Saturday, June 1, 2013

32 weeks/parents update

This picture is from 2 days ago when I hit 32 weeks (8 months). Since this picture was taken 2 days ago I've gained 2 pounds. This morning B was like "Woah woah woah turn sideways again" and when I did he was all "you really look pregnant"! ha. Up until last week I had only gained 15.5 pounds the whole pregnancy, but now I've gained over 18. I'm now in the uncomfortable phase of pregnancy where the baby seems to be permenantly lodged in one of my ribs, and she keeps kicking me in a nerve in my back. I've also been sleeping terribly and having weird dreams when I can sleep.  The most recent was a dream that my baby was born and when I went to change her first diaper I realized she was actually a boy not a girl.

Apart from that I've mostly been working from home since the semester ended around 3 weeks ago, trying to finish up a bunch of research projects and get things out to editors before the baby comes.I've also been going to a few meetups (through with a group of "new and expecting moms" who live in the area. On Wednesday me and one of the moms who lives right near me went for a walk at the park/greenway near my house- in addition to around the mile we walked together, I walked to the park and back (around a mile round trip) and around an hour after I got home my pelvis started feeling like it was falling apart, and it hurt for 2 days afterwards.  I should really walk more often so that my body is somewhat in shape for giving birth..I've been doing one long walk per week but it would probably be better to do several shorter walks. Last week the mom group went on a walk by this bog garden place in my town and we saw this barred owl couple that live there (in the wild, it's not like a zoo type place), which was really cool! The week before that B and I went to walk around the local arboretum with our dogs for our 4 year wedding anniversary (we also went to a really fancy brunch which was awesome).

I had a baby shower a few weeks ago, thrown by my department. It was a joint baby shower with another professor in my department who is due in a week or two.  I got a ton of stuff, including way too many newborn-sized outfits (like 11) considering those only go up to 8 pounds and some babies (like B) are born bigger than that.  We didn't even register for any clothing, people just bought it for us. Word to the wise to anyone buying things for a baby shower: Don't buy newborn sized clothing!  It would probably be better to buy like 3-6 month clothes or even 6+ month clothes since they will need that a lot more.  Right now we have like 11 newborn size outfits and maybe 10 0-3 month size (which will also fit newborns), it's ridiculousness.

My parents came to my baby shower. They never stay more than one day here, so they flew down that day, got here around 12:30, came to our house for a couple of hours until we drove to where the baby shower was at 3pm, and they left the shower at around 5:30 to go catch their flight home.  The visit went well (This is now the third time they have met B) and my mom gasped less around the dogs. They brought us some bagels and lox (which I'm not really supposed to eat cause I'm pregnant but I had some anyway) and some "Mazal tov" chocolates for the baby shower.

At the baby shower itself I didn't hang out with them too much once it got started cause I was circulating and talking to everyone there, but apparently a lot of my colleagues went over to them and told them how awesome I am.  One of my (Female) colleagues also gave both my parents a big hug which I think took them aback a little bit, but they were gracious about it.  My mom also spent a lot of time talking to one of my friends about project runway (which they both love apparently), and talked a lot about her work as a fabric designer (which she did before my brother was born like 30 years ago). It was kinda bizzare seeing my parents interact with all my colleagues, I don't think I've ever really seen them interact with people who weren't orthodox jewish.  The whole thing was somewhat surreal, but went off without a hitch.

Then yesterday it was my birthday (31! Why does that seem so much older than 30?  I think it's cause I'm *in my 30s* now).  My parents called and I actually ended up talking to both of them for about 2 hours in total. I asked my mom all about how her births went because I hear that a lot of people have similar births to their mothers.  Apparently I was born a few days late, my next brother was born a few weeks early, and my youngest brother was born right on his due date.  My mom was in labor with me for around 25 hours. She claims she only had contractions like "every 10 minutes" until her water broke and then "She pushed twice and I was out." She said for all 3 babies her water broke right before the baby was born.  My dad remembers things differently, he says the water broke an hour or two before we were born and she definitely didn't push only twice, they were in the hospital for around 10 hours before that, and her contractions were more than every 10 minutes.

I kinda trust my dad more, and I suppose this was 31-25 years ago for both of them (depending on the kid), plus I'm sure since my mom didn't have epidurals for any of her kids she might be remembering things weirdly or blocking out some of it. If my mom's story is true it makes me nervous because she said she had far apart contractions until her water broke and then the babies came right out- and my doctor has told me to wait to go to the hospital until I've been having contractions 5 minutes apart for at least two hours. I don't want to go to the hospital too early and be sent home again because each time I go to the hospital my insurance charges me $233. But I also don't want to wait too long and give birth at home or something crazy! Luckily the hospital is only a mile from my house and we can get there in literally around 3 minutes.

