Friday, August 19, 2011

Hormonal Scale

Escalation level
The Situation
How I responded or handled it
What was really going on in my head
Someone says “This is nothing to get upset about” when clearly it upsets me.
Silent treatment, lifelong grudge
I’m a raging river of hormones and now they are all directed at you. 
It’s 100+ degrees, AGAIN
Avoided the heat, banished to the indoors, drink lots of water, make Hubby to the grocery shopping
I am going to throat punch every person who asks me if I am hot.
Husband refers to maternity leave as “vacation”.
You are kidding right?  You consider labor and newborn care vacation?
IDIOT!  Only a man would make an insensitive comment like that!
Doctor says “You’re planning on getting an epidural, right?” after I felt pain during an exam.
Yes, more than likely I will though I plan to make that decision after I am in labor.
No uterus, no opinion.  You have no idea how this feels so zip it.   You just put your hand way up in my vajaja and you think that felt good?  IT DIDN’T!
Someone says “Boy you are REALLY big!”
Smile and say “Yes, that will happen at 38/39/40 weeks pregnant”
Silently add Jackass to the end of that sentence.  At least I have an excuse for my gut. 
I have outgrown yet another maternity shirt.
Avoid the mirror, thrown the shirt into the maternity storage bin.
#!&*%!  shirt, must have shrunk in the dryer.
Yet another person comments on my swollen ankles.
It’s nothing new, been happening for 5 months.  Yes, I am drinking water.  Yes, I am staying off my feet as much as possible.
Does everyone need to point out my flaws right now?   I am aware I have cankles, stop making me feel bad about it!
Random stranger gives you the pity look or uses the phrase “Oh bless your heart!”
Ignore them, continue waddling by.
Give me a break, I’m pregnant not dying!
Husband asks why are you crabby/crying/tired?
Said between gritted teeth “Because I am pregnant”.
Not just pregnant but super pregnant, with swollen ankles, low tolerance, highly hormonal and carrying 50 LBS of pregnancy weight. 
The daily question from a work colleague is “You’re still here?”
Yes, I had always planned to work up till my due date. 
Back off buddy, I barely got out of bed today to drag myself to work.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Planning for Labor

Planning for labor almost sounds like a crazy person, right?  How can you really "plan" for labor?  There are so many things that one will not be able to prepare for.  And as a new mom, who has yet to experience labor there is so much I will not be expecting, but heck, I need to plan anyway.  If you know me at all, then you know I have a plan, despite my serious learning curve.  I have read the books, taken the childbirth class, toured the hospital, asked questions, and made a game plan so that to the best of my (inexperienced) ability I can help plan for labor.

And not even one plan, but multiple plans to help account for the many routes my labor may take.  There is the If my water breaks plan, If I go into labor at work plan, If I go into labor while Chet is at work plan, If I am alone and in labor plan, and of course the regular old If everything goes perfect and I am in labor plan (that one is my favorite, it involves releasing butterflies and what not).  I accept these plans may go right out the window when I am in the middle of it but I feel better knowing I have thought it through. 

And as the mother, the person who has grown and carried this life for the last 37 weeks (and counting), who now is responsible for pushing out this little baby, I feel there are lots of things that get to be MY CALL on the day I am in labor.  I am not talking about unreasonableness, but what I am referring to is the normal things that can be controlled.  I am not demanding God provide certain weather, or that Reagan arrives on a specific day, or even for a perfect painless experience.  I am talking about making decisions like who is with me during labor, who comes to the hospital, and who stays at my home.  I have asked that only my husband and one other person be with me at the hospital during labor.  My Mama flies to Oklahoma on the 31st so if she is here in time it will be Chet and her in the delivery room and if Reagan comes before that date then my friend Julie has graciously agreed to come hold my hand instead.  After all, labor is a very personal thing.  It will be a time when  I will literally be very exposed and hence makes me feel vulnerable and open.  I don't want to share that deeply personal and painful experience with many people, only a couple of people I feel close to that I know can handle the situation and respect my wishes.  So with ONLY Chet and Julie or Mom with me, I like this situation and I am comfortable with "the plan".  So I asked that no one else be present at the hospital while I am in labor.  Why would it be helpful for someone to just sit and wait for me to push out a baby?  I wanted to avoid the stress of knowing someone was just waiting around for me.  Especially considering that labor could be a long time, hours and hours! 
And of course if people are waiting in the lobby, I know my husband will leave MY bedside to visit with them and give up details.  Just thinking about that makes me want to cry.  He would leave me, the person trying to have his daughter, to update others?!?!  That is not OK, but would undoubtedly happen if people were sitting close by waiting to hear what was happening, especially if they have been waiting a long time.

