Archive for January, 2012

Who Are You?

This morning, I woke up and my belly was shaking.  I made Mr. Cookie crawl back into bed: “put BOTH hands on my stomach,” because Stowaway was having a little party in there (complete with hiccups).  Oh, the rolling and surging feelings that come with this part of pregnancy are quickly making it my favorite.  My second trimester was supposed to be the best, but with the continued food aversions and the whole rib issue (did I mention I had a broken rib?) it has been less than the promised cake walk.  Now, my hips are getting sore as Relaxin hormones surge and I am a little more tired again, but perhaps for the first time in my pregnancy, the good feelings are dominating on a regular basis (random crying episodes aside.  I heard a report on NPR the other morning that made me start sobbing.  Mr. Cookie was good enough to hug me and not tease)!

The nursery is nearly done (well, we still have a lot of clothes and little things to buy, but the furniture is all purchased and assembled and many little accents are done) as of this weekend.  Woohoo!  Nesting is in full swing and, as I am now in my third trimester, I can’t help but find myself wondering who this little person is inside.  That’s another benefit of not knowing the gender, in my eyes at least.  I get to wonder and guess at that too but then no matter what, I get the best gift in the world at the end.

At the beginning of the pregnancy, I had this unshakeable feeling that I was having a boy.  I’m not sure whether it was because I liked the idea of Mr. Cookie having a son to share the same incredible relationship with as he and his dad have, but I liked the idea of “boy.”  Lately, I’ve been thinking it’s a girl.  I realize all of this is pretty silly, because I have a 50/50 shot at guessing correctly.  Also, you should see the way my lone niece has him wrapped around her finger.  It doesn’t matter the gender, this kid is going to be a total daddy’s child.  And yet, there may be some indications one way or another.  Take, for instance, this study.  It turns out, there may actually be some correlation between extreme morning sickness and the female gender.  I don’t know if you guys remember, but way back before anyone even knew we were pregnant (aside from the Mr. and me and a team of medical professionals), I had to go to the ER for dehydration.  Umm, too much vomiting.  AND AND AND I still throw up sometimes (sorry, you may not have wanted to know that).

And yet, it still doesn’t matter.  I can honestly say that no matter what, no matter how much I’m proven right (red hair, blue eyes, mellow, loves music, mesmerized by Daddy’s voice) or how much I’m proven wrong, it just isn’t going to matter.  I love this kid like crazy and it is just getting crazier every step closer.

Well, okay.  Let’s be honest.  Lack of red hair could be a deal breaker.

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Minutiae

13 weeks left.  Holy shit.  I remember when I was so excited to hit 13 weeks pregnant!  It seemed like such a milestone (and, at the time, it was).  But, yesterday I turned 27 weeks pregnant and Stowaway got that much closer to viability.  Sometimes I wonder if people really care about my mindless pregnant ramblings but then I decide it doesn’t really matter, because I care and one day it will be nice to have a record of this time.

So, some really exciting developments (to me):

* I’ve now seen my stomach move a couple times, courtesy not of my own muscles but of Stowaway’s shaking and kicking.  Last night, I gave the bathtub a really good scrub (not an easy feat at 6 months pregnant) so I could just lay there in a warm bath and watch my belly shake.  Stowaway apparently takes after neither of his parents and is underwhelmed by audiences (read: uncooperative).

* I think Stowaway is mesmerized by her daddy’s voice.  Sometimes, she’ll be participating in Richard Simmons-esque workout and then Mr. Cookie will come into the room, talk, and suddenly she goes entirely still.  It’s kind of cool because I love his voice too.

* I feel incredibly blessed to have such wonderful friends.  From Heather, who has single  handedly undertaken the task of my shower, to Sarah and Jenn, who are always happy to answer all of my stupid pregnancy questions, to Eljon and the countless people who called and emailed when I put a message up on Facebook for all of five minutes saying I was overwhelmed and weepy, and to my family who is always a phone call away, even if I don’t get to see them nearly often enough.

* Mr. Cookie and I went to a cloth diaper workshop at Diaper Lab (which is awesome, by the way).  We’ve decided to move ahead with cloth diapers!  Cloth diapers make me want to squeal with excitement, because they are so cute!  Lots of reasons for this, but I think the main one is that Mr. Cookie and I both have super sensitive skin (so we can only guess that, by extension, so will Stowaway) and cloth is supposed to be better for sensitive skin than disposables

* Glucose test- is scheduled for the 30th, and after that appointment I start being seen every two weeks.  When do they start doing internal exams?  I have an irrational fear of going into labor early and would love to hear that nothing is happening.

