32 Weeks – I’m choosing to not breastfeed my baby

This may be one of the harder posts for me to write.  For one main reason-judgement.

We have all heard the line – breast is best.  We know it.  We get it.  There is a lot surrounding a woman and her choice to breastfeed her child.

I’ve said it a million times before in this blog and I will say it yet again, you have to find what works best for you and your family, not what society says is best.  And what is best for us is to formula feed my baby.  I know, the horror. I will also say that this has been given a lot of thought.  It wasn’t a quick decision but it is one that I am 100% comfortable with, one that I feel educated about, one that I have researched and one that I do not feel guilty about.

We have many reasons.  Realistic reasons and I won’t lie, some selfish.  I am honestly not going to list them all out here though.  Being pregnant people ask a lot of questions and share their advice but I can honestly say I was not ready for the amount of people who would ask if I was going to breastfeed and follow it up with some serious judgement when I answered no. They would try to make me feel guilty for not even trying because perhaps they tried with their child and were unable to.  Therefore I had to somehow make up for that?  I have been given the side eye, been told stats and all the pros, and even been told horror stories of not breastfeeding my child.  Basically how I am the worst parent ever, already.  So just mail me that award now.

Other people have nodded their head in complete agreement with my choice and I’m so grateful for that.  They have shared their stories on why breastfeeding was maybe not the best choice for them, how they could not breastfeed for multiple reasons, how they may do it differently the next time around, how they made the same choice as me, how their child is thriving just fine and they could still have a chance to get into Harvard one day despite having had formula their first year.  Basically there have been plenty to not judge and those are the ones that have helped me work through this decision.

It was also part of the reason I was dreading finding a pediatrician, I didn’t want a lecture or judgement.  I wanted someone to understand my feelings and where I was coming from on breastfeeding.  Once the conversation started with this woman, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  She understood, did not make me feel guilty and most importantly, we moved beyond the fact that I was not going to breastfeed and opened up the conversation on formula feeding and you know, everything else about my child that we should be discussing.

What I’m trying to say is everyone is different and makes different choices. Parenting is a slippery slope and the choice to breastfeed or not seems to be an incredibly slippery slope.  The thing is, there are going to be a million choices I have to make for this nugget.  Some will be the right ones and some will be the wrong ones but we learn as we go and we do what is best.  So do what is best for your kid, no matter what your MIL, society or the neighbors dog says.

32 Weeks – Finding a Pediatrician

You don’t realize the ever growing list of “to do” items that suddenly creep up on you when you are pregnant.  Some are easy to tackle and others, well, I would assume ignore.  For some reason finding a pediatrician was one of those I really wanted to ignore on the list.

I wish I could give you a reason why.  Perhaps it is because we have had such a hard time with our vet.   Yes, I’m comparing my soon to be newborn to my dog.  I have stressed about my vet, clashed with him, and in general it has caused tears.  I kept thinking, if I can’t even find a vet I like, how will I find a pediatrician?  Just googling pediatricians in the area is enough to make your head explode.

We live in a very small town and could easily choose to just see a family doctor at our local clinic.  If my Husband or I are sick we just go to that clinic and use their walk in service that they have 7 days a week and we see whatever doctor is on call.  After living here for 15 years you know the doctors and they are good enough to me to diagnose a sinus infection and write a prescription for an antibiotic.  However, we wanted a more specialized pediatrician in the city for our nugget.

I started by asking around for referrals from friends and family and made a list from there.  We knew we had a few requirements-young, from the area, woman, clinic in the city, preferably in the hospital where I will deliver, was ok with me not breastfeeding and ok with chiropractic care.  It was the part where we had to go in and sit down with these docs that I was truly dreading.  I was unsure of what to ask and so forth.

With some nudging from my Husband I made a few calls and set up times to meet with a few doctors.  Yesterday we met with our first one and an hour later walked out with her as our pediatrician.  Cut to the point, we are not meeting with any others.  I am a big “gut feeling” person and both my Husband and I just knew.  There were zero red flags, we had a great conversation, we agreed on a ton of topics, she met all of our requirements, and I wanted to hug her when we walked out.  Could it have just been that easy?  The Husband and I stood in the parking lot trying to come up with a reason to meet with other docs just in case but we couldn’t.  Why not just call it good and cross this “to do” off the list.  So we did just that.