I gave the OK for all sorts of visitors after baby was born, despite the fact that I am likely to be out of my comfort zone after the birth.  But I agreed to let family and friends visit us and meet the baby after she was born.  Key word; AFTER.  This isn't too much to ask, right?  I should be able to set boundaries that make me feel the most at ease and least likely to cause undue stress on that very important day.  

And here is the real point I guess I am trying to make: It is my decision to make.  I shouldn't let my husband decide or even let family or friends push me around based on what they want on my labor day.  Who is the one going through a very personal and private experience? Who will be in pain?  Who will be doing all the work? Oh right, that would be me.  So that makes it my call.  That makes it completely my decision.  And frankly, I don't care how others feel about it, this is what I want and if you really cared about me you would put my needs first on that day and not push your own agenda.  Of course I want to share my joy and love of meeting baby with others but that can be easily done in a way that makes things easier on me. 

So do I want others be a part of the big day - yes!  Absolutely!  But if you really can't respect the wishes of the mother to give her space until after the birth then your making things harder on her instead of participating in the joyful occasion. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ready for Reagan

Pregnancy nesting:  To act as if every detail about your home, nursery, fridge and husband must be ready for the looming arrival of a new baby.  Nesting may or may not be linked to increased hormones and be combined with frenzied cleaning, shouting, or crying.  Typically nesting is demonstrated during the 3rd trimester when actually doing the nesting is very difficult with an enormous bump and swollen feet however mothers do not seem to be detered from this activity despite it's challenges.  Nesting normally includes phrases like "I need to make another trip to Target for more __________" or "Where is my label maker?" and definitely "Honey, can you help me for a second, and bring your hammer/drill/ladder?". 
Warning:  Nesting may cause excessive organizing, deep cleaning and increased need to purchase storage containers in numerous sizes and shapes.  All husbands should adopt the "yes dear" attitude and simply do as they are told.  The only cure for nesting seems to be a completed project list.  The phase will pass, eventually....

I am pretty impressed with the final outcome of the nursery.  I was lucky enough to be able to start with a blank slate, the nursery was an empty room with tan walls and a dresser.  When I was 20 weeks pregnant my sister Juli came down for a visit and I promptly put her to work painting the room with a green and white stripe.  Next was some basic furniture that came from yard sales, hand me downs, and finished off with a new crib from my Mama.  I am not a big fan of the new ornate style of cribs and I wanted something with a lighter finish that felt more casual and country, the one I found online at Target was a perfect balance!  And oddly enough the crib is called the Reagan Design, guess it was the crib for us!  The rocking chair was a gift to my own mother when I was born and I am going to use that area to nurse and snuggle my little one at night.  The rocking chair and the night stand made a long trip in a uhaul with my brother from PA to OK in January.  It was a big trip for him to make but I am thankful to have furniture that has such sentimental value for me in the nursery.    

Our theme was pink and green and a little bit of Tinkerbell charm. (Chet calls the room the "Pink Nightmare" due to all the pink clothes that keep coming in.).  Pink curtains, bedding, and changing pad balance out the green walls and I love the addition of the pink lamp and hanging globe.  And of course the quilt my Mama made pulls all our themes and colors together perfectly with pinks and greens and tinkerbell fabric.  I am looking forward to wrapping Reagan up in it and the quilt is big enough to also use on her toddler bed.  I bet she will get lots of use out of it!  I also added a ribbon of cards above the crib that I saved from my baby showers.  Isn't that a great way to share the love from all our friends and family!  I was also lucky enough to have a friend help with some minor electrical work by adding an outlet and a switch for the lamp.  It made a big difference in the functionality of the room. 

The old mirror came from an estate sale and is quite the antique.  I added the phrase "All you need is faith and trust and little bit of Pixie dust".  Great way to bring my country style into the room.

The last step was putting together the pack and play with the bassinet on top which will go into the master bedroom for the first few weeks when Reagan comes home.  Thanks to some help from Rachel who made this assembly look easy its also ready to go!  

Baby clothes are washed.  Diapers and stacked and ready.  Crib sheets are tucked in.  Batteries are installed.  Monitor is plugged in.  My hospital bag is packed.  Car seat is by the front door.  Check, check, check.....

Now we just need.... a baby.  :)