Archive for the ‘ Pregnancy stages ’ Category

Get Your Nest On

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Usher penned my current feelings so well. Sing it boy, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no…u got it, u got it bad.”

What do I have bad?

Nesting.

I do not remember this case of the nesties the first go round because working full time up until my due date left me no time to nest like I’m doing now. (Read: compulsively sweeping floors and wiping down bathrooms into the wee hours of the morning. Who am I? Not my usual “I clean bathrooms every other week” kind of gal. I know, I disgust me too.)

As the house full of party guests chortled and imbibed (we’re so pretentious) at our New Year’s Eve party, I found myself on my hands and knees, sweeping up food as it fell to the floor. It was in that moment that I realized I was a crazy nesting stereotype.

The one-handed countdown (5 weeks!) to birth has only put my nesting into overdrive.

Rumor has it there are a lot of different ways to nest. Some are the stock their freezers full of prepared meals type. Others are the phased in stacks of fresh laundry type. Me? I fall into two types of nesties.

Online shopping type. Maybe I’m making this up, but I feel compelled to buy things to prep for the baby. Yes, I admittedly love to shop, but now this impulse to find a few new scrumptious baby things feels urgent and primal. Cue frantic tizzy thinking of the diapers and clean onesises still needing to be purchased for baby girl. Heart palpitations. How late is Target open tonight?

Fantasize about organizing type. I cannot open a closet or enter a room without NEEDING to organize it. Typically, making dinner or playing with my daughter trumps any actual organizing, but I stay up to all hours of ungodly thinking of all the things I need to organize.

Lacking actual motivation to execute organizing is also part of nesting. Supposedly, right before a lady goes into labor, she’ll accomplish her organizing fantasies in a spurt of pre-birth energy. Prior to this she may just be too tired to do anything about them.

My sleep deprivation hopes that spurt happens soon because I just can’t quite manage to pull my pregnant apple bottom off the couch to attend to those cluttered closets and rooms. I wouldn’t say I’m a hoarder, just a lady who knows how to throw things in a closet and forget about them. Nesting is numbering my ignoring days though. Husband’s clothes that are not color-coordinated and have not been sorted since high school? You’re high on the hit list.

Bless my family who was in town and helped me deep clean my freezer, organize my spice rack, sort baby clothes, haul donations to charity, and all other sorts of glamorous little nesting priorities last week. I really know how to treat my house guests. They can’t hate me too much. Nature shows all female mammals suffer from the nesties and really it’s a way to prepare hearth and home for the safe and welcoming arrival of a newborn.

I try to explain the feeling of nesting to others but it is hard to describe. How does my husband who still wears some of his high school shirts (the classic ones mind you) that if I haven’t used something in the last 24 hours I now consider it clutter and I must donate it or throw it out or I will combust into a fit of fiery hormones? How do I explain the furious and imminent need rising in my chest to forget anything but spending the evening deep cleaning the baseboards? How are these priorities not everyone’s priorities? Anyone? Bueller?

As my nesties get on everyone’s last nerve here in the homestretch, I ask, please just envision a sweet…uh, hippopotamus trying to spruce up the place for a new little baby bundle. That’s an adorable image no one can reject and much better than the slightly panicked, overwhelmed, unable to relax, weird cleaning lady I’ve become.

Image: Nest via Sergiy Telesh/Shutterstock.com

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While We’re Talking Pregnancy Trends…

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

35 weeks/8 months (Basically, super pregnant)

I’d like to start one.

I submit the belly photo bomb to be the latest pregnancy trend. Forget gender reveal or ultrasound parties, let’s make that gargantuan, gawkable, lovable specimen of a belly the real star!

For those new to the bombing ways in general, the photo bomb is basically the art of ruining another person’s perfectly good picture with one’s mug (mean, silly or otherwise) in the background.

Therefore, the belly photo bomb is using the belly to ruin, or rather I’d say enhance someone’s picture. I discovered this secret skill of the pregnant belly the other day as I was taking extremely awkward baby bump pictures. (No matter how hard I wish it weren’t so, I’m the most unnatural person in front of the camera. Let’s just say, it’s hard to face the problem, when the problem is your face).

Enter the belly photo bomb. With my large margeness splendor of a belly, there’s no reason why my face needs to be in a picture from here on out. Instead, I’m committing to and asking all the pregnant ladies, all the pregnant ladies to sidle up to someone, stick it out, and work it CoverGirl. Bomb those photos.

