concrete and linear manners.  Telling him a list of what you need done and giving a date to have it finished will yield better results than arguing about things that annoy you.  Telling him the things he needs to change to make you feel safe and loved will work out better than complaining about his shortcomings and character flaws.
Be Empathetic.  Try to understand what he is experiencing and make sure that you are contributing to him as much as you want him to contribute to you.  If you want an emotional support system, make sure you are offering the same thing.  Try to understand that he is not connected to your baby.  He has no idea what you are feeling.  He has no direct line to your hormones.  Remembering these facts will help you communicate better rather than focusing on finger-pointing, blame, and criticism.

Be Patient!  This is the most important.  Ladies, no matter how you feel at the moment, the TRUTH is that this will all come to an end in a little under a year.  If you are in a truly terrible situation and fully unhappy, then disregard this message.  Similarly, if you are in an abusive or otherwise unsafe relationship, disregard these words.  If you are just having a rough patch brought on by hormone-fueled tantrums, arguments, and anxiety, then give it more time.  Things change significantly after the baby is born.  Give your man a chance to redeem himself if he can.  And forgive him the way you expect to be forgiven for anything you say or do while pregnant.
I am really grateful The Hubs insisted we make up and take these family photos.  He chose the location.  He set up each pose.  I needed to see him be a team player.  I needed him to put me first, as I wanted to capture these moments and he hates photos.  I needed to let go of my resentment and focus on pulling us together in these final days before our Little Someone arrives.

By the time I post this, I will have had at least a week with my Little Someone, maybe two.  I am praying for an easy labor and delivery to share with you all and a speedy recovery.  I have a project list a mile long to get working on!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tummy Whenever:: 39 Weeks

Whaaaaaaaaatttt!!!  I am writing this with just a couple of days to go until D-Day, but by the time I post it, I will be holding my baby girl.  I can NOT wait for that moment!  These are the times when I start going crazy.  Just two weeks ago, I was totally calm.  I was like "Oh, whatever.  Take your time.  No biggie!  I can be pregnant faw-evaaaaah."  Now, I am like "GET THIS PARASITE OUTTA MY BODY!" 
I went to my prenatal appointment, and the same thing happened again with the asking if I want to be induced.  I took the bait this time.  I know!  I am WEAK!  Well, not really.  First, I am not remotely critical of women who WANT to schedule inductions or C-sections.  Having a baby is hard and I think it's entirely up to the mother to decide what she feels comfortable with.  I chose to schedule an induction in the event that my Little Someone, uhm.... gets "stuck" and forgets that she is supposed to come out on March 24.  I gave a small grace period and then scheduled an induction for a time that works well with our getting child care arranged for our Little Darling so that The Hubs can remain in the hospital with me and our Little Someone for those first 48 hours.
Lately, I have been thinking about how I am not going to miss being pregnant.  Some women are so about that feeling and that bond with their babies.  It's like a fix for some women.  For me, being pregnant is merely a means to an end.  I cherish most my sweet baby that I get to bring home at the end of it.  I don't think I am going to miss anything about being knocked up at all...  In fact, I have a list of things that I will miss LEAST about being pregnant.
1 - Being Uncomfortable
No more sciatica.  No more cankles.  No more bladder issues.  No more giant belly.  No more achy boobs.  I can slowly, but surely return to my normal state.  I can resume being active and mobile without assistance.  I don't know how certain members of our population function with always needing help from someone.  I can't live that way and maintain a sense of contentment.  I am too independent to be waiting on someone to help me out!  I got things to do and after this journey has come to an end, I can begin to do those things I love again. Things like sleeping on my stomach and giving myself pedicures...  I know.  Life is all about priorities.
2- Unreliable Bladder
I have to pee literally every 30 minutes.  Every. Half. Hour.  This wouldn't be an issue if I wasn't out and about, preparing in these final days.  I have used some of the nastiest, scariest, stinkiest bathrooms my city has to offer.  There were even a few times, when I thought I was going to jump out of my car on the highway and pop a squat right there in the shoulder.  Speaking of urinary drama while driving, there was once when I was being followed by a cop.  I seriously thought I would get pulled over.  All I could think is that I wasn't pulling over without a fight.  I planned out my high speed chase down the roads to the bathroom and my glamorous, well-televised arrest as I get dragged out of a gas station bathroom.  Ok...  Well, maybe that sounds a little ridiculous now, but it was an awesome distraction as I carefully drove away from the cop, hoping to quickly make it to a restroom.

I have also had no choice but to go into bathrooms after other women.  Ok, seriously, women are fucking nasty!  I have seen it all, ladies and gents.  I have seen the poop left in the toilet like the woman didn't see me in line after her.  I have seen the skid marks.  I have seen the period blood left in the toilet. Cigarette remnants.  I also have developed a pet-peeve of businesses not putting the toilet paper on dispensers.  Do you know how infuriating it is to go in after someone who had some sort of rectal explosion and have to finagle some way to get toilet paper off the roll without touching it?

