Awhile ago, I wrote about what I *thought* I might do as a parent, knowing it was all apt to change once I actually became one… So now, with one week of experience behind me, how am I doing? Let’s see…

  • Breastfeeding – Yes. I had some worried about this one – have read/heard horror stories about cracked nipples and incredible pain, low/no supply, etc etc. I was prepared for it to not work, despite the fact that my mom assured me that she had been a champion breastfeeder (or as she put it, “I never had to pump – I’d nurse the baby on one side and hold a bottle under the other, and it would fill right up! That’s how much milk I had!”) … Turns out, genetics for the win! Breastfeeding has been going incredibly well, the only hitch being- yup – oversupply. I, too, seem to be leaking bottles of milk a day (and how many shirts did I have to change yesterday? I lost count…) The downside to this? Baby M loooooves the boob (YAY!) and haaaaaaaates anything else – bottles, pacifiers, etc. Which – not so bad, right? Except – I have to be away for 3 days next week (just during the day, for job orientation, can’t be missed) and so… Hmmmm… We’ll see how THAT goes. (I’ve been trying to pump and give her one bottle a day, just to get her used to it, but so far it’s a no go)
  • Work – well… it’s been a week. So, yeah. Not yet. I have orientation next week for 3 days and then another 7ish weeks off… Taking things one day at a time, and we’ll have to see how next week plays out.
  • Pumping – along with breastfeeding, this has been a breeze. 4oz in 10 minutes (both boobs at once)? Sure thing!
  • Cloth diapers – not yet. We did one diaper, once. It worked just fine, but… it’s still a bit big, M’s little umbilical stump still hasn’t fallen off, and well… I’m just anxious about this one. I want to give it my best shot, which I know is not now, when I’m worried about the stump, the fact that the diapers are seemingly the same size as the baby, etc etc. SO – we’re waiting for now. Will try again soon…
  • Sleep – now, this is the big one. We have a nursery with a crib and a daybed (for guests or sleepy mommy naps). We have a bassinet bed thingy in our bedroom. And baby M? Sleeps like a champ in either during the day (she’s on a great 2-2.5 hour schedule – nap, eat, change, play for a few minutes, nap again…) but NOT at night. Nuh uh. Not at all. For the first few nights, she was permanently attached to the boob (we’re talking asking to eat every 30 minutes)… More recently, it’s been about every 1 hour. Which – yeah. Not so much with the whole sleeping thing, in either location… And I hate putting her down, lying down myself, only to have to get up 15-20 minutes later, waking the husband up each time (he’s back to work now, and as baby only wants boob, is not getting up with us… Though he *does* wake up enough to announce it each time she poops in the middle of the night, as it is still quite a loud and shocking sound) Last night, I finally found a sleep solution – ending up sleeping with her on my chest (not boob! just lying on my chest!) as I sat in the nursing chair in her nursery… NOT an ideal solution, but it actually allowed me to get quite a bit of sleep last night. I never planned to co-sleep (and we won’t in our bed – we have a dog who still loves to jump up on it and think of it as his territory…) and hope to wean her of this behavior soon enough, but for now, I’m taking what sleep I can get…
  • Sleep training – yes, please! I know she is too little now, but as soon as we can, we’re gonna be working with this little one on letting mommy sleep in her own bed again!
  • Reading – haha, at the moment, it’s more her nursing while I curl up with a good book. I’ve read some chapters of whatever I’m reading out loud to her a few times… :)
  • Working out – obviously not yet, as it’s only been a week and I had a c-section… That being said, I am feeling GREAT and have been out and walking (short distances) every day since I got home, and I *did* leave the hospital a day early, since both M and I were doing so well… So I have high hopes for this one! (AND our building is putting in a gym this summer! SWEET!)
  • Outside – yes! We’ve been getting out daily for short walks, not much yet but as she grows I plan for more!
  • Mom friends – hmmmm… Not so much yet (but we’re still mostly at home) … BUT! I did just find out two of my non-mom friends (i.e. people I am already friends with, who do not yet have children) are pregnant!!! (And both due this year in Nov/Dec, so babies will be somewhat similar in age) So I’m excited to have some friends who I can share this experience with…
  • Stress – I am basically a chill person, and most people couldn’t believe how relaxed I was throughout the pregnancy… Thus far, that’s continuing! (Except I *do* freak out when the husband wants to lie with the baby AND the dog  in our bed … Sorry, but I have to draw the line somewhere, and she’s only a week old without a mature immune system, so no! Also, the dog, while he’s adjusted well to the baby and seems very protective of her, is about 8X her size and weight at the moment, and can still get super excited without notice – so visions of him stepping on her *do* flash across my mind from time to time!)

