Friday, October 30, 2009

Mommy chronicles: breasfeeding

So Gus is almost 8 weeks old already, and I still haven’t taken the time to write about being a new mom. Mostly that’s because I’ve avoided writing all together because it just feels like such a daunting task. How in the world am I supposed to describe how much my life changed since that day in the hospital that we met our son for the first time? The right words are hard to come by, that’s for sure. So I won’t put too much pressure on myself to write some sort of masterpiece, I’ll just share some little tidbits about motherhood that I’ve learned over the last two months. Today I want to talk about breastfeeding.

First off, breastfeeding is hard at the beginning. I was plagued by self doubt those first couple weeks… Is he getting enough milk? Why don’t I feel a “let down”? My nipples are bloody stumps, does that mean I’m doing something wrong? Do I have a weak supply if I’ve never been painfully engorged or my milk doesn’t shoot across the room like my mom describes? Should I really wake him up to feed him every 2-3 hours? Am I drinking enough water? Can I eat spicy food? Thinking back on it, I was a neurotic mess. Also I took everything people said to me like it was the bible. When someone else’s experience was different from mine, I full on freaked out and convinced myself that Gus wasn’t getting what he needed to flourish. Finally after about two and a half weeks I saw a lactation consultant, and it was absolutely the best thing I could have done. I felt so much better, she reassured me that we were doing just fine, and gave me some advice for increasing my supply if I was really worried about it, even though she didn’t necessarily think it was needed. We talked about how Gus is a little grazer, not getting a ton of breast milk at each feeding, doing lots of comfort sucking, and thus coming back less than two hours later for more. She gave me creams for my sore nipples, a recipe for lactation cookies, but best of all she told me to trust my instincts and stop comparing myself to everyone else. She said every mom is different, and every baby is different.

Now I absolutely love breastfeeding. Not only is it the most important gift I can give my son, but I really feel like it has helped me bond with my little man on such an amazing level. I love that nursing is our own little special time together. Often I find myself looking down at him with teary eyes, stroking his perfectly plump little cheeks, rubbing his fuzzy little head, kissing his tiny little fingers, and just feeling so overwhelmed with love and amazement for this little gift from God. For all those future moms out there, it can not be said enough, breastfeeding is really hard those first few weeks, but stick it out because it gets so much better and it is so worth it. My nipples were so cracked and sore, I would have to whisper to myself every time he latched on, “It’s not that bad, it’s not that bad, the pain will go away in about 30 seconds”. Of course the fact that all the books say you’re doing it wrong if you feel any pain doesn’t help things. Screw that. At the beginning, especially if you have sore nipples from your baby’s constant and frustrated nursing during those days before your milk came in, it totally hurts.

In short, my advice comes down to this: lactation consultants are your friends, stock up on lanolin and nursing tanks, and don’t get too hung up on the experiences of everyone else, because every mom and every baby is different when it comes to breastfeeding. Be confident, ask for help, and focus on what this is all about, a healthy and happy baby.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Birth Story

Note: I started writing this a few days ago, it took me multiple sit downs to finish it though, because I have a baby now who, when hungry, does not care if his mama is busy writing. ;) Also, sorry it is so ridiculously long.

Gus was born at 2:32 AM on September 5th, 2009. I’ve wanted to write his birth story but things have, not surprisingly, been pretty crazy the last week and a half! However, the visitors have started to space out a bit, Dan is back to work, and I’m beginning to feel a little bit more like myself again (well, a completely different version of myself actually, becoming a parent has a way of forever changing a person at their core, but “myself” nonetheless!)

It’s my first day at home with Gus without Dan. I was a little freaked out going into it, if I’m going to be honest, but it’s going ok so far. This morning was rough, the little guy only slept about an hour between feedings last night, and since Dan was getting up at 5:30 AM for work after more than a week off, I didn’t want to wake him to help with any of the diaper changes or burping. So yea, I’m exhausted. And then he was pretty much a little fuss-monster all morning long, so I wasn’t able to meet my mom for coffee down the street like I had hoped. But by the power of the Miracle Blanket, I got him down for a nap around 11:00 and I was able to take a shower, and now he’s sleeping again on my chest allowing me time to write for the first time since his arrival.

Anyway, that’s a long introduction to what is supposed to be his birth story. I’ll say first off that it was pretty insane, but amazing and perfect and I couldn’t feel more blessed that we were able to welcome Gus into the world through a completely natural, med-free, uncomplicated birth. It all started around 6:45 PM on Friday, September 4th, the day after my due date. Actually, I suppose looking back on everything, it started earlier than that, because I was pretty much crazy nesting that entire day. I had the day off, so I cleaned the whole house, top to bottom, and afterwards still had all this bundled up energy so I took the dog for an hour and a half walk. I should have known right? Anyway, so at 6:45 I went to the bathroom and noticed a little bloody show, so I knew that something was happening soon. I wanted to stay calm though, knowing how adrenaline can really slow down labor, and Dan and I were both trying to stay prepared for a marathon birth experience, so I thought it would be best to go about my evening as planned. Lisa, my mom, and I were planning on going to a movie and Lisa was actually on her way to my house to pick me up. Being in a movie theatre just did not sound like the best idea though, especially with the risk of my water breaking all over the place, so we rented a movie and Lisa and my mom came over. I made popcorn, we got the movie started, and seriously during the opening credits, at around 8:30 PM, my water broke. I wasn’t really prepared for what the whole water breaking thing would entail, I thought it would just be one big gush, but I pretty much trickled amniotic fluid for the rest of the labor. We called the midwife and after assuring her that my water did in fact break and I didn’t just pee my pants, she asked if we wanted to go to the hospital, or if we were hoping to labor at home for longer. We had wanted to labor at home for as long as possible, which is what I told her, so she told me to try to get some sleep, and call her around the time that I would normally be getting up in the morning, at around 7:00 AM. Ha!

We managed to finish out the movie, and I was barely having contractions at that point, but it was definitely uncomfortable sitting on plastic bags and towels and feeling just generally disgusting. By the time Lisa and my mom left at around 10:30, I was really starting to feel the contractions, I could no longer sit, even on the birthing ball, and they were ALL in my back. So it was around that time that we really got serious and started timing them. Dan got out the laptop and hit up (awesome site), and we went upstairs to the bedroom where it was more comfortable. I was hoping to get some rest, again with this being my first baby we were prepared for one of those 24 hour labors that everyone always talks about. Though from the very beginning, the contractions were quite close together, and almost started out at four minutes apart, lasting for a minute. I labored on the bed for a while, hanging over the foot board on my hands and knees, which was the only way I could handle the back pain.

After a while, I asked Dan to start filling up the tub, hoping that would help relieve some of the back pain I was having. It was great at first, but pretty quickly I realized I just couldn’t be on my back, even in the water. So I got on my hands and knees again, in the tub, and during my contractions Dan would spray my back with hot water. That felt AMAZING. It’s a claw foot tub, so I was essentially hanging over the back, and I started this rhythmic moaning when the contractions were getting even closer together. I was definitely “in the zone” and at one point while in the tub, my mom called and insisted on talking to me, and both Dan and I kind of freaked out on her on the phone. Later I found out that she was pretty concerned at that point that we were farther along in the labor than we thought we were, and felt that we probably should have been at the hospital. She called my aunt to tell her and was tempted to call back but didn’t want to get yelled at again. Though I had no sense of time whatsoever, I had only been having contractions for about an hour to and hour and a half! But we were both still just so much in the mindset of trying to stay home as long as possible, especially since our water had broke, and we really didn’t want to be on the hospital’s time table. I kept telling myself that it was going to get so much worse, that this was only the beginning, I think that kind of helped me manage the pain, in a strange sort of way.

In the Bradley Method classes we took, we talked a lot about the “emotional signposts of labor”. They really stressed with the dads the importance of recognizing those signs throughout labor, as they’re indicators of how far along a woman is in the whole process. Here they are:

Early first stage – Excitement
First stage/Active Labor – Acceptance
Late first stage – Seriousness
Transition – Self Doubt/Surrender
Second stage – Determination (this might be wrong)

While I can only vaguely recognize these things now, in hindsight, Dan was witnessing me just fly through each of these signposts like a crazy woman. I don’t know how long I was in the tub, but it wasn’t very long, and I know I probably went through a couple while in there. For instance, when I first got in, I was asking Dan to lift up my hair and put it over the edge of the tub so it didn’t get wet and all crazy, since I had straightened it that day. However by the time I got out, I looked like a wild woman, I could have cared less about my hair, which by now was sopping wet from me thrashing around in there on my hands and knees.

Once out of the tub I pretty much stuck to the bathroom floor, on my hands and knees, getting my rocking and moaning on. I remember focusing intently on the pattern of the little black and white tiles on the floor, and my breathing. Dan kept reminding me to breath abdominally when a contraction would come on and I’d get a bit panicked. Oh, and the back pain was just torture, and I NEEDED Dan there for each contraction to squeeze and put pressure on my lower back. At this point we started realizing that contractions were lasting a minute, and were coming on every two minutes. So that means I would have 60 seconds in between each one, though during those 60 seconds the back pain would remain, it would just get more bearable. We finally convinced ourselves that, yea, holy crap, we need to call the midwife again and probably get to the hospital. I remember that being sort of a frantic situation, because it’s a hotline, and you have to leave a message with some sort of nurse/operator to have the midwife call you. She said if Amy didn’t call back in 20 minutes, to call back again. Bitch. Well Dan went ahead and started getting things ready for the hospital, and I really started to panic because how in the hell was I going to ever be able to leave the house? I was a complete naked mess, and there was just no way I was going to be able to sit in the car. I had to get through a few contractions here and there on my own, because those 60 second intervals in between them were just not enough time for Dan to race down the stairs and out to the car to get it loaded, finish packing the bags, deal with the dog, and get the midwife on the phone.