I am also glad I will no longer wet my panties when I laugh, get scared, sneeze, cough, or think of Michael Fassbender.
3- Boring Preggo Sex
Let's face it.  Being pregnant and actually being able to have sex this time was phenomenal!  But pregnant sex is boring and weird and sometimes a little uncomfortable.  I miss feeling sexy when I am in the mood, rather than feeling like a bloated, grumpy kitty in heat.  I can't count how many times the mood wasn't "Oh honey, I love you.  Let's make this last."  The tone was almost always "I'm so horny.  Just put it in me and let's get this party started!".  And when it's over, I rush to the bathroom to pee and carry on with my day like nothing happened.

I miss the positions I could experience sans baby bump. I tried to get a little "interesting" once....  Our Little Someone rolled in such a way that I thought The Hubs penis would be stuck in me forever.  It almost sounds enticing until I think about how a baby needs to come OUT in a few days.

4- Feeling Hideous
I am so tired of only feeling large.  Ha!  I want to feel sexy, pretty... mildly attractive.  Something!  First, I have no energy to scour shops for nice, affordable items.  Secondly, I have no motivation to dress this whale of a body.  I have always been into fashion and clothing.  I am addiction to style and beauty blogs, and I have to admit that it has become difficult to see all the cute clothes and swimwear for spring come out and not even be able to try anything on in the shops.  Even more so, I will miss shopping this season all together, as I will need to recover for a month and it will take me almost a year to get back into shape.

But this isn't just about clothes.  I want to get my hair did!  I have gotten FOUR gray hairs since being pregnant.  I need some color in my life, as the purple is now washed out and turning a reddish color.  I need my skin care system back!  I had to ditch all my products because they contained potentially hazardous ingredients.  Uhm... But they keep me young and pretty and, most importantly, Acne Free!  I want to resume my beautification routine. No more looking and feeling like a troll.  I also can't wait to do my own pedicures.  I really like going to the spa that I have found, but that's money I could spend on art supplies.  I usually keep my own feet looking pretty....  Well, that and I am really tired of the old Asian lady at the spa making a huge deal about how crusty my feet are.  I mean, seriously, bitch, I can't even SEE my feet, let alone touch them!  So, although I may not fit any of the cute spring clothing styles, I will definitely be looking gorgeous and feeling confident with new hair, smooth skin, and feet that don't look like they got ate up by a food processor.

5- Saying No To Drugs
Yep, you read that correctly.  Drugs.  I survive daily life with a nice little cocktail of medications that I cannot take while pregnant.  I love my assortment of really awesome vitamins in my supplement pack.  I feel like super woman.  I love the supplements I take that encourage better attention span so that I don't have to get addicted to ADHD medications.  I love-LOVE my allergy meds.  I have the WORST allergies.  I am allergic to everything.  Since I have been pregnant, I have had skin issues, breathing issues, nose bleeds, and more.  When I go into labor, I will be requesting that I get a liquid injection of all the steroid and anti-histamines I have missed for nine months.

Let's talk about this "take Tylenol for everything" bullshit. It is in my mind!  I know for a fact, that Tylenol does nothing for most of my ailments, but while pregnant it's like a magical cure-all.  Hemorrhoids?  Take a Tylenol.  Sinus infection?  Take a Tylenol.  Ingrown toenail?  Take a Tylenol...  But the crazy thing is IT WORKS!  Every time I take one for an ailment, no matter what the issue, the damn Tylenol works.  Now to see if these are all in my head and as soon as I have this baby whether all my issues will return full throttle.

6- Grocery Shopping
Not only do I not have the energy to go shopping, but I don't have the physical capability to bend over on the isles and pick up whatever items I need.  I don't have the strength to push the cart around and then to haul all the bags into my trunk. Unfortunately, that means I have to trust The Hubs to get the groceries.  Worst. Idea. Ever.

First, The Hubs only eats one meal at home, dinner.  So he doesn't understand that our Little Darling and I need things for breakfast and lunch. He also hates grocery shopping for large quantities of food.  His "plan" is to go shopping every other day for the things we need.... Only he HATES grocery shopping, so his plan of going more frequently is asinine.  He never goes back to the store and I am left home with One Day's worth of food for that night's dinner.  His response:  Eat a carrot or something, babe.  Mind you, I am pregnant and The Hubs is a very educated man.  Yet, things like this happen.  He is always on a mission to substitute the things I normally buy.  I buy organic, cage-free, vegetarian fed eggs... he buys low-quality store brand eggs that were raised inside of cows after being fed tadpoles.  I need to be in charge of getting food and nourishment in this home!
Honestly, the absolute BEST thing about not being pregnant anymore is that I will finally get to meet my Little Someone, my precious baby girl.  I am praying this baby girl comes on out on her due date.  I am praying for a safe delivery..... would it be too much to ask for an easy delivery, the installment of a cute, new and improved vagina, and a speedy recovery?  Am I pushing it?  Ha!  Well, how about this?

Just come one out, sweet baby girl.  You are loved and welcomed by so many already and we haven't even gotten to see your precious face!