Monthly Archives: June 2012

Awkward Convos with the Doc

My doctor is probably not going to be around for the birth of our daughter.

The practice I go to has four doctors, and while I’ve seen just Dr. M for the majority of my pregnancy, in this practice it’s not a guarantee that your own doctor will deliver your baby. In my case, Dr. M is going to be on vacation next week (Due Week), so unless Baby Dub decides to be several miserable days late, it’s looking like I’m going to have to see one of the other Docs for Baby Dub’s delivery.

No big whoop.

Saw the 4th of 4 today. He was nice, informative, made a lot of jokes and small talk, commented on how cool of a name the Hubs has. I’m cool with him maybe being DownWind come Delivery Day.

Of course, with just 5 days to go, I’m looking for any tips for speeding up this baby’s arrival. Doctor 4 kindly informed me that we’ll most likely come within a few days of the due date, and that I should mentally prepare myself for a late arrival.

Boo. Not what I want to hear, Doctor #4.

As if he sensed my displeasure, he starts throwing out some options.

“Well, if you aren’t uncomfortable, intercourse is a great way to help move things along.”

As Doctor #4 describes the labor-inducing powers of semen, I attempt with some effort to stifle a case of the giggles. Eventually I can’t help myself, so I turn to the Hubs, fist outstretched for a fist-pound, and say “Awww yea!”

The Hubs looks totally mortified. Not only do I not get a reciprocal pound of the fist, I don’t even get a cracked smile. Doctor #4 doesn’t appear to know what to do either. Sensing my discomfort, the Hubs finally chimes in with this gem:

“Well I was looking on the web at natural ways to induce labor, and it basically said that if your body isn’t ready, none of that stuff is really going to speed things up.”

Doctor #4: “What kinds of labor inducing techniques were they suggesting?”

The Hubs blurts out “Oh you know, herbs, spicy food, going for a walk, nipple stimulation…”

Thank you for leveling the awkward playing field, Mr. Dub.

To be fair, I am sitting on a bouncy medicine ball as I write this, trying to coax Baby Dub to “drop.” I’ve been going for a late night walk with the Hubs. I’ve been vigorously massaging pressure points. I’ve even considered the spicy food, although that brings with it a risk-reward scenario – I could go into labor, or I could get wicked heartburn.

My desperation grows with each day. It’s less about being uncomfortable and more about dying from the anticipation! Every day I wake up could be the day we meet our daughter, and the suspense is killing me!

I’m even considering some soft music, candlelight and a Yankee Pot Roast.

Advertisements

Belly Photogs

I always have enjoyed getting my picture taken.

I have to like it, because my mother takes about a thousand pictures every time I see her.

I particularly like getting pictures of myself taken when I’m looking my most svelte. I had a particularly fit Summer 2011, for instance.

I like getting my picture taken less when I’m packing on extra pounds, or wearing B-team attire, or generally looking disheveled. Like in Summer 2012.

So why would I ask my husband for a maternity belly photoshoot as my birthday present? I’ve never weighed this much in my whole entire life, and I’m pregnant from my neck to my knees.

I’ll tell you why.

I may not love how I look pregnant, but I do love that right now, here in my big, jolly belly, is the addition to our family we’ve been dreaming about for the past 9 months. How can we not capture these moments?

I’ve been pretty diligent about taking a weekly photo of the Baby Dub bump, but for my birthday, The Hubs bought me a Belly and Newborn package from a lovely local photographer, Melissa McFadden. We had our pictures taken at Rooks Park, and brought along a few props for the pictures… feast your eyes on a few classics. These are the best pictures ever taken. Ever.

The waning days

What to expect:

Your dreams become much more vivid when you’re pregnant. Particularly in the waning days. Basically all I think about (between “What’s for dinner?” and “What do I need to get done at work?”) is Baby Dub’s arrival, so I have a lot of baby dreams. They vary from mildly disturbing to downright dream-tastic.

You oscillate between totally overwhelmed and totally non-plussed. One moment, I cannot fathom being a parent. I’m not prepared, I’m not equipped, is this really happening? And then 5 seconds later, I can hardly wait for Baby Dub to get here already, so I can find out how prepared and equipped we really are.

Your emotions run a bit wild. Little things you wouldn’t expect, like your 100 pound black lab being particularly gentle with a toddler, make you cry. Huge dramas leave you completely un-phased. It’s like opposite day with your emotions. Just be prepared to not be prepared for what your emotions do in the waning days.