Oh, I almost forgot, at some point during all of this, I started to feel like I had to poop. The urge would come on super strong at the peak of each contraction, and I literally thought my whole butt was going to explode. We’re not stupid, we know that the urge to push is often compared to feeling like you need to poop, but we were so in denial that it could be happening that fast! So Dan and I got the bright idea that he would look “down there” and if he didn’t see anything (i.e. a BABY!) than maybe it was ok and I should just go ahead and poop. Ha! We’re geniuses. Well sure enough he didn’t see anything, so I went and pooped, multiple times, and it felt so good. (I know, duh right, I was entering second stage at home.)

Well when we finally got ourselves out of the house and to the car, I tried to sit in the back seat but just wasn’t having it, so I rode out the 5 minute ride to the hospital (I know, thank goodness it is so close) on my hands and knees. Dan asked me if I wanted him to drop me off at the emergency area by myself, or if he should park in the ramp which would mean I would have to make the extra trek. All I could muster between my moans was, “I don’t know”, but he made the right decision and went to the ramp. There was no way I wanted to be alone at that point, getting through a contraction without him putting pressure on my lower back was absolute torture. I was willing to walk a bit farther.

The walk from the parking ramp to the labor and delivery floor was pretty ridiculous, I can’t imagine how we looked to outsiders, but since it was almost 2:00 AM, there weren’t a lot of people around. In my condition though, I wouldn’t have cared one way or another, I had to do what I had to do to get through each contraction. So every minute, or about every 100 feet, I would drop to my hands and knees and start my moaning and rocking again, and Dan would drop the bazillion bags he was carrying in order to apply pressure to my back. As we passed the security desk the guy playing solitaire at the desk asked if we wanted a wheel chair and Dan told him there was no way I would sit in one of those and that he had already offered. Outside of the elevators we had to wait for the next one because I was having another contraction by the time the door had opened. Some nice ladies came by and held the door until I was done with my contraction so we could get in there, and then held it again once we got to the 3rd floor so I could ride out the next contraction inside the elevator. Then the one lady ran to the nurses’ desk and declared that there was a “lady in distress” in the elevator. I made it out of there on my own and she tearily told me that she was on her way to the hospice floor, saying something about one leaving this world and another entering and how fitting it was. It was really sweet actually, and she wished me luck and I gave her my condolences and then it was to the assessment room to see where the heck we were at.

Dan helped me get into a gown and my midwife came in and got down on her hands and knees next to me to say hello, and that as soon as I was ready and felt able I should get up and get on the bed so she could check my cervix. At some point between me being on the floor and on the bed the back labor amazingly went away, and we’re thinking all that rocking on my hands and knees must have gotten the baby in the correct position, because he was no doubt posterior.

Well when she checked me, we were all in shock, because I was complete and the baby was at +3 position. We were ready to push, and there were no labor and delivery rooms available, so we would be having this baby in triage. Whoo!

Pushing was scary, exhausting, exhilarating, and empowering all at the same time. My midwife and the two nurses were amazing, they gave me so much support, kept telling me how fantastic I was doing, how I was a rock star and they had never witnessed a delivery like this. It really helped when my midwife put pressure on the spot where I needed to be focusing my pushing. I totally pooped, multiple times, and even apologized for it. I specifically remember saying, “I pooped didn’t I? I’m sorry, that’s so gross.” Now I realize how ridiculous that is, because SO MUCH gross stuff is happening, like they care about a little poop! I also sprayed amniotic fluid all over everyone during one of my last pushes. Dan was amazingly the only one that avoided the splash.

I definitely felt the ring of fire, and it was nothing compared to all that back labor, seriously. I was a little annoyed though when I got the head out and then I had to still do quite a bit more work. I was all, “I thought after the head I was home free, what is this about?!” The midwife helped get the shoulders out, and then Dan got to do the final pull/catch. When it was time for that, Dan took note of the fact that everyone was all covered in paper gowns and wearing gloves, so he asked the midwife if he needed gloves, and she just said, “No, you’re the dad!”

The image of my little Gus, all purple and squishy and smooshed and perfect, coming towards me and being placed on my chest, with Dan exclaiming, “It’s a boy!” is something I’ll never ever forget. It was the perfect moment, and I went from exhaustion to total elation in those few seconds, I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins. It was just amazing, there’s no good way to describe it. Love at first sight.

So it was only 6 hours from the time that my water broke to the time that Gus was born. It was insanely fast, and we’re lucky we went into the hospital when we did. It was a full moon that night, my midwife herself had already delivered three babies since midnight by the time we came to the hospital, and the hospital had a total of 9 deliveries that night, which is what they usually average in a full day. All I know is that it was nothing like what I had expected, but perfect and wonderful all the same. We’re so lucky.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I’m feeling very introspective as I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy, like I need to somehow capture in a teeny tiny box every little last moment of this current life before what I feel will be a drastic shift in reality with the upcoming birth of our son or daughter. There will always be a special place in my heart for these last few days of waiting, together as a family, for this child to come into our world and change everything. I am so much more alert to the fact that each little experience could be our last one as “expectant” parents. Next time we go for a walk around Palmer Lake, like we did Friday evening around dusk, after cooking a nice dinner at home, it will be with our child. One of us will need to man the stroller while the other keeps our crazy dog in check. Tonight could very well be the last night we go to bed with Bella rolling around between us begging for tummy rubs and Dan giving my pregnant belly a good night kiss. I just feel so at peace with things these days; we’re moving a little slower, calming down with the preparations and the crazy nesting, and enjoying this time together. We took an hour long walk through the neighborhood Sunday evening, breathing in the cool air, talking about the future, and even though there’s definitely anticipation building, I think we’re both focused on just being patient, knowing that at this point it’s just a matter of days or weeks, and that our baby will come join us when he or she is good and ready.

I have to admit, the fact that I could go into labor at any moment is a little scary, it’s something I have never done before, something I have no control over, and there’s no question that it will be difficult, both physically and mentally. But I do trust my body and its ability to do what so many other women have done before me, I trust my husband who has done so much to prepare for his role during the birthing process, and I trust each of the three midwives whom could be the woman to help us bring this baby into the world.

If I go past my due date, I know it will be hard to stay this patient, this trusting of letting nature take its course, but that is the mindset I hope to keep. Thankful. Appreciative. Hopeful. At peace and trusting in God and ourselves.

Monday, August 31, 2009


We’re really getting down there! I am now 3 days from my due date, and basically every human being I come into contact with, acquaintance or stranger, friend or family, priest or rabbi, asks me one or more of the following questions:

“Are you ready?”
“Are you excited?”
“Are you nervous?”
“Any progress?”
“Do you think you’ve dropped?”
“How long do you think you’ll go?”
“Are you dilated?” (even men ask this one)
“Do you think it’ll be early or late?”
“You’re still here?” (coworkers)
“Did you lose your mucus plug yet?” (mom)

If I’m being honest, it’s getting kind of old. Of course people are going to ask me about the baby, I am huge and even if you don’t know me, it’s clear this whole “giving birth” thing is pretty imminent. I’m basically a massive walking bill board (with swollen ankles and chubby fingers) that clearly reads, “COMING REAALLLY SOON: BLONDE BABY”. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that answering the same questions over and over again gets really old. My (least) favorite is the “How long do you think it’ll be?” question, because seriously, what can I even say to that? I HAVE NO FREAKING CLUE! If I had magical powers that could help me accurately predict something like that, I surely would have been using those powers for both good and evil for some time now. I certainly wouldn’t be sitting in a window-less office making spreadsheets and running reports for nearly 40% of my waking life.

Also, it’s kind of funny how inappropriate some of the questions are. In what other situation would you ask someone the equivalent of, “Has your doctor stuck her hand up your lady parts to determine how stretched out your cervix is yet?” or “How much pressure are you feeling on your crotch?”

Like I said, I totally understand the reasons for the questions, I have asked the same ones countless times of countless expectant moms. People are excited, people are interested, and it is clearly the elephant in the room. However, especially at work, they are starting to really drain me. I now DREAD leaving my office to walk the halls, as I will undoubtedly encounter some more friendly questions and innocent bantering on the way to the bathroom, or the printer, or the cafeteria, or anywhere.


Anyway, I hope to return tomorrow with something less snotty, I had actually planned on writing about the lovely weekend I had with my husband and dog-child, and my desire to really try to enjoy these last few days/weeks with my little family of 3.5. Clearly I went in another direction entirely!

And now that I’ve promised to write again tomorrow, maybe I will go into labor instead. That would be awesome. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm REALLY pregnant right now.

