38 Weeks – Perspective on Parenting

As the days drew closer and closer to our wedding date, three years ago, people offered up all sorts of advice.  Some I found quite amusing seeing as I had already been married and divorced.  My Husband started to get annoyed by some of the age old comments and advice and was ready for the wedding itself to come and go so he didn’t have to hear it anymore.  Mainly he was tired of hearing how his life was soon to be over and I was tired of hearing how eventually this marriage would be no different from my first.  It was a lot of the “Oh, you just wait.”

I remember having many conversations about this with my Husband prior to our wedding.  Everyone has a different perspective to share about marriage.  Some don’t have the best perspective to share due to their experience and others do have valid points to the advice that they give.  Truth be told my Husband and I have managed marriage pretty well on our own terms.  His life did not end when he said “I do.”  He didn’t lose his right to speak or have an opinion and I didn’t take away his toys.  In turn, this marriage is nothing like my last and I don’t regret getting married for a second time.  I will never say marriage is easy but I like to keep in mind the good days and not the nights where I’m yelling at him to once again take out the trash.

Parenting is much like this.  You spend 9 months with a growing belly, instead of just a sparkling new diamond on your finger, and everyone wants to offer you advice.  Unfortunately, once again, a lot of that advice ends with how your life will never be the same and it is essentially over.  Along the way we have found who among our friends is in the supportive circle and who just wants us to join their pity party.  And remember, this isn’t my first rodeo at parenting so I don’t want to hear the “Oh, you just wait.”  Once again, I’m not saying parenting is easy but I like to remember all the good days with Rebecca and not the nights she puked up bottle after bottle on me because holy acid reflux.

Remember that perspective thing?  It keeps happening every time a life event happens and my Husband and I are going into this parenting thing on our own terms.  And you know what, I don’t think our life is going to end.  I don’t think our lives are going to be over.  We are not going into parenting together freaked out, concerned and stressed.  But that is our household.  Our family.  How we handle things.  Which may be different from your story, your household, your marriage, your newborn phase.  And that is okay.

Everyone talks about supporting one another but do we?  We stand on the outside of someones home assuming we know whats going on in the inside.  It feels like people are watching to see your marriage fail so they can say I told you so.  It feels like they are watching your parenting to say I told you so.

I know my Husband and I will weather tough times in our marriage just as we will weather tough times in parenting, just as we have weathered tough times in this pregnancy but that is what we signed up for.  There are good days and bad days, not the end of days.  We did not sign up for unicorns shitting out glitter.  We are choosing to be positive about what is in our near future because we have been on the flip side.  We have also watched a lot of our friends go through some incredibly hard times in parenting lately.  Things that no parent should have to do and decisions that no parent should have to make.  It has given us perspective.  Yes, even perspective on not getting such a long shower and having some sleepless nights because life could be worse and these phases end.

We all have a platform on our blogs to vent, to discuss, ask questions, and show support.  I have blogged in real terms, to me,  what my pregnancy has been like for me and my Husband, knowing damn well what the alternative is.  Prior to my pregnancy, I have written about my marriage, in real terms and prior to that I wrote about my divorce in real terms.  I will continue to write about our journey in parenting, not covered in glitter and edited photos but real life for us.  Outside of this pregnancy story I have shared with you, I have still carried on with a life, friendships, marriage and managed to get my laundry done.  This pregnancy has not stopped our lives from happening.

So here is to the next phase in our lives and the next phase in the lives of many of you who read this.  Go into that phase how you choose to and make it a happy positive one.  We are lucky to have this opportunity.  Just remember, the bad days will pass, and your life is not over.  A new chapter is just beginning to add to your story.

37 Weeks- Clear for take off

I have hit the mark that all doctors want you to hit.  I got a high five from my perinatologist, on Tuesday, for it.  37 weeks.  We are at the point where they quit talking about keeping the baby in there and start talking about when the baby comes out.  It is a very surreal moment, I must say.  We made it.

