Sunday, November 6, 2011

Finding my new self

The word that comes to mind when people ask me what it's like being a new mom is adjustment. Finn is almost 4 and 1/2 months old and sometimes I still don't feel like a mom. With each day, I feel more confident in taking care of him, I fall more and more in love with him, and can hardly imagine life without him. It's mind boggling that he didn't exist outside of my body a year ago. And yet, I still haven't adjusted to my new self. How do you blend the selfish, single you with the selfless, maternal you? I think the mistake many new parents make is becoming too much of one and neglecting the other. But figuring out how to blend the two is a balancing act, an adjustment.

I know it's healthy for me and for my son for me to have an identity outside of being mother and wife. But in the sleep deprived, survival period of the first few months of motherhood, I'm not sure how.

Asking for advice is a double edged sword. It can be refreshing to hear someone acknowledge what you are feeling is normal. Yet, confusing when you are given conflicting advice. My advice to myself (and any other new parent) is to listen and trust your instincts. I was able to get in touch with that instinct during labor and birth. It was a process, almost like birth itself. But I got there and am so glad I did. The reward was so sweet.

So I'm going to spend a little time listening to the inner me and try to figure this new self out. I know I can do it, just like I knew I could have the birth that mattered to me.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I shall call this blog post a big ol' dump

It's the middle of the night.  I'm 40 weeks, 6 days pregnant.  I should be sleeping but instead I am waiting for labor.  A watched pot never boils.  I know this, yet when the storm hit tonight and woke me up I couldn't help but think, "where are the contractions?".

Markus has been asking me to write a blog post for a long time.  I wanted to give him his son for Father's Day, but maybe this post will have to do.  Before bed, we scrolled through the blog on his iPhone and looked back at some of the earlier posts I wrote.  It was a lot of fun to read and look back through our first two years together as a married couple.  I haven't blogged regularly in almost a year and I don't really know why.  I just haven't felt inspired to write or take photos.  My camera sits beside the front door, begging to be used.  I keep telling myself I will take pictures when the baby comes.  Hmmmmm.....

So, third trimester...and beyond....It hasn't been so bad.  It is uncomfortable.  With each new symptom I get I have to get used to it before I can settle in for the long haul.  For example, getting up to pee twice a night and having to turn from right to left every hour was really annoying at first.  Now I'm used to it.  When the heat kicked in and I felt like it was 1000 degrees outside, I had to complain and huff and puff.  Now I just expect to be hot and sweaty.  I think I have adjusted pretty well.

I started prenatal yoga around 30 weeks and that has really helped.  I use the techniques learned in class to give my body a nice stretch every morning and get the baby in the most comfortable position.  I also stopped working at 34 weeks (thank you, Markus!!!).  And as soon as I stopped working, I was able to sleep better and felt a sense of calm during the day.

The 1st 4 weeks I was home alone, except when Markus had off.  I had my little routine of sitting on the deck with the dogs, reading, watering the flowers, doing yoga.  Then I would plan something with a friend or run errands, take an afternoon nap, and make a yummy dinner or go out.  The last 3 weeks Markus has been home with me.  It worked out that he was able to have off an extra 1 1/2 weeks before his baby "vacation" officially started.  We etched out a little routine as well, similar to the one when I was home alone.  It's been such a blessing to have these last few weeks home alone together.  I keep reminding myself that it will be a long while until we are able to be just husband and wife and to soak it all up.  Precious time that not many get to experience before the birth of their first child.  We have gotten to do things we normally wouldn't have the time to do.  We finished the nursery and checked off all of our to do's.  We have gone swimming, seen matinees, napped together almost everyday, taken walks, we even had a picnic in the park.

But, it hasn't all been sweet togetherness.  The clock is ticking for Markus' return to work and each day there is no baby brings a little bit of tension.  We both feel like we are wasting time that could be spent getting to know our sweet little one before he has to leave again.  I have been telling myself daily affirmations throughout the pregnancy to help me focus on the positive and keep away the nagging negative thoughts.  The two that I keep telling myself lately are "I trust my body" and "I trust my baby".  I know that there is a reason he hasn't come yet.  That he will come when my body is ready and he is ready to be born.  Babies are smart that way if left alone, I truly believe this.

You hit 40 weeks and everyone is like "where is that baby?!?".  Like I am disappointing a whole population because I am still pregnant.  And I'm only 6 days past my due date people!  I think that has been the hardest part for me about the last week.  That, and counting down the days until Markus goes back to work and I'm home alone with a newborn.  It's a lot to weigh on the psyche of a hormonal pregnant woman.  But I am doing the best I can to stay positive and stay connected to my husband.  I need to stay in that frame of mind if I am going to get through labor, delivery, and post partum.

