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I’m not sure how much time we’ll be spending in here, especially at first. But…it has been a good experience to decorate a space just for Graham. The look for the nursery is vintage (thrift store/Goodwill) meets rustic (handmade) meets Pinterest (I wish)! Its a semi-farm theme. Blues, burlap, and white, with flashes of red. (I wanted more flashes of red, but oh well).
We have felt so loved and taken care of during this entire pregnancy. I had my third baby shower at work last week. I haven’t returned/exchanged a single thing that I’ve received as a gift. I’ve loved everything and received duplicates of nothing. And…we have pretty much every single that we need. So thankful.
I’ve been lovingly militant (Gregg’s word, not mine) about washing all the new outfits and blankets that we’ve received for Graham. I’ve washed everything as instructed, so it will be be ready for him when we gets here. What did I find when unloading his goodies from the washer to the dryer this weekend? A dead mouse. Decomposing. With my baby’s clothes. Pout face. I’d been so careful about washing his clothes, and then I run them through the washer with a dead mouse. Go figure. Don’t worry, I re-washed them. He’ll have a very healthy immune system from farm-living.
Gregg keeps telling me how prepared I am for our soon-to-be-here baby. I’m loving preparing. Washing clothes, getting the nursery together, decorating, figuring out what I want to store where. Like the 100s of pairs of socks people have given us and the teeny tiny shoes. How accessible do these need to be? I’m thinking socks should be more within reach than shoes. They’re cute, but does a baby that can’t walk really need shoes?
The nursery is upstairs and we are downstairs, so its been a challenge to figure out what should go where. So far, we’ve got the changing table, swing, Rock N Play sleeper, and our glider (thanks, Mimi) downstairs. Upstairs, we have the dresser, crib, a year’s worth of clothes, stuffed animals and books, and, the one item that every baby needs, a fish tank (yep, pictures to come). Graham will be downstairs with us for the most part, so I really debated over whether I even wanted a nursery, but I’m really glad that we made a space for him. Its really a space for his stuff, but I like that its organized and not all thrown haphazardly into a room. I like to call it the staging area, but I don’t think that’s the correct use of the phrase.
I’ve started listening to a podcast about pregnancy and new mom topics. While I don’t like listening to pregnant women complain unless they are my friends (there’s some of that on the show), I do like learning. Through nursing school and my job on the maternity floor, there are some things that I do know. Like, how to take care of a baby for the first three days of life. But, that’s where my questions arise. What happens when you and your baby get home?
I’m enjoying learning about things like babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping. It sounds like we’re going for the hippie-parenting award, but they don’t teach you about these things in nursing school. Gregg and I went to a childbirth class where we didn’t get on the floor once. No hee hee hoo hoo’s to be had. There was just a powerpoint. I didn’t mind it. It was a nice review and I learned a couple things. Gregg, not the classroom type, would rather have been practicing breathing techniques or sleeping. He was a good sport.
Again, as I’ve mentioned before, there are so many unknowns, so many things that I can’t prepare for. So, if I can prepare for something, I’m going to. Getting our boy’s gear ready.
A woman that I work with is pregnant, due about 3 months after me. Its her third baby and she’s had c-sections in the past, so she will have a scheduled c-section this time around. She will get to decide when she has her baby. Or, at least, she will know months in advance when she will have her baby. I wonder what that feels like. Once April gets here, I feel like I’m stepping into a great unknown (cue the dramatic music).
The not knowing effects more than just me. Sometimes I like to see my patients in 2 weeks or a month to make sure they are doing okay, to make sure the changes that we made are helping them. And I’m starting to say, I should be here in a month. But, I really just don’t know. I feel a little bad about that, like I’m leaving them high and dry. They’ll be able to check in with someone else, but I want to see them myself.
My sister-in-law, Jennica, and her mom were sweet enough to throw me a shower on the Eastern Shore. Almost all of my book club pals, our doula, and a few other friends were in attendance. It was farm-themed and we made a bird mobile (pronouced mo-bill or mo-beel?). We stitched and stuffed felt birds that are now hanging from a nest looking thing ready to entertain our boy. Thank you, pinterest.