The house is not going to be clean enough. We should have hired a housecleaner a long time ago, because now there’s no chance our house will be “Baby Ready Clean” before she arrives. All my nesting instincts have been isolated to the baby room, where no item is allowed to be out of place and I wash and rewash clothes, sheets, changing table covers, and toys. Meanwhile, the hallway is cluttered with all the crap we moved out of the baby room, we still haven’t put away the carpet cleaner, there are unsorted piles of mail and unfinished crafts on the kitchen table, and our refrigerator is stocked exclusively with condiments.

You realize how great you have it. From the hubs to the ‘rents to the sibs to the in-laws to the workplace, I feel pretty grateful in the waning days for all the people who helped get me through Baking up Baby Dub. Good thing these same peeps will be around for Raising up Baby Dub. I wouldn’t trade ’em for the freakin’ world.

I’m ready for the waning days to finish waning so I can meet Baby Dub.

Countdown to the 4th

We have 11 days to go…

Every day I wake up could be the day we have our baby. It’s starting to get real real.

It’s unlike any other event in your life that you know will be huge. Your wedding day? Usually you have that on the calendar. Your graduation, job interviews, all those life changing days you can look to with anticipation have a real, live “launch” day.

Not so with your first baby.

The doctor informed me last week that they really prefer to let first time moms go into labor on their own, so we’re playing the waiting game. And I feel like I’m a ticking time bomb.

So what do you do in the last waning days of your life-before-baby?

You sleep in until 9 am. You make an epic breakfast with the help of The Hubs. You call your grandma, because you’re missing your grandpa’s memorial service today since the doctor doesn’t want you driving more than 1 hour away from the hospital. You put together a changing table, and you arrange and rearrange the baby room now that you have all the furniture in there. You watch a bunch of stuff about the Olympics and you cry for no reason. You rid the house of the excess of cardboard boxes that have accumulated since your baby shower. You let your husband take you out for dinner, because you never know the next time you’ll be able to just “Go Out Spontaneously”. You pick up a craft that you left unfinished… and then remember why you didn’t finish it… because it is BOOOOORRRRRING. You doddle around on Pinterest, and find a recipe for Slutty Brownies, and go to town specifically to buy the ingredients for Slutty Brownies, and make Slutty Brownies, and eat dessert way past your bedtime. You wonder occasionally what labor is going to be like. You sit in the baby room and just look around, imagining what it will be like to have a real live baby in there. You feel like maybe you’re wasting one of your last days of “freedom.” But then you remember that you’re 38.5 weeks pregnant, and you take a nap instead of worrying. You think about when your friends had their babies… were they early? Late? Right on time? Is there any correlation between gender of the baby and when they arrive in relation to their due date?  You let your husband fall asleep on the couch because who knows the next time that is going to be an option? You read a book. You stay up past 10.

At least, that’s what you do if you’re me.

It’s going to be quite an adventure, having a baby. We are getting so excited, and quite frankly, I think Baby Dub is itching to get out.

She’s pretty antsy in there.

About as antsy as we are out here.

 

This I’ll blame on baby brain

The other day, I lost the keys to my car.

I made it to work with them. So somewhere between the parking lot and my office, the keys to the Dubmobile vanished.

I didn’t realize it until the work day was over, and of course, I had to rifle through my 3 month collection of receipts and empty gum wrappers to realize that the keys weren’t in my purse. By 5:20 I was retracing my steps through the office, trying to think of a logical place I would have set my keys down.

There was no logical place.

I had left my keys at the bank.

And banking hours were closed.

I called anyway.

“Hi there, I think I left my keys there this afternoon.”

“Are the keys to a XXXX?”

“YES!”

“Yea, you did leave them here. Some guy found ’em and was like, This looks like a nice car, so somebody’s probably going to want these back.”

“Yea, I want ’em back. I know you’re closed… is there a way I can get those from you so I can drive myself home?”

“Er… yea… you know what, why don’t you walk through the drive through and we can give ’em to you at the window.”

Yes. I walked through the drive through at the bank to get the keys to my car.

And I had to wait behind a couple in a red truck who were making a deposit in order to retrieve my keys. I stood in line at the drive through window at the bank. Pretty sure they don’t really like you doing that. If I was making a deposit I wouldn’t like to see a frazzled pregnant woman in my rear view while I’m handing piles of cash to the teller.

Proud moments.

This is my one use of the “Baby Brain” card.

Fingers crossed the next two weeks go smoothly.

Keeping the name a secret

We’ve been calling our daughter “Baby Dub”. Did you pick up on that?

There are at least two reasons for this:

#1. It’s a freakin’ adorable nickname.

#2. We aren’t telling her real name until she’s born.

