Archive for the ‘ Pregnancy symptoms and emotions ’ 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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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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“I Carry Your Heart With Me”

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Grief is debilitating at times and my heart aches for those feeling so much of it this Christmas.

It is difficult to reconcile the hard reality of life that people leave it so suddenly. One minute they are there, and the next they are gone. The only panacea for loss I’ve found is to feel it, live it, and talk about it.

As I was doing some Christmas shopping the other day, a memory surfaced that I haven’t recalled for a long time. The baseball hat in my hand took me back fourteen Christmases ago to the baseball hat I purchased for my dad, a cancer patient undergoing his first round of chemo. The hat was meant to cover his soon to be bald head. He never lost his hair. He never wore that hat. He died that Christmas day.

Fourteen Christmases later, that memory still stops me in my tracks. As with the death of any loved one, you never really get over it; you learn to live with it.

As another year stretches between that memory, I can’t help but think of the milestones logged in those fourteen years that were unattended by my dad. It hurts. Sometimes so much that my heart still feels as stunned and craven as the moment I first learned he was gone.

Becoming a parent made me miss my dad in a way I didn’t know I could.

Having a second child heightens the ache in my heart for him. It’s another unattended milestone. Being a parent makes me need my parents more. I wish I could ask him the hundreds of questions I didn’t know to ask him before he died.

Like any who experience loss, I will never get that chance. Instead of letting that grief, that injustice consume me, I remember what I have learned from loss. This is my one chance, my one life, to let my husband, children, family and friends know how much I love them. I never want it to be a question how much I loved them.

While I still miss my dad, the place in my heart that broke after he died feels a little less sad as I watch my daughter with my husband. Their love reminds me that losing great, means loving great.

As I watch my husband with my daughter, I freeze frame the memory to tell her later, just in case she faces the same heartache of losing her dad too soon.

I’ll tell her how they “wrastled” every night before bed as she ran at him yelling, “I’m gonna knock you down!” and leapt at him in a fit of giggles. I’ll tell her how she use to ask for “silly kisses” as he tickled her with is goatee.

He’s quick to tell her he loves her, but someday, after his passing, his voice and words will be hard to conjure, and while I’m certain she’ll know he loved her, she’ll need these memories to remind her just how much.

It is bittersweet at times to bring another life into this world when one of the people I love the most is not here to share in the joy. However, I know that no matter how robbed I feel at times, I come back to love.

His loss reminds me to say I love you more. To be kinder. To be softer. To be forgiving. To choose joy.

Everyday I tell my daughter, “I’ll keep you forever.” I know that one day we won’t always be physically together, but her memory, her heart, I’ll always carry with me. Just like I do with my dad.

One Christmas, fourteen years ago, took my dad, but it gave me the great gift of gratitude for the moments I do get with the ones I love.

To my dad whom I still miss so deeply, thank you.

During this holiday season, I pray you find peace and happiness. May your heartache, grief, or loss, be a little less as you feel the love of family and friends.

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What They Don’t Tell You to Expect…

Friday, December 21st, 2012

The guilt.

Before anyone knew we were pregnant, I was holding my brand new teeny, tiny nephew, feeling all sorts of hormonal butterflies about the baby starting to grow in my belly. As I held him, my two-year-old ran into the room. She needed my attention and as I bent down to answer her request the helpless, wobbly-necked newborn careened backwards out of my arms. I caught him just before dropping him completely onto the faraway floor, but not before his newly minted parents saw it and probably wanted to grab him from my unfit arms. After the “incident,” I glanced horrified at my husband, the sharer of our baby secret, and gave him a wide-eyed look of, “what in the hizzle have we done?!” I know in my guilt-ridden, I almost just killed your kid paranoia, I said the phrase aloud, “We can never have more than one kid.” Whoops. That ship had sailed.

And so began the guilt about having a second child.

I firmly believe it is the greatest gift to give a child a sibling, but I never really knew I’d feel guilty about having another baby.

I feel guilty about the fact that I don’t have the time to sit around and daydream about our second child like I did with our first. I know I devoted hours to picturing my daughter’s hair, her lips, and her little hands. I’d pull out her little outfits and try to envision her chubby little legs filling them out. This pregnancy I spend my days tending to the needs of that daughter, the one I spent so much time dreaming of. The demands of my occasionally tiny toddler terrorist must be met with some urgency leaving little time to daydream about our second daughter.

Actually, I feel guilty that I don’t even think to daydream about our unborn daughter as much. I sometimes forget we’re having a baby. It pains me to say it because I feel like I’m shorting my unborn, but there are just not enough hours in the day. Some days I barely remember to brush the pearly whites, which won’t be for much longer with my negligence. I’m rolling up exhausted for bed, working my stretchy pants like a sex machine, and snoring before the lights are out.

