August 19 – a day of HOPE

Sanibel:

For all those out there who have lost a baby. They will never be forgotten and I hope you all find what heals you.

Originally posted on Awaiting Autumn:

Today is August 19 – a day of HOPE – hosted by the Carly Marie Project. The inspiration for today is to break the silence about infant and pregnancy loss while honouring the lives of our children who left us too soon.

Participants are encouraged to make a prayer flag in memory of their child(ren), then share photos of it on social media.

I didn’t get a chance to make a flag to honour Emme, but I did share one of the project’s awareness images on my Instagram with the following statement:

“Some people think that having a rainbow baby in your womb changes everything. It doesn’t. You don’t ever forget. You simply learn to live as the “new you” – a mother to two children, one Angel; one on his way. You know that life can change in an instant, so you become more grateful for your blessings. You feel…

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31 Weeks- The Nursery

Putting together our baby’s nursery was something I really looked forward to when we were TTC.  I happily pinned idea after idea on Pinterest for the perfect nursery and figured from the word go, on being pregnant, that I would be decorating and redecorating baby’s room till my heart was content. I watched other friends slowly put their nurseries together over the years and thought “Why aren’t they doing this sooner, faster, this way, that way?!” I’m a type A person, I’m a planner, I’m organized, and above all, I would be prepared!  After all, isn’t working on the nursery one of the perks of hauling around the kiddo for 9 months?

Fast forward to reality and this pregnancy.  My old self laughs at my current self.  There was the major situation of finishing our basement so my sister could move down there.  In the mean time she used my office and soon-to-be nursery as a storage facility while sharing a room with Rebecca.  There was no way I could nest or even plan a nursery with contractors in and out, boxes scattered about and nothing remotely where it belonged.  Bottom line, it has been chaos.

I would read other blogs where people had their entire nursery ready to go by 20 weeks.  Over achievers.  Family and friends often asked what I had left to finish up on the nursery and what the theme is.  Snoopy.  People stop over, glance at the closed-door and asked to see the nursery.  Nosy.

Then something happened.  Two weeks ago I kicked my sister and her two cats down the steps to the basement.  Don’t worry, they landed on the nice, new, carpet.  I emptied everything out of Rebecca’s room, the office and the living room to have professionals come in and clean the carpet.  We drove two hours and picked up the baby furniture.  I then purged the closets of unnecessary crap, dusted everything, put everything back in its spot, had the Husband paint the nursery, put the furniture together and started feeling progress.  We stood in the office that was no longer an office.

It was happening.

A place to house our nugget.

It felt real.

When I hit my second trimester I did make one purchase from ChildrenInspire on Etsy and I knew I would base the nursery around this one thing.  Peter Pan inspired.

Peter Pan

Over the past couple of weeks I have gone back over my boards on Pinterest and spent a small fortune on Etsy. A few things include this wall quote from Peter Pan, which is now above her crib.

Also, she has a large, double window along one wall that this quote will go above.

I’ve let myself finally piece together what I have been lightly thinking about for this nursery.  I may have mentioned we are not entirely “team pink” people,  even though we are having a girl.  I have never dreamt of pink walls, glitter and lace.  It isn’t us. Instead we are going with yellow and gray bedding and so forth that has the stars and moon.  Tying everything together to create a bit of a fairytale, a bit of dreams, and a bit of imagination.

I’ve gone through Rebecca’s old totes of baby items.  While there isn’t a whole lot to re-use from 13 years ago, I did pull up her old books that I saved.  It felt good to place them back on a shelf, remembering the ones that used to be her favorite.  I went through the piles of stuff that we have bought or have been given.  I sorted, made lists, hung up clothes, double checked my registry.

Here I was on the third trimester and finally able to do something major to prepare for our nugget’s arrival.  I had this weird feeling, sitting on the floor in there last night, that something actually comes out of this pregnancy thing.  It sounds strange, I know, but this will soon come to an end and it will actually be worth it.  The reality that there is actually a baby at the end of this is starting to become more and more real, not just an idea, dream or something we talk about for the future.  I will actually lose this growing bump, will be able to go back to sleeping on my stomach, have all the wine and as a bonus, get a baby that hopefully doesn’t get her Dad’s big nose or my huge forehead.  There will be a mini us to put in the crib and dress in all the clothes we have been slowly acquiring.

