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!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tummy Whenever:: 38 Weeks

It's late and I am up, blogging.  Something has to be wrong with me, right?  I am counting down the days until I deliver my sweet baby girl.  All I can do is crochet, blog, take pictures, and other creative things.  What I should be doing is cleaning my apartment and double checking to make sure I have everything sorted for when I have to go into hibernation for a few weeks.  Isn't it funny how people cope with things?  I prefer to be creative when I feel stressed, rather than work on the things that may be causing me the stress. 

Speaking of stress......  Trying to take family pictures?!  STRESSSSS!
Let me just walk you through my disaster...

First, The Hubs hates pictures, like most men, I suppose.  He hates the idea of getting dressed up, and smiling, and posing, and taking the time to make sure each photo is of decent quality.  I will be honest, he was very patient with me about the whole ordeal.  Most of the stress was my own fault.

During this pregnancy, whenever I have a busy day filled with something I am not entirely 100% excited about doing, I sabotage myself by staying awake almost all night.  It is such a Horrible Habit that I have formed, but I can't stop myself!  I am anxious and stressed, which just leads to a bit of insomnia.  The night before these photos, I went to bed around 6am.  I woke up three hours later than planned.

Rather than getting the ball rolling, I decided I needed to have sex..... for, like, 2 more hours.  I have NO IDEA what is wrong with me, but I have been very needy in that department lately.  I would also like to formally announce that semen has done NOTHING in terms of inducing labor.  I am beginning to think that whole thing is a complete myth.  Either that, or maybe I need to drink it or shoot it directly into my blood stream?  Who knows, but I know I am not in labor!
After that, I ate, watched TV, lied in bed scrolling through social media........ Next thing I know, OH SHIT!  It's 3pm.  I was supposed to be OUT in the sun, taking the pictures at 3pm!  Well, I had to do something with my hair, so I flat ironed it, which took forever.  We were ready to go at 5:30pm.  Epic. Fucking. Fail.

Additionally, right before leaving, I found out the area I wanted to take pictures had flooded from all the melted snow.  That wouldn't have been a problem *IF* a man were not involved.  Me, I am thinking:  Oh My!  A flood!  Let's immediately change to Option B.

The Hubs thinks:  There's a flood!  Blah, blah, blah-- something about why didn't you plan better, woman-- blah, blah, blah.  Well, let's detour for an hour and a half to see if we can find that spot you wanted.

An hour and a half later, we discovered what I already knew.  The area was under water.  Lots of dirty water.  It was completely impossible.  By now, it's almost 7pm.  We are hungry.  I am a ball of stress and fits.  The Hubs was amazing, as he continued to drive around in circles. Finally, I decide I want sushi (cue all the criticisms about eating raw fish, mercury, and soft cheeses....  I have my middle finger ready.) I decide that taking pictures was a bad idea and I'm too hungry to care anymore.

Thankfully, our sushi spot is next to a park.  Unfortunately, the pretty, woodsy area I needed was a long, LONG way for me to waddle with my cankles.  So I walked as far as I could, peacefully ignoring my husband's horrible suggestions for spots to take pictures.  Spots like in front of soccer goals with soccer players running in the background.  Spots like an empty swimming pool filled with dirt and leaves.  Spots like a random tree with the parking lot in the background.  LOLOL!!  I love this man to the moon, but he doesn't have a single shred of artistic vision.  Not a drop.

Finally, we found a spot.  It was across a moat filled with bugs and deer shit.  I am not sure how much of which of those I stepped in with my bare feet, but I am just going to say it was worth it in the end.  I am reasonably happy with the way the photos came out. Taking the photos was practically mission impossible.  Between our Little Darling complaining about being covered in bugs and mud and trying to get her to resist the natural childlike urge to want to take off running around in an open field, I thought I was going to scream.  Between The Hubs making crazy faces in each photo and then grabbing my butt as the timer ended over and over, which resulted in my making weird faces, I thought I was going to lose my mind!