I know my sister appreciated the sisterly closesness that is forced awkwardness as I realized our height ratio to my bump proportion fit perfectly under her chest when nestled in juuuust right. Awkward photo perfection. I knew this belly was destined for greatness.

Sure, sure we all know the regular party tricks of using the belly as a table to hold food or watching it shred a blouse (oh wait, just me? not on purpose, more in denial of its largeness). I’m ready to own my business in the front and take it to the next level by photo bombing my way through the last 5 weeks of pregnancy. Yes, 5 people! It took me longer to realize that I was pregnant than it will for me to be holding a new baby bundle of joy. Insert girlish hormonal squeal of excitement!

I’m warning the Internets now, the incessant need to document life is no longer safe from this belly. When you’re getting ready to Instagram your froyo, your new shoes, or your morning cup of jo, (link is funny but I give it a parental warning) my belly might just make a photo bomb appearance. No one is safe.

It’s time to have a little fun with the big ol’ belly to make it through these last few weeks of the mind game that is the waiting game.

#bellyphotobomb I won’t stop till it’s trending!

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A Pregnancy In Review

Monday, December 31st, 2012

34 weeks/7 months

As the end of 2012 draws nigh, let’s review some of the beautiful, unexpected, and some expected highlights of the pregnancy thus far.

A little year, er, pregnancy in review if you will. While I’ll never be able to do it my media crush, Tom Brokaw worthy, let’s give it a stab. All the reputable media outlets do it. VH1 is reputable right?

Take that and rewind it back…a pregnancy review complete with hashtags I’m still trying to make happen. #ICan’tQuitYou

1st trimester

We discover we’re having a baby! We feel moony and elated. It is our hearts’ fondest desire.

Baby name discussions immediately get tabled because the husband and I are both stubborn oxes with very different opinions who tend to melodramatically ralph at the other party’s suggestions. #TillBabyNamesDoUsPart

We learn we’re having another little lady and I do a cartwheel of joy for the gift of sisters. And matching outfits. My husband sees the dollar signs of two weddings but tempers that worry momentarily with all the girl paraphernalia we’ll get to reuse. #GlassHalfFull

We tell our two-year-old daughter who in her very own toddler way promises to love and cherish the baby because she’s “not going to scare her.” #ShellSmotherHerBecauseSheLovesHer

We tell the beloveds in our lives that we’re expecting another baby who mostly, kind of, sort of, already guessed it. #LuckyGuess

I’m overwhelmingly grateful to become a mom again and for the people who taught me to cherish pregnancy and motherhood.

2nd Trimester

I, scratch that, WE welcome the return of my boobs. #PregnancyPerks

I school the peeps on things to avoid saying to a pregnant lady. #CheckYoSelfBeforeYouWreckYoSelf

I crowd source the question of having a second baby shower and people share strong opinions on the topic. #JurysStillOut

I get where cuddly, lazy, sleep-all-day, eat-all-day pandas are coming from and wish people thought my pregnant lady, panda-like shenanigans were just as cute. #PandasGotItMade

I confess I pee my pants regularly. My husband quits reading the blog. #IJoke

I embrace being the stereotypical hormonal pregnant lady we all know and love. #HotMess

3rd Trimester

I proudly teach my mom the phrase “grower not a shower” and it’s relevance to how different bellies show. #MomQuitsReadingTheBlog

We survive the worry of a health scare with the baby and feel overwhelmingly relieved for the miracle of a healthy baby.

We welcome the glorious holiday season and the clear trump card it is to wear maternity pants to every holiday party. #StretchyPantsForTheWin

Her Royal Highness, Princess Kate reveals she’s with child as well and I’m certain she totally copied me. #TrendSetter

I remember why the third trimester can be a bit tricky as the burgeoning belly makes its presence known and vow to channel Santa’s jolly ability to work a belly. #HollaForHemorrhoids

Currently…

This brings us to today, the cusp of January.  We’ve reached the stage where people give the belly the once over before saying hello and I could post over-share dilation updates on Facebook (I promise, I’ll spare you).

I’d upgrade my panda status to heffer status after visiting a dairy farm last week. I learned them cows go on community bed-rest at 7 months, which makes me feel as if cow society might be a bit more awesome than human society at the moment.

