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The Littlest Gamechanger

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On January 25, 2012, I found out I was pregnant. It wasn't exactly a surprise (I know how babies are made, you know), but it was very unexpected. We'd accepted long ago that babies weren't part of the plan. I had a hard time imagining a child coming home from the hospital, anyway. The only way I'd really imagined children coming into our family was through international adoption... if at all. But then there were two pink lines... and now we have a little game changer on its way.

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Telling

We were going to wait until 12 weeks to tell, but then my dentist found out (x-rays), and my hairdresser (after 5 years of naked hair I got some great color in December), and some people from Andrew's work (while making plans for the fall). Shortly after that I asked for water when a mixologist friend offered to make me a martini, and he assumed that could mean only one thing. We figured our parents should probably know, now that all of these random people do. And the roll out began.

It's been fun, a LOT of fun to tell people. The amount of enthusiasm other people respond with is.just.awesome. I feel like they have a lot more confidence in us than we have in ourselves, and I know that is going to come in handy.

I made little t-shirts for my brother's two kids: "Thing 1" and "Thing 2." I mailed those to them along with a photo of a teeny onesie I made that says "Thing 3", and on the photo I wrote "Coming This Fall." My SIL called me right away and was SO excited. SO SO excited. Their kids were born in 2010 and 2011, so the cousins will be close in age. And she's just been through all of this and is smart and thoughtful and they parent in ways we truly respect, so her advice on books and websites and what matters and what doesn't has been great. Sigh. (AND, bless her heart, she got the package on Monday while my brother was travelling, and waited until he got home on Thursday so he could open it himself. That woman can keep a secret.)

I made a little onesie that said "I <3 Pop" for my FIL. He thought I made it for him, or that I made it for my brother's kid and was giving it to him. The whole process of him realizing what it was would take too long to explain, but you have to take my word for it - hilarious. He'd totally given up on us and moved on to waiting for one of his married grandkids to make him a great grandfather. Fair enough. And funny. He called everybody on the earth as soon as we left his house... I'm surprised he didn't just randomly dial one of you!

I called my dad, who somehow guessed, which is the weirdest thing ever. My mom was in Canada with her phone off (I think I mentioned this in the other thread), but found out on Sunday night and told me to, "Get the Granny Room ready!" So, they're pretty happy. (I'll make them t-shirts, too. Seems like the right thing to do, after all?)

For almost everybody else I kept it simple. When we were ready to tell and we happened to be on the phone or meeting up, I'd simply answer a "What's new?" or "How are you?" with, "I'm good. I'm pregnant." Simple, to the point. What I love is when people are totally themselves. A few people said, "Are congratulations in order?" basically figuring out whether this was good news or a statement of fact - and it was both, but I love that they asked permission to be excited. Other people responded with the nicest things about parenting and us as parents that seemed so theoretical in the past, but are really just what we need to hear right now.

There are still a lot of people who we'll get around to telling eventually. I am especially struggling with talking to friends who've experienced long-term infertility and friends who've lost pregnancies. I want to do those things in the right way, be sensitive and not overly tragic, but recognize that this is painful news for some people. And I don't want to be flippant, because I know when I'm anxious I come across that way in conversation sometimes. I'll get around to it. There's time.

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Details

I'm due on 9/30/12. So far, that's the main detail. We met with our midwife and she is great, she suits us both perfectly. (Her day on rotation at the hospital is Thursday, and I decided to will my body to start laboring on a Wednesday so she can deliver the baby, ha!)

People seem very interested in whether we're going to find out the sex, and we don't plan to. I'm not into having a bazillion ultrasounds unless physicians want to monitor a problem. If we are told to get one around 20 weeks and we happen to find out if it's a boy or a girl, that's cool. The bedroom is already painted a lovely shade of blue, and in the limited baby window-shopping we've done we prefer the neutral items, anyway, so anatomy scans won't change that.

I am hoping for a natural delivery, and I am looking into a couple of the hypnobirthing home courses. Might as well put these childbearing hips of mine to good use! We looked into several places, and the hospital we selected is very supportive of natural laboring. They have specialists on staff for emergencies, or in case I change my mind about an epidural, but they don't push medication.

How I'm Feeling

I feel pretty good now. I was nauseous 24/7 for about 5 weeks, and now I still have other first trimester symptoms (unbelievable exhaustion, acne, etc.), but the nausea subsided. I do miss some of the forbidden foods, a little. (My morning coffee, that one is tough for me.) But I've changed my eating habits in the past, and it's just a temporary change. My pants are getting snug already, so a friend bought me a cute dress and I picked up some maternity pants and a belly band.

So far, my pregnancy feels mostly academic. There are signs and symptoms and positive tests, but I don't have the "woman fulfilled" sense of it. That's fine, that's not really my style anyway. I am happy about the pregnancy and looking forward to parenting, and that is sufficient for me.

Photos

I don't have anything to take pictures of yet, but I know the rules around here. I promise to indulge you when there is something to see. :)

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I don't have anything to take pictures of yet, but I know the rules around here.
I had to smile at this. How can you blame us?

