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.)

 

 

An Alzheimer’s Truth

My Dad stood in the room when I told my Mom I was pregnant.  With tears in her eyes, she showed him the ultrasound pictures and asked me a million questions.  He nodded and thought it was cool but I could see the disconnect in his eyes.  Once they made it to their own home that night, he asked my Mom when they were going to the hospital to see the baby, he didn’t want to be late.  The next day, when my brother came over, my Dad asked him where the baby was.  Why couldn’t my brother go home and get the baby?  Dad had a baby stuck in his brain, he just didn’t know the who, what or when behind it.

Since then he will have obsessive days when he constantly wants to know where the baby is or asks to go see it.  Mom shows him ultrasound pictures and explains but you can tell it only sinks in so far and then he gets distracted by something else.

At 55, Alzheimer’s is slowly eating away at him.  A disease that my family knows all to well.  This is where I should write about how sad it is that my Dad, who hardly recognizes me, will not know my child, his grandchild.  This is where I should mention that I pray every night that he just holds in there a bit longer to see my child.  But if I wrote all that it would be a lie.

I didn’t grow up with this fairy tale Daddy/daughter story in my life.  My Dad continued to drink more as I got older and it killed our relationship.  It also brought on the Alzheimer’s sooner than necessary.  He requires care 24 hours a day at home which requires a nurse to be with him when my Mom is not and requires my Mom to have no other life unless she can find a babysitter.  That is what it is.  A babysitter, for her husband, so she can come with my sister and I to pick out furniture or else he would probably burn down the house.

A few weeks ago my Grandmother presented the question that more and more people continue to ask.  Don’t you just pray your Dad holds on till the baby is born?  I don’t sugar coat my quick “no.”  My Dad is gone.  The man who raised us, taught me to fish, fought with me after he drank too much, argued politics, fixed everything around the house, shared memories of his old racing days, he is gone.  What is left is a shell of his body and the occasional thought that pops into his head.  He might even start forming a sentence on that thought but then it turns into babble because his brain can’t handle it.  And here is the kicker, nothing will change any of that, there is no cure and there won’t be anytime soon to save him.

As with any disease, that has no cure or relief, it wears on a family.  The constant battles, the ups and downs, him destroying the house, the financial burden, and so on.  If my Dad knew how he truly was now he would be not only mortified but would rather be dead than alive.  I would feel the same way.  I think most would.  The quality of life is gone.  That is Alzheimer’s though.  You start grieving the loss of the person long before their body follows.

I honestly never pictured taking my child back to my parents home and having my Dad be there.  Some think he would be fascinated by a baby but that fascination would merely last minutes before he was cussing at her or dropping something on her.  There are a million things that could honestly go wrong and the stress of it wouldn’t be worth it.  It would be safer to keep my baby away from him than near him.

There is truth in life and sometimes it hurts.  I know some people can’t imagine their parents dying anytime soon, let alone not having them around to meet their grand kids, but my truth is different.

21 Weeks – Maternity Clothes

A few weeks ago I decided I needed to take the plunge and go find a few maternity clothes to add to my closet so I didn’t soon find myself standing in said closet, naked, with nothing to wear to work.  I figured I would start with a few basic tops and perhaps a pair of shorts and jeans.  At 21 weeks I have gained 6lbs on my 5’2″ frame.  When I went shopping I believe I was only up 4lbs.

I set off on a Saturday, by myself, while the Husband worked on the basement. That was my first mistake, going by myself.  I found myself in Motherhood Store in the mall and was the only one minus a husband/mother/friend for support.  After asking the sales lady a few questions she looked me up and down and asked if I was shopping for a friend.  I explained that I indeed had my own bump under my t-shirt and suddenly felt like I was 13 and shopping for my first bra on my own.  She looked at the Victoria’s Secret bag in my hand and pointed out maternity underwear to me in the corner.  I wanted to tell her to fuck off but managed a polite “no thanks.”  I quickly decided I would just grab what I could and tackle it all in the dressing room.

I will admit, I had this image in my head of people dressing their cute bumps and still not looking like they were hiding under a tent.  What I forgot to tell myself, was those people in the magazines, are just like every other model, pregnant or not in the magazine, they aren’t real, they are photo-shopped.  I found out my bump wasn’t big enough for maternity shirts and they were swimming on me.  Sure, they will fit one day but not for my immediate need.  Even though I have finally grown some boobs, they didn’t fit into the tops either and there was no way I had enough to fill their tank tops.  To top it off, they weren’t just the normal long length to go over my bump, they practically went down to my knees.

