Monthly Archives: May 2012

4th of July baby? 4th of July, Baby!

Our baby is due the 4th of July. I used to want her to come, I dunno, 2 weeks early.

I’m the maid of honor (matron?) in my sister’s wedding on July 28 and I wanted all the time I could get to be in some kind of shape that isn’t round for the big day.

But now, I know a little more about baby development. I want to keep Baby Dub in there all the way to her due date if I can.

This would mean that our Independence Day would likely be spent in the hospital, which would kinda suck. BUT on the bright side, our daughter would have the 4th of July for her birthday.

Of all the holidays to share your DOB with, the 4th of July is the very best, I think.

Here’s why:

#1. Fireworks, baby!

Fireworks are the coolest. And if I could legally shoot off a bunch of fireworks on my birthday every year, I would. Baby Dub, if all goes to plan, will have fireworks and sparklers every year on her birthday. Awesome.

#2. No gifts on the 4th of July!

Unlike sharing your birthday with Valentine’s Day or Christmas, our daughter will never have to worry about the gift double-up. You know, when your birthday is on (or close enough to) a holiday so people get you one “big” gift that isn’t really equal to two normal sized gifts. Sorry, Christmas Babies – you know you’re getting the short end of the stick.

#3. She’ll never have to work on her birthday…

…unless she works somewhere COMPLETELY un-American.

I think I’ve stated my case.

Birthing Class – Round 2

Our second birthing class centered around the labor experience.

Awesome!

There were videos involved. With gratuitous nudity. The early 90s were a wild time evidently.

I’m about to give myself away as totally immature, but oh well. I giggled at several parts and whispered all through the 40 minute video.

Not at the nudity parts, either.

At the poor husbands they showed trying to help their wives cope with the pain of labor.

Those suckers do not have a clue.

One guy had his hands in his wife’s face doing a 5-4-3-2-1 countdown with his fingers. My friend L turned to her husband and informed him that if he got his fingers that close to her face, she’d bite them off.

Not that I know what is and isn’t going to be helpful during labor… but I have a feeling if The Hubs gets all up in my face while I’m trying to do some sort of guided meditation, I’m going to lose it.

The nudity was a bit much, but not giggle worthy. Is that really how it is in the delivery room? I realize I will lose any sense of modesty I currently possess once it comes time to knock this baby out, but am I going to just strip naked and go for it? Something tells me they let you wear a robe or a sheet or at least a bra, right?

One particularly sweaty nude woman was so out of it that when the doctor said, “Here’s your baby!”  she replied “That doesn’t look like a baby.”

Lord, help me not say anything too ridiculous in the delivery room.

Then we took a tour of the “Baby Floor” (as I like to call it) of the hospital. There are four delivery rooms in the hospital we’re having Baby Dub in. As we looked around the room at all the other couples who are due around July 4, we started to get a little competitive. Because three of the delivery rooms have jacuzzi tubs and the fourth sounds like a real dump. I don’t want to get stuck in that fourth room, man. My friend L and I are going to tag teaming those jacuzzis if we go into labor at the same time and one of us is stuck in the fourth room.

I haven’t confirmed this with her yet.

The Hubs impressed me yet again with his thoughtful questions for the nurse and his general decorum during the video. I thought he might involuntarily gag at some of the… uh…  gory parts. At one point he did turn to me and ask “Why do they have to leave that shot on the screen for so long?” but other than that, he was a champ.

Action Items:
1. Be sure to wear a bra to the delivery room
2. Bring gum and remind The Hubs before things get bad that he isn’t allowed to get in my face.
3. Learn to box out just in case we go into labor at the same time as 3+ other couples in our class.

 

Cheap Date

Not only do I not drink anymore… I don’t drink in restaurants.

This makes me a “cheap date.”

And after I have this baby, my first beer will probably have me giggling and flopping my arms around like I did when I had my first Peach Schnapps Wine Cooler, back to back with a Corona.

Making me a cheap date again.

Guys really get the sweet deal in this whole pregnancy equation. Not only do they get a designated driver for 9 months, they aren’t stuck with a two-person drink tab and cab fare. And once we’re done carrying the baby, it takes one drink to get us tipsy.

It’s like a one-year+ win for the dudes.

Ladies, start using this as a bartering chip for diaper duty.

The pregnant equivalent of the Murtaugh List

Anybody else watch “How I met your Mother”?

There’s an episode called “Murtaugh.” Murtaugh is a character from Lethal Weapon, and has a famous line:

“I’m getting too old for this shit.”

