Holiday Laziness

The holidays meant that I did not turn on my computer for 7 days. AWESOME. And tonight we have to eat and go to party. Also awesome. So, I will do a very brief post so that those who care know that I am not dead. 

Musing of the day: Something happened between yesterday and today. As in, Henry may have gained 3 pounds. Today, my belly feels harder than usual and full. i can’t explain it any better than that. Today, Henry makes me uncomfortable. Yesterday I could bend over, sit with my legs tucked under me, and buckle my shoes. Today, not so much. 


Three-Time Crier

Yesterday, I cried three times. Pre-pregnancy, a real bad day would have earned me one, solid good cry. Pregnancy, however, is an unpredictable beast. And most of the time I have my wits about me and function as a normal human being would. But days like yesterday, when absolutely nothing bad happened and there is no good reason to be crying, you cry three times for three different reasons.

Cry #1: I panicked. I worried. I imagined the worst. I got scared. All of this happened at my desk job, working at a university. Here is a small (please believe me when I say small) sampling of the questions that flooded my brain causing the crying: what if Henry is born too early? What if Henry comes late? What if something is wrong with him? What if I don’t like being a parent? What if I do like it and I’m bad at it? What if I resent Henry for my life changing? What if Allen resents Henry for his life changes? What if Allen resents me for having Henry? What if Henry is 12 pounds? What if Henry is a normal weight but comes out with Allen’s full grown giant adult head attached to the tiny body? What if I stink at parenting? How will Henry change our lives? Will Henry make Allen and I closer? Will we be pushed apart? What if I go crazy during maternity leave? What if I get postpartum depression? What if Henry cries all the time and I never figure out how to make it stop? What if that causes me to want to throw him out a window?

Commence cry #1.

Cry #2: I have regained my composure and am sitting at my desk, still thinking about cry #1, but no longer on the verge of crying. Henry shifts in my belly, balling himself up on the left side (which he favors, I almost never feel him on the right side) causing my belly to bulge, stretch, and get hard, just on the left. It is uncomfortable. Not painful, just uncomfortable. I put my hand on the baby bulge and can feel his round little something. Head. Butt. I’m not sure. Little ball of Henry. And then suddenly I could see myself snuggled up with little ball of Henry with my hand on his cushy little diapered butt. The overwhelming vision of adorable and blast of excited feelings was too much.

Commence cry #2.

Cry #3: Allen took me out to my Christmas present last night. I have never seen the Nutcracker and have talked about how much I would enjoy the experience. Eeee! Ballet! Tutus! Toe shoes! Luscious man-thigh in tights that appear painted on! The dear man bought us a pair of tickets to see the Kansas City Ballet perform the classic in the gorgeous Kauffman Center. It was all a surprise. I found out about the tickets during dinner. Prior to receiving the tickets I unloaded all my terror from cry #1 on Allen. His response? Perfection. He worries about the same things (minus the birthing stuff because he, good for him, does not have to participate in that part)! He is scared! He is also excited! No judgement + love + scared + excitement = too many feelings.

Commence cry #3.

Lessons learned: In life, which pregnancy is part of (surprise!), it is okay to be scared out of your mind and also excited beyond belief. These feelings do not have to live in separate worlds. They can mix and mingle and drive you crazy. This is okay. Being scared does not mean that I don’t want to be Henry’s mom. Being excited does not mean that I don’t have doubts about this whole parenting thing. For me, pregnancy has not been magical. I am not in love with being pregnant. Physically, I have had one of the easiest pregnancies imaginable. Mentally, it has been a struggle. That is also okay. (It is also okay to absolutely love every minute of being pregnant). I think we are given 40 weeks to create tiny humans in order to mentally prepare ourselves for taking care of tiny humans. Take advantage of that thinking and mental prep time – I have a feeling it is going to be quite important. I need to stop comparing my pregnancy and feelings to that of every other mom that ever existed. It is exhausting and futile. Now, it’s only been 24 hours and I am pretty sure I’m going to have to revisit that last one 100 times and it maybe still won’t stick, but danging, I am especially going to try to keep that one in mind.

30 weeks!

And on that note – I hit 30 weeks today! I didn’t feel like a total schleb today so took a picture to commemorate the milestone.

Vomit and Birthing Videos

I think our animals are trying to get us well acquainted and comfortable with vomit. Real gems, those three. One of the cats left us a treat over night a couple of nights ago; Cash decided it would be a fun time to vomit 8 times in the course of 20 minutes between 11:50-12:10am last night; and tonight before dinner Moby gave us another little vomit show. No, nothing is wrong with any of them. Certainly, Cash did eat nylon rope, which caused the explosions from his gut. But now that it has been expelled, he would happily take a walk. So, a big thank you to our animals this week for giving us a tiny sneak peak into what it will be like to have an infant. Lots of vomit, lots of cleaner, lots of patience. The thing that freaks me out the most is that I wasn’t freaked out by the cleaning up of vomit (admittedly, dearest husband took care of most of it since I was trying to sleep last night). That’s what kids will do to me. I know I should be grossed out, and then I won’t be. And THAT will gross me out. 