The hardest work is yet to come.  And the biggest reward is right around the corner.

Friday, March 18, 2011 far

There are a few things I would like to remember about pregnancy, and a few things that I would like to forget.  And hopefully what I would like to forget happens before we decide to have another so I can be naive about it all over again.  Ignorance really is bliss.  Of course, every woman is different and every pregnancy is different so I might have a whole different experience the next go round.  

Conception to 14 weeks
I had sickness in my first trimester.  It wasn't as bad as I have heard from other women but it wasn't exactly fun.  It started around 7 weeks and then magically disappeared at 14 weeks.  I don't think I'll really forget what that felt like but maybe the feeling will numb.  There are still some foods I can't eat because I ate them so much in my 1st trimester that it reminds me of the feeling of being sick.  Those foods are applesauce, pickles, saltine crackers, and ginger ale.  Godsends at the time but thinking about them now makes me feel sick all over again.  Moving on...

The fatigue.  You hear mothers talk about the fatigue that you will feel in your 1st trimester but no one can really prepare you for it.  I'm a person who enjoys sleep so the thought of being tired didn't really phase me before I got pregnant.  I just thought, "more time to sleep, yah!".  I compare it to being drugged and then trying to function during that fog.

The worry, fear, anxiousness, excitedness, holy crap - we're having a baby!  I'm sure all new moms feel all of these feelings, sometimes at once.  It was definitely very exciting.  But it's also scary knowing that your body is making another person and thinking of all the things that could go wrong.  Hopefully this part gets better with experience.  We shall see.  

15 weeks to 27 weeks
A friend of mine referred to the 2nd trimester as the "sweet spot" and for me it's been true.  I have absolutely LOVED my 2nd trimester.  I love everything about being pregnant right now, but I have to say my absolute favorite thing is feeling him move.  It's amazing and such a bonding experience.  I can be sitting at my desk having a bad day and then feel him move and it makes everything ok.  This is when the pregnancy starts to feel real.  I started feeling baby Finn move around 16 weeks.  At first it was just a flutter, then a little nudge, and now it's full on bumps in the night.  Last night Markus put his hand on my belly to say goodnight to him and he kicked in the exact spot he was touching.  So cool!

There are minor aches and pains that I have gotten used to.  My tailbone hurts if I sit to long.  I have leg cramps, especially at night.  I have gotten used to peeing all of the time.  My back hurts when I'm sleeping if I stay in one position for to long.  And then there is the tummy issues.  But it's all so worth it and I'm not complaining.  It could be much worse or I could have real health issues.

Tomorrow I am 28 weeks and enter my 3rd and final trimester.  This makes me a little sad because I love having the baby inside of me, always with me.  But I'm also really excited to meet him on his birthday.  I want to know what he looks like, what he smells like, what he sounds like, and smother him in hugs and kisses.  I am also excited to see Markus become a father.  I can't wait to see him hold his son for the first time and see him blossom into a dad.

In just 3 short months our lives will be forever changed and I will finally be a mother to my baby boy.  No longer a family of two as baby makes three. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

To my baby boy

I have been a "mommy" to our fuzzy male children for quite some time now and we refer to Charlie & Meeko as "the boys".  But come June there will be a new boy in our lives.  We found out what we already suspected, that you are indeed a boy.  My baby boy.  I hope your furry brothers will love you as much as we already do.

I feel so connected to you know and can already picture what you are going to look like.  Your profile in the ultrasound was so cute and showed you sucking your thumb.  I can't wait to meet you in June, but for now I'm content with having you swimming around in my tummy, giving me little kicks to let me know you are okay. 

Now that we know you are a boy, I have ideas swimming around in my head for baby names and nursery ideas.  I hope you like what we come up with.  For now we are calling you Finn.  I have been talking & singing to you lately.  I hope you can hear me, although my singing voice isn't as good as your Granma's.  Your daddy has been lying his head on my tummy to see if he can feel you, and he kisses you in my belly every chance he gets.  You are already so loved by all of your family and we are all looking forward to meeting you in June.  

You are 6 inches long and weigh 10 ounces at 19 weeks.  The baby book says you're about the size of a tomato.  I can hardly wrap my head around that!  

Keep growing, little man.  We are halfway there.  


Your mommy