The good news is, the baby is still growing, although still on the small side, he said it is nothing to worry about.  We will not have to make another trip back  to the perinatologist and he will talk things over with my OB, who I see on Friday.  His main thing is that he does not want me to go beyond my due date, which I am completely fine with, and my OB will discuss a game plan with me at the next appointment.  And with that we were out the door and it suddenly felt like our time with him flew by.

It is October.  The month we were married.  The month we met.  The month we will welcome our baby.  The month everything always happens in my life.  Where would I be in life without all my Octobers?

My family has gotten to this point, where if I don’t answer my phone, they assume I’m in labor.  People are starting to make the “Aren’t you about done!?” comments.  I’m finishing up my last week, and longest week ever, of work.   I’m just over all of this pregnancy stuff and ready to move on to the next phase of this.  I can say, I will forever give a 9 month pregnant person all the space and forgiveness in the world because the struggle is real my friends and I officially want my body back.  What I’m saying is Dear baby, you are clear for take off and we are ready for you.




Things I Am Looking Forward to Post-Pregnancy


With the end in sight to this pregnancy, there are several things I am starting to look forward to, aside from having my baby here (obviously).

  • Alcohol.  All the wine and rum.  While I have had a few small glasses of wine here and there, I’m ready for a big fat glass or three of wine.  Especially when we are out to eat.  I just miss wine with my food or having a glass while sitting outside with my husband when he smokes cigars.
  • Sleeping on my stomach.  I have adapted to side sleeping but I’m ready to flop on my stomach.
  • Sex.  Eventually the brakes were hit on our sex life during this pregnancy. I was completely unsure, going into pregnancy, how we would handle our sex life because everyone has told me different stories.  We miss sex, is really all there is to say on that.
  • Not being a target.  I want my boundary lines back.  I don’t want the stares from people, the hands touching, the questions, the comments.  I just want to be another person walking around Target.
  • Having a normal conversation.  The bump is a go-to conversation when out with friends but there is still more to me.  I have other things going on in my life, contrary to what I tell you on this blog and I’m cool not talking about my baby.
  • Being able to keep up.  Whether you like it or not you hit this wall where you just cannot keep up with your friends.  You look ridiculous, at 8 months pregnant, joining their after dinner happy hour at the bar.  I’m not jumping on a boat right now or going out for any girls night because I’m too busy thinking about my blood pressure.  I’m ready for a care free night out.
  • Being able to book a trip.  We have been holding off booking a trip to an island until the baby comes.  Because, responsible parenting.  I’m ready to have that trip lined up and begin the countdown to that.
  • Work outs.  At 34 weeks pregnant I had to say good-bye to my classes at the gym.  Due to swelling, blood pressure and a few other things I had to get real about staying safe and just doing workouts at home.  It is mentally one of the hardest things so far.  I’m already missing it and ready to get back to normal workouts.
  • Being able to get in my bed.  It is tall, I am pregnant.  I look like a high centered rhino getting into bed some nights.
  • Being able to get out of bed.  I can still kinda use my abs to roll myself over but it takes more work everyday.  This maneuver is what we call a turtle on its back.
  • The ability to put on my shoes, towel dry off, put on lotion, shave my legs, switch the laundry, and a million other things that are so damn tough right now.
  • My vagina.  I haven’t seen it in a few weeks and I’m sure I won’t want to see it for a few weeks after but hey, I look forward to seeing it again one day.
  • Wearing my wedding ring again.  That came off two weeks ago.
  • Regular clothes.  I see them all there in the closet, staring at me.  I want to be rid of all maternity clothes or regular clothes I have stretched out:)  Same goes for shoes.  I just live in my flip-flops instead because, fat feet.
  • Sushi.  Just kidding, I don’t eat sushi.
  • Knowing the unknown.  We are in that territory where I wonder constantly about when the baby will come, how, etc.    I’m ready to have that part done and over with so it just becomes part of the story and not a maybe.

What are you most looking forward to after your baby is born?