I feel guilty that I’m three parts terrified, one part pooping my pants at having a second kid. Is it normal to have fear? Almost dropping my nephew made me realize this two kids, not enough hands business is real and intimidating.

I feel guilty that I worry I’ll love one child more than the other. What kind of monster thinks that? I’ve never had multiple children before and I hear the heart has room enough for all, but perhaps I’ll feel more connected to one child than the other. Is that a parenting truth no one has the guts to say? I mean most kids think their parents have favorites. (Favorite sibling of my parents, you know who you are and you know how we like to call you out for it. And by call you out I mean talk behind your back about it. We gossip because we care.)

I feel guilty that Harper has no idea how much her world will change. I watch her cock her sweet little head and pull funny faces to make me laugh, totally enamored with my undivided attention, and the guilt lodges in my chest. She’s thrilled by the idea of “sissy boo,” but her innocence at how much her world will really change breaks my heart. I feel like a jerk. She has no idea what’s about to hit her and it’s all my doing (well mine and my lover’s). I worry at how she’ll adjust to my divided attention.

I feel guilty that my attention will be divided. I want to be there for my daughters. I want to help them and guide them, but I know, at times, I won’t be able to. I hate to think that at times I’ll have to choose between their needs. Every day Harper asks me, “Where are we going today?” I don’t know how I’ll tell her “no where for six months” once the baby arrives. I know that’s an exaggeration but our world will slow and change and it’s nerve-racking.

I feel guilty that I’m growing to be a lazy-pile-of-sludge with each passing day. I enjoy running amuck with my toddler, but sometimes the loud and proud belly is a buzz kill to all her jumping, skipping, dancing dreams (read: peeing my pants). I try my darndest, but sometimes, pregnancy with a toddler just ain’t easy. It’s hard out here for a preggo.

I feel guilty that I am mourning the loss of being a “new” mom. There is something sacred in the harrowing, emotionally tough but sweet lessons taught to a first-time mother by her first-born babe. We have cried together, made mistakes together, but ultimately, grown together. We have learned together how to be a family. My first made me a mom. She gave me so many “firsts” and while I know my second child will still give me “firsts,” I feel guilty that she doesn’t have the same opportunity to be the first baby that expanded my heart.

My dog-eared copy of What to Expect hasn’t been much help on the subject either. I am finding I harbor a generous helping of guilt at any given moment. I mean I have guilt about having guilt for heaven’s sake…

Image: Me in all my exhausted pregnant glory

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I Choose Not to Watch the News

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Like many, I am reeling from the tragic news out of Connecticut this weekend. It is hard to comprehend that families are living with the reality of what so many of us consider incomprehensible.

I can’t help but think of the horrifying truth that when those babies were born a few short years ago, their parents welcomed and breathed relief at the robust and healthy cries of their newborn. Now, I am haunted by the idea that as those children left this world, their cries went unheard and were replaced by the heart-wrenching sobs of their newly childless parents. It is a horrible juxtaposition. The tears of a tiny, new, healthy baby turned into the tears of the devastated, disbelieving, crushed parent. It haunts me.

I’ve been trying to sort out my feelings about this tragedy all weekend.

I thought I’d read the latest reports to clarify my thoughts before writing but I cannot. To be honest, since the news broke, I haven’t read much. I’ve kept the television off. I cannot bring myself to hear what happened. Every detail I hear makes my heart ache more.

The news does nothing for me. It makes my heart break. It reminds me that I am a helpless to other people’s choices. It reminds me that there is ugliness, brokenness, and evil in this world. It makes me question my choice to bring another child into this world.  It reminds me that no matter how fierce my desire to protect my children, I don’t have the power to protect or save them.

The thing that really sickens me about the news is that long after the they quit reporting this story, the families suffering, the town grieving, and all the people hurting will continue to do so. The news will do nothing for them then. It is not just today’s story, it is their lives. It is a national tragedy now, but it will be an everyday tragedy for these families.

I have been on my knees in prayer for the families facing the reality of such a permanent heartbreak. And in those moments of prayer, I remembered that I don’t have the power to save. I don’t have the power to heal, but Christ does. I believe it is my job as a parent to teach my daughters, the one I’m hugging tighter each night and the one growing beneath my heart, to lead Christlike lives.

I am keeping the news off because more important than following the story to me is what I can do to help, as little as it may be. I want to use my time teaching my daughter how to be kind and thoughtful. I want to use my time teaching my daughter that people hurt and it is our job to try and lessen that hurt. I want to use my time to teach my daughter to befriend all, to love all, and to have compassion for all.

It is all too palpable this weekend how short this life can be. This life is all we get. I want to spend it not watching the news of the heartbroken, but helping, and teaching my children to help, the heartbroken.

For more on dealing with the tragedy, visit the following on Parents.com:

Image: Broken heart via isak55/Shutterstock.com

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