Speaking of gross things, can we take a minute to talk about the birthing class we attended this past weekend? The six-hour course was actually incredibly informative and helpful. Allen, who admits to dreading the course, thanked the instructor not once, but twice, for being engaging and making it generally awesome. Does anyone else know what the COAT test is? Let’s just have that be our secret. Actually, that’s the problem with pregnancy. It is entirely too secretive. So, enough of that. COAT stands for color, odor, amount, and time, all of course which refer to a lady’s mucus plug. You heard it right, ladies and gents. MUCUS. PLUG. Pleasant, right? I think half the horrors of pregnancy and labor come from the terminology. Another favorite “bloody show.” No joke. Why can’t mucus plug become unicorn tears? Or how about mountain rains? I wouldn’t feel so disgusted by those terms.

Other things that have been kept secret from me for 30 years: epidurals require catheters (not cool all you moms – yes, that IS relevant information to share), the most natural pushing position is the squat – which is performed on the edge of a table in a precarious and somewhat degrading looking perch, and, the most horrid of them all, brave women who go at this birthing thing sans drugs sound like dying animals – lonely, dreadful beasts that are begging to be put out of their misery. The 15-minute video shown to us – from 1996, it is time to update because sometimes I couldn’t tell if the wife was moaning over a terrible perm or because of the 8-pound pot roast being pressed into the birth canal – was the thing I remember the most from the entire six-hour class. Those poor, poor women. Sound as a coping mechanism is not okay. I kept yelling in my head “JUST STOP! STOP MAKING NOISE! It isn’t doing anyone any favors! Everyone needs a pair of noise cancelling head phones in that room!” Just to be clear, these women weren’t yelling like you see in movies. It was so much worse: the sound of a wounded animal. I would classify the video as a traumatic experience. You could hear other people in the class squirming in their chairs. You want to decrease the rate of teenage pregnancy? Show young girls THAT video. Anyway, if you care, any inkling that I may have been entertaining that I could do this without drugs has been obliterated. Am I excited for a needle in the back and a tube in my urethra? Nope. But, BRING IT ON. You should know that the woman in the video that received the epidural slept until it was time to push. Now, that sounds awesome. 

All this is to say: women could use a little more honesty about what REALLY happens during labor. I must have been 25 before I learned that there is a real good chance I would defecate on the table during labor. Would any of this have stopped me from wanting a baby? Absolutely not. I just like to be an informed consumer. 

As a result, before I forget all of these things myself and am brainwashed by Henry’s adorably tiny hands and feet and begin spewing lies to all the women I know about the wonders of pregnancy and labor, I thought I’d get the truth out there for the world to see. And the truth is scary and gross.

Roughly 73 Days Out

Recently, I have been thinking more and more about writing down some of my pregnancy, parenting, and other life thoughts during this time of change in the Eastlund household. I thought about keeping a journal. Or over sharing on facebook. It seemed that the best venue was to start a blog (please note that the only thing I am promising to do here is start the blog, fully recognizing that in two weeks this may be a lost cause) for friends and family that want to follow our journey, read our crazy thoughts, or simply see pictures of Henry when he arrives in roughly 73 days. Again, and it bears repeating, I make no promises regarding upkeep. I am notorious for beginning projects that I never finish (currently on that list: our wedding scrap book from nearly 6 years ago, painting the living room which we started roughly 3 years ago, finishing 5 knitting projects – some of them 7 or more years old, etc.).

Before starting this little endeavor, I asked Allen if he had a problem with my blogging about being pregnant and parenting and Henry. He looked at me like I was crazy. But, hey, I feel the father of the child I plan to exploit should have a say in the level of exploitation.

This may simply become a place to dump pictures of Henry one he arrives so that I do not overwhelm facebook with my obsessiveness. Currently, I definitely fall into the “I won’t be one of THOSE parents” categories, but I think we can all agree that will go straight down the pooper once the ugliest being that I never wanted to let out of my arms arrives.

Correct. Uggliest. Being. Babies aren’t cute. Can’t we just agree to that? They come out smooshed, blotchy, and covered in stuff that has been described to me as “cheese like.” But will I think Henry is the best? Oh, certainly. I’d be the worst mum ever if I didn’t. However, pre-Henry arrival I can say with confidence that it is highly likely he will not be cute. The odds are against him as they are with every other child ever born. Except Asian babies. Seriously, why are they the most adorable babies that ever existed?

I don’t plan to say anything brilliant, but I do plan to be honest about what I am thinking and feeling because I am CERTAIN other parents think and feel the same things, but it feels like there is a little bit of a lack of honesty in what it really means to be a parenting. I am sick of hearing about how rewarding and awesome it is going to be – tell me the truth! No one wants to have poop in their hair, vomit on their face, or live off 3 hours of sleep. Babies cry and they NEED. Just. Everything. Lots of neediness. And those things are hard. And right now I can only intellectually comprehend how hard they will be, but I have no idea what it really means to have your house torn apart with no energy to fix it while a toddler is crying because it is May and Santa won’t be coming for some time. And that is probably a very mild hypothetical in the lives of parents.

Someone recently asked Allen if he was excited to have a baby. His response was no. I think that is spot on. No one in their right mind should be excited for a baby. They are awful.

Now, lest you think we are terrible people from whom Henry will need rescue, let me tell you the things we’re so stoked about we can hardly stand it: baby smiles, baby giggles, all the firsts, holding our fingers, fighting over who he looks like, watching him grow, watching him learn, teaching him to be an awesome person, watching him make mistakes and figure things out, getting dirty, watching him love the dog, and so so so much more. But it is foolish to think those things do not come at a cost. It is just a cost that we are so very willing to pay. And it is the cost that all parents are so very willing to pay.

We are all damned fools.

And as I type that at 29 weeks 5 days, Henry is kicking me. And I put my hand on my belly and smile because I love it.