Ugh, I can’t believe I’m such a slacker that I’ve gone a month without posting. A month, during the last weeks of my pregnancy, when SO MUCH IS HAPPENING! I’m 37 weeks today. Seriously, how did that happen? Anyway, so we’ll go through some things real quick like just for the sake of, well, documentation I guess…
  • Belly growth is getting out of hand. It is huge, it is a torpedo, even some of my maternity clothes are starting to get uncomfortable and too small. I totally have to watch out for the belly sticking out underneath my shirt so friends, family, coworkers, and strangers don’t have to see my gross stretch marks. Yup, I have stretch marks on my underbelly, and they are ugly and unsightly, but I am trying to just make peace with them. Hopefully they go away some day, and if not, seriously, who the heck needs to see my bare midriff anymore? It may be time to toss the bikinis and go tankini or (horror!) one-piece. Whatever, amazingly, right now, I just don’t care that much. Much more important things to worry about right?
  • Baby is head-down and getting ready for birth, and I am thankful for that. Still don’t think he or she has dropped though, because I still feel massive pressure on my ribs and chest and so far no fire crotch. (TMI?)
  • Both of my pregnant friends have had their baby girls! I feel sort of left out of the club now, like before we were all in this together, talking weight gain and registries, birth classes, maternity clothes, nursery décor, constipation, and heartburn. Now they have their babies, all snuggly and girly, and I am still in the weird limbo time when I really don’t care all that much about that pregnancy stuff anymore and I just want my baby too! I’m trying to be patient though, because it could be 2 days, or it could be 4 weeks, I just don’t know. On the other hand, I still feel like I have massive amounts of things I still need to do before the baby’s arrival, and I don’t actually want him or her to come in 2 days because that is just WAY TOO SOON!
  • We haven’t packed the hospital bags yet, but I’ve got a list, and have done the necessary shopping. So there’s that. Stress.
  • Speaking of other things that I have not done… I am completely not prepared at work to just be gone any day now. There is so much that needs to be done/organized/prepped before I go on maternity leave, which will be when I make my way to the hospital… so yea. Stress.
  • I ordered some nursing bras online yesterday, and am really feeling like pinpointing the size of your boobs post-baby, post-milk coming in, is a total shot in the dark. It stressed me out a bit, there’s so much conflicting info out there, as to what size you should order, which are the best, etc. So I got a few nursing tanks and one bra, all in the size that is 1-2 cup sizes bigger than what I’m in now, and I’m hoping they work. It’s just something I really wanted to get a jump start on before the baby was born, but I have a tendency to go overboard trying to over-plan for things that you just can’t plan for. It’s just that I am so committed to making this breastfeeding thing work, and I feel like if there’s anything I can do right now that might help make it easier and less stressful later, I want to do it. Speaking of boobs, I have been having tons of dreams about breastfeeding lately. They’re very real, and in them the whole nursing thing is like old hat, and both I and the baby have figured things out just perfectly. I’m always surprised when I wake up and I don’t have my baby laying there right with me, nursing. Hopefully these dreams are a good sign.
  • The big wedding of the summer has happened, my brother is married, everything was beautiful, I fit into my bridesmaid dress, and I did not cause some sort of scene by fainting up by the alter during the ceremony. Everything went just fine. I did make Dan stop 5 times to use the bathroom on the drive to Milwaukee, and he was a total peach about it. He was actually patient, sweet, and perfect with me the whole weekend, even going so far as to try to hunt down an Ulta or a Sephora in Milwaukee so that he could buy for me the foundation that I hadn’t realized I had run out of until after we had left town. For his wonderfulness, I only made him stop once on the way home. ;) Though that was completely out of my hands, baby must have been situated quite differently in relation to my bladder on that trip. Strange.
  • Sleep has become the bane of my existence. I am so tired of it, and I hate how much work it is to turn over or go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. If I try to move too quickly, I get these sharp pains in my belly, and it’s so hard to maneuver around the 267 pillows I have propped up around me to support my massiveness. If only I had a little bell and houseboy to help with my middle-of-the-night maneuvering. Instead, poor Dan wakes up 5 times a night to my huffing and puffing, prompting him to ask me if I’m ok, prompting a response of, “Oh I’m fine, I’m just trying to reach this sheet that has become trapped underneath me at the end of the bed…”
  • The nursery is pretty much done, last night we picked up the sheets and crib skirt we were having made by a family friend, so we have those to get washed and put on the crib, and a few little things to hang, and we’re sort of all set! I need to take pictures now while it still looks how it was intended, because I doubt it’ll be nearly as organized and cute when there is an actual baby around to mess it all up with his or her spit up and poop and dirty clothes. ;)
  • Last but not least, we think we finally have our baby names picked out, though we keep going back and forth about how to deal with the boy’s name. Basically, the problem is that we have this name that we LOVE, but it is sort of a nick name. Unfortunately we don’t really like any of the “formal” names that it could be derived from. Do we give our son a formal name that we never ever ever intend to use, or do we just give him the name that we would plan on calling him, the name that we both agree we love? I’m torn. If it was something like Daniel/Dan or Michael/Mike, clearly we’d go with the formal name for the birth certificate… but the name we like is not that simple and clear-cut. The formal name is a bit strange, a name that people would be like, “Huh? You’re naming him what? Oh, that’s a nickname for THAT?” I don’t know, we’ll see. I still have a different boy’s name altogether that I love just as much, but between the two names, it’s really a matter of choosing one that I love and Dan only sort of likes, or one that we both love. So it seems like a no-brainer. Thankfully, the girl name was much easier and we are not feeling at all wishy-washy about it, which means that if everyone who keeps telling me I’m having a girl is right, we are stressing for nothing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A smidge of an update

Today, for some reason, I’m feeling really overwhelmed with how quickly this baby will be here and how much there is to do to prepare for my maternity leave, the birth, and actually bringing home our baby. There is just so much to think about, so many things swirling around in my jacked up pregnancy brain, and I’m feeling an overwhelming need to just come here and write, de-stress, and update my little corner of the internet with all that I have been up to as of late. There’s a lot. Today, I’m just going to regale you with some fun little tidbits about how my pregnancy is going these days. I’ll be 33 weeks tomorrow, so we’re definitely moving right along.

This morning, while walking with my coworker to the cafeteria to get water, I sneezed… and peed a little. Oh joy. So yea, a gross reminder to keep doing my kegels.

Changing positions in the middle of the night has become SUCH a production. It’s really quite ridiculous. Usually when I wake up in pain, needing to turn over, I also have to pee, so I’m like, “Whatever, kill two birds”. However on those rare cases where I don’t have to go to the bathroom, I still practically have to edge myself out of bed to make the switch over to the other side. It doesn’t help that my husband sleeps diagonally due to the fact that our dog has decided to camp out at the end of the bed where his feet would normally go. (You see, our little “princess” has positioned herself perfectly in line with the meeting point of each air flow from the three fans we have running at night.)

Yesterday morning I had a bizarre, totally random, out of nowhere morning sickness incident that reminded me an awful lot of my first trimester. As I pulled into the parking lot of my office, I took my first sip of the coffee I had just purchased down the street, and immediately was struck with intense nausea. I did some panting and breathing to keep it down, a method I perfected during those first four months of pregnancy, until I was able to park my car, open the door, and be free to vomit all over the asphalt. Ugh. Totally. Completely. Out of nowhere. It was just like one of those sitcoms or completely unrealistic romantic comedies that pretty much all depict pregnancy as one cliché after another. Gross. Then I noticed a coworker friend of mine walking towards the office from his truck at the back of the parking lot, so I sort of ducked down as I continued to vomit and dry heave, and waited until I thought he would be close enough to the door so that I wouldn’t have to walk in with him and make conversation while sporting vomit-breath. Well, I looked up again and he had completely disappeared! I couldn’t figure out where he went, he seriously was there one minute, and gone the next. So I sort of gathered myself together and walked quickly to the door hoping to avoid a run-in. Found out later, at the surprise baby shower my boss and coworkers threw for me (I know, so sweet!), that he and my boss were at his car, had seen me drive in, and were both ducking down and hiding because they were trying to bring in the big wrapped pack-n-play they had planned to give me that afternoon. So you can guess that when I relayed the whole vomiting story to all my coworkers at the shower (yes I have no filter), we had a good laugh over the whole “I Love Lucy”-ness of it all.

One more Bradley class left! It’s been really fantastic actually, informative, empowering, I’d even say fun, but I’m so ready to have my Tuesday nights freed up again. 10 weeks in the summer is a REALLY long time. Now my biggest birth-related fear is that my baby is going to position him or herself breech, and after all our hard work, all the reading, all the worksheets, all the exercises, I’ll have to schedule a c-section. So send good anterior position vibes to me and my baby. I’m just about 33 weeks at this point, so he or she has plenty of time, I’m just being crazy and worrying about something I have absolutely no control over at this point.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Losing my mind? You be the judge.

I have officially become obsessed with Diet Mountain Dew. And I’m almost 7 months pregnant. Those two sentences really shouldn’t ever be so close together.