 

32 Weeks – Baby Shower #1

Back when my Husband and I were married, we didn’t have a bridal shower.  I had been previously married and him and I were having a destination wedding.  I was very uncomfortable having a shower, even though some said I should, because I felt like my family had already been there, done that for me.  We came back home and had a large reception where, and I’m not trying to sound selfish, we did not exactly cash out in the gift area.  Just a truth but I know it was the second wedding curse and my Husband got the shit end of that.  I told him we would make up for it on the baby shower end one day.

Fast forward to those days finally being here.  A day my mother has been dreaming about for a long time.  They were some of the first words uttered by her when she realized a baby was on the way….baby shower.  Truthfully, I kind of dreaded them.  The traditional  games of bore, girly oohs and ahhs, measuring your bump, tea and cake and a bunch of women re-telling their times of being pregnant.  I’m not bashing if that is your thing, it just isn’t mine.  My Husband and I had other ideas.  I had to come to a compromise with my mom and quick.

My mom lives a few hours away and we decided on having two showers.  She could throw the traditional one with our friends and family there as long as it didn’t involve games.  My sister and two friends would be throwing one where we live now that is co-ed and in a party room at a local sports bar where all of our friends and my Husbands family could join us.  A time to just see all of our friends, eat, drink and have a good time.

This past weekend was baby shower number one hosted by my mom, with the help of her good friend, who also happened to be there for our wedding in Mexico.  As the day came closer I got more excited than I thought I would.  Once again, feeling like this pregnancy was getting somewhere.  That there was a light at the end of this weight gaining tunnel and I would get something out of all of this.  What I wasn’t prepared for was how completely overwhelmed I would be.

The turnout was amazing.  The women that showed up were amazing.  The gifts were amazing.

It was like our wedding reception all over again.  Every time you turn around someone is demanding your attention for a conversation.  I felt like I was being pulled in a million directions but in a happy way.  Mom kept up her end of the deal and there were no games.  We ate, had cake and I survived opening the gifts in front of everyone.  (Just not my thing.  It makes me nervous.)

We went back to my mom’s that night and I showed my Husband everything.  It was exciting to see things come to life for us, give us more realization that she is actually coming soon and we get to use all of this soon.  We all settled in the kitchen and my brother and SIL said they had one more gift for us that they didn’t feel was appropriate in front of grandparents.  It was a onsie that said “My Mom doesn’t want your fucking advice.”  Nailed it.  So us.  They then asked me to read the card out loud that came with it “Baby _____’s cousin will be arriving March 14, 2016!”  They are expecting.  To say we are all shocked is an understatement.  It was unplanned but very happy news and I’m pretty sure my Mom’s head exploded right there with happiness.  Our kiddo’s will be 5 months apart and I am beyond thrilled.

Looking back on how the weekend went, I can say I am so happy with how we chose to do things. I am beyond appreciative of what we were given, who helped out, the kindness and thoughtfulness of people in general.  To come together to celebrate something great with family and friends, that you don’t normally see, is a rare moment these days since everyone is so busy.  I sat there with my maid of honor, who I have been friends with since I was 10, and our two girls between us and realized just how fast life goes.  You think about these days happening some time down the road and then when they do, it can be shocking.  Life is a quick journey and you really do have to stop, slow down and breathe it all in.

 

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.

27 Weeks – GD Testing

The joy of hitting 27 weeks (or around there for some) in a pregnancy is the lovely gestational diabetes test.  If you don’t know exactly what this is about then I can tell you it is where you drink an orange drink and more of you will nod your head in understanding.  If you still don’t understand, then let me tell you the basics.  They test you to make sure that you do not have gestational diabetes, which can cause major harm to you and your baby if it goes undetected.  Normally this goes away after said baby enters the world but something you want to know about.  They test you by having you drink an orange drink that everyone and their brother will make you dread trying.  From there they do a blood draw and let you know later in the day what the outcome is.

For some reason I was really getting worked up over this test.  I’m not a big sugar person but this baby is her father’s child and I have eaten candy corn like everyday is Halloween.  That is a lot of sugar to me.  So I was slowly convincing myself that I was going to have GD.  The night before the test I inhaled candy corn assuming the worst case scenario-I wouldn’t be able to have more.

We went in last Friday for a perinatologist appointment, which was another big ultrasound to check baby’s growth.  The timing of downing my orange drink had to be very specific so I was to drink it before starting the ultrasound and then get my blood drawn an hour after.  I’m not going to lie, Rebecca and the Husband both took a tiny sip of the drink out of curiosity.  I had five minutes to down the drink but took 30 seconds while my two assistants there sang me a pirate song.  For those dreading this drink, it seriously is not that bad.  Sugary and flat.  Down it and life goes on.

