Swagger

I have come to the realization that being an adult is at least 50% swagger- confidently doing things or giving advice on things you really don’t know much about. Now when I go out I encounter people my age or younger in these professional roles and all I can think is ‘how much of this is bluffing?’ I know I am bumbling through life, just making it up as I go. Surely, they are too?

Now that I have all these children in my life it is fascinating to see how they develop. They all look up to us ‘adults’ as the authority. No questions asked- everything we say is gospel. I don’t feel like I understand how the world works yet, and I am now going to have to teach this little tabula rasa how to survive in it. It’s nuts. Which is why you need swagger. And Google.

Don’t get me wrong- I don’t advocate for blindly following your gut on complicated or important things. But I’m also pretty sure the reflex to call your mom is not always helpful. She was making it up too! Or read it in some horribly outdated book.

We must do our research and not latch onto the first thing we hear or read. There are so many opinions out there and we do ourselves (and our children) a disservice by not weighing them all. Obviously blatantly horrible opinions can be avoided, but as the expression goes ‘there’s more then one way to skin a cat’. What worked for you as a toddler may not work for YOUR toddler.

Sometimes though we just have to listen to ourselves. Like right now I am beyond tired and hired a woman to deep clean my house because I just CAN’T. It embarrasses me that I am ‘weak’- but it needs to get done and no amount of coffee is going to get me in that tub with Vim and a sponge. When the lady arrived I was so relieved to pass this chore on- it was worth every penny. But now I vocally extol the value of a cleaning lady to all! My swagger is in full force- I KNOW SOMETHING NOW. Ha! Nope. Some people ‘nest’ by cleaning. Some people enjoy the feeling of self-sufficiency. I know nothing! I have an opinion that should be taken in, weighed, and compared. But heck if I won’t tell everyone about it!

Swagger.

Mothering

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I’ve come to the computer several times over the last few days intent on writing, but I open the file and stare at the blinking cursor. It mocks me- counting the seconds as I sit empty. When will the creative juice start flowing again? Right now I feel so much like my old, pre-medicated self. Motivated, confident, able to handle things. Yet I still can’t write!

My mind is completely occupied with the baby. When will they come? Will I be able to do it? Will they be healthy? I know this is just the tempest of motherhood that everyone goes through. I’ve been informed it never goes away- no matter how old your babies get.

My poor mother needs urgent spinal surgery and she is more worried about missing the birth then herself. She wants desperately to be there for her first grandbaby but, as usual, we can’t always get what we want. It will be hard to do without her, but she needs to put her health first and I will send copious pictures.

I’ve been watching lots of deliveries. Some are so beautiful and inspiring- others insight terror. The only common thread is: you never know. Some people are so prepared and things go sideways and they end up with a C-section. Others don’t know what the heck they are doing and push for 10 minutes after a 4-hour labor. Tearing seems to be mostly unavoidable. Still- I’m doing the perineal massage and learning breathing techniques hoping for some magic.

I’m a bit worried about hubby’s ability to stay upright through the birth. A few days ago I ripped my big toe nail off. There was a little blood and the man almost threw up. He INSISTED we go to the walk-in clinic. Despite my arguments that it was a total waste of time I went to appease him (it was definitely a waste of time). He can’t even look at my toe without cringing. He does not want to see anything on the big day- he’s even scared to cut the cord! I’m hoping all the excitement will fortify him because we are only allowed one support person and the glacial Canadian healthcare system is keeping my mother from me.

Knitted Onesie

Started this way back when my nesting instincts were nuts. A surprisingly simple pattern with all over moss stitch and crochetted edging. Ending up doing the 3-6mo size so it will theoretically fit bean in the fall.

The piece has a somewhat bizarre tie closure on both sides of opening. Going to try it out but anticipating needing to switch to velcro or snaps or something.

The crochet edging is simple and cute. I’m going to try it out on some matching booties and hats for a complete outfit!

Here is the free pattern on ravelry as “baby talk” if you are interested! Here’s the direct link: https://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=9054&cid=17

Adventures of the Bump

As my belly gets bigger and bigger I am noticing there are all kind of reactions to the bump.

So far, strangely, older gentlemen are the most happy to see me. They will jog forward to open doors and say hi with a huge smile. Older women are FULL of old wives tales and advice. They seem equally divided on whether I am having a boy or girl.

Grocery store check out ladies are also THRILLED to talk to you, usually about their own experiences but also about how you feel and how excited you are. The checkout lady at the liquor store on the other hand was hella concerned. I had to explain the wine was for risotto, not me.

Young people (teenagers) don’t give a shit, I don’t even think they notice.

Mothers hauling around a couple toddlers look at me with what I can only describe as “enjoy it now”. Mothers with older kids or teens look quite wistful, and then smile down at their own kids.