The thing is I’m certainly not the pregnant lady that makes all others look bad by giving up caffeine completely as soon as she finds out she’s pregnant. I definitely have cut back, especially when it comes to coffee, but I see no reason to go cold turkey on the stuff when most doctors and midwives, including mine, advise that in moderation, small amounts are just fine. So really, the fact that I haven’t completely given up caffeine has not really bothered me. (Though I will admit to feeling little twinges of guilt/defensiveness as I fill up my tiny little cup of half-caf every morning when someone’s waiting right behind me, only because I feel like people judge.)

Anyway, for some reason, drinking Diet Mountain Dew makes me feel like a bad mom, while the occasional Diet Coke or cup of coffee have given me no worries. With every sip, I imagine my baby growing horns or turning a shade of fluorescent yellow. I am SO IRRATIONAL! I looked up the caffeine amounts of each drink, and here’s how they compare:

12 oz can of Diet Mountain Dew: 55mg caffeine
12 oz can of Diet Coke: 46.5mg caffeine
8 oz brewed coffee: 80-135mg caffeine

So yea, there’s not too big of a difference as far as the two sodas go, and clearly I should be more worried about my morning coffee than the other two as it is.

Still there’s something about Mountain Dew that makes it seem so much more unnatural than all the other sodas. Again, they’re all horrible for you, if anything I should be worrying about the aspartame that’s in all diet drinks which could, in fact, someday be proven to cause the development of gills or severe overbites on babies or something.

Ok, writing about this has not made me feel any better. I'm not saying I thought it would, but, well, there you go. Still imagining my baby being born with a tail.

What else, what else… I’m 30 weeks pregnant! Fricken in the 30’s already! That is insanity. I can’t believe how close we are to meeting whoever is in there doing ninja kicks to my bladder on a constant basis. Oh, last night I was talking to this other pregnant chick at our birth class, and she can still sometimes go an entire night without getting up to pee. I almost punched her. I mean seriously! It’s every 1 ½ - 2 hours for me, like clockwork, and it’s been that way since, God I don’t know, 18-20 weeks? As long as I can remember anyway, I pretty much went right from morning sickness to peeing all the time.

Last night we watched another birth video, and this one was one of the full-on-crowning-crotch-shot videos, and my goodness, my hoo-hoo hurt just watching it. It’s almost hard to believe that our bodies are actually meant… to do that. Anyway, I love how the Bradley videos were all shot in the 70’s & 80’s. All the hairstyles (upstairs and down) and clothing are so dated and hilarious, and Dan and I both came to the realization last night that he should have started growing out his moustache a LONG time ago if he was really going to look the part of a Bradley coach. All kidding aside, it’s easy to get over all that stuff quickly because these women are so inspiring. Last night’s mom was ridiculously calm, even laughing at points throughout late 1st stage, matter-of-factly telling someone who has come to visit that she’s at 9 cm and has been there for a while. She was just so amazing, I’m going to have to try to channel her when my time comes.

I do think I’ve come to a realization about what my major childbirth fear is – basically, I’m mostly freaked out by the pushing part. I think of 1st stage labor as a marathon, a test of endurance, something that is as much mental as it is physical. But 2nd stage, or pushing, is like hard core sprinting at the end of that marathon. You’re physically and mentally exhausted after hours and hours (and hours) of this major endurance test, and then after all of that is behind you, you’ve still got to do this one last thing that is SUPER HARD CORE work. You have to sprint that last mile. Everything you’ve done before has lead you down this path, and there’s no turning back, you have to finish this out strong.

You see, I am not a sprinter. I’m athletic, but I don’t win things. I was never and will never be the best person on the team. I run a good, easy 9 minute mile, and I don’t even care to try to do it faster. I don’t know, I guess that’s why 2nd stage seems so scary to me. But I guess that’s ok, you bring those kinds of fears to the surface, you figure out how you’re going to combat them, or prepare for them, and you’re that much better off, right?


Monday, June 22, 2009

Poker Face

I had my first belly-related injury today, and I’m surprised it took me so long, as non-pregnant Alicia is pretty much a certifiable klutz as it is. I have this old-school big metal desk at work that locks by key in the very center. Picture a big rectangular desk, three drawers on each side and space for the chair and a person’s legs in the middle. (Ok, I just described like, a totally normal, every-day typical desk. It’s likely I could have assumed that those who are reading this are not morons and can picture a desk, when I say, “desk”. But there you have it. Picture a desk.) Right above where the chair/my thighs sit, is where the desk locks. I’ve always just kept the key in there, because frankly I have no need to lock my desk, and I don’t want to lose it. Well today, as I reached to get something from across the desk, somehow I managed to scrape up my belly on the key. This protruding belly of mine has really started to resemble a torpedo and I’m finding that it is very easy for it to get in the way. Also on a related note, I cannot suck in and squeeze past people sitting in chairs or standing in line or what-have-you. Just another thing I repeatedly keep forgetting.

Last night, I swear the baby was dancing around in my belly to the music. I was lying on the couch at like 10:00 PM, watching some replay of the MTV Movie Awards, and the Lady Gaga “Poker Face” song came on as a presenter came out and the belly was all, “thump thump thump” seriously to the beat of the music. I might think I was totally imagining it if it didn’t happen again five minutes later when Eminem was performing. So freaking cool. Clearly my baby is going to be into the whole clubbing scene, I’ll have to watch out for that, teach him or her to “JUST SAY NO” at a very young age. Just in case.

Gotta go, planned to actually write about my weekend, but got side tracked and now it’s time to go head out to yoga. I’ll try to get back here tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pregnant Lady Drama

I wrote what is written below last week on Wednesday afternoon, and never posted it, basically because I failed the Glucose screening test and pretty much had a minor meltdown in the wake of finding out. That day was like the worst day of my life. Actually, two days later, Friday, was probably worse, because that was the day I had to fast for 12 hours prior and take the 3-hour Glucose Tolerance Test to determine whether or not I really did have Gestational Diabetes. I realize I’m a bit over-dramatic, but I was just so disappointed and scared and convinced that the test would come back abnormal, I would from here on be deemed a “high risk” pregnancy, my hopes of a natural birth with minimal interventions would be squashed, and I could look forward to nearly three months of counting carbs and meticulously planning out my meals. Anyway, I was a wreck, and really embarrassed for some reason, so I didn’t really tell anyone except Dan, and then Lisa and Betsy when we had lunch Friday afternoon.

Well, today I got the call from my Midwife (I had to wait ALL WEEKEND LONG for the results… torture.) The test came back totally normal and my blood sugar is just fine, so no stupid Gestational Diabetes. That call was such a relief. Thus, my advice to all pregnant ladies is, whether they tell you to or not, fast for the 1-hour screening test, for a full 12 hours. Don’t even drink coffee (I did) or chew gum (I did). Because while the 3-hour test is obviously not fun, the worst part about it all is not knowing, stressing, feeling totally alone, and being scared to even eat the tiny little fresh peach sitting on your desk.

Last Wednesday’s rambling…

So I literally just finished drinking that nasty glucose orange drink, and I’m sitting and waiting my one hour in the doctor’s office waiting room (listening to the woman just two seats away from me hack and cough like she’s about to die, lovely). I am feeling kind of miserable actually. I made my appointment last week and, per usual, went for something in the afternoon so that I could be in the office for a relatively normal work day and just get in the rest of my hours from home after seeing the doctor.

Well, as I was hanging up with the nurse, I asked if there was anything I could do to try to prevent a false positive screening result. I had read that it’s very common to get a false positive, and I’d love to avoid having to come in for a 3-hour test only to determine that I do not have gestational diabetes. Anyway, she decided to inform me then that some would advise that you fast for 12 hours before the test, but their office didn’t necessarily make that recommendation. Since I get all awkward and ridiculous and nervous when I’m on the phone with grown-ups (shut up) I just sort of thanked her and ended the phone call. I decided I would fast, but the implications of fasting for 12 hours before a 2:00 PM appointment didn’t really sink in right away. Clearly I should have called right back and changed my appointment when they did, but of course I didn’t do that, because I so rarely do things that I should do. I made the executive decision that 8 hours of fasting would be good enough, so I did have a bagel and yogurt this morning at 6:00. Still, this is the longest I’ve gone without eating since, well, definitely since before I was pregnant. So here I am, STARVING, a bit shaky even, and burping that disgusting orange drink that I had to down in 3 minutes… just waiting for my hour to be up. Also, I noticed on the drive over that my cell phone is completely dead. I hate feeling all disconnected from the world. Dan is going to be annoyed with me when he tries to call.

What an annoying day. And all I can think about now is what I’m going to have for “lunch” at 3:45 PM after I finally get out of here. Hmm… I am totally getting something good, maybe something from D’Amico’s down the street.*

Goodness, I apologize for my rambling, I’m just trying to make this time go faster.

I’m going to go pee, maybe that will do it.

*I definitely didn’t go get something good to eat after my appointment, because frankly, I was freaking out that I might have Gestational Diabetes and didn’t want to eat anything with too many carbs or sugar. Also, I was sobbing the entire drive home… so yea. Lame, I know.

Monday, June 08, 2009

I know, all I talk about is this baby...