I am grateful that we made the time to take them since we never did it with our Little Darling.  I want to capture these moments, as The Hubs and I agree that we don't want to create more children.  In the future, adoption is on the table, but neither of us enjoys my being pregnant and we agree that we don't want to experience it again.  But The Hubs and our Little Darling have been complaining about wanting to be a part of my blog and pregnancy journal.  I think they now understand why I haven't made it a weekly habit of dressing them and dragging them around to take pictures for the past 9 months.  I will, however, in these last few moments, include them as much as possible.  It means everything to me to document this time. Since each moment of this experience very well may be our last, I want this to be a beautiful stain in all our memories.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Tummy Tuesday :: 37 Weeks

WOW!  Time feels like it is going by a little faster.  Maybe that's not exactly true.   I just feel that way because this blog is a little backdated, so I am always writing things as I have progressed a little further into my pregnancy.  I feel like, "Oh wow!  That was, like, so long ago!  I am almost done."  When in reality, on the days I am not writing on my blog, I am thinking, "Sheesh!  This is taking for-everrrr!  Each day is like a week long by itself.  Hurry up, baby girl!  Just get here!"

I am starting to have mixed feelings about being pregnant now.  First, I was so excited that I was literally rubbing my little bump and praying over it.  I prayed that this wasn't some fluke accident, after trying to get pregnant for so many years.  For my entire first trimester, everything felt so surreal and I just wanted to make sure that God knew I was grateful and that I wanted this more than anything I have wanted in a really long time.  Then, the nausea...the heartburn...the fatigue...the uterine cramps.  After all that set in, I was hateful and just couldn't wait to get done with things.  I felt that way up until about two weeks ago.

Today, I am sitting firmly at 12 days before my due date.  I am attending weekly prenatal appointments and getting more excited at the end of each day.  Two weeks ago, I went to the first of my weekly appointments and I found out that I am ONE CENTIMETER DILATED.  When I heard that, I was like...

For. Fucking. Real.  I walked out of my gynecologist office Like A Boss........ And then I went to my appointment earlier this week to find out that I haven't made anymore progress.  Ha!  The joke's on me.
This past week or so has been a little stressful and frustrating. First, I must have picked about 95 fights with The Hubs about the most trivial things.  Things like...  "You don't clean the house enough.  I am not the maid!  I am just as much as a citizen of this world as you are and you cannot and will not berate me as though I am a second class citizen, maid and cook!"......."No, I will not have sex with you, play with your penis, or shake your damn hand!  I don't like the tone you used with me at dinner three weeks ago." ....... "I need to spend $1,000 on stupid things.  Don't question my financial skills or my reasoning behind the spending.  You don't have a vagina, which means you don't understand my level of thinking right now."..... "I told you I lost my mucous plug!  Why the Fuck aren't you out buying me a lemon cream cake from Olive Garden with the candle sparklers on it so we can party and celebrate this milestone?  If you truly loved me and this baby, we would be eating cake right now!"

Yes, my hormones are making me a complete and total monster to be around these days.  I don't even know what to do about it and I think I am actually beyond a point where any sort of apology would even suffice!

Something completely shocking happened this week at my appointment...  First, it was the only day of rain thus far during this week.  I was also almost run over by an inattentive nurse.  Yes, a NURSE almost killed me in her minivan.  If I'd chosen to carry in my giant fountain drink, I can't promise I wouldn't have thrown it at her windshield.  Everything happens for a reason though.  My forgetfulness saved me from getting arrested or something, I am sure.

Anyway, that shocking thing that happened was my OBGYN casually asked me if I planned on being induced again this time around.  I was shocked.  I am two weeks from my due date and I am having no major issues, no health concerns, and my Little Someone is sitting cozy.  I am making normal progress towards a regular delivery, I think.  Without giving it any thought, I declined and we continued with the appointment.  In the end, she told me how much of a "Sweet girl" I am and a "Loving mother" for having the patience to wait until my Little Someone arrives on her own.

