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.

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 – The Birth Plan

The bigger the bump gets the more strangers have no problem coming right up and asking questions.  The curiosity level is rising, the boundary lines are even more erased and everyone wants up in my bump business.  Just the other day, the man who was bagging my groceries, skipped right over the basic “What are you having?” question and went straight to the “Are you getting an epidural?” question.  Then proceeded to tell me about the birth of his two daughters.  The poor cashier lady, all of 18, was so red in the face for me.

A male rep came in the other day and asked if I was going to breastfeed.

A friends neighbor asked me how much my boobs have grown.

A stranger at Kohl’s asked me if I had my birth plan ready.

Someone at the gym asked how much weight I’ve gained.

A random relative asked if we were doing anything with the placenta afterwards.

Basically what I’m saying is no where is safe for me.  All eyes go straight to my bump and I can see the wheels start turning in their head.  The question starts forming on their lips and I just want to run.

The main question I am constantly getting though is the birth plan question.  I never dreamed so many people would have concern over my vagina and what may or may not exit from it and in what form.

I have coached friends through their births.  I have had friends do home births, hypno-birth, elective c-sections, emergency c-sections, water births, births in parking lots of the hospital, natural births and everything in between.  I have seen friends with no birth plan or a large binder full of every detail for their birth plan.  Not a one of these things is wrong either.

Our hospital provides us with a couple of pages of basic questions: Do you want an epidural?  Does your husband want to cut the cord?  Do you want pitocin? Etc, etc, etc.  We have sat as a couple and filled these out.  I’m sure they will change a bit after our birthing class but as of right now, this is all my birth plan is.   The Husband and I have had several conversations about what we (more me) are aiming for.  I know what is coming, I know what birth entails.  I know the pros and cons of getting an epidural, an induction, a c-section and so forth.  I’m educated but haven’t sent myself over the edge on research.  I have no strict idea of what I want aside from a healthy baby and the safest delivery possible.  I know I want drugs if I get to the point where I can’t take the pain, I am not trying to be a hero.  I have faith in my Hospital, our perinatologist, my doctor and her team.

I do not have a binder or book of my birth plan, just the sheets filled out.  Mainly because I feel like that would give me anxiety.  I cannot come up with an answer to every possible outcome.  Some may see that as naive but to me that is what works best.  I obviously don’t want a c-section but if in the moment that is what has to happen then it will happen.  I don’t want to be induced but if I’m walking around 12 months pregnant, someone fucking reach up there and pull the baby out.  I don’t want to have a baby on the side of the road but we live 40 minutes from the hospital and there is hella lot of construction happening right now.  How does one write “construction” properly in a birth plan?  You can see how quickly my brain spirals out of control and I think “You know what, lets wing it.”  I know, some of you just gasped audibly.

Just like parenting and your pregnancy, what you want for your birth is completely up to you as a woman.  BUT I can tell you that every woman can go in with an idea of what they would like their birth to be but at the end of the day, your baby and God have a funny way of running the show.  Every birth story I have been told from neighbors and beyond has always ended up with “Not the way we planned but the baby got here.”  And that is the only thing you can plan on because no one has remained pregnant forever.  And lets all take a moment to thank God for that!

What is your birth plan?

Hitting a Brick Wall

Coming up on 35 weeks and I’m not going to sugar coat this for you- I’m done, I hate pregnancy, I’m tired of renting out my body and I’m hitting a brick wall.  Also, I want a cold glass of chardonnay and I want it yesterday.  I have no idea how my Husband will ever talk me into this pregnancy bit again.

Last night I could not quit itching, I could not get comfortable, I was over tired, felt huge and the hormones were kicking my ass.  I started crying and couldn’t quit.  1am sitting in bed sobbing.  I just gave in to it all while my Husband snored away from the couch, where he had fallen asleep watching TV earlier.  And in that moment I hated all men for not having their own damn uterus.  He got up at 3:30am to leave for work and I probably won’t see him till about 8pm tonight.  We will maybe get a chance for a quick phone call during the day and I will be lucky to get a few, short texts in return to the many I will knowingly send him today.  Basically, we are on two different pages right now.

His company is hitting the ground running before the snow flies and working 80-90 hour weeks and will start throwing in working some Saturdays.  (Yea, we think it is cute when you complain about a 10 hour day.)  The time he is home on the weekends we are trying to play crazy catch up and working on the basement.  Meanwhile I’m left to run the house and survive the last few weeks of pregnancy on my own.  Neither of us can help the timing or the situation but at a time when I’m starting to feel like I really need support in this pregnancy and someone to help out, he can’t.  I know he fully would if he could but basically I’m on my own.

The thing is, I’m used to this season of busy work.   It is always annoying and I miss my Husband more at this time of year but it has never come with a belly that makes it near impossible to do things or a body that just says no to being pushed.  I’m trying to dig deep and find a balance for these last couple of weeks.