I've decided Target’s baby registry pretty much sucks. Well first of all, let’s start with the in-store selection. Sucks. We registered this weekend and basically they have 4 aisles of crap, and that’s it. Then you go online, and there is SO MUCH more of a selection and completely different products available. Seriously, have you looked at baby clothes online at Target? It is just a plethora of adorableness, and an amazing amount of different gender-neutral clothing. Of course it’s online-only, so if your loved ones aren’t used to shopping that way, you’re kind of out-of-luck. Whatever, I added tons of online-only stuff to our registry today because I just couldn’t help it. I simply can’t take any more of the pastel yellow and green ducks & chicks stuff that was pretty much all we saw at both Babies-R-Us and Target this weekend when we registered. Ducks and chicks are fine. Pastel yellow and green are fine. There’s just so much other stuff out there, it’s a shame none of the stores actually carry it.

These annoyances lead me to be super naughty and purchase a bunch of outfits online about ten minutes ago. So dangerous, this whole “shopping for my baby” thing is, everything is just so hard to resist. (No, there is absolutely no good reason why I just typed that in yoda-speak.)

I’m getting slightly impatient for this kid’s estimated time of arrival to just be here already! That doesn’t mean we’re at all ready, we are so far on the not-ready side of things it stresses me out to think about it. If I had the baby tomorrow, he or she would have to sleep in the dog’s bed because I’m still waiting on our crib, we’d likely use Dan’s old softball t-shirts as diapers, and well, we wouldn’t even be allowed to take our child home in our car seat-less automobiles, so someone that already has a baby would have to come pick us up at the hospital. (Any volunteers?)

So when I say I’m getting impatient, I’m really referring to my excitement about just finally getting to meet this little urchin that’s been growing inside of me for the past six months. I can’t wait to hold and squeeze and smell and kiss our little baby, see what our little monkey looks like. =) I also wouldn’t mind not being pregnant anymore; my wardrobe is becoming quite stale, not to mention I hate getting dressed every day. I just want to wear yoga pants and a comfy bra and tank top every single day, please. I digress.

I know he or she needs to stay put for three more months. Honestly I don’t even want to go early, because I’d like to make it to my baby shower, which is planned for when I’ll be about 38 weeks pregnant. (Yea, I know, we’ll see if that happens.) So stay put little baby, don’t be getting any ideas! And if you promise to stay in there, I promise to actually have somewhere for you to sleep when you get out. If anything, I’ll try to have the dog’s bed washed.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


So last night I went to put on my pajamas and noticed a little wet crusty stain RIGHT on the nipple area. Good Lord, I’m already starting to leak colostrum. I had heard that this can happen during pregnancy, but it still took me by surprise, and for some reason made the whole actually having a baby thing feel all the more imminent. Like this is totally happening, three months from now I will be breastfeeding my child twelve times a day and subsisting on little tiny increments of sleep. In the words (or word, I suppose) of the great Joey Lawrence of Blossom fame, “Whoa.”

Don’t worry, I’m not just realizing this now, but I don’t care what anyone says, having junk leak from your boobs for the first time sorta throws you for a loop.

So Dan and his dad have been working like dogs on our basement every evening this week, and I should thank the lucky stars every single day that we have a plumber in the family willing to do free work for us during his very limited free time. I don’t even want to think about how much MORE money we’d be spending on our basement remodel if we didn’t have Dan’s dad. I am so grateful, I just hate that he’s had to spend so much time there when he surely has so many better things he’d rather be doing. The poor man works all day trying to make money to feed his family, then comes to our house and works all evening for what? A free meal and a few beers are about all he’s willing to take from us. I just had to put this out in the universe, because that man deserves so much good Karma.

I’ve started doing the day-care search thing, and my goodness is that stressful. Imagine that, the process of finding a stranger to watch over your kid who isn’t even born yet is stressful… who would have thought? Seriously though, I had no idea where to start. I know the most desirable way of going about it is soliciting referrals from family and friends, but I didn’t think that was feasible, as most of my mom-friends live in a totally different part of the city. So yesterday I spent hours doing the internet thing, looking at both child care centers and licensed in-home day cares through It’s a great website, gives addresses and phone numbers, enrollment vacancies, hours, and a few generic tidbits about each provider’s experience, education, and environment. But goodness, what am I supposed to do, just start calling these random places? I want pictures, I want testimonials, I want mission statements!
So what did I end up doing for hours? I looked up the addresses of these in-home day-cares on Google maps, heading straight to street view, and dissected whether or not the house and neighborhood looks nice enough. ;) This ended up being a pretty good tactic, because a lot of the houses gave me a total “no way, I am not dropping my baby off there” vibe, so I was able to take them off the list immediately. No reason to set up interviews if their house even gives off a bad first impression. I know, my weeding out process sounds sort of superficial, but I think there’s a lot of merit to it.

Then last night I had dinner at my parents’ house and my aunt stopped by. The subject came up and she had an immediate reference for me. Someone I know, but didn’t realize did day care. Someone my aunt knows so well she knew her phone number by heart. Someone who’s been doing day care for 20+ years and maintains such incredible relationships with her kids that she has gone to a number of their high school graduations! Someone who runs a structured, activity and development based program out of her home, which she’s designed so that the child-care portion is completely separate from her family’s living quarters. I don’t know, I’m feeling incredibly optimistic about it. I just talked to her on the phone and set up an interview, and also got some info on her hours and rates (which are a bit higher than I was hoping, but nothing insane). She’s got an opening in September for an infant, which is a few months earlier than I’m looking for, but she seemed to think we could work something out if Dan and I were interested after meeting her and getting a feel for the environment.

Though we haven’t actually decided on anything, I am feeling soooo much better. Frankly, I don’t feel sick to my stomach when I think about it anymore. Childcare is something that I haven’t really wanted to talk about, let alone think about, since we got pregnant, because I already feel so much guilt about having someone else raise my kid. However, I also don’t want to quit my job, for many reasons including 1.) we couldn’t afford it, and 2.) I don’t want to totally put my career on hold. I keep telling myself that I can always change my mind later and consider part time, once I’ve had the baby and have been on maternity leave for a few months, if I realize that there is just no way, emotionally, I can go back full time. But that doesn’t mean I can slack off on finding good childcare, just because I have this “Scenario B” in the back of my head. That’s just something I do, I avoid situations that stress me out and require me to make difficult decisions. Clearly I need to work on that.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's a good life.

It’s been a while since I’ve come here to write, and that is because it’s been a busy couple of weeks! I don’t even know where to start.

First off, we painted the baby’s room, which was quite a feat. Dan and I did it ourselves all in one weekend (plus Monday evening), and it was quite the process. We had to freshen up the ceiling because of a roof leak a few years ago that left us with some yucky brown spots that we never dealt with. Also, I’m an idiot and insisted on painting the freaking closet four years ago when we did it the first time, so that had to be painted again. I think the closet itself took about the same amount of time to paint than the rest of the room, there’s just so much trim in there to paint around, lots of little details. So yea, the closet only got one coat, because the closet can suck it.

Lots of hard work, but it felt good to accomplish something so tangible, that was a huge item on our list, and we had given ourselves until Memorial Day weekend to do it, and I kinda-sorta can’t believe we actually stuck to that self-imposed deadline. And it looks wonderful, and I love the color, which is sort of a soft blue/green or “robin’s egg” shade. I haven’t taken pictures yet, but will be sure to post as soon as we get some of the massive pieces of furniture out that are stacked together in the middle of the room. Right now, there is just no where to put them, with our basement being worked on and the treadmill in the future guest bedroom on the first floor. You can go here and see my “before” pictures though, which of course display those lovely massive pieces of furniture in the middle of the room that currently have no permanent home.

That same weekend of painting we celebrated our five year anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been that long, I almost can’t wrap my head around it. The funny thing is, I remember when we first got married, and I was totally against having a baby right away. I told Dan I was thinking I would be ready in about 3-5 years. While he was on the baby train much earlier than I was, he was totally respectful of my reasons for waiting, though I think he was counting on getting the whole thing going more around the 3-year mark than the 5-year mark. And then we made the decision to do the grad-school thing two and a half years ago, and nearing the end of it were both starting to get incredibly impatient to get going on starting a family. I’m so thankful we didn’t have to wait too long to be blessed with this pregnancy. We celebrated our 5-year anniversary by painting our baby’s nursery, and I think that’s quite fitting. We did go out for a nice dinner the next night at the St. Paul Grill, which was delicious and expensive, so we weren’t totally homebodies. ;)

Last Tuesday we started our Bradley Method birthing class, which I was nervous about. If I’m being honest, I pictured the instructors as dirty hippies, which is completely ridiculous and a horrible stereotype of people passionate about natural birth. I hate that stereotype, but obviously have been influenced by it a bit. The two women were actually incredibly nice, young, attractive individuals that look and talk like normal people, imagine that! There are six other couples in our class, and it’s out of the one instructor’s home, so that first night was a bit of a doozy as it was a lovely and refreshing 93 degree evening. In May. (Minnesota is insane.) I think the class will be very informative and helpful, it’s nice to talk and learn about natural childbirth without feeling like you’re getting eye-rolls and judgment from others who have made different choices and had different experiences. If I’m being honest, I know I’m really more of the issue, I’ve always been too worried about what other people think, so with this whole process I’m trying to become more self-aware, and think about what’s best for my family and my baby, because it’s not at all about proving anything to anyone. I’m trying to let go of all those negative thoughts in my head and my fear of failure.