I didn't think anything of it at the moment, but it kind of hit me later on.  I was induced with my Little Darling because she was past her due date and well, I selfishly did not want to be in the hospital during Christmas.  I was also miserable because her head slid past my cervix and during each exam, the OBGYN had to push her back inside of my body to check for dilation.  She slid past my cervix around 35 weeks, so you can imagine what it was like to have a baby smashed back inside of you every week for a month.  Aside from having contractions every 3 minutes upon arrival for my induction, I was not making any progress.  The contractions I had did not cause dilation whatsoever.  I was given Pitocin and I still didn't make progress.  Nineteen hours later, I finally had my Little Darling, and swore not to even consider child birth an option until she was at least 5 years of age!

This time, though, I am fine.  I am comfortable for the most part.  This baby's head has not slid past my cervix.  I am dilating on my own.  I have sciatica, heartburn, and on most days, I am positive that my hips will dislocate, but I am not miserable.  Although I am a little disappointed that the evil seed of scheduling an induction has now been planted (I can't help but to think about it now that the option is on the table), I am happy that my OBGYN didn't employ any scare tactics.  She didn't try to convince me one way or another.  I know too many women who had their hearts set on a vaginal delivery and were scared or tricked into or convinced to have a Cesarean.  More power to the women who WANT to schedule an induction and a C-section.  That's fine, but I am 100% against a doctor persuading women against their will for the financial gain of the doctor's practice.  The utmost priority should be a healthy baby and mother.  Not scheduling in as many medicine-heavy, costly procedures as possible.

Unfortunately, since I was induced and experienced not one single element of delivery on my own without medical intervention, I don't know what to expect.  Every time I have a symptom of being close to delivery, I start to do something crazy.  For example, I had diarrhea, so I stayed up all night sewing baby blankets and putting my hair into these braids.  Diarrhea means I am about to go into labor.... or I drank too much milk.  Whatever.  Then, I was having back cramps and spasms.  Totally labor, right?  So I packed bags for everyone and planned out a menu, a to do list, a code word for when it's "Go Time" and started several fights with The Hubs.  Back spasms means baby, right?....... or I spent too much time cleaning and lifting and moving things around.  And what about these stupid Braxton Hicks contractions?!  Ugh! Man!  Some were so intense that I thought it was the real thing, so I sat on the floor crying and rocking myself because The Hubs was unavailable, and I thought I would have to birth the baby in my bathtub on my own.  Scary Braxton Hicks contractions clearly means D-Day........ or I was dehydrated because I had been running so many last minute errands to prep for my Little Someone and I hadn't drank nearly enough water.

As I recall, I was just as much of an emotional wreck with my Little Darling, thinking EVERY possible symptom happening meant that I was about to give birth.  I am trying to keep myself under control now, and just focus on getting things ready.  Seriously, if you are knocked up, let me help you out::  Do Not, I repeat, DO NOTTTT  Wait Until Your Third Trimester to start preparing!  You will be huge, achy, exhausted, emotional, short-tempered, busy with appointments, and you will constantly think you are in labor when you aren't.  You'll thank me later!  You're Welcome.

Until it is time for my Little Someone to make her debut, I will keep enjoying these early days of sunny spring weather.  I'll keep getting these last minute loose ends tied.  I will also try not to end up in jail.  Just kidding. I meant, I will be nicer-- Ha!!!

Have a great day.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Baby Blues and Greens

It's a gloomy day here in my city, as I sit and stare through my living room window.  I wish the weather would just make up its mind already!  And by make up its mind, what I really mean is I wish it would just be summer.  I love the promise of warm summer days that spring brings, but spring is also the onslaught of migraines, rainy days, crazy fluctuations in weather, and allergies.  Summers are usually just hot and sticky.  That doesn't bother me much, honestly.

Right now, I am sitting firmly with 5 days left until my due date and not much progress in the way of dilation and being ready to go into labor.  I am not shocked at all there.  My body hates being pregnant, aches and pains... but when it is time to evict the baby, suddenly most aches and pains die down and my body just wants to stay pregnant forever.  While I am grateful to finally be feeling comfortable for the most part, I am still not in the business of trying to stay pregnant much longer.  I am just so anxious to see my Little Someone!