One character on the show has a Murtaugh List – a list of “stuff” he’s too old for. Things like getting his ears pierced, and going to a rave.

I’d like to make a pregnant equivalent of the Murtaugh List… because, I’m getting too pregnant for this shit.

Presently on the list;

bending over to buckle the backs of my sandals
push ups
bachelorette parties

This past weekend, we celebrated my lovely sister’s bachelorette weekend. Her wedding isn’t until late July, but considering our impending new addition and the limitations of what my body will be capable of come July, we decided to do the celebration sooner rather than later.

Hello everybody! I’ll be your designated driver for the weekend.

I don’t know if you know my sister, but… she’s kind of a big deal.

People know her.

Not one, but TWO local businesses made special accommodations for us on a busy graduation weekend… JUST because this was for my sister.

“I couldn’t have made this reservation if it wasn’t for your sister.”

“We don’t usually reserve tables on a Saturday night anyway… but for your sister…”

I hope she reads this and immediately feels special.

She’s a local celeb.

Being as such, she is quite popular and had many friends to include at the festivities. It was a weekend long bonanza with various parties coming and going and numerous locations (some of which fell through at the last minute) and let’s just say that this pregnant lady was hoofin’ it pretty good around Walla Walla to make sure things were organized and everybody knew where they needed to be and when.

Is this what it is like to have kids?

When you’re visibly, noticeably, unavoidably pregnant, and everybody else is there to uh… get DOWN… you become acutely aware of a few things.

#1. Your boobs are bigger than anyone else’s that anyone has ever seen. Be prepared to talk about them.

Drunk people have no filter. So as our first night of fun progressed, several of my sister’s friends made louder and louder comments about my growing bosom.

People I don’t know.

And once they realized I could hear them, they started to ask me questions about them.

Awesome.

Yes, me and my cups are traveling aggressively towards the end of the alphabet. Let’s all discuss over drinks and charcuterie.

#2. Your belly holds magical powers and, like Abu in the Cave of Wonders, people just can’t resist the insatiable urge to touch.

Dude. Hands off.

I realize that you’ve been eyeballing me and this gut all night. I know that my bright yellow top is doing nothing but drawing attention to the contours of my ever-moving stomach. But for reals dude. No touchy.

People want to grope you when you’re pregnant, especially people who have been pregnant before. And drunk people are way more brazen than normal people. Normally self-respecting adults lose all sense of propriety when inebriated and in the presence of a gloriously pregnant woman.

But they also have short attention spans.

So it’s a quick and painless grope session.

#3. Drinking in restaurants and bars is REALLY expensive. 

#3a. Also, pregnant ladies get more free drinks in bars than bachelorettes.

I got mocktails sent my way all weekend, and none of them showed up on the bill. I drank more pomegranate juice last weekend than I’ll ever drink for the rest of my life.

Something about being pregnant AND tolerant AND the designated driver AND still making an effort makes the bartenders take pity on you, I think. And mocktails are pretty awesome, ladies.

They still feel special, even without the booze and umbrella.

I think that I’ll miss mocktails when I HAVE Baby Dub more than I’ve missed cocktails during my pregnancy.

And I’ll certainly miss the cheap tab at the end of the night.

#4. Pregnant-Fabulous and Regular-Fabulous are two different things.

I wore what I consider to be a fabulous maxi-dress out to a fancy restaurant on Saturday night.

And the waiter couldn’t tell I was pregnant.

I arrived at the restaurant first to make sure that the reservation was okay and see how much room we had (a-hem… we had PLENTY of room). Our dedicated waiter came to check on me and introduce himself. And he offered me a cocktail.

“No thanks,” I said, patting my belly pretty obviously. “I think I’ll be tapping out of the cocktails tonight… and for the next couple of weeks.”

My sister-in-law-to-be was in the bar and overheard the waiter go back and tell the bartender, “Well, the hostess of our bachelorette party is being VERY responsible. She’s not drinking or anything, she must want to keep it together for the group.”

No, buddy. I’m just 8 months pregnant.

That maxi-dress is out of the rotation.

#5. Family first

My sister is one of the most fantastic people I know.  I had a blast getting to know some of her friends over the weekend, and seeing her in her element, and showering her with affection and hopefully making her feel special.

For her, I’ll stay up past 11.

Two nights in a row was pushing it.

Let’s add that to the Pregnant Murtaugh List. Staying up past 11 two nights in a row?