I’ve had a shower of old friends and this was a shower of new friends. This shower came with lots of love, too.
I’ve gathered up some solicited Momma advice over the past few months. I’ve been asking my friends and family about labor, gear, maternity leave, and lots of other baby-related topics. I wanted to gather it all into one place, and this seemed like the place to do it. So, here’s the advice I’ve received about gear. Some of the gear decisions didn’t have to/aren’t going to have to make since we have such a generous group of family and friends that want to give us their stuff. We can’t thank them enough! Its a relief both financially and to my brain.
I’ve literally copied and pasted advice that has been emailed to me, so its a bit all over the place. And some advice is conflicting. (Obviously, we’re not going to get 5 different stroller combos.)
MUST HAVE BABY ITEM: Fisher Price’s ROCK N PLAY SLEEPER
Strollers: (I’m so overwhelmed on this one. I’ve told Gregg to pick one out for us.) Graco carseat and stroller combo, Graco carseat with “snap n go,” City Mini GT, BOBs are amazing – often can find one on Craig’s List a little cheaper. For non-jogging/lightweight: Combi umbrella stroller.
Carriers: “Boba (check out the website!) and love it. It’s recommended for “petite” mommas…under 5’4,” Ergo, Moby wrap, Dolcina woven wrap, “I would recommend something that goes over both shoulders as opposed to a one-shoulder sling. Those really start to hurt after a while.” I’ve also been told the Ring Sling and the Fabric sling carrier(which are both one-shoulder) are awesome.
Bottles: Tommee Tippee, Medela bottles, not Avent, “Best advice I got though was to not open any in advance because you don’t know what your baby will like.”
Miscellaneous: Swaddleme velcro blankets, activity mat, Bumbo seat, Ingelsina Fast Baby Chair as a high chair, swing, Aden & Anais blankets.
And one momma of six, my cousin Kendra, dedicated an entire blog post to the topic. She has a lot to say about what you don’t need which I also appreciate.
Somehow I always seem to move to a new place just before a major life a event. We moved to Knoxville, then got engaged. We moved to Virginia, then got pregnant. So, since I’m about 6-12 hours away from many of my nearest and dearest, I didn’t expect to have a Baby Shower. But…we managed to meet up at Wimbo’s parents cabin in Hendersonville, North Carolina over the weekend. I knew that it would a challenge for friends and family to gather in one place because everyone had to travel. But…I’m so thankful. My mom and dad came, and so did some friends from Knoxville and college. I cried a lot and felt very loved.
There is so much unknown during a pregnancy. What will the labor/birth/baby/nursing/sleeping/routine/marriage, etc. be like? One unknown that I’ve been thinking about a lot is being a working mom. I’m pretty sure I’ll want to work part-time once our baby comes, and financially, I’ll need to work. But my questions have more to do with when I will be ready to go back and how much I will want (and need) to work. Gregg will most likely be the one to be taking care of our baby on the days that I’m working, so I’m comforted that he will at home with our boy. I’m also thankful that they’ll have this time just the two of them, but I think I’m also a little jealous. He’ll be there and I won’t. What if something amazing happens and I miss it?
Sometimes when I have questions like these, I’ll google what other bloggers have to say. I went on a search yesterday, and came across a Norwegian mom who was ranting about the difference between American maternity leave and Norwegian maternity leave. In Norway, moms get a year’s worth of paid maternity leave. Shut up. Not what I want to hear. Their taxes are exponentially higher than ours, right? I’ll tell myself that they are. I need to ask my friends about going back to work, but I know that every mom, baby, and situation is so different. The question is what’s right for us, and I don’t know. And I won’t know until we’re there and he’s here. That’s it. But I want to know now, please.
I feel God being really stern with me on this questions. Trust me, child. Weird and cool that I’m still His child even as I’m learning/preparing to be/becoming a mom.
Its a BOY, not a GIRL! Its BLUE and not PINK! So, scratch the this post from the record, as well as my mother’s intuition that prompted me to buy a leopard print coat for a 6 month old. Apparently the umbilical cord was covering the Oh-so-important boy part on our ultrasound.
So…bring on the toy trucks and barnyard animals and big appetites and sore arms that come from carrying the heavy load of a baby boy.