I’m getting much more introspective here than I had planned on! I think pregnancy might actually be turning ME into a bit of a hippie. =)

Back to my busy life then.

(Oh, last weekend we spent Thursday night to Monday morning at the cabin with Dan’s family, which was wonderful and relaxing, but not suitable for getting anything accomplished, obviously. A perfect weekend though, lots of time in the sun, reading, long walks, and excessive amounts of eating.)

So basically my weekdays have become booked so that there’s something going on every single evening. Yoga on Mondays, childbirth classes Tuesdays, Dan’s softball games on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with board meetings thrown in there once a month, and every once in a while I actually like to have a social life and spend time with family and friends. So yea, my house is a mess. I still need to plant flowers in our window boxes. I am constantly out of something like shampoo or Clorox Wipes, items that necessitate a trip to Target that I just don’t have time for anymore. We have yet to register. I am due for a trip to the dentist, an appointment with my hairstylist (desperately), and in the next week or so am supposed to be going in for an appointment with my Midwife and to drink that nasty McDonalds orange drink stuff to test for Gestational Diabetes. Also I still haven’t asked the lady who I keep telling people is making our crib bedding if she’ll actually make our crib bedding. My life is a bit shambled. But I’m upbeat, no worries! I have tomorrow off and no plans for Saturday, so the plan is to get my life and home back into some semblance of order this weekend. Thank goodness for those Fridays off, I must say, I’m not sure I would survive without them.

Summer is crazy for everyone though isn’t it?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Allow me to be a sap for a bit

Yesterday the weirdest thing happened. At the end of my prenatal yoga class, the instructor always turns down the lights for Savasana, and we lay there just in complete relaxation mode. It’s my favorite part of the class, for obvious reasons. Well yesterday, as I lay there, I focused on clearing my mind and meditating on my baby and how much my life will change in about four months. All of a sudden I was just this swirl of crazy emotions, thinking of Dan and how incredible it is that we have together created this living being, a true combination of the two of us. I thought back on these first five years of our marriage, how much we’ve grown as a couple, how close I feel to him, how lucky I am to have this other person in the world that really truly knows who I am. And then I started imagining our life with a baby, our Sunday mornings reading the paper, making breakfast together, taking the dog for a walk. Very soon there will also be a child with us on those Sundays! Our little family that I love and cherish so much will be comprised of four! What will he or she look like? What kind of personality will he or she have? Will our child be stubborn, impulsive, and scatter-brained like me, or even-keeled, practical, and honest like Dan? I just know that I can’t wait to find out, and these were all the things running through my mind as I lay there in the dark, and I just totally started crying. I couldn’t help it, tears were streaming down my face and it felt really good to be in sort of a “place” where such huge emotions were possible. It was just unfortunate that there were other massive pregnant ladies lying on the floor all around me. ;)

I am lucky. Today I feel giddy even. I can’t wait to witness Dan being a dad, I think there’s no question that he’s going to be pretty kick-ass at it. I can’t wait to introduce our baby to Bella. I can’t wait to see what she thinks of all the crazy new toys we’ll have all over the house, she’ll clearly go nuts trying to get at and tear apart every single thing.
Things are really going to change aren’t they?

I can’t wait to be a mom. I am lucky.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I hate bras

I am so exhausted, I just spent my lunch break trying on about 25 different bras for about an hour. By the time the hour was up, I was so frustrated, tired, and just spent by the whole ordeal, that I just HAD to get out of there. Not without spending more than $80 on stupid, huge, and ugly boob supporting contraptions though. Ugh. I have gone up an entire cup & band size. When I left the house this morning for work wearing a sports bra, I decided, enough is enough… I had to go shopping as soon as possible.

And now I really feel like I need a nap.

Oh and what is it with those HUGE cardboard tags the size of coffee mugs that they put on all bras at the store? How am I supposed to be able to put on a shirt and really see how well of a job the sucker is doing? Someone needs to do something about that please.

I hate bras. I hate boobs.

So without further ado, here is my 23 week belly picture. (Notice how my boobs are sagging pretty much down to where my waist would be if I wasn’t carrying this little munchkin? Blergh, clearly today’s shopping trip was overdue. You know that when you’re totally planning outfits around undergarments, you really need some new ones. At least now I can make full use of my closet again, and start wearing some of those shirts that looked so terrible with my stretched out, too small, crappy quality target bras.

Dad, if you read this, please don’t tell me about it. I’d prefer to pretend you didn’t just spend five minutes reading about your daughter’s boobs.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It’s all things baby, all the time baby!

I am all about getting advice from other moms and dads who have so “been there, done that”, because frankly, I am pretty clueless about raising a child. I will fully admit that I don’t know when babies start teething, or sitting up, crawling, or walking. I don’t know how much to feed them or when they should start on real food. Even putting them in car seats without making them wail seems like an impossible task. However, I’m finding the solicited and unsolicited advice to be, more often than not, more confusing and frustrating than helpful. I’m trying to educate myself, trying to read a lot and ask questions, but I swear I am constantly being told one thing, and then the next day it’s the complete opposite. Just the other day I was reading positive review after positive review about this pretty cool looking swaddling blanket and watching the instruction video online, and then yesterday my sister-in-law told me, “You’re not supposed to swaddle the arms in anymore, it’s bad for the baby…” Is that really true? Who says? Why is it bad, and why then are they still making and selling these blankets that have little flaps specifically to keep the little arms in? I feel like this product looks like a dream come true for parents of colicky babies. But I guess, what the hell do I know? If everyone has an opinion about everything, how do I know who is right? Also, I feel a little sheepish about having my own opinions at this point, because I know I totally get the “look” that says, “Lady, you have no idea, you haven’t lived it yet, just you wait.” And I get that, I really do, but I wish people were a little more careful about what they said, and took more care with their advice to new and expectant moms & dads. I WANT to hear what worked and didn’t work for you, but I DON’T want you to pretend that what you have to say is the bible, and I am an idiot if I don’t follow it to a tee.

Dan’s been getting a lot of this at work from his boss and coworker whom both just became first-time dads over the last few months. So obviously, they are really in the thick of it, they live and breathe babies, so it makes sense that it’s all they want to talk about with him. But his boss especially, purposefully or not, just stresses my poor husband out about the subject. He comes home and the last thing he wants to listen to is his neurotic wife talking about the research she did on strollers that day, because that very same day he got lectured by his boss about the fact that he’s really behind if he hasn’t started looking at that sort of thing yet and there are so many reviews out there to read and it’s clearly one of the biggest decisions that you ever will make, and how do you NOT know what the difference is between a travel system, jogger, standard stroller, and umbrella stroller? Panic! Stress! Poor guy. That’s a little bit how I felt when I started looking at all the different baby-wearing products they have out there (ring slings, wraps, pouches, Mei Tais, traditional front/back carriers, ahhhh!). Last week Dan’s boss sent him home with a fricken birthing video for God’s sake. Since when do guys do that sort of thing? Honestly I don’t think most of them do. While on one hand it’s sort of sweet and endearing that he is that into it, on the other, it’s just reminiscent of his habit of micromanaging. I think we’ll both just have to try to be chill about it, but that might not be possible if he starts asking how much weight I’m gaining or whether or not I’m doing my kegels regularly. ;)

I didn’t mean for this to be one big rant. It started out as just a little list of some random musings on growing a baby and how it seems to affect those around you. Then I was going to talk about how I’m feeling a bit more at peace with caring for a baby after spending the weekend at the cabin with my brother-in-law, his wife, and their two little boys. I got to do lots of cuddling and snuggling with their two-month-old, away from the watchful eyes of others, which tend to get me all worked up and nervous. I hate holding other people’s babies in front of a bunch of other people. I spend the whole time absolutely terrified that I’m going to make him or her cry. I’m convinced that babies pick up on my nervousness which promptly causes them to fuss and cry, and the whole thing just becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Also, I am totally self-conscious about making baby-talk in front of other adults, I don’t know why. Anyway, so over the last few months, every time I held my little nephew it was in front of a lot of people, and it never seemed to take long for me to have him fussing and crying. I’m thinking my anxiety is worsened by the fact that I’m pregnant and I feel like people are saying, “Tsk tsk, how is that woman ever going to handle being a mom when she can’t even keep this perfect baby happy for more than 5 minutes?” Seriously, what is wrong with me? People don’t think or say those kinds of things! (Especially the “tsk tsk” part.) It’s like I have this deranged and warped view of a world full of judgmental and generally mean people. I clearly need to give people, and myself, more credit than that. My point with all this is that I spent lots of quality time with the little guy this weekend, and he was so sweet and funny, he cooed and smiled at me, he and Bella got to know each other a little bit, and he fell asleep in my arms. It was just nice to hang with a baby and get to know his personality. It helped to take a little of the mystery out of things, which also helps to take a little of the scary out of things as well.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sweet Dreams

So I had my first crazy pregnant dream last night. Well, scratch that, it was really the first one I’ve had about my actual baby, I’ve been having ridiculous messed up dreams for a while now, which I’m assuming have something to do with my pregnancy. Most notably was the dream about my husband confiding in me of his discovery that he has chemistry with the hot girl he just hired at work, and that he’s decided since I’m knocked-up and everything, he’d like to stay with me but also start a relationship with her. Clearly, this dream is a result of my growing insecurities about my pregnant and rapidly changing body.