That feeling right there, that was what I needed right now.  The third trimester has been such a bitch, slapping me in the face and I needed a moment that says I’m not doing this for nothing, not just someone telling me.  I’ve just had nothing to show for it and for some reason the nursery is my reality.  Truth be told, I’m glad I couldn’t work on the nursery so soon.  It gives me something to do now.  Some purpose that I can work on while the Husband is still trucking along on the basement.  (There is still an entire bar, entertainment center and bathroom to start!) And with baby showers just around the corner, I have a place to bring all the presents back to, instead of a corner in storage!

So our house officially has a nursery, the start of her room for as long as we live in this house, a place that is hers.  It is weird to be making space for a new human that we haven’t met yet.  All I know of her is how she loves candy corn and is a night owl.  So far, so good.  Hopefully she is cool with her room too.

30 Weeks – Staying Fit While Pregnant

We had a sub come in that day, a sub I’ve worked out with several times.  I was busying myself with getting my mat out while the sub asked the class if they would prefer to stick with basic yoga, as that is what the class is, or try piyo, which is what she regularly teaches, a class normally offered on a different night.  A few people were new to the room and asked about what piyo actually entailed.  The instructor finished her description and from the back of the room, where a few new women were huddled, one smugly said “Well, is that something the pregnant chick can actually keep up with? If not, we can just stick with regular yoga.”  The same one who eyed me funny since I had walked in the door.  Something I have gotten used to at classes and at the gym as my bump has grown.

The room fell silent.  I looked up, knowing all eyes were on me, the regular class participants had looks of horror on their faces and I met the instructors eyes in the mirror.  She smiled largely and enthusiastically replied, “The question is, can you keep up with the pregnant chick?  Let’s compromise with half yoga and half Piyo for the evening!”  With that she started class and I gave her a small nod, thanking her.  I feel horrible admitting this but I had a chuckle to myself when we were halfway through sumo burpees and that smug lady had stopped, hands on her knees, to catch her breath, while I kept going.

When I became pregnant, I had a long talk with my OB about my workout schedule and staying fit through out my pregnancy.  Quite honestly, my biggest fear was having to quit any of my classes and having to go to prenatal workout classes instead.  I’m not knocking them at all, they are great if you would like to stay fit during your pregnancy, but for a person who regularly works out, I felt like I was taking 10 steps backwards and knew I would quickly be frustrated.  My OB assured me that she had dealt with all levels before and it would actually hinder me to just give up my workout schedule for prenatal workout classes.  I was so relieved.  I promised her I would listen to my body, modify as need be, and would be realistic.  We discussed how staying fit while pregnant would likely make labor easier, keep the chances of a c-section down, would mentally keep me sane during the pregnancy and would help my body bounce back better afterwards.  I had my marching orders from my OB, fit to me and I was going to stick with that, screw what anyone else had to say.  After all, I am only pregnant, not disabled and I couldn’t picture myself sitting around on the couch for 9 months.

In the beginning, nothing really changed but then slowly things have.  My regular instructors and I used to take classes at random studios, trying out new things.  At around 15 weeks I did quit doing that figuring it was safer to stick with what I knew.  Slowly I have noticed how much more bump gets in the way.  It will take me longer to get into a groove or position while I adjust to whatever works that day.  Sometimes the baby just has no desire to cooperate and will kick me or move me around herself till she is comfortable.  Obviously, anything lying on my stomach is out but I’ve just modified and some days my balance feels more off than others. Yes, I have continued with core and ab workouts, some even done on my back. (Approved by the doc)  We have been chugging right along though, yoga classes, piyo classes, pilates classes, home practice, elliptical, hikes and walks.  My main goal is to just get off my ass and move each day.