This week, I have been spending lots of time with friends.  I am trying not to think about my due date, labor, delivery, being a mom of two.  I am just trying to keep my mind preoccupied and my body reasonably busy.  With that being said, I finished another gift for another friend!

I have been BLESSED with the amazing good fortune of having some wonderful Mothers and friends in my life.  I would completely be lost if I didn't have a network of insightful, selfless women who look out for me on a regular basis.  I say this all the time and I will always say it:  Being a Mom is Really HARD!  It is the hardest thing I have every attempted.  I don't always get it right.  I don't know everything there is to know.  I am learning and growing with my children.  I need as much compassion and grace as they do, as we all figure things out. It's a rough and rocky path, for sure.  What makes the journey more enjoyable is having mothers in whom I can confide and with whom I can share a good laugh.

When I was pregnant with my Little Darling, I didn't have anyone else to share experiences with.  None of my friends were pregnant and most were pretty adamant at the time that they would never have children.  Don't get me wrong, all of my friends are and always have been extremely loving towards my Little Darling and very supportive, but as a pregnant woman, I felt incredibly alone.

This time, I am lucky to have experienced pregnancy with several friends.  Nothing makes me happier than being able to laugh, cry, and complain about similar symptoms and experiences with other Mamas out there.  My friend, Mama N, is one such woman.

(Again, I apologize about the baby bump photobombs.  I just never have the energy or time to stage nicer photos, so these are quick snapshots of my progress as I work.)
Mama N and I have been fortunate enough to actually go through our whole pregnancies together, as she is due just 6 weeks after me.  I am really excited for her and her Baby K.  I am also excited to have the chance to make something for a BABY BOY!  While I am relieved that my Little Someone is a girl, I would have loved the experience of getting to be a mommy to a little rambunctious boy.  I would have also loved the challenge of coming up with cute "Baby Boy Projects".

Again, this is the ripple stitch.  I am kind of falling in love with pattern!  I already have another ripple project on the hook.  The pattern that I use is not 100% accurate, but I have figured out my way around that small inaccuracy.....  What I mean is I learned to HIDE the mistake rather than some mathematical way to correct the mistake.  I am horrible with math!  This blanket differs from the one I'd previously made, as the ripples occur in sets of 4 stitches, rather than 15.  Smaller ripples as opposed to a chevron looking pattern.  I am so inspired by this project for a baby boy that I have plans to make several more items for boys.... or little girls who love blues, greens, browns, and whatnot.  I may not have a baby boy of my own, but that is clearly not stumping my creative juices!  And at the rate baby boys are being born, I am sure I will find homes for my projects reasonably easily.

Nothing makes me happier than being in a position to Bless another Mama with a small handmade gift.  Mama N and I had one major thing in common:  Neither of us had much in the way of being prepared for our new babies.  I obviously had to figure things out much sooner, as I am due a month before Mama N, but I was happy to grab a few items for Baby K while I was out shopping for my Little Someone.  I don't have much, but what I do have, I don't mind to share.  Giving makes me happy and knowing I can be helpful and brighten someone's day makes my life so much fuller.  Selfish?  Maybe...... But most people on the receiving ends of my kindness typically don't complain much!  LOL.

Have a Happy Day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tummy Tuesday :: 36 Weeks

Well, I am still here!  I am working extra hard these days to blog ahead so that when I take a break from life, I will have some posts to hold me over and some time to take some pictures of my new projects and new life after my Little Someone arrives.  As much as I love planning ahead, I actually hate following through with my plans. 

I am really enjoying the sunshine and higher temperatures lately.  A few weeks ago, we got hit with a huge snow storm that left us with 7 inches of snow.  Then, things warmed up and we had a 60 degree day and then, literally as the last bits of snow melted, BOOM!  Again with the snow.  Ten inches this time. I don't know what to think about this weather, but I am praying for sunshine and peace on D-Day.  Due to the weird weather, I got a weird idea.  Why not take belly photos outside?  Well, because it's cold as hell, that's why!  LOL. 

