Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Always Be Prepared

There are a lot of things I should be doing to prepare for this baby. And since I'm no Boy Scout, instead of actually doing something about these things, I'm just not. I was going to write that I'm stressing about them--but I'm not really stressed. I probably should be, and I probably will be eventually, but right now, I'm just procrastinating.

So here are the things I'm doing/not doing/worrying about/complaining about. We're going to do this bulleted-list style, since then I don't have to write paragraphs and topic sentences, and transitions.

Baby Stuff
I was going to make a list of all the things we still need to get for this baby. Instead, I'll make a much shorter list of things we do have:
6 bibs (all say something about "Grandma" - wonder where those came from?)
8 MN Vikings toddler outfits (re-gifted from some of our friends who are Lions' fans)
2 toddler t-shirts (from the tourist-y town my in-laws live in)
3 onesies (seems like enough, right? I hear babies are pretty clean)
3 pairs of socks (basketball, baseball, and soccer patterned - gift from MIL)
4 blankets (1 knit from Grandma Susie, 3 hand-me-downs that belonged to Bobby's brothers. All 3 are going into storage (or garage sale?) because they are about as soft as sandpaper.)

We have basically nothing for an infant to wear, nothing for baby to sleep in, nothing to carry baby around in, nothing to cover babies' butt, and no alternative for feeding baby if breastfeeding doesn't work out. I try to look into what I want, but I get overwhelmed. If someone could just give me their list of baby stuff they have/liked (including specific brands, types, etc.), I'd just go buy all of it. I don't know what kind of car seat I want. I know I need a crib for short moms that I'm not going to have climb inside of to get the baby out--but how do I know what that is? Do we get a bassinet? Or a rock n play? Or just put baby in the crib from day one? Or, as I recently learned I slept in for the first several months of my life, a cardboard box?

About a month ago, Bobby and I got serious and cleaned the junk out of the nursery. And then when we put up our Christmas tree and decorations, we had to rearrange our living room, and the furniture and everyday decor that no longer fit in the living room ended up in the nursery. So once again, it's full. And not in a good way.

Birthing Classes
I've never taken a Community Ed class in my life. The thought of taking a birthing class makes me cringe. Hard. I don't really want to do it. I actually feel really good about my research and knowledge, but...I'm just going to say it...I'm worried about Bobby. He's going to be shocked when I don't have a Hollywood-style water break or one big contraction and an immediate panicked rush to the hospital. He's going to expect maybe 10 minutes of excruciating pushing, and then: baby. His knowledge of labor and birth is based completely on TV and movies. And yes, that freaks me out a little. The only reason I'm even kind of considering taking a class is for him.

I've read the two books my clinic gave me and sticky-noted the chapters I want him to read (probably 10ish total between two books--not exactly an overwhelming amount), but he won't do it. He promises to read the books, but he hasn't. I know that shouldn't worry me as much as it does, but he's had plenty of time. He has several hours a night that we sit and watch TV together--he could easily crank out a couple chapters and be done with it. I love Bobby more than anything and there's truly no one I'd rather have by my side during labor, but I am worried at how unprepared he's going to be. He's such a studier and a planner and an soon as I'm in pain and struggling he's going to lose his shit because he doesn't know what's happening. But if he would just FREAKING READ THE BOOKS, then he would know what to expect, what's normal, and when we need to ask for help.

I don't have a birth plan. I'm not going to have a birth plan. My "birth plan" is let's get this baby out in one piece. And not have my vagina torn up to my belly button. Seriously though, my plan is to labor as long as possible at home. And then labor as long as possible at the hospital without medication. If interventions are needed, I'll let them intervene. If a C-section is needed, I guess I'm getting cut open. I'd love to be a strong advocate for myself. But I'm not. Need an example? At my first OB appointment with Dr. G., he asked if he could ask me a personal question that would never leave the office (remember, he's a family friend, goes to my church, has known me since I was a teenager). He asked, "Are you in a monogamous relationship with your husband?" I almost laughed, but nodded yes. He's the only man I've been even remotely intimate with. Dr. G continued, "Then can I ask why Dr. V (my GP) has been giving you annual pap smears?" Honestly, I have no idea. I didn't actually know they were supposed to stop doing them annually once you were married. I've been getting an annual pap smear since I was 16, even though I was definitely not having sex at 16. I didn't know I could refuse them. When a doctor tells me to put on the gown and get in the stirrups, I do it. I mean, I didn't go to medical school. Isn't the point of having a doctor so they can tell you what to do? Yeah...I'm not exactly the best advocate. I totally expect my labor to be an absolute disaster.

Caring for a Baby
I'm a little nervous about this. And I think that's good. That means I need to pick up a couple books that actually deal with life post-pregnancy. Like how to soothe a screaming baby. And yeah, everyone keeps telling me, "Oh, just trust your instincts." That is not helpful. Yes, to some extent I will learn about my baby and be able to mother it just right. But right away? I don't trust my instincts. If I were playing volleyball? Absolutely. My instincts are fantastic for knowing if I'm up against a double block or if the setter is cheating up a little. I will trust my instincts all day on the court. Even coaching - knowing when to take a girl off the court to help her clear her head, or leave her on to force her to push through. But a baby? If there's a baby screaming for no apparent reason and I haven't slept in two months, my instincts are going to tell me to shove that baby right back up my hoo-haw and take a nap.