Fast forward to this week and I felt like it all went to hell.  My tailbone is literally being more of a pain in the ass, my feet have been killing me and I struggled more than I have ever struggled in class this past Monday.  I felt like I didn’t know my body, that everything was giving up on me and I felt huge, fat, you name it.  I had weighed myself that morning and was shocked that in one week I had gained 2lbs.  The most in one week yet and I think my body was trying to adjust. I came home from that class and announced that obviously I was done, couldn’t do anything else and would remain on the couch, crying till the day my water broke.  Slightly dramatic much?

Then I went to class Wednesday night and nailed it with a few modifications that did not require tears.  I also had a come to Jesus discussion with myself (again) that this is the time the baby has to start putting on the pounds which in turn means I have to as well.

It is hard, don’t get me wrong.  There are some days I want to talk myself out of working out.  I want to use pregnancy as an excuse.  I want to throw in the towel.  There are days I feel I know nothing about my body.  I will get the judgmental looks and comments from people at the gym or on the streets.  The comments that I should be at home, with my feet up, not shaking my baby around in utero through class.  But you know what, I feel better afterwards.  It has kept me sane, it has kept me moving, and I know it has been what has been best for baby and I at the end of the day.

I have at least 9 weeks and some days left to go and my plan, as long as I can do it, is to keep working out and modifying as need be.  Even if it is just walking around the block it is something.

So if you are debating on what is safe or not during your pregnancy I strongly urge you to talk it over with your doctor.  Once again, the important thing to remember, is everyone is different.  Sure, if you have never been a gym rat before, now is not the time to take up crazy classes but there is still plenty that you can do.  Your body and sanity will thank you.

As for that smug lady that came to class last week, I haven’t seen her back at the gym since.

29 Weeks – Hand me Downs

What is it about becoming pregnant that everyone wants to instantly unload all of their used baby gear and clothing on you?

Don’t get me wrong, baby’s are expensive and so is all the gear that they seem to need.  They grow out of clothing in two seconds and require a new wardrobe.  It all adds up.  The second they grow out of all that gear you are left with gently used items, taking up space in the house and needing somewhere to unload them, if you are not planning on another kiddo soon.  A friend who is expecting seems to be the best option because then you know it will go to good use.  You are then saving them money! It is a win-win all around.

Except here is where I am running into issues and trying to not come off as rude to them.  I want to purchase my own, new things for my baby.  Things that I have researched.  Things that aren’t used.  Things that I have picked out the pattern on.  Things that I can return to the store if they don’t work for our baby or lifestyle.  Things that can safely be used for a second baby if we have one.  I want the option to go purchase my own tiny girl clothes.  You know, the things that we have been dreaming of purchasing for over two years.  I fully appreciate my friends thinking of me but am I rude to say no, thanks?

Then there are the friends that are down right rude.  A friend with 4 boys, whose youngest is 4, and who I have done several garage sales with over the past few years, offered me all her old maternity clothes and baby items.  Basically the shit that she couldn’t even get rid of in garage sales because it just needed to go in the trash.  Stuff that isn’t “gently used” but abused from years of 4 babies.  Maternity clothes that aren’t even close to in-style, as she purchased them 8 years ago with her first pregnancy.  She isn’t the only one that has offered me items like this.  Items, that they have been dredged up from a basement or garage, and are more likely expired or completely unsafe for a newborn.  I can see the look in their eyes, the attachment to the object, and then I realize that is all it is.  An attachment to a time that has passed.

I get it.  When we moved into our new home, almost two years ago, I went through a few totes that held Rebecca’s baby stuff.  I was able to take a lot of it to Goodwill, wondering why I ever held on to some of it.  Clearly, in the moment, it was something I had an attachment to, something that I wasn’t ready to let go of.  But there in my garage that day, as I was clearing things out, I couldn’t decipher exactly what that “attachment” was any longer.  Sure, there were blankets that I held on to, a few outfits, shoes, picture frames and other pieces that perhaps she will like to have one day.

For me, I’m not a Duggar, we won’t be buying used and saving the difference, nor do I want gear, unloaded by friends, on my doorstep.  While I appreciate the thought, I want to start my own weird attachments to things.

