Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursdays are hard. I find myself dragging both physically and mentally. By Friday’s eve the week has caught up to me: the strain on my brain, the discomfort of sitting for the better part of the past three days, and the exhaustion from consecutive nights of non-restful sleep. Any energy boost I enjoyed from the weekend has worn off and I’m just plain whipped. Fridays are a little better only because the allure of the impending weekend (read: naps!) keeps me going.

Being pregnant and working is tiresome but this leads to (one of) my biggest fears of impending parenthood: becoming a working mom. I know so many women do it, but I often hear or read how exhausting can be. A few have even remarked they feel like a bad mother and a bad employee because they are never truly focused on the task at hand. If they’re at work, they’re thinking about their child and vice versa. I also hear it gets a bit easier when the child gets older and goes to school, but for the first few years when he or she is still so very dependent on you for everything, it’s a difficult challenge.

It’s no secret that I have always wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom. I was lucky to have a mother who was home with me and when I was older, worked in the school system so we had the same hours. I was never in full-time daycare or schlepped away to summer camp because there was no one to care for me. I have since affirmed I would give my child the same benefits of having a parent present. However, reality is a bitch. Leaving my job would cause a drastic blow to our income, and it just doesn’t make financial sense to go that route though I have run every possible scenario in my mind on how to make it work.

I’m a prime candidate to become a freelance writer but I still have yet to get my first paying gig. I work better on my own rather than being chained to a desk and made to think between the prescribed hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. I think that is why I have never, and probably will never be truly satisfied with a traditional office job. This realization is hitting home even stronger as I contemplate my future as a working mom. Soon I will have one more – in truth, the most important – reason to want to drive my own schedule.

Thankfully, being a full-time freelancer isn’t just a pipe dream. It could happen one day, but it’s highly unlikely to occur between now and the birth of our daughter. That means I will be back at work a mere six weeks after her birth, missing out on what I believe to be one of the most crucial periods to be with and nurture her. I continue to have a hard time swallowing this fate, but I know I’m not alone; there are so many other parents with the same dilemma. I just have to keep looking for ways to eventually achieve my ideal situation of contributing to our livelihood, keeping my talents fresh and being a present mother. Tall order, but I'm not giving up on that dream any time soon.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Home for Rosebud

We have a nursery … kind of! The furniture we ordered came in way early (was supposed to arrive in September) so J recruited my cousin Johnny and they picked it up at the warehouse this weekend. By Saturday night the crib was assembled and everything was in place, or the place we think we want everything for now. There are no decorative touches or anything on the walls, but it feels good to have the big stuff done. We even moved the guest room downstairs and set that up. Note to guests: It’s not perfect, but it’s functional.

I know we still have plenty of time to do this kind of stuff but I like having it done now, especially as I get less and less helpful with anything physical! Our townhouse has a LOT of stairs and going up and down them multiple times in a day definitely makes my hips throb. Lately, we’ve had some really productive weekends getting everything in order and my body feels the effects so doing these things while I’m still feeling relatively good is in everyone’s best interest.

Since I have to bank the majority of my vacation this year to supplement maternity leave, we’re not taking any real vacations. However, we are managing to sneak in a couple of weekend trips. I am headed to my parents’ house at the lake this weekend. I have no plans other than to NOT be in Atlanta and relax by the water. Then, for our anniversary in August, we’re headed to Blacksburg. This is a trip we usually take each year, often to see a game, but this was the only time it was feasible this year (we’ll miss you, Mudds!). I’m not really sure what you do in Blacksburg other than drink cheap, but we will get to see a scrimmage and more importantly, shop for Hokie gear for Rosebud. Regardless, it’s a lovely town and I like being back in Virginia for any reason so I’m looking forward to it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Good Night and Good Luck

Ah, a good night’s rest: an elusive feat. I am far enough along, and my belly is big enough that sleeping comfortably through the night is mostly just a memory. I toss and turn trying to find a good position, clumsily manipulating an array of pillows meant to support everything from my neck to my hips. Then I throw the covers off in a sweaty heat flash and do my best to ignore that ever-constant urge to pee. J is starting to wonder if he should sleep in the guest room so HE can get some rest.

Add to that the annoying little discomforts such as a stabbing pain in my lower right abdomen whenever I change positions, which is apparently known as round ligament pain, and a constant dull, throbbing ache due to stretching lady parts. The best way to describe it is as if I’ve been karate-kicked in the crotch. Ouch! Though not unbearable, each of these contributes to my recent inability to sleep through the night. I assume it is nature’s way of somewhat preparing you for the upcoming exhaustion of having a newborn.

Speaking of newborns, I found myself watching a few episodes of A Baby Story on TLC the other day. I hadn’t seen it in years and even though they were reruns, I understandably had a newfound interest in them. I thought I might freak out seeing various labor and delivery scenes, but I was actually more excited than anything. Don’t get me wrong, I am nervous about the pain potential, but I have also accepted it as a short-term obstacle to meeting our baby girl. I am much more concerned about having a safe delivery and a healthy baby. The pain will fade.