My dad was still trying to pressure me to give the baby a "jewish name" and have a "jewish naming ceremony" when we were talking yesterday, and he was even like "She can get a catholic name from your mother in law too" and I was basically like "Ummm, no on both counts."  He was like "that way she can have the choice to be jewish" and it's like...she can choose to be jewish whether she has a jewish name or not, and if she wants some rabbi to give her a jewish naming ceremony, it's not like it has to be done when she's born- she can have the choice to have a jewish naming ceremony if she ever cares, which I doubt she will.

They also don't like the name Lilith because "It's a demon name" and I told them for non-orthodox jews Lilith is actually somewhat of a feminist jewish icon because she refused to submit to Adam. My mom also didn't like the first name we chose. But whatever, it's not her kid and I don't think she has much of a right to criticize what I name my kid considering the extent to which she has not been a part of my life the last few years (and I don't want to hear criticism from you internet people either!). I should have never told them either name and just told them after she's born and it's on the birth certificate. Oh well.

My parents are going to israel for vacation next week and my dad was like "We'll put a kvitlach(Message) In the kotel (wailing wall) for you." I somehow ended up telling him the story of how when we were in Turkey for our honeymoon we went to the supposed house of the virgin mary (one of our stops on a tour that went to Ephesus) and there was a wall there full of little messages just like the Kotel.  And apparently my dad had no idea I had ever been to Turkey, or Greece, or Italy- basically he had no idea that I had gone on my honeymoon, so I ended up telling him all about that trip and suggested he should take a kosher cruise to visit Europe sometime. My parents have been to Israel like 10-15 times, but have never been to any other country (except Canada at Niagra Falls).

In other news, the cloth diapers I wanted were on sale so I bought 24 for around $350.  I also bought around 300 disposable diapers for the first month or so (size newborn/1) since the cloth diapers don't work until the baby is around 10 pounds. But the cost of those disposables made me feel a lot better about my cloth diapers purchase- they were around $55 for 300, AFTER I used two coupons that came out to $20 off.  I didn't get the cheapest diapers because the coupons were for pampers/huggies, but still, that's ridiculousness- if I was going to pay $50 a month for disposables I just saved around $200 for the first year and $600 for the second year.

Meanwhile we have bought almost everything we need for the baby. My parents got us a crib/changing table which we have set up already. My brother got us an infant car seat and a stroller frame thing that it clicks into, so we will be good on that until around 6 months when we'll need to get a new car seat and stroller. I found a good deal on an Ergo carrier, and we got a pack n play with an attached changing table that we set up in our bedroom for the first couple of months when she is waking up every 2-3 hours or whatever, and once she only wakes up once or less in the middle of the night we will start putting her to sleep overnight in her room (until then I don't want to have to walk to the front of the house a million times in the middle of the night). She'll also be taking naps during the day in her room so she gets used to sleeping in the crib, and also because her room is right next to the sunroom where I have my home office set up now (It used to be set up in the baby's room) since once she is a couple of months old I will be working from home on research stuff. I had to use my 'research sabbatical' to get the entire Fall semester off- our paid maternity leave only covers half a semester but I'm due 3 weeks before the semester starts and no way was I going in to teach my '1.5' classes 3 weeks after giving birth, especially if she is late like first babies often are- so I will have "research leave" in the Fall  (we actually planned this baby around my research leave) and "maternity leave" in the spring and teach 1 class in the spring + do some extra service work (writing long boring reports from home- I already wrote the first one- 28 pages- a couple of weeks ago) to make up for the other half class. Since I'm technically only entitled to 2 months paid leave I'm going to use that as my guideline for when to start doing research from home, becasue I don't want to use up my entire research leave doing no research and only baby stuff.

Only things left to buy at this point that we need right away are some sheets for the crib (We already got sheets for the pack n play when they were on sale- waiting for my baby registry to send us discounts on everything left which should happen in the next few weeks according to them),  and a glider (last major huge thing and I definitely want a comfy one). My mother in law might actually be getting us the glider (think she's getting us either that or a stroller for when we outgrow the first one) but if she doesn't I have a savings bond that is set to expire in about half a month (they stop collecting interest after 30 years- I got this one from my grandparents when I was 1 year old) that I'm going to cash in and use that money to buy it.


  1. I love this post. Sounds like you're figuring everything out. If I have one word of advice it would be this- don't invest too heavily in believing that things will go a certain way whether it's the birth or where the baby will be sleeping. Sometimes you just have to go with what happens and it is rarely what you imagined. There is a great joy and freedom in letting go of certain expectations and as I have learned, each and every baby comes with her own needs and personality. Tabula Rasa my ass.
    By the way- you're beautiful.

    1. Amen to that advice. Our first started in our room, then in his room, then in a mechanical swing as he couldn't stay asleep without motion for a while.

      And yes, you really look awesome.