I don't think I've ever read a more awww-enducing title to a baby journal, "The Littlest Game Changer". How precious! I wish you and AJ have a healthy baby. You guys are going to make such wonderful parents!

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Yay for a new journal! I'm so excited for you and so glad you shared all of this here. It's so wonderful that everyone is being so supportive and encouraging you both.

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Now for shopping. We're not buying anything for a long while, but I am starting to sort through what type of car seat situation suits us, how to organize sleeping arrangements in a way that might work, etc. Of course, you never know what a baby needs until you meet it, so I might be jumping the gun on all of this.

As for sleeping, we have a disproportionately large (and well ventilated) closet. We were thinking about clearing out some space in there for a crib and changing table for the first few months before moving the baby to its own room. I like the convertible cribs (turn into toddler beds, then convert to full beds), but we don't need another full bed in the house. Then I found mini cribs, which are apartment-friendly sizes, still fit a child up to 35 inches tall (which is, what, two years old?) and will convert to twin beds. Score! (Is two years old too young to put a kid in a bed with those safety shield thingies?)

This mini crib measures:

26.375 (back of back post to outer arch of front post) x 39 and 41 tall

59954238759381391_X01GJ8RA_f.jpg

For comparison, a full size crib that converts to a toddler, then full bed: 42H x 34.5W x 54.5L"

59954238759149131_eJaal2Mj_f.jpg

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I think it depends on the maturity of the child. My two oldest were in a toddler bed at 2 or just a little younger. I think a regular twin bed is fine as long as it has the rails.

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That is helpful Dee, thanks. I know some people rely on the crib to keep their kid contained at 5 in the morning, so that will be something to keep in mind when they're mobile. But if it's possible, I like this mini-crib to twin-bed plan. In theory.

(Everything right now is "in theory." And when it comes down to it, "in theory" will take a backseat to what the yard sales and Craig's List have to offer this summer.)

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Dana, I told you before but I am just over the moon for you and AJ. I know it sounds like the thing you say to every couple expecting, but I mean it so deeply when I say you and A are going to be great parents. I love how you are not all Ohh I can't wait to name my baby Caitlainlalalou Blue and buy HER a pink gucci onsie with ruffles (not that there's anything wrong with that). You seem genuinely happy to add to your family.

If you don't mind me asking, why could you never really see yourself getting prego, and adopting instead?

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Thank you so much, Lo. That means a lot to me.

I know there will probably be a pregnant-zilla moment or two in the next few months. It happens. But what surprises me the most is how totally myself I feel right now. It doesn't feel like an alien in growing inside of me. I don't have a sudden urge to blow my paycheck on onesies. AJ didn't start acting weird or treating me differently. He's the same, too. Our anxieties and stresses have changed, but only a little. In general, I just feel like not-pregnant me, only gassier and more bloated, and with new questions about life insurance. Oh, and now we stare at children and parents when we're in public like we're private eyes on stakeout.

Until recently, I hadn't imagined having kids at all, really. I babysat a ton when I was a teenager, and enjoyed it a lot. But for a long time, I just didn't see myself with children, and I'd started to think of us as a CF family. The only times I ever imagined raising children was when I was working with international kids. I spent time volunteering in an orphanage in India when I was in high school, I worked with a family who would host small children from developing countries while they were in the US for life-saving surgeries, and there were a few families in our church who adopted internationally. Those experiences have always registered with me a lot more than pregnancy and labor and infancy. I could relate to that process more, for some reason, it resonated more with me. I think it's like growing up not really imagining getting married, or maybe having a quiet beach ceremony if it ever happened, and then finding yourself happy to be planning a cathedral-style gala. Still fun, just not how you'd worked it out in your head at 12, or 24, even.

Don't get me wrong, I am so, so grateful for this pregnancy, and I wouldn't change it for anything. And I hope international adoption is still on the table for the future, depending on how many children we'd like to have.

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Love the title of your journal. I am so happy for you and AJ. I don't know a lot about pregnancy or babies but I will be here cheering you on!

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So Dana, you really found out by surprise from your dentist? or did you mean your dentist was the first to know?

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Marleen - Thanks!

Rachel - Ha! No, I just had a dentist appointment a few days after testing positive, and I told him when explaining why I did not want x-rays. And with my hairdresser, I cancelled my followup appointment to maintain the color she did in December (a rich brunette to cover the gray and some rockstar peekaboo blonde highlights), and she asked if everything was okay.

Oh, speaking of telling, I forgot some of my favorites: the two women who were my bridesmaids in our wedding. (Not the Jr. BM, she's a senior in HS and I'm not sure how she feels about boys...) Anyway, the first one I called up, she's pregnant, too, and she said, "It's about time! I've got a bunch of stuff in my basement for you and I've just been waiting for this phone call!" She's due in June with her 2nd. The other I went out for coffee with, and we both poured 1/2 decaf, which is out of character for us. We sat back down and I just blurted out, "I'm pregnant." She said, "What?" I was perplexed, I definitely didn't mumble. "Um... I'm pregnant?" She stared at me for a second and then said, "Me, too." They'd only found out 2 weeks before and hadn't told anyone yet, so the "What?" was just giving her a moment to work out the consequences of sharing. She's due in October. This convergence in time makes me very happy.