So yeah, that’s about where I am right now! :)

“We know time is relative, but with a happening like this, we’re so much more aware of it.  A week for us adults, a lifetime for M.  Just a week ago – - – but so much has happened.  Our whole world has changed.  Another little person exists.  You’re a family, not a couple. Blessings on the three of you.” -My grandmother

 

9 days ago, our whole world changed when little M joined our family. Our beautiful daughter, who loves to cuddle, feed, and make perplexed faces at her mom and dad…

I’ve always been more of a morning person, and recently, have been unable to sleep past 6am… This is a combination of light, internal timing, and pregnancy (I think). But for the past two days? 4-frickin’-AM! WTF?!?!?!

I mean, it’s not like I’m gonna be losing any sleep in the near future with the advent of a new little baby, right? Oh, wait…

Sure, I love me me-time in the early morning – it’s been wonderful to have the apartment virtually to myself (sleeping husband and dog isn’t exactly real lively company) to relax and slowly develop a morning routine (check email, read through blog posts, check facebook, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, read a few chapters in a book…) This is definitely one of the best parts of my day, and I’m loving that I have this time (for the past 2 years, seeing 6AM was also routine, but I was typically already at work – or on my way there! – at this time…) – it will be hard to give up in just a few months when I do have to return to the working world. But there is a difference between a nice, relaxing early morning and a “why-the-f*ck-am-I-up-so-early” one. 4AM vs. 6AM, if you will.

Because it is now 6AM, I have a good 1.5hours til anyone else around these parts is awake, aaaaaaand… I’m done. All my relaxing early morning reading, finished. I also included the bonus of requesting more books from the library. And catching up on all my emails. So… now what?

Sure, it’s not such a terrible dilemma. But… I *do* wish I could have one really good sleep-in before baby girl comes home, because I know it won’t be happening for a good few years after she does!

Ah, well. Off to read some more (another thing I’m loving about this time – knowing it will likely soon be gone for a very long time, I have immensely enjoyed my reading time, and have been devouring books aplenty, both new delights and old favorites!)

In the past few weeks, everything has changed… My easy pregnancy, while still easy by pretty much anyone’s standards, has decided to take a stand and say “I may be easy, but I am still a damn PREGNANCY, lady!”  Which means that I have finally slowed down (no more carrying mattresses home from IKEA for me while bystanders look on in dismay! … But I was only, oh, 7 months pregnant then) … Still have the carpal tunnel (and I have a new appreciation for thumbs!), have perhaps started to waddle, and with the recent onset of actual summer weather, I now have (slightly) swollen hands and feet. Oh, yes! The joys of being pregnant!

Not that I am complaining, oh no! And really, what do I have to complain about? Like I said, EASY pregnancy. I am extremely LUCKY, and I know it! But just because in this heat I am trying to stay indoors and drink as much water as possible, which means that, yes, I *do* get slightly bored on occasion, let’s go through the “typical” or “not so uncommon” pregnancy symptoms, and whether or not I’ve had the joy of their experience (also so I can look back when my brain has been fogged by new baby bliss, and actually remember!)

FIRST TRIMESTER/Early pregnancy symptoms:

The “duh, of course” ones:

  • Missed or altered period
  • Positive pregnancy test results

The “yes, indeed!” ones:

  • Just a “feeling” you are pregnant (this was my very first sign, as this wasn’t an entirely intentional pregnancy, and yet I just couldn’t shake the feeling…)
  • Fatigue (Oh my, YES! There was a month there I was sleeping 10+ hours a night and still needing 2 hour naps in the afternoon! … Overall, this lasted perhaps 1.5-2 months?)
  • Morning Sickness/Nausea and vomiting (Oddly enough, I was never nauseous – but I DID vomit… Just went straight for the money, I guess. Not always in the morning, but more freqently then. I’d say I was vomiting 2-3 times per week for maybe 2-3 months? Usually only once a day, and felt fine right before and fine right after… Not the most pleasant of times, but not horrible, either)
  • Food aversions (For a coffee-monster like me, it was definitely odd to not only not be drinking coffee, but to not be WANTING it, either!)

