Category Archives: Pregnancy

Growing Up

When I was 19, I used to think that I didn’t ever want kids. My “humorous” reason was that I was way too selfish and wouldn’t want to put someone else’s needs above my own. At 19, that was probably true.

When I was 24, I realized that I wanted to have kids, just not yet. I wanted to be married for at least a year before even thinking about it.

When I was 27, I was desperate to be a mom. I hated all my friends who were having babies.

When I was 28, our son was born, and we spent the first two nights in the hospital feeling totally shell-shocked and confused about what we had signed up for. The first few weeks were overwhelming, scary, and really made me question everything I had thought I wanted. Luckily that was all just the craziness of the first weeks of the first baby, and I’m happy to say that I don’t regret anything.

When I was 31, our daughter was born, and it was slightly less crazy but still overwhelming, and it’s been almost 6 months and we still aren’t sleeping super well and it seems that they never nap at the same time and there is always someone needing something.

But I think we’re done now…and it makes me sad to think that I won’t be pregnant again. The first time around, every stage was new and intriguing, and we saved everything religiously for the next one. This time, we’re starting to jettison things, baby clothes and toys and gear, just getting rid of things when she doesn’t need them or fit into them anymore. It’s hard to give away boxes of baby clothes in the mindset that there won’t be another one.

But still, I sometimes think about that selfish 19-year-old, and I think she had the right idea. Doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, being accountable to no one, spending time with Drew or with friends or even alone – it was so luxurious and I didn’t even know it. I remember in New York, when Drew and Jared would be working two shows on Saturday and Sunday, I could sleep until noon, and then spend the rest of the day lying around reading. I used to watch a lot of Law & Order: SVU while doing cross-stitch kits. It didn’t matter. I could do whatever I wanted. (I want to yell this at the 20-somethings I know who complain about being tired. You have no idea! Embrace it! Just take a nap and you’ll feel better! Go out to brunch or something!)

In the last three years, I have discovered that I have a well of patience that I didn’t know existed. I have also discovered a temper that I didn’t know I had. They both kind of depend on the amount of sleep and protein I’ve had in the last 24 hours. I am definitely a different person now. I think I’m more responsible. More willing to lower expectations. More grateful. I hope the changes have been for the better.

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Filed under Baby, Dreams, Drew, Family, Memoir, Nonfiction, Pregnancy, Self improvement, Sentiment

Making excuses, and making babies

I’ve been absent, but I have a good reason.

This little guy arrived early last Saturday morning, just after midnight. He’s become the center of our universes and we’re determined to spoil him (at least until he gets old enough that it becomes a problem). He’s a good sleeper, a good eater, a good cuddler. He has some of the cutest facial expressions and mannerisms I’ve ever seen.

There are things I miss about being pregnant, but actually not as much as I thought I would. It’s really nice to be able to do a lot of the things that I used to do – and to eat things I couldn’t eat for awhile. He’s barely 6 days old and I’ve already eaten like 4 turkey sandwiches. And the things I thought I’d miss were all kind of sentimental things about the bond I had with this unborn baby…but now we have this whole new aspect to our relationship, which brings all kinds of new challenges and victories. (I guess that should have been obvious.)

I’m trying really hard not to completely forget my “old” life, and to transition smoothly into my “new” life. I’ll try to keep updating you with how that’s going. And I’ll also try not to go all “stfu parents” on you. But you’ll have to allow me occasional slips. Like this one!

AWWWWWWWWWWWW

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Filed under Awesome, Beginnings, Children, Dreams, Drew, Family, Home improvements, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction, Parents, Pregnancy, Self improvement, Sentiment

Appreciating volunteers

I think I may have overdone it yesterday a little bit. I was part of this trio at work planning an appreciation party for all of our volunteers. Luckily it was a fun team of people because we spent a lot of time stuck together, and had to get creative several times.

Yesterday was the brunch, and I left home at 7:45am to pick up food and get to the venue. Then at 10:15 I went on another run to pick up the rest of the food, and all of the coffee. The rest of the time, when I wasn’t in the car, I was on my feet. I didn’t have to move or carry anything crazy, but even just standing around is kind of exhausting. The party was from 11:30-1:30, and after that it took us another hour to break everything down and pack everything back into our cars.

