Telling our Families

While we have told a few people about our impending arrival, we were holding off on telling our parents, and for good reason.  To start with, my family lives two hours away and I don’t see them often.  Two, both mother’s have big mouths.  The concept of waiting to tell their friends the news was just not going to sink in.

We started with my Mom, Dad, and sister the day I hit 9 weeks.  We went back home and poor Rebecca had been busting to spread the news.  She has some self-control, unlike my Mother.  Both Fenway and Rebecca had “big sister” shirts we put on after we arrived.  The problem was Fenway’s said “big sister” on the belly and on the back it said, “I have a secret, rub my belly to find out.”  My Mom assumed we were pulling some sort of weird joke on her and it took my sister (she had figured it out) to convince my Mom to just look at poor Fenway’s belly.  She yelled “Are you serious!?” at least 1500 times.  It was all very humorous and obviously very exciting.  My sister immediately produced onsies she had been slowly stashing away and my Dad, with his Alzheimer’s, still has no idea we were even there for the weekend.  We eventually followed up with telling my brother and his wife.  She cried, he nodded a “cool” and went about his business.  Very him.

Onto the next set of parents.  It was my MIL’s birthday and we joined her for lunch.  Both of my in-laws are deaf (I can’t sign, my Husband can) so we opted for a card that basically stated we are going to quit calling you Mom and move on to calling you Grandma.  This elicited a lot of smiles and clapping from his mother and his Dad gave a nod of approval.  After that it was lunch as normal.

I have another ultrasound at 12 weeks and from there we will Facebook announce and call extended family and Grandparents.  My Mother, on the other hand, is having no idea how to keep her trap shut.  She lives in a world where nothing bad will happen and she just thinks we should tell everyone.  I live in a world called reality and still fear the worst case scenarios.  While those scary thoughts are fading as each week passes, they are still there.

The number one reason I am so glad we kept this close to us for a while was to give ourselves time to get used to the idea.  Everyone has opinions, advice and a million questions.  Just learning you are pregnant is overwhelming enough, let alone feeling the need to make sure you appease everyone else.  The Husband and I were able to adjust to this new norm.  We were able to think about how we wanted to handle this pregnancy without outside influences.  I was able to alleviate some pressure keeping it a secret and how often can you and your Husband share something like that? It has actually brought us closer and strengthen our marriage in a new way.

As far as the Mother’s go-the mayhem has begun.

Am I Doing This Wrong?

While I have been down the baby road, it has been awhile and I have never been down the pregnancy road.  I have spent years joining in the excitement as my friends have found out they are expecting a bundle of joy.  I have listened to them as they have told me about the pregnancy books they are reading and magazines that offer them information.  I have shopped with them as they told me about the latest and greatest products that are offered for baby.  I have been a sounding board for them as they debate on the best birthing plan for them.  I have even joined those friends and coached them in the delivery room.

Over the years of watching my friends I have given thought to what I would do in their shoes.  How I would react.  What books I would order.  What research I would do.

It turns out, I was wrong about how I would go about it.

I have no desire to order a book about what to expect while I am expecting, baby names or caveman style birthing.  I have googled about two pregnancy related topics and decided to just ask my doctor and use my common sense.  I can research till I am blue in the face but I will make myself crazy over every tiny product if I do.  I did grab a sign language for babies book but that is only because my in-laws are deaf and I might as well learn with baby.

I have decided the internet and books will give you every topic of what can go wrong, what you shouldn’t eat, what you shouldn’t do and how you are wrong and everyone else is right.  All of these topics will vary culture to culture, country to country and doctor to doctor.  (Confusion)  This filters over into raising a baby as well, I remember that part.

The only thing I have looked up is how to start adjusting my yoga techniques.

Am I doing it wrong?

I eat well. I quit drinking wine.  I gave up soda and fast food years ago. I adjusted my heart medication when we first started trying to get pregnant so it would be safe for baby. I have been taking prenatal pills for a year now.  I have given up cliff diving.  (Okay, I never did that in the first place.)  And I’m getting a bit more sleep because growing a baby is a lot of work.

I have decided I am not the first woman to be pregnant.  I have decided that while I like to be informed, I don’t need to be inundated with too much information.  I have decided that already having a healthy lifestyle means I don’t have to come up with an entirely new lifestyle while pregnant.  I have decided to listen to my body as I go.  I have decided that I will not stop my life and act like my pregnancy is the only thing going on.  I have a marriage, a job, family and friends that I will not put off with lame excuses.  I have come to realize/remember that babies really don’t need much, society makes you believe they do.

And not only did I decide on this but my Husband supports this decision after I had a few days of freaking out.  Because: am I doing this wrong? We discussed what would work best for me and us. We discussed how we wanted to go down the pregnancy path.  Sure, it could change as this goes but for right now, this is what works.

Am I doing it wrong?  I don’t know but today I feel like I’m doing it right.