The “uh, maybe?!?!” ones:

  • Frequent Urination (Indeed, I was peeing a lot during this time. I was also drinking a LOT more water than usual – a combination of wanting to be sure I was well hydrated, a rotation that allowed me to carry along a water bottle, and well, a rotation that was b-o-r-i-n-g so drinking water was actually something (fun? ish?) to do… So I’m not sure if it was the pregnancy, the water, or a combination of the two)
  • Lower back pain (Well, yes. But I also have chronic lower back pain from an injury. So… perhaps not?)

The “nope, not so much” ones:

  • Breast Tenderness (Sorry, nope. No different than what happens when I normally get my period)
  • Dizziness or fainting (No. Just no.)
  • Food cravings (Nope. This is one that seems to be of interest to many people, as I am a vegetarian of long-standing, and before getting pregnant kept hearing “you’ll want meat when you’re pregnant! just you wait!” and now, when pregnant, have people asking “soooo… do you crave meat?” The answer – no. No, I don’t. And didn’t. If I *DID*, I would eat it – I do believe in listening to your body! – but I never did. No cravings at all… Well, none beyond the typical seasonal ones – I was eating a lot more soup in the winter, am eating a lot more fresh fruits now that it’s warm. But that’s normal for me, so not exactly a pregnancy symptom!)
  • Sensitivity to Aromas (Not that I’ve noticed…)
  • Heartburn and constipation (Thankfully no! Not AT ALL, throughout the entire 9ish months! WOOHOO!)
  • Mood swings and irritability (I don’t think so. No one has said anything, including my husband. But you’ll have to ask him to be 100% sure ;)
  • Higher than normal body temperature (Can’t say I actually took my temperature, so I have no idea…)
  • Discharge (Nope)
  • Implantation bleeding (Again, nope)
  • Bloating and weight gain (No bloating, and no more weight gain than is to be expected while growing a baby!)

 

SECOND TRIMESTER:

This is usually thought to be the easiest trimester, and indeed, it was for me! Not that the first was bad – other than the raging sleepiness, I really did breeze through! – but this one? Was AWESOME. Other than an itty-bitty baby belly (that no one even noticed til I was 7 months along!) it was hard to tell I was pregnant (I mean, physically. Mentally and emotionally? OF COURSE I knew!)

The few “symptoms” I had:

  • End of morning sickness (Yup – I DID stop vomiting! YAY!)
  • Breast changes (I’ll give myself this one, they did get a bit bigger and become a tiny bit more sensitive)
  • Nosebleeds and Bleeding Gums (No nosebleeds, but yes, bleeding gums. Not badly, but some…)

And the “Nope! Not me!” ones:

  • Back pain (Amazingly, pregnancy has helped relieve a lot of my chronic back pain – all the hormones help loosen up your ligaments and tendons, and my pain has gone WAY down! YAY for unexpected side effect!!!)
  • Pelvic ache/Hip pain (Nope)
  • Stretch marks/Skin changes (Luckily, no!)
  • Constipation and Hemorrhoids (Again, very luckily – and thankfully- no!)
  • Carpal Tunnel (Not during the 2nd trimester!)
  • Yeast infections/UTIs (Something women are more prone to in pregnancy… Luckily, I have NEVER been prone to either, and continued that trend throughout! YAY!)

 

THIRD TRIMESTER (where I am now!)