I’m definitely getting too pregnant for that shit.

Birthing Class – Round 1

I didn’t meet my husband until after college. I have friends who met their spouse or significant other in highschool or college.

That’s neat for them.

That was not my experience. So I have never seen my husband in a classroom environment.

Until Wednesday.

We had our first birthing class this week, and it was everything I had dreamt it would be.

Informative.

Amusing.

Disturbing.

Overwhelming.

And my husband, while not the class clown he probably was in highschool, brought his A-Game to the class.

Walk into a room of expectant parents and you will be walking into a room full of nervous people. We don’t know what we’re about to learn and we don’t know if this class will somehow expose us as inadequate (or confirm how inadequate we might be feeling).

The tension is palpable.

Plus, class starts at 7 pm and goes for two hours. I’m not even confident I can stay awake for the whole thing.

I am fortunate to not be there alone. Not only do I have The Hubs at my side, but my dear friend LF is also knocked up and she’s due three days after we are. So I’m surrounded by people to make faces at and roll eyes at before, during and after.

The first thing we have to do is pick up a name tag and a baby.

Not a live, human baby. Just a doll wrapped in a pink or blue blanket. I pick up a baby of the pink-blanketed variety and immediately feel self-conscious about my baby holding skills. Am I being graded right now? Is this one of those babies they give highschool students that have the computer chip inside them to record and report any mistreatment??

We are, of course, judging all the other parents in the room. And they are likely judging us as well.

Some of the dads are trying to be friends with The Hubs. He’s already the cool kid in class.

Class Number One is all about newborn care. Our first activity is practicing changing a diaper and swaddling the doll. The Hubs takes charge. I sort of watch.

Fingers crossed this is how real diaper changing is. “Go ahead baby, it looks like you’ve got it.”

I’ve been told that if you can wrap a burrito then you can swaddle a baby.

Usually the stuff I’m putting in a burrito is not MOVING VOLUNTARILY.

The fact that I pack a lunch for my husband every morning that includes a meat and veggie wrap does not make me feel prepared for swaddling my baby. And the fact that my husband “palms the baby” to position her in the blanket just right doesn’t have me feeling particularly awesome about baby handling. Mine or his. “Palming” seems like a good strategy when dealing with a 2 pound plastic doll, but not when dealing with a squirming infant.

So far, I’m not picking up much of value.

Then the nurse teaching the class brings out the slide show and the huge laminated pictures. In trying to prepare us for the fact that our newborns won’t look like “Movie Newborns”, Teacher trots out all this mildly disturbing imagery of babies with cradle cap, baby acne, sucking blisters, smashed heads and missing chins.

There are some things that you would NEVER think about unless you were having a baby. One of them is the umbilical cord. Nobody teaches you in sex ed that your baby will have a crusty little umbilical stub for a few days after birth. My many pieces of prenatal literature have mentioned this, so I’m prepared.

This is news to the Hubs, however. And his face shows his displeasure.

His face says, “Uh, that is gross.”

I’m pretty sure baby’s first diaper will be pretty gross too. One of the pediatricians who came to speak to the class described baby’s first poop as “Black rubber cement.”

There is gonna be a whole lotta gross in our day-to-day for the next few months. I suppose it is good to be prepared. But seriously, what’s with all the scare tactics? My baby isn’t going to have cradle cab AND baby acne AND A sucking blister and a rubber cement filled diaper at the same time, right? Why do you have to freak me out?

The most valuable part of the first class was definitely the pediatricians who came to talk to us. They were a husband and wife team who share a practice and were right in line with me and Hubs as far as philosophy goes. Plus they told us about the “football hold” – which made me feel better about the earlier baby palming. So not only did we learn a thing or two, we got the names of the pediatricians we want to request when our daughter is born.

Double whammy.

Birthing class isn’t a competition, but my husband and I are both pretty competitive and we will find a way to make anything into an “I’m better than you” situation if we can. For instance, the Apgar Score. We learned about the Apgar during class, the initial test of baby’s vitals to determine if you’ve got a healthy bambino on your hands. My husband and I immediately latch on this – “Is that like an SAT score? ITBS test?” We are totally going to brag about our baby’s Apgar score. “Yea, Baby Dub got a 10 on the Apgar. No biggy.”

Despite some of the disturbing imagery and graphic descriptions of baby’s first B.M., I left class with a good feeling overall. I didn’t drop the fake baby at any point. I learned a few things, but most of the stuff we covered was stuff I was familiar with and felt like I had a handle on. The only real curve ball was the umbilical cord thing, which I think the Hubs has since gotten over. Looking around at the faces of the other expectant parents, nobody seemed superiorly suited to parenthood. Nobody in there was ready, and neither are we.