 

 

 

Telling Rebecca

My kid is no dummy.  There have been a few times that she has looked at me sideways.  She has questioned why I haven’t had wine repeatedly.  She tried to catch us and ask if she would have a sibling by the time she is 13.  (Her bday is May, baby will be here April.)  We wanted to wait a bit longer to share the news with her because she is a kid, a girl, a young lady who can’t hold secrets is really what I’m saying.

I had ordered her a big sister shirt but it was slow to be shipped.  Instead, we sat her down one night and told her we needed to have a discussion.  You could tell she was trying to read our faces.  I handed her an envelope and told her to open it.  It had the ultrasound pictures in it.  The first thing she said was “I knew it! You weren’t drinking wine! I knew it!”  Then she stared at me like the baby might come crawling out any minute or perhaps I grew a third head suddenly.

It was slowly sinking in.

She did some bouncing around, she squealed and then we went to dinner.  That is where the questions started and have yet to stop.  At one point she simply stated, “I’m going to have a lot of questions about this.”  I understand kid.

Some of the best have been:

Will you have it Duggar style?  Like, in the bath tub, at home, with everyone? (Referring to the 19 Kids and Counting show on TLC.)

If I’m with you when you go into labor is there some sort of waiting room for kids or can Dad come get me?  I don’t want to see the “stuff.”  (Thank God her Dad lives literally 4 blocks from the hospital.)

How fat are you going to get?

Can you feel it moving yet?

Where does it pee at?

Can I go with when we find out what it is and if I go does it involve yucky stuff?

Are we still going on vacation next year?

Why do your boobs hurt?

Can you go swimming with me?

How much room is it going to take up in the backseat? (The girl travels heavy I tell ya.)

We aren’t going to turn weird and get a mini-van are we? (Hell, no.  No offense to you mini-van drivers.)

Are you sure I won’t have to share my birthday month?

Do I have to share any parts of my room with this baby?

How exactly did you know you were pregnant?

And it has gone on and on and on from there….

We will tell our parents (finally) this weekend.  She is ready to bust at the seams to share the news.

 

 

How Far Do You Support?

I went through my divorce.  I struggled through moments, I cried, I laughed, I changed, I learned and it happened.  I did not skip parts, ignore parts, pretend it didn’t happen or back pedal in that divorce.

I did it the best way I knew how.  I did what worked for me and I am ever so grateful that my divorce was amicable.  Amicable enough to even use the same lawyer and go out to lunch together after the judge announced us no longer husband and wife.

Not everyone gets that, I understand.  And let me say, everyone’s divorce is different.

Years later here I am with a friend in my house and her three children.  Her arms are covered in bruises from her husband.  We sat in a lawyer’s office this morning and she was all over the board.  I sat there getting frustrated.  Just what did she want exactly?  What are her goals?  Ten years I’ve listened to them two yell, fight and carry on.  I’ve supported her, given her places to stay and bit my tongue.  Now they are in my house, living on my bank account and she wants to find an easier route then actually going through it.

And she looks at me like I have no clue what I’m talking about.

I want to scream at her.  Shake her.  Tell her what reality is.  I could go on and on but here is where I am at.  I’m sitting in a chair next to her, pregnant.  I have a job I’m late getting to.  I have a beautiful, brand new house that I got up early to clean this morning because there are 4 extra people and a puppy staying there.  I have a Husband that will come home tonight that I will be happy to see.  You see, I worked hard for that.  Damn hard.  So while I will be supportive of friends when is enough, enough? When do your morals win out?  When do you tell your friend she is going to have to learn the hard way?  I’ve already done it.  I’ve been there.  I feel the stress today, stress that isn’t mine because I remember those days all to well but these aren’t my days.  No, they are hers.

It is a funny thing, being the already divorced person.  I completely understand the steps but no, I will not do it for another person.  The other thing I’m realizing, I can no longer be supportive of a toxic situation someone chooses to put them selves in daily.  It is exhausting.

Moving In.

We had only been in bed and asleep for  little over an hour.  We sat outside our house till late by the fire pit with some friends and Rebecca fell asleep on the couch.  I had left her there and quickly fell asleep myself, smelling of fire.  Somehow I heard my phone vibrate.  I never leave the ringer on at night.  I ignored it but it was persistent and kept up.  I got up to pee and was no annoyed this unknown number was not only calling again and again but was leaving a voicemail.  I checked it.  It held a sobbing and hysterical friend.  I dialed back the unknown number, the only phone she could get her hands on.  Within five minutes we were up, dressed, tossing Rebecca in the back seat and driving 30 minutes North.

It was 1 am.

My friend had been tossed around by her husband, again.  He took her keys, her phone, her purse and the three kids.  He locked the door and she ran for help.  We arrived and called the cops.  By then her husband was passed out on the couch and we banged on the windows till the oldest child answered the door.  Long story short, 3 little boys were carried to the waiting car, one 3 month old puppy was wrestled in with the kids, statements were taken and my daughter stood outside watching the chaos while making small talk with the neighbors.  An hour after arriving I was driving the friend and three boys, while my husband and daughter followed behind, as we headed back to my place.  Adrenaline was keeping me awake and I rolled down the windows to calm my queasy stomach.  Baby wasn’t thrilled about a middle of the night adventure.