The “yes, indeed!” symptoms:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (This showed up a little while ago now, so will have been present for the last, oh 6 weeks of this pregnancy? ANNOYING!)
  • Pelvic ache and hip pain (I’m torn about whether I really have this or not; if I walk for too long, then yes, the baby’s head on my pelvis is uncomfortable. And every other night or so, I wake up and find that one of my hips aches – but moving it, even just a little, relieves the ache. So… sort of. I guess.)
  • Difficulty Sleeping (Another “sort of” – I am not fatigued, but have no trouble falling asleep. It’s just that once asleep, I am waking up every 2-3 hours, all night long. For the past, oh, 3 weeks or so? Largely due to the above symptoms – carpal tunnel and occasional hip ache – and the one below – frequent urination. But really it’s not too bad – I wake up, shift around or go pee, lie back down, and fall back asleep. I am not over-tired, do not feel like I am missing my rest, etc etc. So, yes, I do have difficulty sleeping, but no, it’s not affecting me in any adverse way. I’m told these frequent awakenings are good prep for life with baby, and that’s what I’m hoping for!)
  • Frequent Urination (Yes. Just yes.)
  • Vaginal Discharge (Annoyingly, yes)
  • Swelling (This was a no until a few days ago, when the weather turned. Now it is a yes. Hands and feet. Ugh)

 

The “eh, maybe?!?!” symptoms:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions (I have periods when my uterus definitely tightens – and I can feel it! – but no pain/cramping/etc. And these have been going on quite awhile – I remember them as early as early April – and I’m just not sure if they are Braxton Hicks or something else. Whatever they are, they are not painful, or annoying, or worrisome, so… eh)
  • Shortness of Breath (I haven’t noticed this, particularly – it hasn’t bothered me – but my husband has pointed out on occasion “wow, you are really breathing heavily!”)

 

The “nope, nuh uh” symptoms:

  • Fatigue (Not even with the disrupted sleep!)
  • Back pain (Still much better than pre-pregnancy! YAY!)
  • Constipation and Hemorrhoids (Still in the clear, WOOHOO!)
  • Heartburn (Nope!)
  • Spider veins or varicose veins (Nuh uh!)

 

And that, folks, is the list of the symptoms I do – and do not – have! So you can see – all in all, a fairly easy journey from “twinkle-in-your-eye” to “she’s-so-adorable!” (hopefully!)

 

Countdown is now 5 days til we meet the baby girl!!!

 

Well… I survived this past weekend!

A whirlwind recap of a whirlwind weekend would go something like this: my parent’s arrive Thursday afternoon and come over to drop off baby gear, say hello to me and the puppy, and somehow acquire a ticket in a parking spot I see in use every single day (sorry, Mom and Dad!) before heading out to Queens and “their” hotel in the city (which has free off-street parking – a huge perk!) … my husband’s parents arrive Thursday night and settle in to our spare bedroom/nursery before we head out for a quick dinner and then home for bed … somewhere in all this, my sister also arrives in the city, but she is staying with my brother, and so I don’t get to see her yet :(

Friday morning, I am up at my usual time (6am or so … WISH I could sleep in, but alas, internal alarms aren’t as easily reset as those resting on our bedside tables) and enjoy a few hours to myself before anyone else in the apartment is up for the day … Eventually, everyone is up and eating breakfast and doing a variety of things, and I get to go pick my sister up from the subway station – YAY! … arrive back at the apartment to find the husband’s family out, so I get to enjoy time alone with my sister (PERFECT!) and then the two of us go out to eat as the rest wander back in … After lunch, it’s time to decide what to wear (note: made the wrong choice. 8 months pregnant + velvet graduation robe = does NOT need tights to stay warm) wit the help of my sister, then off across the park to graduation! … Meet up with my family, get stuck with the rest of the graduates by accident so can’t spend more time with them (argh!), and then sit through an interminable ceremony full of “interesting” speeches (eh, not so much… and just a note: the colon is NOT part of the upper GI tract, nor is there such a thing as  “metatastic”, as cool as the word may sound) … Walk across the stage – TWICE! – sweating and grumbling … Until finally the ceremony is over, I can remove the robes and try to fan off the pools of sweat that have accumulated underneath, and make my escape! … Back to the apartment, whole family in tow, to meet up with the few who didn’t make it to the mind-numbing speeches … Out to dinner (mmmm… Thai!) and then home again, to say good-nights and go to bed

Saturday morning was another lovely early few hours of peace for me, followed by the eventual wakefulness of the husband’s family and setting out on our adventure down in Union Square… Wandered through the Farmer’s Market, where we met up with my parents … Wandered through Babies R Us, where his dad took delight in trying to buy us everything in sight, and succeeding in buying maybe half of what he wanted … The off the girls go, to my New York baby shower!