After I got home, Drew and I went to Ikea and bought two lamps and two shoe racks. Like we’re outfitting two identical houses. We also went by Old Navy where, walking past a clearance rack, I saw a pair of jeans sticking out with a tag on them that said $.97. These jeans just happened to also be my size (well, my pre-pregnancy size). I figured, this gives me something to shoot for, and they were less than a dollar. I mean, when does that ever happen?

(Last night after we got home, I tried on the jeans, against my better judgment…but they totally go on! I mean, aside from the whole buttoning-and-zipping thing. But that will come. I’m just happy that they almost fit!)

Anyway, after all the walking around yesterday, this morning when I stood up I was so sore from the waist down. As the day has gone on it’s gotten better, but I think I might have overdone it slightly yesterday. At least now that the party is behind us, I know that it’s pretty much just smooth sailing until you-know-what in a week and a half.

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Filed under Exercise, Fashion, Food, Memoir, Pregnancy, Work

The Circle of Life

Yesterday I got in the car and my left foot went automatically for the clutch, which isn’t there anymore.

That’s right. After eleven years, I’ve finally given up my little Saturn coupe in exchange for something bigger, sturdier, and safer. It comes none too soon, given that I’m due with my first baby in less than two weeks and, frankly, there was no way to fit a carseat in the tiny backseat of my Saturn.

I opted out of trying to sell the car. The Kelly Blue Book value was just embarrassing. It seemed like selling would be one hassle on top of another, and that wasn’t really something I was interested in taking on, especially when I stood to gain so little. Instead I looked into donation options, figuring that a tax write-off next year will be welcomed.

After choosing a worthy cause on which to bestow my 16-year-old donation, I filled out a brief online form and almost immediately got a phone call. Clearly, places that accept donations of cars are used to getting piles of car pieces that are mostly good for scrap metal. I was a little surprised at the questions: things like “How’s the body?” and “Is it in drivable condition?” Of course, I thought, I’ve been driving it every day. And the paint has some scratches but I somehow managed to stay body-damage free throughout those most reckless years known as “high school and college.” By the time we got off the phone, in my head, this baby was in mint-condition.

We decided on Saturday for the pickup. I was allowed to choose the time slot and I picked 10am to noon. This gave me enough time to take a little drive down Highway 1 in the morning, and reminisce about the good ol’ days. I figured I would be fine. I had come to terms with this. And I was trading up for something so much more important.

I got home from my excursion to Starbucks, and I was fine. When the pickup happened around 11:15, I met the guy outside to hand over the keys and sign off on the title. He looked up the street where he had parked the tow truck, and then asked me that now-familiar question, “Is it drivable?” Yes, I said, and he unlocked it, got in and started it up.

That’s when I felt that first hot sensation (not entirely unexpected) behind my eyes.

As he pulled away from the curb and up the street to the tow truck, I realized I didn’t want to watch any of this happen. Originally I’d thought I might take a picture of it on the tow truck (you know, for posterity?), but actually standing there, that idea just seemed sick.

I pretended the sun was too bright (absolutely not fooling Drew one bit), and shielded my eyes, and then turned around and walked into our apartment, dropping my donation receipt on the floor and going straight into the bathroom, where I proceeded to lose it in a way that both surprised and slightly embarrassed me.

It’s a car. It doesn’t have feelings. It’s not capable of thought. I know this rationally.

All I can offer in my defense is that I get attached to things. And after eleven years…well, this car was always there for me. Even when it was leaking oil and making the most intimidating growling sounds on cold mornings, it was a remarkably reliable little car. Especially since I didn’t always treat it as nicely as I could have.

I’m holding on to the idea that someone is going to do a little work to fix it up, and sell it at auction, hopefully to a young, fresh-faced kid who wants to drive a fun little 2-door with a iPod input and four relatively new tires. A kid who wants to get really good at playing real-life Tetris with all their possessions, who wants to teach their friends to drive stick, and who will learn some life lessons with this car in the background. Sixteen years is not all that old, after all, even for a car. It’s the circle of life, people.