As the end approaches, long gone are the days when people be thinking my belly is small, and big and huge are starting to escape their lips. This is a good sign. I should be huge. Huge, hormonal, and happy is the third trimester in a nutshell.

We are a smidgen closer to baby name diplomacy and I’d like it in writing that I’m being very cooperative to avoid going over the “can’t compromise” cliff.

Harper knows that a baby is coming and regularly asks when “sissy boo” will be here. She no longer lists the contents of my lunch when asked what’s in my belly. She sweetly asked me to hug the pretend baby in her belly the other night and I melted.

Sure, the pregnancy is getting a bit uncomfortable. I want to say a swear every time I drop something and have to bend to pick it up. I’m constantly hungry like a wolf (not as the song suggests but lit’rally ravenous). I now pee every 3 minutes and expel gas every 8 minutes. At least I give a courtesy check to see who’s behind me before breaking wind? So thoughtful.

But as the year wraps up, I realize there are only 6 weeks left (Come again? 6 weeks!), and things are about to get really real and exciting in the pregnancy department.

She’s almost here. The very thought fills me with more excitement for the New Year than I can possibly put into words. It’s going to be a bit different, a bit messy as we transition into a new stage but mostly, I’m looking forward to it being a bit of everything I’ve ever wanted to grow and love my family more. I want to relish these last few weeks and the anticipation that fills my heart for the upcoming year with a new baby.

Image: Classy bathroom mirror photography at roughly 33 weeks

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The Pendulum of Pregnancy and Parenthood

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Oh the blogosphere. Some recent feedback about the blog has left me feeling like I want to explain myself further. Most of the time, I don’t take myself too seriously. I keep things on the lighter side. I try to be open and honest without crossing the line too far. But sometimes, I also feel nostalgic, or like waxing poetic, or being downright rosy. I am by no means a completely rose-colored glasses kind of gal, but there are plenty of days when I feel as the wonderful Anne Shirley explains, “it’s delightful when your imaginations come true.” Sometimes life really is good. And sometimes, it’s poopy. I try to keep a good balance of all emotions. Lest you get the wrong impression of me, let me explain my philosophy on pregnancy and well, parenthood in general.

Pregnancy and parenthood are on a pendulum. One side represents the delightful imaginations; the little hugs, the “I love yous,” the soft and surprising first kicks of a baby in your belly. The other side represents the crapper. It’s the horror stories; the 9 months of barfing, the baby vomit directly in your mouth, the poop smeared on the wall, the 100 pounds of rice spilled in every nook and cranny of your floor, the fun outing ruined by incessant whining and tantrums.

On any given day, in any given hour, parents experience a range of emotions. We swing from grateful, to miserable, to happy, to exhausted, to locking ourselves in the bathroom for a moment of sanity. It’s life. There are inevitable ups and downs. Occasionally, the pendulum feels broken, refusing to swing from one side. And honestly, this usually means it’s stuck in the crapper for longer than should be reasonable.

I have those days. One minute I’m writing love letters to my unborn daughter because I can’t tell her in person yet how much I adore her, and the next minute I’m crying because the pregnant body can be so awkward and uncomfortable and I’m just done being pregnant. Sometimes it just isn’t funny to be the pregnant stereotype that pees 37 times a day.

Just because I write love letters to my daughter doesn’t mean I am immune from reality. There are days where if I have to answer the thousandth inquiry of “why?” or listen to one more whiny “I don’t want to!” I might just implode from annoyance. I too feel that moment of sweet freedom and jubilation when I leave my daughter with my husband and have a few glorious hours to myself.

I experience plenty of parenting fails too. My daughter has hit me in the face, pooped her pants inconveniently in public, and spit her dinner out all over me in protest. She’s refused to go to sleep, she’s peed her bed, she’s done all the stuff that makes parenting grueling and often monotonous.

I live daily on both sides of the pendulum and I believe we all do for the most part. We’re all just regular people doing this crazy difficult, unforgiving, yet wonderful thing called parenthood.