So lately, I have been hyper tuned into anything parenting and baby related.  It's been so long since I had a newbie in my life that I really need a refresher course. Or I thought that I did until it all just really started driving me crazy. Why, yes, I am grateful for the MOUNTAINS of advice I have been given, what I am not so happy about is all the judgment. 

When I had my Little Darling eight years ago, there wasn't much for me to go by.  I was the only pregnant person I knew.  I was considerably younger.  I was busier, more energetic, healthier... Life was better and more simplistic. Now, I am 31 years old, just weeks shy of 32, and I cannot remember a single thing about my previous pregnancy, delivery, or life with a newborn.  I mean, I recall small moments, but nothing that would help me prepare for this new adventure.  Now, most of my friends are having their first babies and they are driving me completely bat shit crazy with this whole "Textbook Parenting" attitude.  Everything is "They now recommend..." and this is the "New Age Parenting"...  I feel like everyone suddenly thinks they know everything because they read some blog post on Facebook that is in direct alignment with what they were thinking and planning to do anyway as a parent.  No experience.  No further research.  No critical thought.

Well, I have a blog!  These are my thoughts....
Breastfeeding Vs. Formula
There is no doubt regarding scientific evidence that breast milk is more nourishing for your child and that there is an important bond formed during the breastfeeding sessions.  What isn't scientifically proven is that you are a bad/negligent mom if you choose not to do it.  Or that your baby will somehow be inferior to those who are breastfed.  I planned on breastfeeding my Little Darling.  It didn't happen.  I didn't feel badly about it. She grew up happy, healthy, and considerably more intelligent and kinder than most kids in her age group.  No complaints from me...... Until recently.  Now, I am overwhelmed with messages about the importance of breastfeeding, how easy it is, how I need to give it a shot, and my personal favorite "My attitude regarding breastfeeding with determine my success".  Well, I am a grown ass woman with a full understanding that any number of factors could lead to my NOT breastfeeding and that should A) Be nobody's business and B) Be nothing for me or any other Mom to be ashamed of.

Keeping a Routine vs. Working Around Baby
I am a hot mess naturally.  I am forgetful and absentminded.  My mega amazing stepmom who raised 5 kids and then got pregnant with twins was a total mastermind at scheduling. I sometimes thought that she could look at my youngest brother and sister and they would automatically do whatever they were scheduled to do at that moment.  Like one eye motion meant "Be hungry" and another meant "Poop your diaper".  And that worked!  My stepmom also helped me to get my Little Darling onto a schedule regarding feedings and sleeping.  That changed my whole life.  I was completely miserable, rushing about, starting and stopping whatever I was doing in order to accommodate my baby. It was so much easier and my days flowed so much better when I had a schedule and you know what, my baby hopped right on board.  No problems.  If you can stay home and cater to your child's every whim and still find peace of mind with that lifestyle, DO IT!  I just wasn't able to function that way.  I am not sure what will happen this time around because I am not a student and working, but I still think I prefer my routine and a little predictability.

Wearing Your Baby vs. Not
While at a baby fair some time ago, I got the biggest shocking looks when I announced unabashedly that I don't plan to "wear my baby".  I just don't.  Why it was such a concern to others, I don't know.  Why people felt the need to convince me or judge me, I also don't know.  I was in so much pain for about 2 months after having my Little Darling.  I wasn't toting around any extra weight when I didn't have to and I wasn't having anything strapped to my body.  No harm came from it.  She learned to sleep, play, and whatever she needed in her little rocker just fine in my constant in-sight supervision as I handled whatever chores and work I needed to accomplish. I never felt badly about allowing her to sleep somewhere other than my chest.  I never felt badly about letting her learn to occupy herself or fall asleep by herself.  If you enjoy wearing your baby, rock out! But don't feel like a bad mom if you don't.  It's a preference thing.  I am waiting for studies to come out in the next few years about all the cases of babies who died from SIDS while being worn in slings for hours on end.  Until then, do whatever you feel comfortable with!