This is the final stretch in the workout, the race, the game, where you hurt and want to give up but you can’t.  Instead I just have to find a way to get to the finish line.  I have to learn to give in a little bit more, be grateful for how far I have come, accept what is, know this won’t be forever, eat the damn cookies without worrying about the calories and find the positive moments.  And if I have to, then I need to learn to ugly cry when it feels right so it doesn’t all build up.


34 Weeks – 2nd Baby Shower

A week and a few days ago we were lucky enough to be thrown our second baby shower in a bar.  Yes, classy.  Actually it was a party room in a bar in which we invited all of our friends, male and female, demanded zero children attend, no presents be opened and no games be played.  We just wanted a night for our friends to come hang out, eat and drink with us.  Okay, I had water, but the martini’s looked really yummy.

This was the perfect balance to our more traditional first baby shower and you guys, it was amazing.  My Husband was happy to be in on the action, we had plenty of time to really catch up with friends, and everyone thought it was the coolest idea.  One of my brilliant friends, who threw the shower for us, had a nice Pinterest idea for everyone.  She bought tons of plain wooden blocks and sharpies, laid them out on the tables and let people use their imaginations as they drank, to decorate blocks for the baby.  This turned into a drinking game of lining up the blocks and creating dirty stories.  I know, we are horrible people and you can judge us BUT the laughter from people, the fun, the memories, the high fives, the drinks being knocked over (drunks) the BLOCKS.  We got calls and texts the following week from people saying best baby shower ever!

For that time being, while we celebrated, I didn’t feel like the odd pregnant person.  I didn’t feel like the one holding everyone back.  I didn’t feel like I just missed out on the entire fun of Summer.  I didn’t feel like I was benched while the rest of the team got to play.  Man, did I need all of that.  Even better I was able to do it all with my Husband by my side instead of coming back to the house afterwards and filling him in on the details.

We got home late that night, sat on the floor with the left over cake and opened all the gifts together.  I couldn’t sleep from the sugar high that night but it was well worth it. The love from both baby showers was incredibly overwhelming.  To see the support we have from our friends and family is amazing and to be able to share in those moments with my Husband was even better.  If you are on the fence about the co-ed baby shower or doing something different, do it.  To be able to have that night with my Husband, celebrating our baby, was something I will never regret.


34 Weeks- Maternity Photos

If you are anywhere near your Facebook or Pinterest, you know the rage on maternity photos.  I can tell you, if you go back 33 years to when my Mom was pregnant with me, there is only proof due to one random photo in which she looks like she is wearing a tent.  We have come a long ways my blog friends.

My Husband and I are not the adoring couple, who gaze lovingly into each others eyes, while holding bump .  We can’t stare down, lovingly, at the bump looking like we are dreaming of the perfect future with an infant that immediately sleeps through the night.  I sure as hell am not the woman who can pull off the flowing, see through, white dress, while standing in a meadow of flowers with the perfect sun setting behind me.

I have honestly looked, with jealously, at all those perfect maternity shoots that my friends have done.  Trust me, I am not against them but I just couldn’t see us doing them.  Needless to say, it is something I went back and forth on.

I didn’t want to regret not doing some sort of photos but I have had a hard enough time taking a few bump pictures for my own memory.  I also didn’t want to shell out the money that was associated with the all-inclusive photos, followed by all the baby shoots.  I decided against them and went to book our newborn photo shoot instead.  When I did the photographer said she was running a deal, a free maternity shoot with the booking of the newborn shoot.  Well hell, how do I turn that down?

So I reluctantly told the lady we would go for it but begged her to not do cheesy.  Could we just do a few shots together, with our furbaby, something basic and if we hated them then we didn’t have to show anyone?  We could at least have them and move on with life.  She happily replied she knew exactly what we were talking about and could take non-cheesy photos.

One Sunday evening, after our second baby shower and an hour of sleep, we set off to the perfect meadow, with the sun setting behind us, my sister loaded with dog treats, our fur baby pulling us along and 200 friendly mosquitoes.  I brought along one dress, not see through or white, but blue and basic.  After 15 minutes of the basic shots I went and changed into jeans and a top and comfortably took a few more in another, easy, 15 minutes.  The whole time our fur baby smiled happily and listened well. My sister gave us many thumbs up, meaning we didn’t look ridiculous.  Before we knew it, we were done and there were no strange moments.

I have to say, picking the right photographer makes a world of a difference.  This lady was quick, to the point, laid back and truly understood we just wanted the basics.  This past weekend we received a link to all of our photos via email.  We held our breath as we opened the link and were pleasantly surprised.  I wasn’t overly fond of the ones in the dress (my belly button timer was sticking out:) but I looked much better in my comfy clothes.

Overall I am so very happy we had these done.  We aren’t going to up and frame them but I am happy we have a good reminder of this point in our lives.  So if you are on the fence about them, go for it, it is better than regretting you didn’t do them later because you can’t really go back and do it again.