I’m really getting into learning about labor and birth. I love reading about what to do to prepare and what the experience could possibly be like. Lea calls the experience of medication-free contractions Laborland. Sounds like Candyland, but I don’t think there’s much of a similarity.
But, I’ve been having some issues with the natural childbirth books that I’ve been reading.
First, what I love. I love hearing what a female body is capable of doing. I love hearing about the power of the mind when in labor: not feeling safe (i.e. someone that you don’t like/don’t trust coming into the labor room) can actually make a woman regress in her labor. Woa. I’m interested in learning what I need to do to prepare, both mentally and physically, and I love when these books help me do that. And I love that, with their books, they share an alternative approach to the traditional, mainstream hospital setting.
What I don’t like is the total anti-establishment, anti-modern medicine attitude that some of these authors take. I get it, its important for women to be informed about their choices and understand the interventions that may be offered to them in the hospital. I just don’t like the bashing. I don’t like painting every medication used for induction like it is going destroy your baby and your body. There are risks with these medications, certainly, but the way they are presented could instill a lot of unnecessary fear. I feel like the tone should be more to inform and not bash, but I don’t think an unbiased view on this subject exists and maybe it shouldn’t.
I think I’m sensitive about this issue because I’ve worked in the environment that they are bashing, and it is very protocol-driven. I don’t like the Ob/Gyn’s and hospital staff being portrayed as uncaring clock-watchers (they are out there, but its not the majority). Just don’t bash my friends! I know the doctors and the nurses that work in the establishment and the majority of them care so much about their patients and want to take very good care of them throughout their pregnancy, labor, and birth.
Bloggers, sometimes do you think you are repeating yourself in your posts? Sometimes, I think, have I said this before…? Hope I’m not being too repetitive.
I started listening to Bringing up Bebe this morning. I’m already thankful that this is the first pregnancy/parenting/baby book I’m reading during my pregnancy. The book’s author is an American woman who conceives, carries, and raises 3 children in Paris. While in France, she observes how different the entire French culture approaches motherhood and parenthood than we do in America. Their attitude is much more worry-free while still raising confident and creative children. The French pregnancy magazines have articles entitled “9 Month Spa” rather than “Is it safe?” During pregnancy they encourage indulgence (while somehow gaining the recommended French 26 pounds versus the American recommended 35 pounds) rather than fear. The French parents aren’t required to adhere to one parenting theory or another, instead, they have a cultural theory that’s so embedded into everyone’s psyche that its actually difficult for the French to articulate what it is.
More first trimester thoughts
I’ve become very introspective in the past couple of weeks. And I love it. Maybe that’s weird, but I’m finding comfort in going into myself(?) Sorry to sound hyper-spiritual. Its been a little strange because I’ve been craving community and people that know me, but I’ve been wanting to be myself and read and sit in the hammock and…just be.
My most recent visit to the OB/Gyn was empowering. I’ve been hesitant to get super worked up about wanting to have a natural labor. I’ve seen friends be absolutely devastated when their birth didn’t go as they expected. I didn’t want that for them, and I don’t want that for me. I’ve been protecting myself from the possibility of this kind of disappointment. Also, after working in the hospital with pregnant women both right before and after they have their babies, I’ve seen the outcome of different types of delivery is basically the same. When a healthy baby is born, it doesn’t seem to matter how their baby was delivered. But the process (the pregnancy and the birth) is important, I missed that before. I talked to my OB about how I’m used to being an observer, but, now that I’m a participant, I’m beginning to see things differently. Also, not working in the hospital any more, I think I’ve gotten some of my compassion back and lost some of my cynicism. That place does it to ya.
My Ob/Gyn encouraged me that its okay for me to have an opinion and to want to approach my pregnancy, labor and birth in a specific way. She encouraged me to write down the interventions that I would want and not want. To this, I told her that I know how nurses respond when a patient rolls into the unit with a Birth Plan. They roll their eyes and prepare for the worst. (What is it with nurses? I think, we’re both the meanest and nicest people in the world.)
I’m developing my pregnancy/childbirth/parenting reading list and loving it. I’m open to suggestions.