And if you’re thinking I’m an emotional wreck…well, that’s probably true, also. Nine months pregnant, remember?

Originally published in the Lake County Record-Bee on 9/22/12

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Filed under Being a girl, cars, Endings, Home improvements, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction, Parents, Pregnancy, Sentiment, Writing

Childbirth preparation – ALL DAY

On Saturday, Drew and I got up at 6:30am and headed to Stockton for a childbirth preparation class. Reasons for going all the way to Stockton?
1. We could attend the class with Liz and Bill, which was a kind of fun thing to do for two couples who never do anything together as couples, and
2. This hospital offers all their classes free of charge, whereas it would have been something like $125 to take the class at our hospital.

We found some good seats and went through the massive amount of available paper resources while we waited for the class to start.

The class consisted of a slideshow presentation, interspersed with videos and some real-life practicing. The woman leading the class was amusing but also over the top, and laughed at all of her own jokes, but I liked her. About an hour into the class we had our first break, and afterwards we got to get down on the floor and practice things like relaxing breathing and massage and using a focal point. I liked this because I got to lie in a pile of pillows, pretending to focus on a “lovely sensation” blowing over me, while Drew rubbed my back. Not a bad way to spend a morning.

But a true thing is that two people on the floor in a pile of pillows takes up a lot more space than two people sitting in two chairs, so it got a little crowded. There was a guy sitting directly in front of me, and I became a lot more acquainted with his bare back (his shirt kept riding up, like, majorly) and his extremely dirty socks than I ever wanted to be. Liz said after her relaxing floor massage, she opened her eyes to see that the couple right behind her was kind of looming over her watching them. That’s pretty awful. And not relaxing. And not the delivery experience you want to have.

We did some other exercises, like swaying and vocalizing and stuff, which was all interesting, but also kind of intimate. When we started doing the swaying stuff, Susie (our teacher) put on some music, which happened to be “The Way You Look Tonight,” and one girl who looked like this pregnancy might be sort of accidental (and who was there with her mom) blurted out “This is the song I got pregnant to!” How are you not supposed to laugh at that? (She and her mom were also cracking up.) (After lunch her husband showed up and the four of us were all happy for them.)

But it was kind of strange to sit in a room full of couples, and practice things like massage and speaking quietly and encouragingly to each other. And know that everyone did something intimate to get into that room, and now we’re all practicing doing something else that’s very intimate (in a different way) with our partner, with whom we’re going to go through yet another experience that’s incredibly personal and (to me at least) somewhat private. It’s kind of like, I had to just block out that there were other people there who might be looking at me or listening to me, and focus on what I needed to learn to get through (what I’ve been told can be) a harrowing experience.

After lunch, we talked about epidurals and analgesics, and c-sections and all the fun medical stuff. Sitting on the floor started to get kind of uncomfortable. Then we did some more practice vocalizing to get through the pain, and she told us how to push without holding your breath. (Something I’ve never really thought about before, but it totally makes sense, and I will definitely keep that in mind.) She went over postpartum depression and how it’s really important to watch for it and treat it. We ended up getting out early, which was definitely nice since we had the entire drive back home.

Overall, I liked the class and I’m glad we went. It was definitely nice to get all the info laid out for us, and to see some videos of different people’s birth experiences. Also I do feel like I learned about some techniques of getting through this things sans epidural. There wasn’t any information in the class that was brand new (thanks to the internet and the last 8 months of one-track thinking), but it was still nice to hear it all in order. I am glad we didn’t pay full price for that same class here, though.

Last night I ordered a second car seat base from Target. The weird thing is, that’s kind of the last thing we “need.” Which means that, I guess we’re ready at this point. I mean, “ready.” Whatever that means…

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Filed under "Other people", Drew, Friends, Memoir, Nonfiction, Pregnancy, Travel

Baby brain is a very real thing

Last weekend, my two good friends Sam and Erin threw me a baby shower. It was rubber duckie themed and adorable! One of the activities was decorating bibs. Some people were very creative and talented, and some people made up for any lack of talent with their enthusiasm. (I kid.)