I highlight recommend keeping your baby name a secret. Here are at least two good reason for that:

#1. You don’t really need a bunch of stuff with your baby’s name on it, right? Maybe one or two things, but not a whole bunch.

#2. You don’t really want other people’s unsolicited opinions on your choice of baby name.

It’s not that I particularly care what other people have to say about our baby name. Nothing you say is changing my mind, because I’ve wanted to name a daughter this for at least 10 years. Bonus: the Hubs is 100% on board with Baby Dub’s name too, so we don’t even really have to worry about some comment causing a mutiny in the Dub household.

But when you have a baby on the way, there are several conversations you have… over, and over, and over again. The “Are you ready to be done?” conversation. The “How are you feeling?” conversation. Many more that I can’t think of right now because it’s after 9 o’clock and I’m exhausted. I just don’t want to add the baby name conversation to the mix.

As a friend of mine put it: “You kind of get sick of saying the name over and over and over. You don’t want to get tired of your own child’s name!”

I’ve heard of people being talked out of their first choice by the blurted-out opinions of others.

“Aren’t you worried he’ll get made fun of?”

“The only XXX I ever knew was a dog.”

“I went to highschool with a XXX and she was a real b****.”

“Isn’t that a boy’s/girl’s name?”

“No, really, what are you going to name him?”**

**Friends of ours really got this response. People thought their baby name was a joke. What’s wrong with people?!

Avoid all these awkward conversations by just keeping that baby name to yourself.

Once it’s on the birth certificate, it becomes much less acceptable to blurt out your rude/careless opinion.

I think some people take the whole baby name conversation as their opportunity to help shape the name-choosing process. Which is why I’m glad I was never torn between one or two names. All of a sudden, everybody’s casting their vote, and it’s somehow something to take personally if you don’t end up naming the kid THEIR first pick.

I went to a baby shower a few months ago – before I knew we were having a girl – and got cornered by a few attendees who wanted all the scoop on baby names. Having the girl’s name locked down, I kept that to myself, but the boy names were still up for debate, so I threw a few out there.

All of a sudden I’m getting celebrity names thrown at me left, right and center. My two to three “top picks” were twisted, hybrid-ized with other names, added to, shortened, and generally manipulated into an unrecognizable list.

Lesson learned.

Feel free to do this your own way. Some people LOVE to have the baby name conversation. Some people WANT opinions, votes, etc. That’s cool. That’s your right.

But as for me and my hubs… we’ll keep it on the hush.

You’ve got a few more weeks to wait.

Something you shouldn’t say to a pregnant person

I’ve heard this phrase, or variations of it, several times in the past few weeks.

Please.

Don’t ever say this:

“You look like you’re ready to pop!”

Dude. That’s gross.

 

The Hubs’ first “almost-a-dad” Father’s Day

We aren’t officially mom and dad yet, so it felt weird to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day this year. But we are almost-mom-and-dad, so we couldn’t ignore these holidays entirely.

The Big Guy got me some Seahawks gear and cookbooks for Mother’s Day, plus a thoughtful card that made me cry. I got the Big Guy a Baby Bjorn for Father’s Day (trust me, he wanted one), plus a (in my opinion) thoughtful card that (I think) made him tear up a little bit. Even Steven.

It wasn’t a huge, all-about-you celebration, but it is hard to get around thinking about being parents on days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. And you know what?

I can’t wait!

I’ve mentioned it on several occasions, the Hubs is going to be some kind of awesome dad, especially to a baby girl. I get a little giddy and butterflies-y thinking about him with a tiny infant, with a toddler, with our daughter. It’s going to be no good for me, because I’ll be forced to be the disciplinarian. But it will be awesome for me too, because he’ll be so adorable with her, I won’t be capable of being mad at him when he makes me have to be the bad guy.

It’ll be vice versa with a boy most likely, so I think all will work out in the end.

A couple of weeks ago, we had a good friend and her daughter, Lil P, over for dinner.

Side story: Lil P is 18 months, and when she was first born, the Hubs and I went to Gymboree to get her some “Welcome to the World” fashion. The Hubs, entirely out of his element, grabbed just about anything that looked cute, including clothes for 4-year-olds. “What about this?” Imagine a 6’4″, 240 lb bearded monster of an uncomfortable man, pawing at the tiny baby leggings and asking his wife for advice on tiny-tot fashion. It didn’t quite draw a crowd, but it was hard to miss and certainly memorable.