I also get a few double takes when I’m out exercising. I’m quite proud that I am still pushing myself to get active each day so the quick surprised looks make me feel good.

So far I haven’t had any problem with randoms wanting to touch my belly- thank you COVID! Some of my friends get a snuggle- but that is fine with me. My hubby keeps trying to catch the bean swimming around, but they seemingly have performance anxiety and he’s only felt a few kicks. Also, head is down now so when bean gets hiccups it just makes me need to pee really badly with all that low jostling.

I’m 32 weeks now so the countdown begins- bye bye belly and hello baby!

A Little Scare

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

Not sure what was up with baby yesterday- but they scared the shit out of me. My normally super active bean was so quiet. I did a kick count and it was okay, but no where what they had been doing. I decided that if they didn’t perk up today I would go in for an assessment.

I did a kick count again this morning which included movement but mostly just little flutters. I decided to try to hear the heartrate with my stethoscope. Apparently the pressure of the bell pissed little bean off. They immediately started speed bagging the bell and I just laughed with relief! They kicked around dramatically for another few minutes and then forgave me and had a nap.

As weird as having a tiny human kicking you all day- it is even weirder when they stop. I’m going to stop complaining about bean’s acrobatics and enjoy growing a baby.

28 weeks

Had my 28 week check up today. I had 4 anxiety poops before leaving. I had to breathe through a pretty intense panic attack en route. But once I got there it was all good news. Gestational diabetes scan was negative. Baby is (clearly) growing well. Heartbeat was strong. And I had only gained 0.8kg in four weeks. I attribute this entirely to Zumba. Its is crazy fun and you don’t even realize you’re doing cardio for an hour. I’m obviously a lot less graceful right now but I still do it three times per week.

My sister has been here saving my bacon for several weeks. I get over heated easily and bending over is a chore, so she has been doing my part of the work expected on the fence. It’s finally done so she’s going to go home and pick up her new kitten (who sounds adorable). It’s been nice having her around and luckily she’ll be back in August for the birth.

Now we must prep the shed area for the delivery on Monday. The dude is just going to back it in and slide it off. It’s pretty amazing. And a hell of a lot less work then building from scratch. It will be so nice to have my yard back, though the areas not covered in crap have grass a foot tall that I will have to intensively mow.

I’m still not writing which is sad and frustrating but likely the norm for a long time. I am also adjusting nicely to decreased lithium and getting ready for another step down- exciting!

So, let’s just say things are going great (knock on wood) and I am happy and balanced. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer as well!

Building a Baby

Only 27 weeks! So much left!

I now understand all my mommy friends. Building a baby is no joke. You are tired and uncomfortable ALL THE TIME. Not sleeping well was just the tip of the iceberg. There’s all sorts of bizarre pelvic pains. Your belly feels like an over-full beach ball that bonks into things all the time and prevents you from properly bending over. You get winded on the stairs and you pee a little when you sneeze.

You also zone out all the time thinking about baby. My cleaning standards are way higher. And I am starting to freak out about how this giant baby is going to come out.

I have to admit that I am eating healthier now then I ever have. Knowing the bean eats everything I do is making me re-think candy and chips. Unfortunately, my ‘bizarre craving’ is super cold Dr Pepper. I always get myself one after grocery shopping. I also want milk all the time. I drink a 4L jug all by myself every week.

I was completely unprepared for the constant kicking. In my mind it was a little boot while your hubby was gently cupping your bump that was miraculous to everyone. In reality it an onslaught of kidney and cervical punches and full on barrel rolls that make even my enormous boobs bounce around. It is distracting and just plain weird. Bean is always most active after a workout when I’m stretching. So some belly rubs are now part of my routine.

Finally, there are the mental gymnastics you must do to deal with your changing body. You waddle around feeling oh-so-sexy, NOT. You can only watch in fear as your belly gets bigger and bigger. It’s hard sometimes to remember there is LIFE in there and you are not just getting fat as hell. I admit to some breakdowns early on about the changes in my figure. Now it’s almost comical how big I’m getting. The belly is a serious hinderance to almost every part of the day. Washing dishes or cleaning the tub are the worst. I’m also guilty of man-spreading when sitting down, I feel no shame.

The idea that all of this will turn into a screaming infant in approximately 13 weeks has not really sunk in yet. I am hoping COVID regulations ease up enough that I can go to a birthing class some time soon. In the meantime YouTube is my friend.

Nesting

Holy crap people- “nesting” is a legit thing!

Our baby furniture FINALLY arrived and I had to almost immediately put it together. But I couldn’t stop there. I had to put out the blankets and put the clothes in drawers. I set out some of the cloth diapers with wipes and lotion. It was like I was possessed! I couldn’t stop until the room was done. Now I go in there and just sit in the rocker looking at everything. It’s all so goddamn cute and I am beyond excited.