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Oh I see, because finding out at the dentist would've been a funny way to find out, but cute nonetheless. I bet quite a few people find out that way too.

How cute about the coffee news. I somehow have a comic visual of that moment.

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LOVE the title and am so excited you started this. I had to laugh at how you answered most of the questions in order..lol

A mini crib is perfect. The baby only needs so much room. My grandson has a full crib in my room and we have a pack & play that he seems to feel more comfortable in. He slept in a bassinette for almost 5 months when he finally realized he could pull himself up on it.

I must say I smiled at a blue room because I think it is a neutral color for babies.

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That about settles it, then, I am pro-mini crib. If I find a good deal on a pack-n-play, I'll keep that in my study for naps. From what I've read, it's a good idea to be flexible about what kind of sleeping arrangements a baby needs, so I wouldn't mind having a back up.

Maria, I agree. (But I also saw a pink blanket with green dinosaurs that made me think "boy" because it looked like one of those preppy LaCoste shirts from the 80s.) I have a feeling you would like all the blue in the guest room that will eventually be baby's room.

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Oh I see, because finding out at the dentist would've been a funny way to find out, but cute nonetheless. I bet quite a few people find out that way too.

How cute about the coffee news. I somehow have a comic visual of that moment.

What a way to find out! You're probably right, though, I bet stuff like that happens all the time.

The coffee shop moment was sweet. Our conversation reminded me why I'm so grateful for her friendship.

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I love the coffee shop conversation. I've never owned a crib with any of my girls. The first two used the same pack n play and I got a new pack n play for Eva. They all slept in them until they were moved to their toddler beds.Those mini cribs are so cute.

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Just a pack'n'play? Deirdre, that sounds like a great idea to me. Especially since I will want to keep them slightly imprisoned, at least until I know they can make it down the stairs safely on their own. (The crib is cute, though, I agree. It's takes some effort to resist the temptation to be sucked in by cute!)

On another note, I had a small epiphany last night: When someone gives me unsolicited advice, a lot of times when they say, "You Should," they mean, "I'm so glad I did," or "I really wish I had..." I think it will be a little easier to graciously accept some of the things people say if I can keep in mind that advice is rarely about the receiver, and almost always about the giver.

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Book Reviews:

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I liked this a lot. It is bitchy, but it's honest. And it reveals not only the research around food, but the politics and power struggles around food, too. For example, Milk is "good for you" because the dairy industry says so, not because milk is objectively good for you. It's basically a remake of the original, only with more pregnancy bits, so if you've read the first one you don't need this one.

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This is informative in a step-by-step sort of way. So far, I like it better than "What to Expect While You're Expecting," it feels less bossy and judgy. (And I got plenty of that from "Skinny Bitch.") It has helpful illustrations, and works a lot like a textbook. Of course, I made the mistake of reading the section on everything that might go wrong all in one night, that wasn't a good idea. But what's great is it presents percentages and likelihoods in a clear manner, so I shouldn't worry about that stuff.

hypnobirthing_mongan_birthing.jpg

I just started reading this, and I like it so far. I'm going to have to work more on a meditative version of myself, but this could help. A lot. It's very practical, and not as mushy as I expected.

origins-book-image.png?w=418

My favorite pregnancy book so far. It's part-memoir, part science-review. It reminds me a little bit of a Michael Pollan book in its structure and narration. What she learned about prenatal development is so interesting, especially the science behind rules we take for granted (e.g., re. fish, listeria, etc.). It's also fascinating how prenatal conditions may have a life-long consequences. She manages to relay this information without laying on a ton of maternal guilt, a delicate balance.

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Yep, just the pack n play. It's nice because it was easy to move to different rooms if I needed to. I've always gotten the kind with the bassinet at the top too so it's easy to get them in and out when they are little. We didn't have room for a crib the first...well...three times, lol so I never got one. There were so many cute ones though, and I always wanted one while I was pregnant, but then we just didn't and I really didn't miss it. Eva is still in her Pack N Play. I obviously had to get a new one last month, but I bought a 40 dollar one at Walmart, and it seems just as good as the expensive one I got before. Although, the new one doesn't have the bassinet part, because I didn't need it.

Those books all look great. I never really read any pregnancy books. Oh, I lied, I think I read part of what to expect when you're expecting once, and I've read Dr. Sears Birth & pregnancy books.

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I never read any books simply because I felt it would cause the onset of worries & hysteria for me. I focused on natural childbirth only. I did research assisted birth meds incase they had to be used.

I did however watch every pregnancy exercise video. Emphasis on the WATCH lol. I admired everyone of them women.

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Dana, you can try all you want but you're not going to give me baby fever. I'm just letting you know..

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D - The more I think about it, the more this sounds like a really practical plan. I think the ones with the bassinet and changing station seemed overwhelming at first, but if they end up replacing a bassinet, crib, and changing table altogether, then... why not? I will float this with AJ (who is all consolidating purchases).

I did however watch every pregnancy exercise video. Emphasis on the WATCH lol. I admired everyone of them women.

:rofl:

Rachel - You just wait until a post a cute onesie or something...

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