Anyway, so I had my first dream last night in which my baby made an actual appearance. Interestingly enough, he was a boy. Even more interesting is the fact that he was a Lego man. Yea, my baby was totally one of those teeny tiny Lego men with overalls and a red cap. The nice thing about having a Lego man for a baby was that if he got hurt, i.e. if my dog jumped on him like she did in the dream, and his whole head came apart from his body, well you just had to put him right back together again and he was as good as new. Also, he didn’t cry, and he always had a painted smile on his face.

Seriously, what is wrong with me? I have NO earthly clue what dreaming about having a Lego man for a baby could actually mean.

Also in my dream last night, my friend Kate was criticizing how I was holding my baby (Lego man). She kept telling me that I was doing it wrong, and saying passive aggressive things like, “Um, isn’t he a bit young to be on his tummy like that?” I was just like, “I HAVE NO IDEA! I don’t know what to do with babies, I am a terrible mother!”

Pregnant dreams are kind of a hoot aren’t they? Every time I type Lego man I start giggling uncontrollably.

21 weeks! These pictures are getting more difficult to take, week-to-week, simply due to the fact that I am getting fatter and fatter. The ratio of tolerable to horrendous pictures I take in each mini photo shoot just keeps getting smaller. I’m pretty sure I’ll run out of patience soon and start posting the first and only horrible picture I take. You can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I am exhausted.

This week has just been one of those weeks. We’ve been go-go-go every single day until about 9:00 PM, and I think it has definitely caught up with me. I am so thankful for my Fridays off. Tomorrow is an off day and I plan to seriously live it up. Don’t get too excited, these days “living it up” involves sleeping in, tidying up the house, and attempting to organize all our crap as part of my Make Room for Baby initiative. Anyway, all week long we’ve been coming home from work at night and working on clearing out the basement in anticipation of our contractor getting started on it. I am so excited that something is finally happening with it, but also of course dreading all the dust, mess, and stress that go along with any remodeling project… even those you’re not heading up yourself. When all is said and done though, we will have another bathroom, a bedroom to put our ugly treadmill in, and a cozy as heck family room that will likely be taken over within the upcoming year by huge noisy baby contraptions and primary color plastic toys.

In other exciting news, we had our ultrasound on Tuesday! It was awesome, so fun to see our little baby for the first time. Though there was a mix-up as to where the appointment was supposed to take place (Dan blames me of course, and it could very well have been my fault). We showed up at 4:00 PM, which I was told was the latest they make appointments, only to find out we’re totally in the wrong facility. After multiple calls we finally found out we were supposed to be at a different building about 3 blocks away, and that they would still see us. Thank God. I actually found myself starting to get emotional thinking about possibly having to reschedule, my eyes were all welling up when I was talking to the admin. I don’t think I realized how excited I was about the ultrasound until we almost didn’t get to do it.

Of course, with all the rushing and the stress, I had to pee like crazy and my bladder felt like it was going to explode by the time we made it to where we were supposed to be. But there was no time for bathroom nonsense, being that we were, by then, thirty five minutes late for our appointment. So I got to lay there for twenty minutes while the nice lady jabbed her little wand repeatedly right on top of my bladder. That’s alright, we got to meet our baby! He or she was in a super weird position though, so the ultrasound tech had a hard time getting a good profile picture for us. I told her the baby clearly doesn’t like profile pictures, just like his or her mama. =)

Last night Dan felt a kick for the first time! So he’s definitely had a week of being more “involved” with this whole baby-growing thing. Obviously it’s a much different experience for the dad, but I would assume that with the few milestones we’ve had this week it’s feeling much more real for him. Also, I am getting way fatter, which I’m sure he has not failed to notice.

Well here is my 20 week picture, I hate it. I was wearing the worst outfit ever that day, and I look just generally round, not cute. Whatever. (Note: this is not a desperate attempt to inspire compliments in the comments section. I am fully aware that they can’t all be good ones!)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tales of my exciting life

So I was finally forced to convert to Office 2007 today. I know it is much prettier and appears to be more user friendly, but I’ve been close to a panic attack pretty much the entire day and it’s all Bill Gates’s fault. It took me, I swear, ten minutes to figure out where the “Save As” function was in Excel. I know, I am ridiculous, but I just hate this feeling that things are not where they’re supposed to be. There are so many things in my job that I do constantly and automatically without having to think through, and today I feel like a first grader learning to read. FRUSTRATING!

I am so boring when I talk about work.

In other news, this week I actually feel like one of those people with a social life! Monday I went to prenatal yoga, where I felt like the clumsiest and most inflexible person in the class, even though, on average, my classmates are all about 3 months farther along than me. So they all have these huge bellies and are talking about how they can’t sleep anymore, their joints are achy, and they have trouble breathing with their babies sitting right in their ribs, etc. etc. And here I am with a barely visible belly still waiting for most of those sucky pregnancy symptoms to kick in, yet I am the one whose warrior pose the instructor feels the need to correct. I am also the one with the sweaty feet that are dangerously close to slipping out from underneath her. I always feel like this amongst a bunch of women I don’t know, like I am so obviously the un-cool one, so why should pregnancy make me feel any different, I suppose. But jeez, do lots of people feel this way or am I just a totally insecure mouse of a girl?

Anyway, back to my supposed social life. Yesterday I had a delicious Thai dinner with some of my girlfriends, and they are all such awesome chicks and it was so fun to get together with them. The only thing that was missing was a bottle of wine or a dirty martini. I am such a lush to be constantly saying this, I know, but I don’t care. I miss me my booze. Really though, can you blame me? Four months now without any alcohol, that is most certainly the longest I’ve gone since college. For some reason I feel the need to put in the standard disclaimer, “but it is so going to be worth it when I have my baby!” just so I don’t look like a horrible person, but honestly, doesn’t that go without saying? Of course I feel that way, why do I feel like I have to say it? It’s my blog damn it.

So tonight I have a meeting for this non-profit board I’m on, and our poor pup, again, goes a few extra hours at home by herself because Dan also has some softball something to go to. That makes my heart hurt… I hate thinking of her stuck at home by herself on such a beautiful spring day. Poor little thing, I will definitely have to give her extra kisses and snuggles tonight.
Finally, I leave you with my 19 week belly picture. Enjoy, because it only took me about 30 tries to get a semi-decent one. No wonder I look pissed! You should see how ridiculous I look in the ones where I smile. =)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Insane pregnant lady at your service

Just wanted to quick pop in and say hello. Over the last week, I swear this belly of mine has really done some crazy growing. Its fun to finally be “showing” but it’s definitely an adjustment. Every once in a while, I just get totally weirded out that there’s a little being in my stomach. It’s just so strange, I feel sort of alien-esque. Whenever I start thinking too far along the lines of the whole alien thing (sharp teeth, scaly skin, spiky claws), I go online and look at pictures of cute babies wearing little knitted hats or teeny tiny moccasins. It’s a comforting reminder that one of those little adorable things is growing in there.

And FYI, I bought one of those adorable little hats on Etsy a few weeks ago. I just couldn’t help myself. Check out this seller, everything she has for sale is just way too cute for words.

Speaking of buying things for the wee one, I’m starting to feel sort of behind on Operation: Prepare for Baby. I’ve pretty much bought only completely inane things so far that just rope me in with their cuteness. I’ve been jotting down notes and planning what I want to do in the nursery for weeks, but I haven’t bought a single thing, beyond a little print I also found on Etsy that will just go perfect with my color scheme. Anyway, I think the appearance of the bump has sent me into a bit of a panic, I feel like I am way behind and there are only five months left before the baby and this summer will likely be crazy busy as it is and oh my god the contractors still haven’t even started on our basement yet holy crap holy crap. I’m crazy. I still have five months left! That is PLENTY of time to get everything done that I want to do.

This is just how my brain works on Mondays, it is all over the place and ridiculous. In any event, I am off to my first prenatal yoga class! I hate doing new things, I get so nervous. Hopefully its good times and I can avoid being socially awkward.
Edited to Add: This week's belly pics. 17 weeks, 5 days.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I just threw up.

What the hell? What are you doing to me baby? I haven’t gotten sick for almost two weeks now, I feel good when I get out of bed every morning, and I had officially declared myself morning sickness free! I am 17 weeks along! WHAT THE HELL!

So yea, because I was trying to “will” the nausea away (because duh, I was officially done with morning sickness), this is the first time I didn’t make it to the bathroom. Yup, I threw up in my wastebasket in my office. I did, thankfully, make it to the door in time to close it, so that the people in the conference room next to my office didn’t have to hear my wretching. How embarrassing.

But afterwards, I was immediately struck with, “What am I supposed to do with the puke now?” Obviously I wasn’t going to let it fester in my office all day, but I also wasn’t going to take the bag out to the communal trash down the hall and let it stink up the whole place! I messaged Ben, because I wasn’t feeling sane enough to make this decision myself, and he said to take it to one of those trash cans outside, so I made him walk downstairs with me and did just that.