Also, ‘we’ are re-doing the fence and shed. I am basically useless at this point, so I make sandwiches and ice tea. Unfortunately, this is a long and messy process. So my beautiful backyard is completely filled with lumber and garden equipment. This chaos outside really motivates me to make the inside perfect so I have a ‘safe space’ to be calm.

By the way, I may have to just be pregnant for the rest of time. I have not felt this good in YEARS, perhaps even a decade! Of course I get the regular pregnancy things- but those are all physical and easy to manage. My MIND is in order. If I want to do something in a day- I just do it! I have the energy and the drive. My anxiety is so low I can just ‘pop up to the store’ without planning it in minute detail all day and then chickening out when hubby offers to go.

I am doing so well my psychiatrist and I agreed that we would try a decreased dose of Lithium. Lithium is the only thing preventing me from breastfeeding. This feels important to me. I have carried these cannon balls around since 6th grade so I want them to have a purpose. Also breastfeeding has many other benefits and is FREE- so I’m all over it.

I have to remember this is just a test. We are going to decrease until symptoms come back. But a little piece of my brain says: they won’t come back! Well, who knows? I’ve spoken with women off meds for years before a life stress makes them nuts again. Maybe that could be me? I’ve certainly learned how to care for myself.

Hello from Social Isolation,

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

Never has a global crisis so pandered to my natural inclinations. Un-like most, I quite enjoy staying home and crafting or reading or writing. When I do go out the spooky emptiness of the stores it is soothing. Even my doctors appointments are by phone- preventing the panicked downtown driving experience.

Too keep things from spiralling into chaos both externally and internally, I am adhering to the same daily schedule I had before. It really helps keep the hours of Netfix-ing to a minimum. Hubby and I have coffee, then when he goes into work, I do some sort of chore (like yesterday I cleaned the oven). After lunch I have craft time, or lately writing time (yay!). During the afternoon I can check the news, but I try to only read a few things. Much more and my anxieties get out of hand. I try to go for a jog around 3pm, sometimes I drag Dexter- but he hates it. I have been making very elaborate dinners to fill the evening. I am not allowed to watch tv until 7pm, but by then I am usually VERY ready to sit down. Lately, we have been watching documentaries and I have learned a lot about ancient Rome and how to commit a murder.

I have so many projects on the go it is hard to focus on just one to work on. My sewing skills have much improved after many hours of dedicated You-Tube-ing. I am currently making a maternity dress from my own pattern! Unfortunately it is in plaid so pattern matching is more of an issue then I had hoped. I’ve also created a book rack, baby bibs, burp clothes and fabric blocks. All are waiting for Amazon orders to arrive before they can be finished- but I promise pictures as soon as they are!

We also popped our cherry and bought our first big baby thing! I invested in 15 cloth diapers that are so friggen cute I can’t get over it! And yes, I am dedicated to trying out cloth! I am tired of everyone telling me it’s too hard/gross/messy. I do not want to contribute all that diaper garbage to the landfill- even if it means more work for me. Our next purchase will be a crib. We are waffling between used and investing into a convertible new one. I like the idea of the bed growing with them. OR being good enough quality to last for more babies??

Speaking of the bean- the ultrasound shows a healthy baby with all the bits! So now we just wait. 19 weeks has never felt so long! Also the little bean is not so little anymore- I am mostly wearing hubby’s sweatpants. They also enjoy kicking during evening TV time. Only I can feel it so far but it is hella weird.

Now if I could only train the cat to not interrupt EVERYTHING that I try to do I might actually finish all my projects before the big day!

A bright spot

I know everyone out there is FREAKING OUT and I will therefore try to not add to the stress. Let us talk of happy things!

  • I am 19 weeks today and the baby is as big as a mango! Can’t feel the movement yet, but I eagerly await that bizarre experience. Here’s a picture from the anatomy ultrasound, apparently bean was moving around the whole time so this is the best pic:
  • The sun is out in full force. No jacket needed for walks and all that gross grey sludge is FINALLY melting. It’s ABOVE ZERO people! Practically summer out there!
  • I am starting this project : https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/b33-30-baby-talk (sorry mom, your sweater is on hold for now. This is time sensitive!) I’ve been gifted some beautiful grey merino to use- thanks to my MIL.
  • My husband’s meetings have all been cancelled/postponed so I get him all to myself! It is so nice. He’s even helping with cooking and cleaning. He says because he knows I am more tired then normal, but I think he’s bored!
  • My belly is officially a belly! I get winded putting my boots on. I haven’t gained any weight, but I feel huge! I am terrified/excited to see if I get enormous like my mom did. It is truly weird to watch your body change everyday and to know it’s because there is a flippin PERSON living inside you!

So those are my happy thoughts for the day! Please send yours so we can all get through this crazy time together!