Every pair of pants and shorts I tried on made me grow more and more frustrated.  I was still fitting into my regular pants but buttoning them was becoming uncomfortable.  So many people had mentioned to me that they wished they didn’t wait so long before they purchased maternity pants and I thought I would find this heaven they were talking about.  Instead those pants fell down on me or were only held up by the belly support bands.  They left me with the saggiest butt ever and made the crotch area look like my vagina had the possibility of growing 10 times its size in length.  I don’t plan on eating enough cookies for my vagina to gain 5lbs.

After three more trips outside the dressing room, to collect more clothing to try, I managed to find three Jessica Simpson line shirts to grow into.  Again, they didn’t help with any immediate need but didn’t seem horrible.  While waiting in line to check out, I grabbed a tummy sleeve and figured that would be a good temporary fix to my pants situation. I texted a friend who told me to try Old Navy and Target and then perhaps just go up a size in regular clothing.  I gathered my wits, ate a cookie in the food court (okay I silently wished it was a glass of wine) and set off to try it all again.

Target proved to be more realistic for a few basic tops, some just a size up in regular clothing.  In Old Navy, it took some digging, but I found some maxi skirts and tanks that would certainly get me started and did not feel so motherly maternity, as I call it.  I called my Mom on the way home and she quickly reminded me that maternity clothes were no different from regular clothes.  I have always struggled finding clothes to fit my small frame, why should this be different?  It sucks, but isn’t something new to me, I was just looking at it wrong.

Here I am a few weeks later and those tummy sleeves are worth every penny.  I can stay in my regular pants and shorts for the time being with that and life is much better when I don’t have to button my pants.  Also, I just wear casual clothing to work so those maxi skirts are another life saver and for me.  I have worn the shirts I purchased but most people comment that they still look a bit big on me so I have just been wearing regular shirts up a size.  All my work out clothes, sweats, and weekend wear still fit so I haven’t had to tackle that yet.

I still stand in my closet, naked, hating all my clothes most mornings.  I tried on no more than 4 outfits this morning, discarding them all on the floor in an attempt to find something that felt right.  I will say though, my bikini and Victoria’s Secret underwear still fits just fine, thank you.

 

19 Weeks – It’s A…….!

A very common question from everyone, once you are pregnant, is whether or not you are going to find out the sex of your baby.  I always knew I would.  I am a straight type A person who needs to plan, plan, and plan.  I could not keep sane decorating a nursery and buying clothes for a child I did not know the gender of.  I have had friends that have not found out the gender and I applaud them.  I get how cool it would be to find out that day, I do get it.  However, they are stronger than I am.

Yesterday Rebecca joined the Husband and I for the anatomy scan and to find out if we were right on our assumption that the human I am growing is indeed a girl.  I can finally say that yes, we are having a girl!  I now feel like we can say, game on! Let the shopping begin!

Our appointment went really well.  She is measuring exactly as she should be and weighs 10 oz.  We have a  perinatologist that we meet with, whom I adore, and he has eased so much anxiety with this pregnancy.  He spent a lot of time explaining everything as he measured her and did extensive looks at her heart as we are keeping a specific eye out for that due to my family’s heart issues.  We will do another anatomy in eight weeks as there is concern that the heart medication that I take will slow her growth.

We happily left with a string of ultrasound pictures.  Rebecca thought it was very nice of them to give us all those pictures for free.  Yes, free, that is what happened there.

 

 

18 Weeks- Questions

I have always asked the same questions to my pregnant friends throughout the years.  To be on the other end of it is so interesting.  I think I find it odd to have the focus on me to be quite honest.  Or the fact that after trying for so long and then keeping things to ourselves, it is strange to have people ask pointed, very personal questions about your pregnancy and soon-to-be-parenting.  It was different when we were planning a wedding or building a house.  The questions don’t get overly personal then and they are mostly fun but this is a whole new ballgame.

Sure you get your basic questions from people who I really don’t mind answering…..

Are you finding out what you are having? Yes! May 27th!