The shower, I must say, was lovely – my sister and sister-in-law did a great job of knowing me/listening to me, and did everything just as I could have wanted – small, friendly, and with as little focus on ME as possible ;) We all enjoyed an amazingly delicious vegan lunch paired with yummy tea (it was held in a tea house!) while chatting and having fun, and then I opened my amazing presents (seriously! amazing! lovely! and very, very thoughtful!) … Perfect!

From there, I went home with my mom, mother-in-law, and sister… I had hoped that we might still have time to go out and do something, but – that wasn’t in the cards. Apparently, what was in the cards: building all the baby stuff … Stroller, swing, mobile, etc … fun???? eh, not so much… though my father-in-law certainly thought so (my sister, no) … Eventually my sis decided to head back to my brother’s (since the entertainment of watching guys struggle to build things while ignoring the manuals was wearing thin – for all of us) and then the rest of us eventually headed out to dinner (mmmm – pizza!) before my parent’s went back to their hotel and we went back to the apartment, to read and rest and go to bed.

Sunday morning, everyone was leaving – my parents driving home, my sister catching an early flight … By noon, the in-laws also departed for their flight, and finally, finally, we had the apartment back to ourselves.

**********

Now – some thoughts on all of this… (And the reason behind the title)

1. The main events of the weekend? My graduation, and my baby shower (OK, “our” baby shower, but it was just girls, so… mostly mine!). So, um, WHY was MY family staying in a hotel, and HIS family with us? Good question. Originally, the plan was for both parents to stay elsewhere, and my sister to stay with us – a plan I was very excited for, as I never get to see her enough, and wanted some good girly time with her. Except… Then his parents invited themselves to stay with us. No questions, just “we’re doing it.” Now – don’t get me wrong – I love his parents, I love seeing them and even love having them stay with us (mostly), but – COME ON! This is MY weekend (sort of), so – shouldn’t *I* get to decide?!?! But, no. Because I don’t want to start a war with them, and really? In the scheme of things? This is not a big deal.

I really do think it comes down to something familial, or cultural – my parents would never have thought of staying with us this weekend, they would have felt it too much an imposition (they have stayed with us at other times in the past, and will again in the future – just not when there is so much going on, and they know I/we may need our space and rest) ; his parents, meanwhile, stay with us each and every time they come, and would never even think of getting a hotel to stay at, no matter what is going on around them. Like I said, just a difference in viewpoint. And I know that, and accept that, and really, it’s fine. It’s just that sometimes, I need to blow off some steam… Especially after having my home invaded for 4 days!!!

2. On very much the same track, guess what their new plan is??? When baby girl is born (2.5 weeks! GAH!!!) my parents are, of course, coming – but will stay with my brother. My sister is coming, as well (which, since she lives across the country, is AMAZING and LOVELY and I cannot tell you how much I love her!!!), and her husband – but he’s working it so he has business to do here on the trip, so they will get a hotel and write it off as a business expense. His parents? Will likely not make it for the actual day of the birth, due to unchangeable commitments they had already made (baby girl is scheduled to arrive a week early, which I don’t think they were expecting) – but they WILL come as soon as they possibly can, likely the day I am to leave the hospital. And? I highly suspect that they will be (wanting to) stay with us then, as well.

Now, I know what they are thinking – because my mother-in-law said this to me enough times this past weekend – which is, I will need someone to help me during this time. In fact, in their culture, the new mother is not supposed to do ANYTHING for a month after birth (including taking a shower – ew!) … And I was told that if I were to be giving birth back in their country, they would be putting me up in this swanky birthing center where the mom and baby stay for a month after birth, the mom with her own attendant (servant?) and the baby with her own nurse, each getting individual care and, you know, being waited on hand-and-foot. Which? Doesn’t sound half bad, to be honest. But! It’s not exactly the culture here, and not exactly my personality to be able to lounge around for that long… So… Yeah. But, that brings us to the point – they want to stay here so that they can help me/us. Which, on the surface, is totally awesome.