The funny thing about parenthood though is how quickly the pendulum can swing. One minute you’re going ape crazy over the messes and chaos and the next, your kid says something totally hilarious that eases the tension. During a smoothie clean up that covered every inch of the wall, my daughter voluntarily said, “I’m sorry I made a mistake mom.” Melt me. Then, she proceeded to tell me, “My bum says it’s time to go pee-pee.” What else can I do but laugh? That’s sort of the idea Harper. No, it doesn’t make the smoothie clean up any faster, but it does remind me of how quickly the pendulum swings.

This is my pregnancy and these are my memories and I try to keep them as real and me as possible. That reality includes some sweetness, some dreaming. I’ve said it before, complaining makes me uncomfortable, but I’m also guilty as charged.

I try to laugh at myself, this pregnancy, and my daughter as much as possible to stay on the delightful imaginations side of the pendulum. For that, I will not apologize. I try hard to choose to enjoy it. I don’t pretend. I don’t think pregnancy or motherhood is easy, but I do think it’s worth it. And mostly, a pretty awesome gig.

I’m trying to chronicle it all and that means you’ll probably see a few more hormonally driven letters, a few more rants, and hopefully, a few more things that will make you laugh.

Update: I found out about the horrifying tragedy in Connecticut after this blog post was published. It makes any complaints on the pendulum of parenthood negligible. My heart breaks for the families who experienced losses today.  I know those parents would give anything to hug their children today. I hugged my daughter tighter today and I am praying fervently for the families suffering because they cannot.

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I Forgot…

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

31 weeks/7 months

I forgot that being THIS pregnant means…

I suffer from a very active pregnant brain. I wish I was making it up that I put liquid dish soap in the dishwasher and lathered my hair with body wash. It sounds straight out of some cheesy sitcom, but alas, it’s my pregnant brain reality. Nothing makes a girl feel like an idiot as trying to bail out 10,000 bubbles from the bottom of her dishwasher. Bubbles are all fun and games until you find them all over your kitchen floor.

I have a bad case of the grumpies. As my husband politely asked me to stop being grumpy the other evening, I felt exposed. What? I mean I knew I was a grumpasaurus, but I thought I was keeping all my grump to myself. Busted. It made me grumpy. Surprise, surprise.

I feel too much. See grumpies above but also, everything is a hot mess of feelings right now. I am a total loony as I swing from laughter, to annoyed, to happy in the space of thirty minutes. I can cry at any given moment. Don’t test me because that juice is da truth. Would the crazy lady now possessing my body please leave post haste?

I am uncomfortable. Somehow I erased the part where it gets downright Olympic sport hard to carry around a tiny human all day. Sure, sure Olympians are all sorts of heroic by setting world record paces for the 100-meter dash, but has anyone asked them to do it while chasing after a lightning fast toddler and a belly full of baby? I rest my case.

I no longer move gracefully. There’s a lot of moaning and groaning as I roll around in bed. That came out wrong. You know what I mean. Basically, I’ve turned into the tennis player who can only serve the ball if they let out a intimidating grunt. I can only move now if accompanied by a serious groan.

I no longer enjoy getting dressed. I channel my inner Santa Claus as I lock and load the belly into its expando waistband each morning. I live the movie Mean Girls every time I tell people, “These sweatpants are all that fits me right now.” My memory now recalls how I wanted to burn the two shirts that still fit by the time I was done being pregnant. I hated the sight of those clothes. If anyone asks, they met their demise gracefully.

I now notice people look at my belly first, my face second. To all the girls who get their boobs checked out first, face second, I feel ya. I’m a person too by dangit. Look me in the eyes.

I am officially subject to people’s commentary. To the man who couldn’t believe I was 7 months pregnant and told me “your womb must go down to my leg,” I could kiss you on your awkwardly spouting compliments mouth. To the 40-year-old man who openly leered at me at the airport and said aloud “I loooove a pregnant belly,” please keep your fetishes to yourself. I know you apologized and said you didn’t mean to say it out loud, but somehow it made it worse, not better. To all the people be gawking when I walk into a room now or using the terminology “huge, big, bigger,” can we please not? Just talk about my giant belly behind my back like respectable folks do. Also, it would really help my grumpies.

Somehow I forgot all of these factoids from my first pregnancy. While the tapes most definitely have not erased from labor, the third trimester is catching me by surprise. I’m remembering now though you sneaky little devil. You’re the trimester where everyday I’m doublin’ and literally, the baby triples in size. I love you third trimester, not because you’re easy, but because you’re over soon.

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