    2. LOL. I just reread that part. The reality is that your little girl will sleep wherever she wants, whenever she wants, despite your best-laid plans. One kid wanted to be physically attached to me 24/7, another demanded that I walk her around the block at midnight, and another demanded that he sleep on a strict schedule, alone in his crib, clutching a washcloth or blankie. And heaven help you if it was the wrong washcloth or blankie, or even if you thought that the old blankie needed a wash.

  2. You look great, and you're doing awesome. The instrument is also pronounced like her name, but carousels are awesome, and who cares?

  3. My friend had a baby in January and I was trying to find 6 month or bigger outfits, but the problem was that apart from short-sleeved onesies, it was winter and they didn't have nice summer outfits out at the stores I visited. I think people just enjoy cooing over the tiniest things possible at baby showers.

  4. Good to hear from you again. As Ms. Moon says, take it as it comes and enjoy your husband and baby.

  5. Will it be Callie as a nickname?

    Gliders are a worthwhile investment. They are comfy for nursing, and they magically induce sleep.

    Test the stroller frame and see if it rolls smoothly outdoors. (I assume that you'll be walking the baby and the dogs at the same time.) If not, get an all-terrain/jogging stroller that can be used when she's older, that also has an attachment that allows you to snap on the baby seat. I remember that my basic Graco stroller was a pain on anything other than perfectly smooth and level floors, but my Baby Trend jogger went bouncing over everything. Of course, the Ergo carrier is the best for going over anything - we used soft carriers for everything from frozen waterfalls to crowded buses to major hikes.

    1. Not sure what the nickname might be yet, there are multiple possibilities, Cal Callie, Calla, Poppy...

  6. You look great, I hope you have an easy delivery. You didn't mention Lamaze - my experiences with it weren't that great. Don't be a martyr, if you want an epidural, get an epidural - and do that early enough while you can, if you wait too long to ask for it, they can't give it to you. On the one hand, I'm impressed that your parents came to the baby shower. On the other hand, they have a lot to learn about being grandparents!

    1. I took a baby and birth class and they taught us breathing stuff (deep breathing/hee-hee-hoo things/panting while pushing)...they didn't call it lamaze but later I looked up some videos on lamaze breathing cause I was curious what it was, and it was totally the same thing. They also taught us different positions to take during labor and massage stuff that husbands can do. I also got an exercise ball to bring to the hospital with me.

      I'm not dead set against epidurals, but I kinda want to experience a natural birth just how frequently do you get to experience giving birth? In my case probably only twice at the most, and this might be my only chance (not 100% sold on a second kid, going to see how this one goes first, plus it was hard for me to get pregnant so no guarantee I will be able to). I usually have a very high pain tolerance, and I want to be able to feel and fully experience everything! I also want to be able to walk around during labor and labor in non-flat-on-my-back positions. But of course I've never given birth so I don't know what it's like yet, if I can't stand it I'm going to take the epidural.

    2. In terms of birth preparation, IMO the most important thing to remember is that it's great to be in control of the things that are in your control, but you ultimately can't control some things about your baby and your body. You could have your heart set on an epidural, and discover (like my sister did) that your platelet count is too low, or the baby is coming too quickly. You could have your heart set on a natural birth, but the baby could be in distress or simply lying in a way that she can't easily come out. Some of the crunchy crowd act as if interventions are some sort of failure, and it's a load of BS that can really inflict irrational guilt during what should be a really happy moment. Some people like their birth experience. Some people don't enjoy pain or puking/pooping during the process - and that's fine too, and has nothing to do with how they are as mothers.

  7. I would take the arguments with your parents about naming as a very good sign... your relationship is normalizing. Sounds like things are going great, and it sounds like your parents are more interesting people than you give them credit for, sure they were the parents trying to control you and your decisions, and did lots of things wrong, but ultimately, they are human beings with interests, pasts, etc., and managed to share that with your colleagues.

    On the epidural, I obviously have no personal experience with them, but my wife did natural birth with our children and was awake and alert to enjoy those first few days with our newborns. Our friends that did epidurals looked like zombies for days afterwards. I know that the epidural is supposedly out of your system almost immediately, but they all looked like they were recovering from a really bad hangover.

    Give your dad some credit on the name front, "and he was even like 'She can get a catholic name from your mother in law too'" , he's done pressuring you to be Jewish, he's just wanting to keep is granddaughter somewhat connecting.

    Clearly it was your call call to not consent to him doing a naming with his Rabbi, but you should acknowledge that he is expressing something emotionally important to him, even though you aren't agreeing to it.

    I think it's a wonderful sign that you're finally building a healthy adult relationship with your parents.

    On the multiple kids, we found that a second kid doubled the good side of parenting, and only increased the non-financial pain aspect about 20%... and the fact that they are able to play with each other makes our home much more pleasant and reduces the "play date all the time" that our friends go through.


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