36 Weeks- The Guilt Factor

I’ve heard the story a million times, women who started to worry about their older children right before their new baby was born.  Call it what you will, the guilt factor, or the knowledge that life will never be the same for them. I never quite understood this.  I would always listen to the Mom’s concern but couldn’t quite wrap my head around it.  In fact, I didn’t even think that about Rebecca, until a few weeks ago.

I get it now.

The fact that our time was winding down with her as an only child was starting to weigh on me.  I haven’t worried about not having enough time for her but our time will change.  It won’t be the same.  We have had 13 years as her being the center of our world with no one else to worry about, now that is changing.  And not only is it changing in our household but my ex-husband and his wife are also expecting a baby girl a few months after us.

Rebecca is completely on board and happy with all the impending babyness.  She seems to show no signs of feeling left out or being replaced, as I’m sure most kids don’t.  It is a Mommy guilt thing, I believe.

This weekend we are having a last weekend for just us girls.  13 years of taking her to the pumpkin patch and this will be the last time it is just her and I.  From here on out there will be another child in the pictures, which sounds very exciting to me but on the other hand it is the end of a chapter.  It isn’t like we can’t go out and have plenty more one on one girl days by ourselves after the baby is born.  We can and will, which is the grace of her being much older than baby.  See how messed up this all sounds?  It is a mind game.

So what I’m saying is, I hear you other Mom’s of multiple children.  I’m sure this won’t bother me after the baby is born but right now it is just something to worry about.  So this weekend I will smother her till she is annoyed with me and rolling her eyes to be left alone.

How did you handle your second, third, etc child coming along?  Did you feel the same way?

36 Weeks Pregnant- Preparing the Furbaby

We are those annoying dog people.  The people who treat their dog like a human, like a child.  A spoiled rotten child. Our two-year old black lab, Fenway, has been our baby for the past two years and she damn well knows it.  Many people have expressed their concern over us preparing her for the baby’s arrival.  I can actually say we aren’t overly worried about it but have done a few extra things to prepare her.

I believe the main thing that has prepared Fenway is the fact that my good friend had her baby at 31 weeks a year ago and the dog has been around her constantly.  That preemie baby spent more than enough time last winter chilling on our couch with our dog right next to her.  Now the baby is on the move on the floor, when she visits, and Fenway (reluctantly) shares her toys with her.  Every Tuesday evening we go for a walk, baby in stroller, dog on leash right next to stroller, stopping to let us know when a toy has been thrown overboard.  These two are buddies and while our dog hasn’t always been a fan of us paying attention to the baby, she certainly knows the smell of one.

To let her know that things will permanently change in our own house soon we have prepared her in a few more ways.

  • We have let her smell the baby clothes and blankets as we have washed and put them away.
  • We have also let her smell the wipes, diapers and formula.
  • She has been allowed in the nursery as we have set things up.
  • We have set up the car seat, stroller, swing and bassinet and put them where they will reside for baby.  Once they were set up, we put her favorite stuffed toy lion in them, one by one, and let her see how they worked.  She rescued the lion from all objects but was able to check them out.  The main thing I think we will have a problem with though is the swing, she currently does not appreciate the noises it makes when it runs.  So we are running it nightly for a bit so she can get used to it.
  • We have left objects such as bottles, binkies, and smaller toys around the house and practiced her “leave it” command with them in hopes that this curbs the desire to steal them away later.
  • Yes, my Husband will bring home a blanket from the hospital for Fenway to smell before we make the trip home with baby.
  • We also plan on keeping her routine as normal as possible once the baby comes.  She will still go her normal days to doggie day care and she will still get her daily walks at the same time.  I know this can be done thanks to the help of my sister living with us and my husband being able to take her to work with him and drop her off later at day care.

And just like human kiddos, you must have a plan for your fur kids, for when you go into labor.  Once again, we are lucky to have my sister living with us to help with that main concern.  She is also added, along with one other friend, to the approved list of who can do pick ups and drop offs at her doggie day care.  (The human child will be once again, watched by my sister or will come with us as my ex-husband, thankfully, only lives 5 blocks from the hospital.  Being 13 years old and not much younger helps as well.)