And that’s okay. We have 5 more classes to go.

Weighty things

Today, I carried a full laundry basket up the stairs.

And then I had to lay down for a few minutes and catch my breath.

So that’s about all I have for today.

Next up, a recounting of our first birthing class.

Am I ready to be done?

This is the question I’ve started getting recently.

Family and friends, strangers and passersby, all seem to want to know:

“Are you ready to be done yet?”

Um… yes and no.

Quite frankly, I have very few complaints about being pregnant. I’m assuming people are asking the question because I am more visibly pregnant and obviously much closer to “done” (stick a fork in me!). But despite feeling rather huge, I’m not uncomfortable. The belly is still compact enough that it isn’t knocking things over when I turn. I feel pretty good.

Also, the standard issue ailments of the 3rd trimester don’t appear to be plaguing me the way they plague many. One bout of heartburn, a puke-free pregnancy thus far, and pretty awesome sleep (despite some vivid dreams)… I’ve had it pretty good.

I’ve gotten the hang of it. I feel like I’ve pretty well mastered the whole thing. I’m even starting to enjoy dressing up the bump.

What I have not mastered, what I have no idea about, and what could quite possibly be the death of me, is the whole “being a parent” thing. Newborns? Diapers? Breast-feeding? Not really ready for that.

So no, I’m not ready to be done.*

*Nobody ever is, so I guess I’m not any different than any of the millions of women who have done this before me.

I cannot wait to meet our new contribution to the human race, however. What is she going to look like? When will I get my first smile out of her? What is The Hubs even going to do with this tiny human?

It’s too much to even contemplate. I can’t wait. It’s going to be the best. Better than the first time he felt her move, which, at the time, was the Best. Thing. Ever.

So yea.

I guess I am ready to be done.

 

Belly Claustrophobia

My stomach is no longer a part of me.

It’s this gigantic, autonomous unit. It moves without warning. It causes me discomforts, I can’t detach from it, and it has a mind of its own.

When I described this to my husband as “belly claustrophobia” he made fun of me. Because technically that is not a proper use of the word claustrophobia.

The dictionary definition?

noun: an abnormal fear of being in enclosed or narrow places.

Okay fair enough. The “Word Wrangler” has been wrangled.

I can’t call my baby a parasite, but that might be a more appropriate word, in which case I have Baby-Parasite-Phobia.

It’s not my baby I’m having a problem with though, it’s the belly. And I’m not afraid of the belly, I’m more frustrated by it. You know when you get that angst in your stomach, that can’t escape it feeling you can’t talk yourself down off of, like highschool all over again? Sometimes I get that feeling about this belly I can’t control.

Maybe I have Belly Angst.

Most of the time I am delighted to have my belly moving about at will. I am amused by Baby Dub’s gymnastics and contortions and flips. It’s when I eat more than 5 bites of food that things get a little, how I say, claustrophobic.

There’s all of a sudden not enough room for my appetite and my baby. My belly feels tight and too-full and generally awful. I want to take another bite, but fear of exploding keeps me from doing so.

So perhaps I really have a phobia of Baby Dub’s claustrophobia.

Because when I eat a 6+ bite meal, Baby Dub is trapped in a more enclosed and narrow place.

Facebook stuff

Today I posted this to Facebook:

“With 8 weeks to go, I realize I have no exit strategy.”

A friend responded:

“No, but luckily the baby does.”

Delightful.

Being pregnant – the grownup equivalent of being the Sticky Kid

Everybody remembers the sticky kid from growing up. You didn’t want to be the sticky kid. You know, the little muddy-faced urchin with streaks of dirt on their face, juice-box trail down their arms, grass stained pants, chips trailed down their shirt, chocolate bar melted on to their hands and a little schmeer on their face.

Nobody likes the sticky kid. Eww, don’t touch me with your 3 Musketeers paws!

Tonight we went out to dinner with some friends and I realized that being pregnant makes you the grown-up version of a sticky kid.

I have enchilada sauce all over the front of me. Tiny chip bits and Spanish rice somehow made it on the ledge between my belly and my bra. I missed my mouth several times with the water glass.

When you’re pregnant, things stick out further than they used to and catch any number of food particulate.

Wear dark colors and avoid salsa.

This too shall pass.