But?!?!?! Let’s think about this for a moment. We live in NYC. In an apartment. A small one. It has 2 bedrooms (with 2 doors! WOOT! the only thing that makes any of this even remotely possible and not totally sending me into pulling-out-my-hair spasms of agony), 1 bathroom, 1 kitchen, and a small living/dining/everything else area. They will arrive the DAY I GET RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL. As in, before I get back to my own apartment myself. So – NO time for me, my husband, our daughter (and our dog) to just be there, ourselves, a family… NO time for me to adjust to being a mother out of the hospital, on my own …

Now, I am not sure where this is going. What our decision will be. What will happen. I imagine, if they plan to stay only a little while (2-3 days?) I can – and will – allow it. For the sake of the family. Because I know their intentions are beyond good. Because, in the end, this is one of those compromises one makes. But if it emerges that the stay is longer than this – well, then, I may just blow my top. Because mama needs her space, dammit!

**********

I woke up yesterday morning at 7am – a full hour later than I am used to, given the *LOVELY* carpal tunnel that I’ve developed and which is in the habit of waking me up to numb/painful hands every 2 hours or so all night long – and took the puppy for a nice morning walk. When we got home, he shot back into bed with the husband, while I checked email and played on the computer. Also had hand-delivered to me via our fantastic doorman some beautiful orchids courtesy of my little sis, who I’m pretty sure is the best baby sister in the world.

A bit later, I was ready to start the day, so I waddled (OK, I’m not quite to that stage yet… but I certainly walked slower than usual) to the subway and from there to the store, to stock up on some of the weekly sale items. Shuffled home to a husband and puppy who had just recently awoken (at 11am – I don’t think I could sleep in that late no matter how hard I tried!)

Took a nice little breather with a ice-cold drink and a good book on the couch while the pup kept my feet warm and the husband went on a run to enjoy the weather.

Once he was home, we ventured out once more to attend to some more errands, then back to the apartment for some lunch.

Tried to call the parents, but they were out (what – parents can have a life, too?!?! Gotta remember that!)

Took the pup back out to enjoy the sun, but there were a few too many other people and dogs attempting the same thing, and a few too few benches in the sun.

Home again for a quick nap, then some more reading. Also some cookie-baking (peanut butter… Not quite as good as the lemon ones I made the other day)

Finally reached the husband’s parents, then out for another walk with the pups (my chosen form of exercise these days) and a chat with my mom (who, in fact, could not chat, as she was about to enjoy a lovely steak dinner. Hmph)

Next up was dinner – no cooking for me today, thanks anyways. The husband picked up a few things as did I (wanted to make sure I got exactly what I wanted, no swiss cheese for me, nope, never) – YUM!

Back to lounging and reading, and after awhile, off to bed.

———-

All in all, not that exciting a day. Nothing special (except the purty flowers). And yet… it was perfect. My perfect almost-Mother’s Day.

I got to spend the entire day doing what I wanted, when I wanted, and at the pace I wanted.

I got to spend the day with the husband, who is gone working all to frequently; got an entire day of his smiles, jokes, and special dances.

I got to spend a beautiful day in the sun, with a dog who behaved (a miracle!) and a baby who will someday be able to admire the view from outside my middle instead of from within.

I got my relaxed, fun day that managed to somehow be all about me, without ever being about me.

It was perfect.

I just read this, and it summed up exactly what I often feel, and can’t put into words. Perfect.

Everything grows rounder,

and wider,

and weirder,

and I sit here in the middle of it all

and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be

-Carrie Fisher

I saw this quote on babble this morning, and it struck a chord. I’ve fallen into the rabbit hole, and figuring out this new life is starting to become a necessity.

Classes ended for me last Thursday, and since then, I’ve been “a housewife-in-training.”

What I’ve figured out? I’m not so good at the internal-motivation thing. Give me a list of things I need to do (and deadlines, or pressing reasons to do them)? I excel. Same list, no pressure? Um… Expect to still be waiting this time next year. As for those pressing reasons? If YOU (or some “higher power”) give them to me, well, OK then. If I come up with them? Different story. No need to be quite so strict, then. Fluid boundaries. Etc, etc.