* Does anyone know of good breast feeding resources in the area?  Might as well use these boulders for something useful.  And my Bradley instructor keeps emphasizing that we need to “watch other women nursing.”  Seeing as how I’m not terribly comfortable saying “hey, could you NOT cover your tits so I can watch you feed your child,” consider this your passive invite to come to my house and nurse without covering up (I promise to maintain a distance of at least 5 feet).

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The Big Leagues

I think I might be having a baby.  See, that’s different from being pregnant.  No, there is not a baby physically exiting my body right now, but things are getting real, yo.  Last Sunday, we started Bradley classes.  I wasn’t wild about the website’s wording on everything (husband coached childbirth seemed a touch conservative), so was thrilled when our instructor started the class off by griping and apologizing about the fact that Bradley seems oblivious to the fact that husbands are only part of the group of people supporting women through their labors.  Hurray!

Then, when I went in for my check up today, I was given a few things that made me feel like “oh my god, I’ve made it.”  The first was the enormous folder from our hospital with information sheets on everything from health care proxies and hep b shots to nursery decor (ugg.  Babies ‘R’ Us is everywhere).  We have big decisions to make and, despite the fact that we’ve already made many of them, it still makes it feel more real.  The second thing I received was the dreaded orange drink for the glucose test.  Next time I go in, for my 28 week appointment, I will in fact have to drink this sugar water about which I’ve heard so much.  The final thing wasn’t so much an item as an event.  The receptionist booked me for my next, next appointment for 2 weeks after the 28 week one (instead of the usual one month).  Woah.  We’re doing that now, are we?

You guys.  I’m having a baby.

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On Gender

It’s funny, but I never expected gender reveals to be such a divisive issue.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Nobody has jumped down my throat for the decision for a surprise delivery, and nobody’s ever been caustic to me.  Still, it seems that there are two very divided camps when it comes to finding out baby’s gender.  The first camp seems to come from the planning angle- wanting to make sure they have specifically gendered nurseries, clothes, etc.  The second camp seems to come from the surprise angle- they look forward to having that big incentive in the final stages of labor.  I suppose it’s hard to be unbiased unless you’ve experienced it both ways, and even then it’s still an opinion.

I thought it might be interesting to share why I made the decision to keep the baby’s gender a secret (and why Mr. Cookie was kind enough to agree) and see what my friends think on the issue- either side.  So, here are my reasons for the surprise.  Of course, this in no way is meant to say I think my way is best.  It is just best for me.

Decor Many on the opposite side of the debate wonder at how I can do such things as get a nursery ready and buy clothes.  I’ve never been entranced by highly gendered rooms, either for babies, children, or adults.  I guess it’s most important to me that a space be functional.  Form can follow that.  For example, given the choice of pink paisley, blue sailboats, or a mixture of bright, cheerful colors and animals, I would choose the bright colors any day.  I can’t wait for the nursery to be finished and to be able to post pictures!  Look at these adorable bookends I ordered:

That’s a stock photo, as we have neither the bookshelf nor the books for them yet.  But how cute are they?  I am in love.

Clothing Surprisingly, I have a modest amount of clothing already.  Hand-me-downs and a couple personal purchases have certainly helped.  I’m not too worried about the colors my child is wearing and, while I will probably buy clothes after the baby is born (or, if friends who also had delivery surprises are any indication, will receive plenty of “gendered” clothes post birth), I am okay with blues and yellows and greens.  I even saw an awesome onesie in a boutique about a year back that was pink, and on the chest is said “What?  Boys can wear pink too!”  I kind of wanted it, even though I was not pregnant and had no reason to think I would ever actually even have a boy.  I’m still a little sad that I didn’t buy it.  My husband wears pink, and he looks really good in it.  Why couldn’t a son?  Of course, there is the excitement of gendered clothes.  Don’t think that I will keep my child in gender neutrals forever!  There are too many adorable sweater vests or polka dot tights to be worn.  I just don’t feel like I need to have my child’s entire first year of clothing purchased before s/he is here. Look at this adorable outfit I got for the baby’s coming home:

Big Items Back when I first started teaching, there was another teacher who was pregnant.  She had decided not to find out what she was having, and one of her reasons for it made a ton of sense to me.  I hadn’t given it a lot of thought up until then, but that sealed the decision in my mind.  Her thinking was that if you knew what you were having, people would be really tempted to buy you gender specific things- strollers, car seats, play gyms, swings, etc that you may or may not want to use with subsequent children who happened to be a different gender (she even knew people who had registered for gender neutral stuff but had been gifted very gendered stuff instead).  There are some things on my registry that are labeled as “boy” items, but I think they just happened to be gender neutral by my estimation.  Maybe I’m destined to have tomboys?  Or girly girls who resent being surrounded by “boy” things.  Probably the latter.  And, that’s okay.  I will take that in stride.  But I doubt my newborn is going to be offended that her bib (assuming she’s a girl) has an alligator on it and comes from the “boy” bib collection.