Cry It Out vs. Not
Whewie!!!!  This is a doozie!  Some time ago, a friend asked about sleeping and what to do about her infant not wanting to sleep anywhere other than her arms.  I suggested to let the baby cry for a few minutes.  Why not?  Cut on some music to drown out the sound, make a cup of coffee, and check your infant every few minutes.  Being a mom is HARD WORK!  Mental Health Breaks are totally advised.  I was, of course, met with an onslaught of mothers, projecting their personal experiences onto the situation and basically maiming me for being a "heartless, negligent mom".  Seriously?!  First, why do babies cry?  There could be Hundreds of possibilities and all of them unbeknownst to us.  So for someone to look at a mother and decide that mom's baby is crying for their reason and not something else is... well, fucked up!  This idea that you are "hurting your baby's feelings" is absurd.  We are taught those things as we age.  We are taught emotions and how to or how not to display them.  Those are learned behaviors.  A baby is a clean slate, so to think your baby is "mad at you" is asinine and has more to do with your hormones and your emotional state than your child's. Additionally, people who have acquired language cry when something is wrong/bad, again, a LEARNED behavior.  Babies have not acquired language.  Crying is a primary source of communication.  Now, with that said, if you are in a position to rock your baby to sleep for each nap and bedtime, and it is something you enjoy, do it.  But don't feel badly if you are alone often with your infant and you just need to be away from your baby for 3-5 minutes so you can wash your face or drink a cup of coffee.  Your bond will still be there.  Your baby will not hold a grudge. 

I let my daughter cry it out. I had horrible postpartum depression and I was alone with her more than I expected, as The Hubs went back to work 2 weeks earlier than we'd planned.  It was so bad that hearing her cry made me cry.  Eventually, I swaddled her and put her in her crib.  I cut on some music and cleared my head.  I checked on her every few minutes, and for my entire 15 minute break, she hollered, but I was so exhausted, I continued my break.  When I felt de-escalated and some renewed strength, I went in and held her and rocked her to sleep.  She's fine today at 8 years old and inexplicably attached to me.  I am not saying "My way is better".  I am saying you need to have a certain level of mental health to be an effective caregiver.  Self monitoring is important.  I had a friend once who was so overwhelmed with her crying baby that she explained to me a detailed mapped out plan for suicide to escape the screams.  I took her baby from her every day so she could rest for 3-4 hours.  It made all the difference.
I am not saying that I have all the answers, but I think there is a certain level of sensibility that needs to come along with parenting.  Parenting is as much about self-discovery as it is about discovering your little one.  You have to learn what works for you and your family dynamic.  You have to learn about your baby.  Some will snap to a routine and some won't.  Some will cry it out a few times and be good to go, while others will never stop screaming until you give in.

There is NO "One Size Fits All" model to parenting and nothing upsets me more than watching mothers judge one another.  How can you pass judgment when you know how hard it is?  How frustrating it can be?  How overwhelming it gets?  How lonely and clueless you can feel?  What does one gain from saying hateful things to a mother who's trying her best to keep herself together and provide as best she can for her little ones?

I am not sure how things will go this time around with this new baby on the way, but I know that I am open to doing Whatever works for the family and Whatever works best for the baby to grow into a healthy, intelligent, tolerant, successful, respectful citizen.  I don't owe anyone anything and I can't think of a single person who is worth my feeling guilty over doing my absolute best! And anyone who has the fucking audacity to make me feel like less than anything but a loving mother to my child should beware.  I might just maul their face off in a raging fit of postpartum hormones!

So, Mammas, old and new, young and old, hippies, hipsters, by-the-bookers, tough lovers, and free spirits Do What Works For You!  Every baby is different.  Every household is different.  Everyone's circumstances are different.  Don't be judged, maimed, belittled, or feel like your lack in comparison!
Be your best.  Be brave.  Be unapologetic.