We spent the next 45 minutes watching our little nugget dance in circles once again as she has no idea how to sit still through one of these.  She made the tech work for every measurement but the doctor came in and confirmed with us that her growth is right on track and everything looks good.  She currently weighs 2lbs 9oz.  We will do one more growth scan in 6 weeks.  This means I can continue on my current heart medication and we don’t need to change it up as it doesn’t seem to be affecting her growth.

We then went down to my doctor’s office for a quick check with her, blood draw and were out the door for a three-day weekend get away.  On the way out-of-town the nurse called to let me know the good news- no GD for us! Candy corn all around! I breathed a huge sigh of relief and had a much better time enjoying our weekend away.

27 Weeks- Concerts

I knew going into this summer that I wouldn’t spend it like I have spent most summers.  That is just reality.  There were a few things that I was seriously looking forward to though and last weeks Kenny Chesney concert was one of them.  Now, if you don’t like him, or live under a rock and don’t know who he is, then you are wrong and I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.  If the Husband would let me name this little nugget, inhabiting my body, Chesney, I would do it.  He won’t, I tried.  Moving on though, concert.

I’m a member of the fan club (quit judging), which got me floor seats, about 20 rows back, with a few others who joined me.  We also made a lot of new friends of the drunk variety by the end of the night.  I pulled on a new KC t-shirt over bump, got a couple of bottles of water and proceeded to dance, sing and scream at the top of my lungs with my new-found friends.  I smelled like a keg by the end of the night, the bottom of my shoes were sticky with God only knows what, my voice was hoarse and no one was near their seats as we all mixed into one big dance party.

Not only was the concert just pure greatness, as always, it was a few hours that I could lose myself a bit.  I could feel normal and the focus wasn’t on impending baby.  You don’t realize how much your life slowly becomes about that. People want to ask you questions, it is an obvious go-to topic, and you are suddenly labeled the pregnant person in the room whether you want to be or not.  I can’t escape it.  Sure, it is nice every now and then but I just want people to talk to me about something unrelated sometimes and not stare at my bump at the same time.  I don’t want people putting their judging eyes on me, treating me like I’m breakable, and acting like boundary lines don’t exist.  I’m over it quite frankly.  So for one night, it was gone, and I enjoyed every fucking minute of it.

How did baby do?  From the moment the music started pumping, she didn’t stop moving and grooving.  She literally went non-stop until we hit the bed at 2am.  She is truly my kid.  That 6am alarm sucked pretty bad but I was grateful for one thing, the lack of a hangover that I surely would have had if I wasn’t pregnant.  The good news is, the next concert that comes around, I will have all the rum and happily take the following day off of work to nurse my hangover.

 

25 Weeks Pregnant- I Still Got It

I have heard how some women feel very confident and sexy when they are pregnant.  I was confident in my own body before I was pregnant and thought that feeling wouldn’t change.  Boy was I wrong.  I do not feel sexy, I do not feel womanly, I feel off balanced and not myself.  And with only a 10lb weight gain, thus far, I still feel huge most days.  It also isn’t for lack of support from my Husband who has not been one of those men weirded out by my ever changing body, in fact, he loves it.

Here I was, last night, walking my dog, in town.  I went by a house that had a large field in the front.  Several young boys were out playing a game of football and along the fence line was a few of their girlfriends, cheering them on.  I glanced at the scene and thought to myself, how time flies, I used to be that girl on the fence line but damn I wouldn’t pay to go back.

As we walked by I heard one of the boys yell something about “nice ass!” while other boys agreed in unison.  I couldn’t imagine he was talking to me and didn’t dare turn around to check.   Although another girl then yells “I’m right here and I can see you checking out her ass!”  I glanced over my shoulder to see that indeed they were looking at me.

I held my head a bit higher as I headed back home and may have had more swag in my step.  At dinner I told my sister and Husband.  The Husband gave me a high-five and my sister used it as reason to tell me once again, you can’t tell I’m pregnant in a t-shirt from a ways away.  Pathetic that it took a high school boy (so damn young and wrong, I know) to give me a boost in spirits but every now and then us ladies need it.  If those boys only knew they were hollering at someone much older than them and 25 weeks pregnant. Bam. It is the little things in life.