 

28 Weeks – Long Weekend Away

Last weekend we took a 3 day weekend with Rebecca and went a few hours south.  This trip was originally planned months ago with 4 other families to a water park.  The three of us planned to go on our own to a baseball game while we were down there as well.  Originally, I thought it would be an easy weekend away even though I was pregnant.  Hahahaha, that is fucking hilarious.  I was wrong. I’ve mentioned before that I knew we were just not meant to be babymoon people and this past weekend proved that we were so right.

Friday night we headed out to a baseball game.  The heat index was 115 degrees, the humidity was impossible to walk through and there was zero breeze to help.  Welcome to the Midwest.  We headed into the game, dressed in as little as possible, thinking that surely we wouldn’t have seats in the direct sun.  Wrong again, we did.  We spent a small fortune in bottled water, sucked it up and took our seats.  This is where I will admit, I love that heat and humidity and have handled it really well in this pregnancy.  Baby even took to rocking out every time the music was cranked for a new batter up.  My lovely Rebecca, however, does not handle it well.  She turns into a melting, whiny, child anytime the temps go over 70 degrees so she was a delight throughout the evening.  Somehow we managed to not be one of the people hauled out on a stretcher during the game but did walk back to the truck looking like we had properly pissed ourselves and smelled like hell.

Showers were a welcome sight at the end of the night.

The next day we joined the other families to head to a water park.  Eight kids between the ages of 6 months and 13 years, followed by 7 adults, trekked into this place.  I will spare the details and say water parks may sound like a good idea when you are hot and pregnant but they aren’t. Especially when the walk, with this tribe, was 30 minutes from our parking spot till we found chairs. There was absolutely nothing I could do after that but sit and hold down the fort by watching all the bags, strollers and chairs.  Even getting into the main pool to cool off posed a danger I never thought of,  300 crazy kids, with flailing limbs and my bump.  I was so worried about taking a direct kick or hit that I didn’t manage much more than a few quick dunks.  The slides, adult pool, wave pool and lazy river were all out as well due to the amount of people.  Have I mentioned the amount of people?  I mean, A LOT.  A lot of people means the water feels like piss.  I didn’t see a very long line for the bathrooms when I was there.  Deduce what you want from that.

On more than one occasion I was saddled with a child to watch while one of my adult friends went to the bar or just in general, ran off.  By the end of the day I was tired of babysitting, my feet were swollen (even though I merely sat), tired of having zero fun, tired of people, and really confused on why the general population of people have no idea how to properly dress themselves in a swim suit.  Also, I needed some real food and was hangry.  My Husband and Rebecca completely understood when I asked if they were good to go.  Some of the other adults were not as understanding as they were losing their babysitter and they thought I was being a party pooper.  I am never the party pooper and that caused me to feel like a giant ass as we trekked back to our truck.  I was tired of being pregnant and not myself.  Vacationing was not fun pregnant and that was that.

We rallied our evening with showers, dinner, and watching a baseball game in the hotel bar with a bunch of other fans, while eating desserts the size of our heads, with my feet up.  If you can’t have alcohol you might as well have cheesecake. Hours later the rest of the group came piling into the hotel with over-tired, not fed, burnt and screaming children.  I was not jealous  of them. Late that night, the three of us,  headed to our room and watched the Harry Potter marathon till everyone fell asleep.  It wasn’t perfect but it was a get away and my Husband reminded me that he really owes me a real trip next Spring.  You know, when I’m not pregnant.

Pregnancy and July 4th

I love summertime.  Even more so, I love July 4th.  Normally, we celebrate my birthday early, we spend a small fortune on fireworks, roast in the sun, stay up late with bonfires, jump off the side of the boat, float in the water and drink till our hearts are content.

It is amazing how quickly pregnancy can ruin that for a person.  When I first realized the full timeline of my pregnancy I was thrilled that it would not coincide with the actual holiday’s of December but I then wondered how I would handle having to put the brakes on for an entire summer.  While it has been a bit easier than I thought it would, it still sucks, I’m not going to sugar coat that.