4 am was when we got all dogs and children settled into bed.

4:30 am was when my husbands alarm went off.

4:35 am I finally fell back asleep.

7 am was when the house started to wake up.  A dog had to pee.  A brother rolled on another brother.  Someone was hungry. (Okay, that was me again.)

Breakfast started.  Dogs chased each other.  Kids let the doors slam as they ran in and out.  I sat and watched my friend in my kitchen, looking exhausted, as she retold last nights events.  I had that look once.  The one that says your entire life is about to change.  The one that says this journey is going to suck but man, if you knew how great the ending could be.  After years of hell she is done with this marriage and filing for divorce.  While there have been many nights of escape to my place with the boys, this one is final.  They are moving in until they find a place and can get on their feet.

She was there through my divorce.  She picked me up off the floor.  She watched me cry, scream, stare at the wall and everything in between.  This only seems fair.  I remember that pain all to well.

The oldest looked at me that night as we drove to my place.  I glanced up in the rearview mirror at him when he called my name.  “Thanks for coming and saving us again Aunt Sanibel.  I love you.”  Anytime, kid.  Anytime.

 

First Look

The past few weeks I have been holding my breath.  Years of trying and you just assume something should go wrong.  They did loads of blood work and gave me a thumbs up.  The tests say positive and then you wait until that first ultrasound.  It doesn’t help we knew earlier than most people do.  When you watch every day and track everything, you tend to know early.

We were waiting for today’s ultrasound.  Six weeks, five days.  I was sitting in the waiting room with my Husband who was talking about work, trying to distract me.  I was trying not to puke my nerves all over the room.

Just call my damn name lady.

We kept telling ourselves to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

She called my name.  We were taken to the room.  I settled into my spot.  A few minutes later there it was…a little nugget on the screen that looked like a million other dots I’ve seen on other friends’ ultrasound pictures.  But this one was really ours and then…heartbeat.  130.  I think you could hear us both exhale which was followed by a fist bump in the silence.  (Aside from saying my wedding vows, we don’t get overly emotional so there were no tears.)  The tech laughed and asked if we had been trying for a long time.  We must have been obvious.

There it was.  Healthy.  Everything looked okay.  She printed up a stream of pictures, gave her congratulations and sent us on our way. Just like that.  Sure, a million things can go wrong but for right now we are going to relax a bit and enjoy the news…..still not telling anyone else though.

 

Pregnant Vs. Drunk

I’m at week six and I have to say, I’m not feeling too bad.  I’ve heard horror stories so I’m not going to complain when it could be much worse.  Although I’m realizing that being pregnant is quite like having a strong rum or wine drinking night.  Let me explain.

I feel dizzy 90% of the time.  Basically it is the equivalent of having a few glasses of wine and feeling buzzed.

I pee all the time.  It is the same as breaking the seal to early in the night of partying and constantly running to the bathroom.  Just replace the alcohol with water.

Some people feel a large range of emotions when they drink too much or just drink anything at all.  You have your happy drunks, emotional drunks, sloppy drunks, flirty drunks and mean drunks.  You can have the full range of emotions pregnant as well.  The main one for me is anger.  I suddenly have zero patience or ability to calm my irish temper these days.  My filter is gone and stuff flies out of my mouth.

When I have more than enough to drink I am the kind of drunk that eventually gets sleepy and is happy to find my bed to pass out into a blissful slumber.  As a sober, pregnant woman, this growing a baby thing makes me do the same.  I feel the need to leave the party early, crawl in bed, and pass the hell out into the hardest sleep of my life.  Every night.

I’ve had my fair share of drinking nights when I come out of that blissful slumber, roll over in bed, and feel my stomach lurch.  I usually run back through my head to see if I had enough food to match my alcohol intake.  Now I roll over and feel my stomach lurch for who knows what reason.  Hormones, lack of food, or too much food.  Either way I try to take a deep breath and get back to sleep as soon as possible.

Then there is the morning of hangovers.  You know what I mean.  You sit up in bed the next day and feel every inch of that drinking.  The symptom that you must have had way too much to drink, not enough water/food and a damn good time.  There is nothing of the sort attached to my pregnancy hangover.  In fact, this is the hangover that doesn’t go away as the day goes on.  This hangover comes and goes daily.  The food that sounds great to fix the hangover can immediately make you want to barf the second you put it in your mouth.  There is no popping pills to help the headache associated with this hangover.  There is the same dry heaving, queasy stomach and I wake up feeling like I’m coming out of a dark fog, trying to figure out how I got in this situation.

So if you are wondering what being pregnant feels like, just drink a shit load tonight and call me in the morning.  We can compare notes.