We are lucky enough that Fenway seems to be officially out of the naughty puppy phase.  Guests can come over and she won’t take off with their shoes, she no longer steals socks, she doesn’t hide under our bed with Rebecca’s toys and she actually uses some manners.  This gives me hope that we won’t have too many other problems with her once baby does come.  She currently brings toys to the bump, attempts to cuddle with her and bump often responds to her.  Lets hope they remain buds on the outside world as well!

What ways did you prepare your furbaby for your human baby?


35 Weeks- Birthing Class

I went back and forth about taking a birthing class that was offered through our hospital.  They had a couple of options of a class that was from bump to bassinet.  Basically meaning from labor through the newborn phase with a hospital tour included.  We had the choice of an all day Saturday class or break it up over a couple of weeks.  We chose the 8 hour Saturday class and I started regretting it the closer it got.

Saturday we packed up a few pillows, that we were requested to bring, snacks, water, and set off for the hospital.  We were joined in a room of 15 other couples and two teachers.  To make a long day, short in story, it was the biggest waste of 8 hours and $80 for us.  I can honestly see how it may have helped some couples in the class but for us, it wasn’t worth it.  I understand birth, the vocab, what is coming and what our plan is.  I know newborn care, I’ve been there before.  I honestly thought maybe I would gain some new knowledge or tools for labor that I haven’t looked into.  I thought maybe I would gain some more confidence for labor itself and perhaps help educate my Husband some more on what he can expect on his end.  I also thought we would be refreshed on a few newborn ideas but got absolutely none of that.  What I did get was frustrated.

In fact, we almost left at lunch and didn’t come back.  The instructors were very heavy on the natural birth topic and I felt the information on interventions (such as c-sections) and pain relief (such as epidurals) were explained with mere scare tactics.  Instead of mentioning that labor, you know, hurts, they liked to just say it is uncomfortable.  Contractions are uncomfortable, massaging the uterus post labor can be uncomfortable, recovering from c-section can be uncomfortable, pushing can be uncomfortable BUT that is all.

In our postpartum section of the class a few people asked questions that were related to formula feeding, not breastfeeding, and what to expect physically from their body in that circumstance.  Those questions were not answered and instead the instructors said they would answer those questions separately at break.  So much for the “feel free to ask anything at all” comment that was made at the beginning of class.  There were many questions that were asked that the automatic response from the instructors was “it is best to ask your health care provider” or ” it is best to ask your pediatrician.”  What was covered was very basic at best.

There were a few other topics that felt very one-sided from the instructors.  Which I’m very okay hearing all options but that is the thing, you have to give more than one!  The instructors both have older children and would discuss how kids aren’t really that expensive until they are much older.  Financially, babies are not that much.  I’m sorry, what?!  Another tough topic was how much you are a mommy now and you can no longer be anything else so you should accept that.  You will lose your friends, your sex life, your social life and so forth so you should just accept that and make the best of your new life because you are a mommy.  Yay!

In a nut shell, I felt like this class was taught from one perspective only.  If I had wanted that perspective or knew that ahead of time then that would have been fine.  I think if that is what you are looking for, then you can easily look into those more topic specific classes.  However, when this is supposed to be a broad class through the hospital, that all doctors encourage you to take, I expect a bit more open-mindedness to the fact that not everyone will be birthing or handling their newborns the same.

I should have questioned my doctor a bit more on why she thought it was such an ideal class to take.  I should have questioned what the class covers (or lack there of) a bit more.  And I should have trusted my own instincts on whether or not we even needed the class.  My suggestion to you, make sure the class is what you are absolutely looking for.

We did rally afterwards and went out for a nice steak dinner and made it home in time to see our football team lose in over time.  Not a complete waste of a Saturday that way:)

35 Weeks – Packing the Hospital Bag

My “to do” list before baby comes is slowly dwindling as the time grows closer and it seems the last few things on the list are things I have been ignoring or just weren’t looking forward to doing.  Packing that hospital bag is one of them.  I have read so many lists from other people on the internet and it was enough to make me think, nope, I’ll wait a little longer. There are a lot of people proclaiming MUST haves and NOT must haves.  Who is right and what is right for me?