This past weekend friends were looking for me on the river, texting, asking if we were boating and where we were partying.  I sadly said this pirate was off the boat, sitting in my mother’s backyard, drinking a big thing of water, not in a swimsuit.  Everyone sent their condolences, knowing this party girl was lacking rum in her life and promised to have a drink for me.  I stood back further than normal when my Husband and brother blew up various large fruits in the fields.  I felt like shit when I got crazy and had more than one dessert.  People that did come party with us complained about how it just wasn’t the same when I was knocked up.  I agreed and my Husband reminded me it would all be better in 15 weeks and a few days.

I’m not saying your life is over when you are pregnant but no matter what you have to slow down.  You can’t just do whatever you want.  You have someone else to think about and have to be mindful of your body.  I can’t be the hostess with the mostess. (I swear that is a word)  I can’t even be the one leading the party at all.  In fact, I stopped to go take a nap once.  A nap.  Me.

Quite honestly, we have been making this summer work.  Our weekends are filled with so much else that I haven’t had time to dwell on what we normally would be doing.  I just knew this past weekend wouldn’t be the same and it wasn’t.  To make it easier we set up our plans for the next fourth of July which includes a large lake, boating, a cabin, babysitters and you guessed it, rum.  The good news is, pregnancy doesn’t last forever and there is always next year.

 

 

 

 

23 Weeks – Letter to My Baby

Dear baby girl- (AKA, baby nugget),

Don’t worry, we do have your real name picked out for you but as far as the rest of the world knows, you are baby nugget.  A word that we use for most things and it just so happens it has worked for you as well.

The other day I pulled out your baby book and started to fill in the blanks that it provided.  Family names, when we found out about you, and other basics.  But they were just that, basics.  As a blogger it didn’t feel like enough to me.

I feel like one day, perhaps as a teenager, you will think I was a completely cool person for keeping a blog about my life with great details of when I was pregnant with you.  Or by then you will not give a crap and will think how dorky I am.  I’m fine with it either way.  Some days I wish I blogged like most expecting Moms, listing out exact details of weight gain, cravings, and every new body change in detail.  Then maybe one day I would compare your pregnancy to my next pregnancy (God willing) and you can compare it to your own pregnancy way, way down the road when you are all grown up and married.  But unfortunately I’m not that kind of blogger so you get something different.

Here is what I do want you to know.  I may not love being pregnant but you have giving me one thing to look forward to every day, your moving and grooving inside.  Sure, in a few weeks I may hate having your body parts jabbing my essential organs and so forth, but right now it is a nice reminder that you are okay in there.  Because right now, it is just you and I nugget.  You have only let Dad feel you move around once but normally you instantly stop when I call him in to try to feel your kicks.  It makes me feel like we are actually starting to bond a little.

I want to give you kudos for making this an easy pregnancy.  I needed that after our journey to get here.  Thanks for not plaguing me with morning sickness, horrible sleep, major weight gain or anything else too major.  While I have had a few aches and pains along the way, I know it could be worse.

I will say you are all your father’s child at times.  I may not be much for sugar items but you demand cookies, cupcakes, and candy corn from time to time.  I give in and shove one in my mouth and tell you that is all your get for a while.  You happily spend the next hour kicking back on some sort of whacked out sugar high.  Your Dad finds this hilarious and is quite proud of himself, asking where his own cookie is.  I can see the amount of times you two will be hiding these items behind my back in the future.

With this pregnancy half over, we are very excited to meet you and I swear I will start on your nursery at some point.  I’m not worried about the late nights, the crying or the poopy diapers after you arrive.  I’ve done it before, so I don’t have a lot of anxiety to go back to that phase.  It is short lived anyways and you will quickly grow.  That is just how it happens.  So I’m looking forward to all of it.  Because here is the thing, kiddo, pregnancy is only a small part of this parenting thing and then the real life part kicks in.  The part where our family forever grows by one more.  So lets finish out these last 16ish weeks in style and with ease so we can get to the good stuff, like sniffing your newborn head.

Love,

Mom (The one playing the music too loud, poking you back when you kick, feeding you sugar and talking to your Dad late at night.)