This week being the beginning of my 6th month, I’m trying to balance the feeling that there still seems like so far to go (110 more days!) with the reality that it will probably go by pretty quick. I like to feel prepared so we’ve already picked out a pediatrician, pre-registered at the hospital and scheduled a tour. We’ve decided to forgo any childbirth class. My theory is that I can read and ask other mothers any questions I have and there will be plenty of qualified personnel present for the delivery to instruct me on anything. Plus, J and I can practice any relaxation techniques at home; we both find it uncomfortable to do that kind of stuff with a group of strangers. I originally felt like you have to do a class for your first baby, but I am now totally comfortable with the decision not to attend.

Right now I’m just trying to enjoy myself since I feel good more days than not. Any of the discomforts mentioned above are just that; nothing more, and they’re certainly not stopping me from delighting in some of the perks of pregnancy, like feeling Rosebud move around. Every little thump makes me smile and J even felt something for the first time the other night. Hooray!

Monday, July 9, 2012

No Binging, Just Purging

Things not to do while pregnant: get your first bikini wax. ‘Nuff said.

I think I have officially hit the nesting phase. I am feeling an intense need to rid the house of clutter. J and I were able to tackle the guest room/nursery closet and clean it out this weekend. It had basically become a catch-all since we moved in last year and no longer warranted the title of a walk-in. We couldn’t completely empty it, nor will Rosebud need all that space, but we did get rid of a lot of old clothes, boxes and simply reorganize. Ahhh … much better. This desire to purge has me eyeing my own closet and drawers next.

See, I LOVE the idea of organization. I want everything to have its perfect place and stay there. In my reality, it just never happens. If I had unlimited funds, I would buy out The Container Store, and compartmentalize the crap out of everything we own. That being a pipe dream and all, I find that my make-do solutions only last until I get lazy. And well, that doesn’t take long. That's not to say I would be any better with all my little organizers, but again, I like the thought that I would. I am hoping that when Rosebud comes I’ll be a little more vigilant, because it will be the beginning of there being infinitely more stuff in our lives.

Speaking of that stuff, we also started our registry. Wow. It was both fun and overwhelming. I think J assumed my experience as a nanny and/or proclivity toward internet research would better prepare me for deciding what we did and didn’t need. Wrong. I got a little flustered at times because there are so many choices and I didn't know which was best! We found that it's also really hard to find cute, girlish things that aren’t some shade of pink. In the world's most unsurprising news, J is not really a fan, and while I have no desire to drown in pink, I was definitely drawn to it more than most the other choices, but I tried to oblige where I could. Sigh. So, yeah, pink and yellow – there was a lot of that on the registry.

Baby girl is continuing to stay active in the womb and I may have felt some Braxton Hicks contractions last night. I was startled awake by some new sensations in my belly a few times, like there was a belt around my abdomen that was being tightened in intervals by some mean little fairy. Why a fairy, you ask? I don't know. True Blood was on last night; must have fairies on the brain. I digress. Anyway, they seem to subside when I changed positions, but it certainly wasn’t something I had experienced before. I’m sure it’s just a sign of all the strange sensations to come as I get ever closer to my third trimester!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer in the Suburbs

Whenever people ask about my due date and hear that it’s not until November, most make a comment about having to be pregnant during the summer. Up until a couple of days ago, I didn’t really get the big deal. Personally, I prefer being hot rather than cold and like the options of lightweight dresses as opposed to layers of clothing.

Obviously, it’s sweltering across the country and Hotlanta definitely earned its name by experiencing triple-digit heat over the weekend. My parents were here so my mom and I ran a few errands on Saturday and Sunday. The only time we spent outside was walking to and from the car, but it was enough to completely wear me down. I got tired more easily and found that I was generally more irritable. I simply didn’t have the energy or patience to make decisions. I had a one-track mind: I wanted to be neck-deep in a pool, but we don’t have access to a pool, so I was a tad bitter.

I don’t think either of those are completely attributable to being pregnant – the heat will do those things to someone in any condition, however, I think there is a good chance they are exacerbated in pregnancy. I have several friends who are also pregnant right now and I bet they would agree!

The best part of last week? My cousin, Johnny, and his wife Nina had their second little boy. We went to visit them at the hospital and I held baby Jackson. Swoon. I haven’t been around a newborn since their first son, John Harold, was born just over two years ago. It’s easy to forget how tiny and precious they are. Of course, I couldn’t help but think about holding our own little bundle in a matter of months, but I’m looking forward to spending more time with both boys before then.

Rosebud has begun doing full-on gymnastics lately, especially when I’m trying to fall sleep. I swear I felt it on the outside of my belly a few times, but J has yet to do so; soon, I hope! Also, thanks to my crafty mom, she is already starting to compile a collection of goodies. From blankets and burp cloths to adorable socks and soft bunnies, her amount of stuff continues to grow. We may have to move the guest room downstairs sooner than we thought!