What a ridiculous Friday morning. Hope yours is going better!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I don’t do the whole “weekend recap” thing very often on this blog, but I’m really trying to write more these days, and it’s just far too difficult to find an encompassing theme every time I post. I end up just not writing because I can’t seem to get started. But I’m really starting to feel like this is the perfect time in my life to reflect a lot and in a way, document my experiences, because I’d love to have them for my son or daughter to read someday. I want him or her to know what life was like for mommy and daddy before “baby”, and how excited we were during these months leading up to his or her arrival. Anyway, so if it’s alright, I’m just going to do the whole stream of consciousness thing, and see where it takes me. Something is better than nothing right?

This weekend was just absolutely fantastic. Not only was it beautiful here in the cities, but I got to spend a proportionate amount of time with friends, family, my husband, and by myself. It was quite simply the perfect weekend, and exactly what I have been needing.

I had the day off on Friday, and I had literally no plans for my day, which usually means I will end up doing close to nothing. I know myself well enough to admit that when I don’t make a physical list in which I write things like “get car washed” or “vacuum living room floor”, it’s likely I won’t do them. I am not a mental list kind of girl. I need to cross things off. I need to visualize the tasks in order for them to get done. Well like I was saying, on Friday I didn’t write anything down, and I barely accomplished anything. I ironed some clothes, loaded the dishwasher, begrudgingly called Sprint customer service, and watched an episode of Real Housewives of New York City, multiple episodes of Bringing Home Baby, and about 95% of JFK (which is like a bajillion hours long, especially when played on TV with commercials). I FINALLY showered at 3:00, and quick before Dan got home I sorted the laundry for the first time in about six months. I am such an amazing wife, your husband/boyfriend is, I’m sure, jealous. Later that night Dan and I met up with Lisa for dinner and to catch up since she had just returned from a week long vacation in Mexico. (Jealousy.) I drooled a bit watching Dan drink his beer. I know I shouldn’t say it, but I totally miss beer and red wine. And soft cheeses. Oh my, the cheese thing is sort of killing me.

Saturday really truly felt like the first day of spring. Lisa and I took the dog for a walk around Palmer Lake, and it felt so good to be out in the sun getting some exercise. Bella got muddy and smelly of course, but she was in heaven so it was well worth it. It was really nice to get one-on-one buddy time with Lisa, and we chatted about all things baby, work, and of course boy related. I am really determined to get outside more now that the weather is getting more cooperative, and stay active throughout the pregnancy. Now that I’m out of the first trimester and feeling a lot better, even though I don’t feel up to starting up with the running again, I’d really like to try to walk 3-4 times a week. Again, I know myself and I know how important exercise is to my general well being. I am seriously a beastly person when I let myself be lazy for too long, Dan usually gets the grunt of it. I think I need those endorphins to stay sane and to just keep me going every day.

We met more buddies for lunch, which was lovely, and afterwards I set out to do some shopping. I really love shopping by myself, and I suppose I should enjoy it while I can huh? Come fall I will have a little babe attached to my hip/boob. I bought some new tops (some maternity, some not) that should make getting dressed every day for work a little easier. I’m starting to dread those 15 minutes every morning, and my closet looks like a tornado went through. Pregnant outfit crisises (crisi?) are much worse than the regular ones, believe me.

On Sunday we spent most of our day out in Stillwater, doing some antiquing with my parents. Ugh, I want to live in Stillwater, it is so beautiful. We had a ridiculously delicious brunch and again just enjoyed being outdoors in such a lovely town. It’s fun to be able to look for baby stuff, I’m having a great time thinking about the nursery and what we’re going to do in there.

Wow, THIS is why I don’t do these “weekend recap” things very often. I feel like such a douche just listing off the things I did every day. Seriously, I was “this” close to just writing about what Dan and I made for dinner on Sunday night, and about the pineapple I picked up at the grocery store that I was dangerously close to devouring in one sitting. I have no problem with the life I lead, but it is obviously not so exciting on paper. Even my baby will be embarrassed by how boring and mundane this all is if he or she really does read this someday. (I swear kid - I used to dance on bars and sing at the top of my lungs and take “Betsy’s Special” shots.)

I’ll leave you with the first “belly shot” I’ve taken, at 16 weeks, 5 days. It’s finally starting to grow, and I’m a little surprised by my reaction. People aren’t kidding when they say that it makes it feel all the more real when there becomes real physical “visible” proof of something growing inside of you. I mean seriously, how freaking crazy IS that? It really is crazy. When I lay on my back, I can feel the hard little lump that is my uterus in there, like a big ole’ orange or avocado right there in my belly. Last night it was on the left side, and when I woke up this morning it was on the right. Crazy crazy crazy that our bodies were built to do this, I’m just starting to feel so in awe of the whole process.

Anyway, the picture is not that great, and for some reason I decided to take it on a day when I was wearing the busiest shirt anyone has ever seen, so it is hard to see the little bump that I have going on there. Also, my desk is a mess of binders and folders and my office isn’t quite as sad as this makes it look. Well, maybe it is.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Am Woman

This being pregnant thing is kind of crazy. Yes, for those of you who don’t know me in real life, I’ll be 16 weeks pregnant in a few days! That in itself is seriously crazy. Sometimes I can’t believe it, but then I vomit a bunch of stomach bile in the shower (i.e. this morning) and I am reminded that there’s a little baby in there who brought along with him or her lots of crazy hormones which are wreaking havoc on my body. I try to limit the complaining about morning sickness and all that to my wonderful husband, but I’m pretty sure even he’s getting tired of hearing about it, which I totally understand. I hate being an invalid. It’s strange though, I’ll feel relatively good for a few days and think I’m through the worst of it, especially now that I’m well into the second trimester. I was all over the place this weekend walking on rainbows and blowing kisses to bunnies, telling everyone how much more energy I have and how the nausea has almost completely disappeared. And then I started the week out yesterday by running from my office to the bathroom multiple times, slumping over in my chair most of the day, and sucking on Preggie Pops like they were going out of style. I totally jinxed myself didn’t I?

Anyway, in other news, my belly is starting to grow, and most of my pants are seriously uncomfortable. I’m in what I feel is a pretty ugly phase. I am “showing” based on what clothes I’m wearing and how much I’m sucking in, and random people I meet at Target, or coworkers who haven’t yet “heard” the news, would think I’ve just eaten too many cheeseburgers. I’ve avoided maternity shopping up until recently because I just don’t know what I’ll need, and how long certain things will fit. The whole thing rather stresses me out. However, one of the girls that I met through grad school just had her second (and last) baby in December, and she gave me all her maternity clothes when we met up for lunch a few weeks ago. I can sometimes be sort of bratty about “used” clothes, mostly because if I wasn’t a little bratty, my mother would make it her personal mission to fill my closet with her thrift store finds. But getting a huge box of ALL of someone’s maternity clothes, I have decided, is the best thing ever. I now have about 5 skirts, 4 dresses, 4 pairs of work pants, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shorts, and loads of both casual and “office-appropriate” tops. I feel like I’m totally set, and as I go through my pregnancy will now be able to just supplement my new wardrobe as I change sizes or get totally sick of certain things. I went through everything this weekend, and organized by size, and now just feel as if this huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Which brings me to women, and how awesome I think they are. While there are still lots of those out there who will only tell you their horror stories, or brag about how little weight they gained (Mom), for the most part I have found my relationships and conversations with other women who have gone through pregnancy and childbirth totally empowering. The girls from grad school, who I met up with for a quick lunch that turned into 3 hours, were so supportive, excited, and non-judgmental. One friend, Jessi, told me she will tell me anything and everything about pregnancy, childbirth, caring for newborns that I’d like to know, but that I just need to remember one thing. She said, “Whatever you’re feeling or going through is totally normal, and it’s ok to feel that way. You have to remember to tell yourself that constantly, now and after the baby is born.” I just love that, and I love her for saying it.

My friend Liz just had her adorable little boy in September, and sometimes I wish I had a tape recorder when I’m talking to her, she has so much helpful advice. Her honesty has been refreshing, she doesn’t leave out the scary stuff, and I think that honesty like that only helps women feel less alone during late night feedings and periods of intense “I don’t know if I can do this anymore” exhaustion. Those women that pretend to be “super mom” every time they talk to you just frustrate me to no end, I mean who or what does that kind of attitude serve?

Then there's Mandy, who I swear IS a super mom, but she certainly doesn't proclaim to be one. I see how much joy she gets from being a mother, and I remember why the morning sickness, bloating, and fat stages will be totally worth it when we have our child. Her relationship with her little boy is awe-inspiring, she just absolutely loves being with him, teaching him new things, providing him with new experiences. I swear she was put on this earth to be a mother. If I get half as much joy from being a mom as Mandy gets, I will be perfectly content.

Betsy and Kate are also both pregnant right now, which is seriously awesome. Betsy is due in July with her first baby girl, and Kate is expecting her second little bugger in August. How lucky am I to be pregnant at the same time as two of my best friends? Hypothetical high-five to God for that one. I love being able to bounce nursery ideas of the two of them, compare notes on weight gain, talk about weird pregnancy things like the constant burping & indigestion. (Seriously, what the heck is that about!?) And when I say “compare notes”, I don’t mean we’re competitive with each other and all Judgy McJudgerson about it. It’s just about receiving and providing extra support amongst friends that know exactly what each is going through.

Women are awesome. I guess that’s what I’m getting at with all my rambling. Being pregnant has only made that more clear.