I went with a Game of Thrones theme for mine – I was going to do “The stallion that mounts the world,” but horses are difficult to draw, and then we got into a conversation about how I should draw “mounting,” so I went with “My sun and stars” instead.

Then there was also a store-bought bib – but I also really like this picture because you can see my pink and blue nails (which are now a wreck).

The big surprise at this shower was that the dessert was cupcakes from Torino Baking, who did our wedding cake (and consequently, our first and second anniversary cakes!). She is AWESOME and her banana cake is amazing. The cupcakes (some banana and some chocolate) fully lived up to their reputation!

This weekend, Liz had her baby shower in Stockton. Everything was Peter Pan-themed, and super cute. After the shower, we went back to Liz’s house and Erin took some maternity shots for her while I watched and provided the soundtrack/inner monologue.

I am obsessed with our second bedroom. Yes, it’s a lot of bookshelves and it’s still partly storage for stuff we weren’t sure what to do with, but Drew has made great strides in getting the closet cleaned out, and with all the new baby stuff we’ve acquired over the last few weeks, it’s starting to real feel more like a nursery than a library. I keep wandering in there and just standing around. I just like looking at all the baby stuff. Everything is so little and cute…and I’m hard pressed to walk by without sticking my head in and admiring the stroller, or feeling how soft things are, or going through the onesies and making sure they’re still hanging in order from newborn to 12 months.

I try to keep it under control with other people, but I have to admit, my mind is 24/7 thinking about the baby, and about what we need to do, and what we’ve done already, and what the future’s going to be like…it just doesn’t stop. If it’s like this now…what’s it going to be like 7 weeks from now?

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Filed under Awesome, Beginnings, Being a girl, Dreams, Drew, Food, Friends, Love, Memoir, Pregnancy, Sentiment

Baby shower!

This week (and next week) is crazytown at work. I have given myself over to it, and just accepted that it’s going to mean full days at work, followed by evenings at the theater, but I just had to get that out there. It’s a lot, and I’m looking forward to a little peace and quiet after everything’s over. (Yeah, right.)

Last weekend I went home-home, and had my first baby shower. It was bigger than I expected (I guess I didn’t pay attention to the guest list), and I had a great time! It was lots of women who have (pardon the cliche) watched me grow up, so that’s always fun. My aunt and uncle came up from Napa, and Drew’s mom and her BFF drove up, and I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.

I mean, it’s either one or the other!

We’ve been splitting our time between this (sock) monkey theme and this jungle animals theme. Settling on one theme was never my strong point.

Christy made a diaper cake! Cute AND functional!

Me and Mom!

Me and long-time friends!

With Suzanne and Bonnie – love you guys!

Our travel system, compliments of my parents!

We are incredibly lucky and very blessed to be surrounded by such great, supportive, generous and loving people. The excitement and the joy has been very encouraging. I am grateful that I haven’t had to deal with people saying inconsiderate or negative things. Literally everyone has been positive and respectful.

When I got regular-home from being home-home, I had a carload full of stuff to unload (more boxes of books from my parents among them), and Drew’s mom had brought back a lot of presents that wouldn’t fit in my car. I reworked the nursery (see, I can call it that now, and not just keep calling it the library) and tried to get rid of boxes and bags, and group things into blankets, feeding, bathtime, etc.

We pushed the stroller/carseat in there, and after a moment Drew said, “Wow. I thought we had this room under control.” It’s a bit of a jumble right now, but I’m hoping we can alleviate that over the next month or so. It’s amazing how much stuff we have amassed – and I thought we were being conservative!

We haven’t taken the plastic off the crib mattress yet, or washed the sheets and made the crib up, but it’s still a good place to store certain things…

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Filed under Awesome, Beginnings, Children, Family, Food, Friends, Games, Love, Memoir, Nonfiction, Parents, Pregnancy, Sentiment