I’ve known this about myself for awhile; the hardest part of writing my dissertation (well, other than getting my boss to agree it was time to write it) was convincing myself that, yes, I really did need to follow the deadlines set – after all, I had set them, so I could change them, right? Right? So… similar phenomenon now (and with other things, previously).

What’s weird about this (or, if you prefer, “utterly aggravating”… or perhaps, as I prefer, “quirkily charming”) is that my reaction to externally enforced deadlines? Not so great, either. Not in all cases – if you just give me something to do with a deadline – say, study topic X by date Y, because you will have an exam then – I do it, and usually, do it well. But if you try to ENFORCE your deadline authority over me – say, by saying you need to do X by time Y, and I am going to stand here and watch you do it to make sure it happens – I usually push back. Actually, always do. Run kicking and screaming the other way, in a similar reaction to when my parents told me I HAD to do something in middle/high-school, and I just.didn’t.want.to.

So where is this going, anyways?

Well… I’ve been home for a week now, no classes, no studying, nothing particularly stressful to do. Sure, there have been some minor errands – doctors appointments to make, forms to fill out and drop off, etc etc, but no real fill-up-your-day-and-time events. And what have I done with this time? Um… not much.

I have the beginnings of a good housewife – I love to bake and cook, and am actually somewhat decent at both (not always in the “this food looks amazing!” department, but nearly always in the the “this food is delicious!” one, which, really, is the most important) ; I LIKE crafts, and am passably crafty (I can knit and crochet, as well as sew) ; and I DO know how to clean, though I don’t like to do that one so much (I’m more of an organizer than a cleaner).

But… put into practice? Hm…

Sure, I’ve cooked most meals in the past week (dinner). I’ve been sewing a bunch (dude – baby clothes are sooooo cute!). I’ve even vacuumed after I sew, because otherwise, we’d all be leaving trails of scrap fabric behind us for miles. Oh, and I scrubbed down the microwave. Because that had gotten to the point that even *I* was getting disgusted.

But in reality, I haven’t accomplished much. Most days I set out in the morning with a not-so-ambitious agenda (plan: go to grocery store, clean bathroom, walk dog in central park, cook dinner using new recipe, sew one baby dress, finish knitting sweater while watching tv tonight) and end up doing… um… less than half of it? maybe? (accomplished: grocery store – check! ; bathroom – hell no… ; long dog walk – cancelled due to rain. really. just cuz of that, I swear ; dinner – check … because eating is good! ; sew dress – um, well, one hem is something, right? ; finish sweater – ha. ha, ha. I *looked* at it, does that count?)

There are some things I need to accomplish with some definite end points (um – having nursery ready before baby comes home?) but I can’t seem to convince myself that they are really all that necessary (total amount done in nursery this past week – ordering of one piece of furniture, not yet arrived…) and/or imminent.

But they are. They really, truly, are. I am 34 weeks pregnant (approaching 35) – baby girl COULD arrive any day, and WILL BE arriving soon. I’d like to be ready, or at least, as ready as I can be. This is going to change our lives, and in ways I can’t even imagine. In just a few short weeks, EVERYTHING will change. (I just hope my procrastination skillz will, as well)

I know I can’t imagine or prepare for what is to come. I know what I think it will be like, will turn out wrong. I imagine who my baby girl might be, but right now, she’s just a dream kicking away in my belly. Soon, she’ll be a reality taking all my imaginings and turning them on their heads.

But still, I want to TRY to be prepared. And so, I need to convince myself that this deadline – THIS one – needs to be taken seriously. Because when it’s time, I won’t be able to postpone or delay. Baby girl is coming, whether I am prepared or not. But I’d like to be prepared. I’d like to get my “housewifely” groove in gear, before it gets thrown totally off by the addition of another person to the daily mix.

Reading this post got me to thinking today… about my “parenting style”

I’ll just say right up front: I don’t have one. Yet. (Since I’m not a parent. Yet.)

What I do have, of course, is a plan… And we all know how those go. But anyways, just to lay it out, so I can look back later and laugh and laugh and laugh:

I plan to do what is best for me and for my baby, whatever that may be.