When we travel, I am an over packer.  I am not a carry on person at all! My main thing for the hospital is to not over pack.  I don’t want to be hauling in a collection of crap for a (hopefully) short stay.  After looking over several lists and talking to people who have delivered at the same hospital that I will be at, here is what I have packed so far.

My bag:

  • Basic shower, bathroom, cosmetic items, all travel sized.
  • Hair brush, hair ties, hair bands.  Anything to keep the hair out of my face.
  • Large maxi pads (Just a few as most hospitals provide these)
  • Disposable breast Pads
  • Sports bras x2
  • Plain underwear that can be tossed
  • PJ Pants that can be tossed
  • Sweatpants that can be tossed
  • Zip-up hoodie
  • 2 Tanks
  • 2 T-shirts
  • Socks
  • Cheap slippers that can be tossed, with grippers on the bottom
  • Cheap flip flops that can be tossed
  • Gum
  • Phone Charger
  • Prescription Meds
  • The few papers I have filled out for a birth plan.  My ID and insurance card are always in my purse so I don’t have to worry about packing those.

The Diaper Bag:

  • Baby book
  • Formula, bottles
  • Pacifiers
  • Just a couple diapers and wipes as most hospitals provide these
  • Receiving blanket for car seat for the drive home
  • Sleeper (1) Size newborn
  • Going home outfit size newborn & preemie (since she is measuring so small).
  • Scratch mittens, socks, and hat.
  • Installed car seat and base

The Hubby’s Backpack:

  • T-Shirt (2)
  • PJ Pants
  • Flip flops
  • Boxers
  • Jeans (1 Pair)
  • Sweatshirt
  • Tablet/Charger
  • Snacks
  • Deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste

A few things about our situation.  We live 40 minutes from the hospital.  While I am at work it is a 10 minute drive and my husband works all over the city so he could be 5 minutes away or an hour away.  Also, working 80/90 hour weeks right now he will likely not be with me at go time (or that is what I’m preparing myself for).  At some point I will probably just leave all the bags in my truck but for now they are just in our room.

If my husband is meeting me at the hospital directly from work, he will be covered in concrete and dirt so will require a change of clothes no matter what.  He will likely be staying in the hospital with me as well.  As far as many other people saying bring all these extra comforts (especially for the hubby) such as pillows, blankets, towels, etc. from home, I am passing on that.  One, I am not getting anything nasty on our very expensive pillows.  Two, I don’t give a shit about my husband’s comfort level while sleeping at the hospital, I’m pushing a human out of my vagina and THAT is uncomfortable.  He has spent nights/days in the desert of Iraq, sleeping under his Humvee, the man can sleep anywhere comfortably and never requires much.  We understand we are not checking into the Hilton.

We also have the luxury of my sister living with us who can grab things and bring them to us if need be.  So if I need to bite my tongue later about the pillows, she can bring them in.  There is also a 24 hour Walgreen’s and Target across the street from the hospital for any other things.  What more could you ask for?

I have debated back and forth on bringing the good camera.  For right now, I’m leaving it at home.  We have our phones and isn’t that what it always comes down to these days?

Some lovely friends suggested a wine opener as they did partake in a toast to their new baby in the hospital.  Now I’m not a big drinker….Oh, hell, who are we kidding, I always have a wine opener in my truck.  And you know, Target sells wine across the street.

Lastly, we haven’t taken our birth class yet (we will this Saturday) and that is also when we will find out more about exactly what the hospital provides.  For right now, I’m going off of what others have mentioned.

As always, there are so many factors that can go into this.  C-section, vaginal delivery, longer stays, NICU stay, weather, time of day, what your hospital provides/doesn’t provide, breastfeeding, formula feeding, other siblings and so forth.

Any other suggestions that you just couldn’t live without during your hospital stay?