Okay, this isn't something I should be doing right now, but it's something I'm thinking about. I fully plan to attempt to breastfeed. I also expect it to not work out so well. I don't know why, maybe just past experience of everything to do with getting pregnant and being pregnant--I mean, what part about this was easy? I really want it to work out--both for the nutrition and bonding. I'm totally prepared to give the kid formula to keep it from starving, and I have no problem doing that. Except I know that I'm going to be mad at myself at least a little bit for failing. AND the idea of pumping, storing, overwhelms me a little. Sometimes formula just seems easier.

If any of you with boys want to weigh in on this, feel free. Bobby is pretty adamant that we circumcise our boys. He is so it's pretty expected. I honestly don't have strong feelings either way, although I said if he insisted on circumcision, he's going to be on incision-cleaning duty until it heals. I guess I am sort of the opinion that a boy should be the same as his dad. Bobby's going to be the one (hopefully!) to teach him about his junk, so I guess it's makes sense they should look the same.

My Body
My back has returned to feeling like there are kabob skewers stabbing into the spinal fluid between each vertebrae. Sitting hurts. Standing hurts. Lying down hurts. If I ever end up flat on my back, you'll hear a loud round of, "Ouch, ouch, ouch, can't breathe, ouch, ouch, help." The only semi-relief I get is from sitting on an exercise ball or leaning over it. I try to walk and do squats every day, but some days it's just too much and I can't. I know I'm being lazy, but I just can't push myself.

My stomach has lost any ab muscles it once had. It's a struggle to get out of bed. It's a struggle to get off the couch. Rolling over is practically an Olympic event. I don't even want to talk about putting on my shoes. And I'm not even that big yet! I can't even imagine how much worse it's going to get.

The best way I can describe how pregnancy feels, is that it feels like you're really full and need to poop all the time. But you don't. You just continue to feel full. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not hungry very often. I feel like I'm stuffed already. There's no where for food to go! I try to just keep snacking all day because I never really eat meals anymore.

My belly button, which at it's original state is roughly the depth of the Grand Canyon, is now flattening out slightly. I'm not sure it'll ever "pop" because it's so deep, but it's now only the depth of a minor valley. And sometimes I feel shooting pains coming from it. Not sure what that's all about, but they always go away, so I don't worry about it (see, I'm such a good advocate about medical stuff!).

We're taking Christmas card photos tonight and I have a really great pimple on my chin. So there's that.

I think that's everything that I'm stressing/not stressing about right now. But feel free to add to my list if there are things I'm forgetting. Or, you know, give me all your secrets and advice.


  1. I always love your posts! They are very matter of fact and exactly how you are feeling, no sugar coating it :) I feel like I would be the same way.

    1. Thanks, Amie. I'd like to make it sound like pregnancy is the best thing to happen to me, but I don't think that helps anyone (including myself when I forget in like 3 months). The blogs that were the most helpful for me were the ones that really spelled it out...especially the bad stuff that no one talks about.

  2. "The best way I can describe how pregnancy feels, is that it feels like you're really full and need to poop all the time. But you don't." THIS. SO MUCH THIS. Also, not sure if this will make you feel better, but you own more baby stuff than I do at this point.

    1. That does make me feel better! I'm seeing so many bloggers with finished nurseries at 20 weeks! I mean, I have a baby pinterest board with like 3 pins of nursery ideas on it. Isn't that enough?

  3. Bursting out laughing at this post!

  4. I shouldn't be laughing...but sometimes perfect honesty is just funny. I'm sorry I've been away for awhile. But I've been thinking about you a lot. I know you're pregnancy has been pretty uncomfortable, so it might not seem like it to you but it seems to be speeding by for me. More than half-way! Holy cow!

    I think your "birth plan" or lack thereof is perfect. As far as getting stuff ready or having stuff...don't worry. In time you'll get things via gifts, donations, shopping, or if panic ever sets in. But honestly, babies don't NEED that much...there are just lots of items out there that make life with your baby more convenient. James is growing so quickly and I do so much laundry that he really doesn't need very much in the way of clothes. I do really like our car seat, for whatever that's worth. It's a Chicco Keyfit and is super easy to use and has high safety ratings. Anyhow, I'm sorry your back hurts so bad! That stinks. But thanks for keeping your blog up-to-date. It's fun to check in, laugh a little, and know that things are going relatively well. I hope things continue to go well-ish and wish you a Merry Christmas!

  5. Oh Lilee, I enjoy you so much! I hate to say this though, but reading books on how to soothe your crying baby most likely won't help. Every baby is SO different! What works for one, may not work for the other. They mostly just need love. And milk, however they may get it. I love your attitude going in toward breastfeeding and not having a set birth plan. Every person I've ever known to have a specific birth plan had a birth experience far from what was planned. I think taking a class would be beneficial for Bobby so that he at least gets an idea of what to expect. That will help better than reading the books, since he's not reading them anyway. Lol. The cleaning and care after a circumcision isn't as bad as you would think. It really was easy to care for. I recommend getting a rock n play, even if you start your baby out sleeping in a crib from day one. It's a safe "baby holder" while you do dishes, brush your teeth, eat, take a shower, or anything else.

    And FYI, I always thought you needed yearly Pap smears too!

  6. Oh yeah! If you are on Facebook, I highly recommend joining the site Car Seats for Littles. They can answer anything you ever wanted to know about car seats. I told them what kind of car I have and asked what would be the safest, longest duration car seat that would fit name at in my car. They gave me about 5 different car seats that I then researched (mostly price). It helped narrow it down a lot!