We spent considerably more than we’d anticipated, but I imagine Lil P will look very cute when she gets big enough to wear some of the items Daddy Dub picked out for her. We also picked out some newborn attire that was too small, so Lil P’s mom had to come back to Gymboree to return some things. And the clerk remembered The Hubs. That’s how awesome the scene was. And how far-reaching our love for Lil P and her mom and dad extends.

So when Lil P and Mom came over for dinner, we were delighted to get some bonding time with one of our favorite toddlers, who immediately walked through the door talking and grabbing hands and dragging each of us to look at things and generally being adorable. Our house is presently a treasure-trove of things for a precocious 18-month-old to get into, including the jogging stroller I was given my Grandma Dub. And the Hubs was all too willing to take Lil P for a stroll around the block in it so that her mom and I could do some lady-talk. They came back from their walk, cheeks flushed, Lil P gabbing away, the Hubs obligingly keeping the stroller moving in whatever direction she wanted.

Watching my big bear of a husband be totally controlled by the whims of a tiny little human being was pretty adorable. This is what I have to look forward to, and on Father’s Day, I can’t help but dwell on it a little more.

We had Auntie Dub and Baby’s Dubs cousins over for dinner this weekend, and the Hubs started asking the crowd of cousins questions about the impending arrival of Baby Dub. “Are you excited to get a new cousin?” “What do you think she’ll look like?” “What color hair do you think she’ll have?” All were met with varying degrees of stony silence and awkward stares, until this zinger came out of my husband:

“Do you think we’re gonna be good parents?”

Our 6-year-old niece must have had an opinion on that, because she piped up:

“Oh yea. Everybody knows that.”

My 6-year-old niece believes in me. I can’t let her down now!

We have 17 days til our due date.

We are in the teens.

I have to be ready to go at any moment. It seems almost unreal that we could possibly be this close to Baby Dub’s arrival. But here we are on Father’s Day, not quite parents, but about as ready as we are gonna get. And Cousin A thinks we’re going to be good parents, so…

Bring it on.

Term

Well folks, we are officially considered “Full Term.”

As of Wednesday, we are 37 weeks pregnant, which means if Baby Dub comes along today, she’s got all her parts.

My main job now is to fatten up our baby. And fatten her up, I will.

Hold on while I finish this muffin.

Yesterday we had a doctor’s appointment, and the Doc informed us that we are 50% effaced and dilated to 1.5 centimeters and that Baby Dub is at -2 station. Say what?!

She’s tunneling her way out, folks.

She’s ready to complete her term in the womb and begin her term in the world, making it way more awesome.

In an election year, no less.

Let the next term begin!

On groping yourself in a room full of strangers

Today’s birthing class was all about breast feeding.

My poor, poor hubby.

We started class by watching a video, and there were boobs everywhere.

I know, boobs become functional instead of sexual once you have a baby. But that doesn’t keep us new moms-and-dads-to-be from just wanting to look at the ground awkwardly whenever they flash a booby on the screen. “This is private stuff. Not for my eyeballs.”

We passed around breast feeding paraphernalia galore. Hand breast pumps (Mommy’s new stress ball!), breast feeding bras, books about breast feeding (including one entitled “So that’s what they’re for!”), the list goes on. We all had to pick out a doll at the start of class to practice different breast feeding positions.

Practicing involves:

1. Positioning the baby/doll.
2. Making a “C” shape with the not-holding-the-baby/doll hand.
3. Squeezing your boob with the C hand. (Yes, in a room full of strangers)
4. Tickling the baby’s… er, doll’s… face with your nipple (I apologize for the X-rated language here… again, this was done in front of a bunch of strangers!).
5. Pulling the  baby/doll to your boob.

The things we do in the name of preparedness. I was not looking around the room to confirm this, but I’m pretty sure everybody was avoiding eye contact during practice time.

The good news?

Breastfeeding is economical (formula can cost upwards of $1000 a year), environment-friendly (I’m saving the earth! No formula trash! Fewer bottle feedings and washings and sanitizings!), and burns a zillion calories (our teacher said it can burn as much as an hour of riding a bike uphill… and you’re just sitting there… or as we learned in class today, laying there… YES).

Better yet?

Babies who breastfeed have better immunity and are less prone to allergies. They tend to be less picky eaters. They’re less likely to be hospitalized in their first year. The list goes on and on! I’m a “Lactivist”! Boobies for everybaby!

So yes, I will make my hand into a “C” and half-heartedly grope myself in a room full of strangers if it means I’m more prepared and more informed about breast-feeding Baby Dub when she arrives.

Plus, you only have to sit through that class once.

Just like you only have to go through labor once (per baby). So that’s a double win.