Name  I like the idea of having to come up with two names (check back when discussions have really begun in earnest and we’ll see if that’s still how I feel).  Either way, the baby’s name will be a secret until birth!

Announcement Finally, and this is the reason that really clinched it for me.  I am in love with the image of giving birth to the baby, having him or her placed on my chest, and having my husband announce the gender.  You can bet that will be part of my birth plan (at least the announcement part- if I have a c-section I realize they won’t be putting the baby on my chest).  I love the idea that Mr. Cookie will have such an important job as soon as the baby’s born.  I am very excited to hear from my own husband that first bit of information about our child.

 

Now, all of this said, I was one of the more obnoxious commenters on facebook a couple days ago when one of my friends was going in for her gender scan.  I surprised myself at how impatient I was!  And, honestly, I have no idea what we’ll decide to do with the next child.  Maybe since I was so adamant this time I’ll let Mr. Cookie decide next time.  I know it’ll be fun either way.

So, I’m really interested in hearing from my readers- did you find out, didn’t you?  If you didn’t, why not?  With future children, do you plan to find out?  What is your reasoning for finding out (or not)?  Do you ever feel like people just “don’t get it” when you tell them your decision (either way)?

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The Great Baby Pay Day

We all know that we live in a country that strongly endorses spending lots and lots of money (isn’t it patriotic or something?).  Thank you, Target, for getting your Valentine’s Day stuff out.  I was beginning to worry that I wouldn’t be able to buy Mr. Cookie a schmaltzy “be mine” card and matching gift bag in time for the holiday.  Nowhere does this seem to be more true than when it comes to babies.  Mr. Cookie and I put a lot of thought into registering.  After all, this is our first baby and we would like to be able to reuse whatever we get.  We’d also like to be able to use whatever we get.  We’d also like for me not to wind up on the show Hoarders (or in a mental institution screaming “I need order!”).  So, I did a bunch of research that included talking to new moms and checking books out of the library then put my research to use by scanning Craigslist for big items (huzzah $70 crib, $60 co-sleeper with leg extensions, sheets, and mattress protector included and $50 glider!) and beginning a registry.  There are definitely things on the registry that are not in the NEED category on the registry, but nothing prepared me for our trip to the big baby store.

We’d started a registry online, and were quite pleased with ourselves when we walked into Babies ‘R’ Us to finish it up by picking out some final things that we wanted to see in person.  We strode over to the registry desk, confidence personified, and asked the lady for a scanning gun.  20 minutes later, and armed finally with said gun and a “registering guide” that made my eyes go cross eyed, we stumbled away from the desk, lost and confused.  I mean, just look at the sheer magnitude of this list:

Did you know that the average baby shower guest purchases 5 items?  So, register for lots of lots of stuff to help those guests out!  Now, obviously you can’t read this list because there’s just so much of it and it’s teeny tiny.  Don’t worry, I will tell you some of the highlights.  You need to know that this is labeled the “must-haves” list.  I quiver to think of what the “really-wants” list would look like.  According to this list, you NEED:  wall hanging, decals, and wall border; window valance and switch plate cover; car seat toys (not to be confused with activity toys, cribs toys, stroller toys, or rattles); 1-2 rain covers (really, one wasn’t enough?  Or better yet, maybe I could just not take the stroller out when it’s raining??); 1-2 stroller netting(s) (where do we live?  Central America?); full size swing AND travel swing; mobile walker (umm… weren’t these deemed a safety hazard 20 gazillion years ago?); 3-6 cotton overalls (overalls!  My baby is a farmer and must be dressed like one every day of the week!)… the list goes on (and on and on and on).

I fear that I have the wrong mindset.  My child is clearly going to grow up deprived because we didn’t register for any of the things listed above.  Oh my god, you guys.  Do they sell economy packs of stroller rain covers and baby overalls?

But seriously, am I overreacting to this?  Is it really not that absurd?  Tell me, because my hormones have been wacky.  I was crying while planning my unit for Esperanza Rising because the story is just so.damn.beautiful.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, I had a theory going into the new year that as soon as we were in 2012, people would stop responding by saying “Oh, you’ve still got a ways to go” and instead start saying “Wow, that’s right around the corner” when finding out my due date (seriously, it’s the number one question people ask me these days).  I was totally right.  I’m nearly into double digits.  24 weeks=50-70% chance of survival, which is super crazy.  And also, super exciting.  Still, stay put, Stowaway!

And finally, for those of you who haven’t seen it via Facebook, here I am looking enormous.

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