What do you think it is? A girl.  Literally everyone’s guess is girl, except for my FIL’s.  It also helps to have a friend who is a well-known psychic, who also has never been wrong on anything in my life.  This would be a first for him if it isn’t a girl.

What do you want? The correct answer here is to always say “To have a healthy baby.” Eyeroll, no shit.  Instead my answer is to say a puppy, possibly panda. 

How do you feel?  Good and I am so grateful for that.

Do you have cravings? I’m embarrassed to say it the blueberry Eggo waffles.  You know, the processed kind from a box. Could be worse. 

Have you bought anything yet?  A few outfits and one print for the nursery. If it isn’t a girl then our friend’s baby is getting some kick ass summer clothes!  When I spot diapers on sale, I grab a box or two of those.

Then the tables can turn quickly.  People will ask the following questions that will throw me off and make me double-check that they are literally talking to me.  Once I answer, half the people will then insert their own judgmental answer. Truth be told, it does not bother me when close friends ask me these questions.  It is the people who don’t know me on a personal level that bug me.

I’m quickly learning that being pregnant means people feel there are no boundaries with you.  Take for instance, when they try to touch you.  Why the fuck are you touching me?  I have smacked so many hands away and will continue to do so.  I don’t know where those hands have been.  And I have no shame, I grabbed a friends boob right as she grabbed my stomach.  Fair play. And these are only people I know, what happens when it is complete strangers going for the larger bump? If you know me in real life, you know my filter is broken a lot.

How much weight have you gained?  How much weight have yooooou gained?  

Are you even eating enough?  Yes, My doctor and I have my diet under control and are not concerned with my weight.

What is your birth plan?  To have a baby.

Are you getting an epidural? Are you doing this naturally? Are you going to a hospital?  I’m doing this with Rum and under a doctors supervision.

How often are you peeing? When my bladder tells me to. 

Are you feeling up to having sex much?  Are you offering?

Was this planned?  Does it matter?

Did they check for twins?  Why? Do I look like I’m having twins?

Are you guys excited? I would hope so!

I know it will get worse the more I show.  I’ve heard horror stories from friends.  I guess at this point you just have to chuckle.  What are the most ridiculous things you have been asked when pregnant?

 

 

 

 

 

First Babies R Us Venture-Travel System

This weekend we went to Home Depot three times and Lowes once.  That adds up to hours of my life that I will never get back and truck loads of stuff brought back to my house.  Yes, we are those people in pro-parking with things so loaded down and strapped in you really wonder what the hell is happening back at their house.  Then we fold ourselves into the front seat and head home, hoping nothing flies off the truck bed and wondering why we don’t just bring the trailer every time.

Since we weren’t busy enough with that we thought it would be a good time to wander in to Babies R Us for the first time.  Why not?!  I have a few items that I have researched and have assumed they are the ones I want (car seat and stroller) but I wanted to actually go in to the store and touch them with my hands first.  With summer holiday’s coming up, the sales tend to follow.  I don’t want to miss out on the sales because we are too busy with the basement and are then paying full price for the larger, pricey items.

We have a few concerns and desires on our car seat/stroller system.  I honestly think baby items differ from family to family based on where you live, what you are using them for and your budget options.  Due to the high safety ratings I narrowed the brand down to Chicco.  Also, I’m not a big person and wanted a less bulky stroller and lighter car seat which Chicco also offered us some better options for.  Thirdly, we wanted a stroller that could easily be gate checked when we traveled.  My Husband had a few of his own needs when it came to strollers.  We needed one that was more narrow and less cumbersome as my Husband has PTSD issues in crowds and fighting a crowd with a bulky stroller is not fun.  Chicco has a lightweight plus stroller that fits all of the must have items for us.

So there we found ourselves in Babies R Us, early on a Sunday morning.  I parked myself on a shelf while my Husband took apart a bunch of strollers and car seats and then put them back together.  Knowing this is how his brain works, I just let him go.  He declared half of the items complete shit and asked why they weren’t built by NASA or the military.  Sales people didn’t dare come near us or question him and I promise you he left everything as he found it.

In the end, my internet research was worth it and everyone is happy with the decision.  We found our way to the rocking chairs to sit and debate on what was left to purchase on the basement list.  Multi-tasking, that is what we are good at.  At least we can shut our parents up and say yes, we have looked at baby items!  Now to wait for the sales.  No one said having a baby was cheap!