I plan to figure that out as we go along, and try not to fall into the trap of one dogma or another -rather, to take what works from wherever is comes from, and use it. Or not, if it doesn’t work for me.

I plan to ask for advice from everyone around, listen carefully, and then use what works – and ignore what doesn’t.

I also plan to ask for help from whomever is offering (and this one might just be the toughest, as I am sooooo bad at asking for help… But I know I am going to need it, and so I know I must make the conscious effort to do this!)

Oh, but specifics?

I don’t actually have a lot of those…

I plan to try to breastfeed, and to do it for as long as possible, if it works for me and my baby (but NOT until Kindergarten, you can be sure of that!)

I plan to go back to work (or rather, to start work, since baby arrives nicely packed in between graduation and starting the rest of my career) after 6-8 weeks (depends more on when baby arrives, and less on start date of work) … And then manage life one day at a time, seeing what works best for us.

I plan to pump at work, should I still be breastfeeding (and I do really hope I am…) – and I plan to stick up for my right to do this!

I plan to try both disposable and cloth diapers, and again, see what works best for us (and this may depend on daycare, as well…)

I plan for baby to sleep in our room (but not in our bed) for 3-4 months … but I’m willing to be flexible.

I plan to try to sleep-train baby as early as possible, just for my own sanity.

I plan to read to my baby as much as possible, since this is something I enjoy myself so much.

I plan to try to work out as soon as I am given leave to – and to use this time effectively as some “alone time” but also, conversely, as time to share with our first baby (the puppy)

I plan to get outside as much as I can

I plan to try to meet other moms in the area, and make friends with them (this is more of a hope…)

And most of all, I plan to (try to) not stress out. To not worry about the choices I am making. To trust that they are the right ones, for me.

Oh, and I also plan to try not to judge others for the choices they make. At least, not out loud.

I just made a list of the things I need to get done tomorrow, and it’s staggeringly long … And that’s just the crap to be taken care of at school! The list includes:

  • finding my backup copy of my CV since it was lost in my recent computer crash and the backup thumb-drive is hiding
  • printing out a bunch of forms – I’ll do the filling-in and sending-off part later, thankyouverymuch, the printing is all I can handle tomorrow
  • finishing off an assignment I just got tonight that is due by noon tomorrow for a class that – oh, yeah! – I haven’t been to yet because I’ve been on jury duty, that’s gonna go great
  • getting a TB test (scratch that, it can’t be read over the weekend. Shit)
  • setting up an appointment for a physical after I get that TB test read
  • Turning in a form and getting a new glamour shot (i.e. ID badge photo)
  • Turning in an evaluation (which I rocked! Uh huh, Uh huh)
  • Getting myself some petty cash (i.e. finally getting back that $40 that’s been due to me since, oh, January)

 

 

In addition, this is actually, you know, school, so I will also be:

  • teaching one of my mentees the not-broad-at-all topics of “the entire physical exam” and, oh yeah, a simple review of written and oral presentations (in an hour. heh.)
  • teaching another one how to properly use her otoscope and fundoscope (yeah, MUCH better and within scope)
  • attending my course for the first time (and handing in that assignment I have still to do)

 

Sigh. It’s going to be a busy day.

And that’s just from 10am-4pm (or so). On the home front, I’ve got all that form-filling-out stuff to do, as well as the usual list of chores, which for tomorrow looks like:

  • groceries (the uptown store has waaaaay better prices than anything near our apartment, so I try to do this when I’m up there and coming home at a reasonable hour)
  • organization – today was pillow day (made/re-covered 3 pillows and 2 stools), tomorrow is going to be 1) going to the hardware store for proper supplies day (I need tiny screws and some L-brackets to fix some drawers) and 2) get your papers organized day, as damn! it’s been a month since we moved to this apartment, and I’m still scrambling on this one…
  • then, of course, there is the inevitable “what’s for dinner?” and actual cooking of whatever decision I make…

 

Of course, with all this to do… What am I doing now? Sitting here. Writing. Planning to move to the couch soon, to sit some more. Reading. I also plan to eat a cookie. (Yum)

Inertia.

I need to be over it by tomorrow, but for tonight, I’ll continue to enjoy.

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