motherhood

to reveal or not to reveal.

we got to see little baby z. today! it was our 20-week appointment and ultrasound, and now i want the next 20 weeks to hurry the heck up so i can squeeze the crap out of our little munchkin. the struggle is real.

i’ve already mentioned that we’re waiting to find out baby z.’s gender until that little mouse enters the world. for better or for worse, that’s what Mister Man and i decided would be the best decision for us at this point in our lives. what i didn’t mention is that the decision-making process was not an easy one, because we actually started out on different sides of the fence.

maybe not so surprisingly, i was the one who wanted to find out if we were having a boy or a girl in the beginning. it’s no secret that i am a fanatical planner. if i can start finding solutions for a problem that is months away, i’ll do it. i’ve already started researching nannies for january 2015. the planning isn’t all bad, because it cuts down on a fair amount of stress that would otherwise rear its ugly head when last minute issues arise, but i’m the first to admit that it can sometimes get out of hand. i thought that i NEEDED to find out what we were having in order to keep my sanity.

and then my loving husband told me that he thought waiting to find out would be special. and my brain exploded. my organized, structured, engineer husband wanted to be surprised. and so the next/only logical step was a pros/cons list. that’s what everyone does when making big life decisions, right? that’s what i thought.

turns out the only pro to finding out the gender for me was that knowing would keep me from imagining both options and from being momentarily disappointed when it inevitably WASN’T one of them. not exactly a strong argument. especially when the arguments for waiting made so much more sense – getting gender neutral clothes so we can use them for other kids, receiving practical gifts instead of lots of gender-specific ones, an extra incentive to make it to the end of the delivery. i basically saw the light.

and after all that, here we are, fresh out of our ultrasound, with no temptation to find out if we’re having a little erin or little Mister Man. just the cutest picture of our child (not that i’m biased), and we couldn’t be happier. 

photo1-3

let me tell you, this is going to be one of the easiest decisions you’ll make in your whole pregnancy, so take it easy on yourself and don’t overthink it. the tough questions come when you start talking about how to diaper your baby, and what to do for childcare, and oh my goodness don’t get me started on the highchair question. 

(sidenote: i’ve been asked quite a bit if i’ve had any dreams about which gender the baby is, and the answer is no. i WISH that i had any type of feeling at all on this, but i just don’t! i think it’s because i’ve decided to not find out, so i’m subconsciously blocking that intuition from my brain. however, if i have a crazy baby dream, you better believe i will tell you about it here.)

FIND ME HERE TOO: BLOGLOVIN || FACEBOOK || TWITTER || INSTAGRAM

we’re halfway there.

and all of a sudden, one half of my pregnancy is over and done with. i feel like i closed my eyes during one of my first trimester naps and when i woke up, 20 weeks had passed me by.

photo1-2

and all of a sudden, it feels real now. that’s not to say it didn’t feel “real” before, no. but it’s like i’m on the other side of the hill now, and i can already tell how fast the time is going to go before baby z. gets here. i don’t think that i did a good enough job of enjoying what was happening to me in the beginning. i haven’t been writing down any thoughts on the experience, and i haven’t even really thought about how i’m feeling about the whole thing (other than crazy excited), so now i’m trying to hold on to as much of it as i can.

***

i am completely, fully, absolutely unable to button any of my pants up anymore. i’m fairly certain all my organs have moved up into my ribcage. the front of me is getting rounder every day. and i love it. i never thought that getting bigger would be this easy for me emotionally. for a while i thought i would have a really hard time with it, and i’d need a lot of reminders that it’s okay, and it’s for the baby, but it’s just happened so gradually that it’s been easy. so my pants don’t fit, so what? it’s just a better excuse to live in leggings.

***

Mister  Man and i were all cozied up on the couch last weekend, watching our newest show obsession (the bbc’s sherlock, it’s unbelievably good and we can’t stop!), when baby z. decided it wasn’t being paid enough attention. holy cow, the gymnastics that were going on in there! i was giggling while feeling all of it happen, and it occurred to me that MM might be able to feel it too. so i grabbed his hand and set it right where all the acrobatics were happening. sure enough, he got a little punch in his hand, and neither of us could believe it! i’d be lying if i said it didn’t terrify me a little bit that the munchkin is already so strong and active (because what’s it going to be like in two months?!?), but also it’s so absolutely dreamy.

***

last night as i was falling asleep, the little one started dancing around in my belly, so much so that it kept me awake. that hasn’t happened to me yet, and it was so strange and glorious that instead of being irritated, i just lay there with my hand on my belly, thanking God for the strong little thing in there. (does this mean that we’re going to have a night owl on our hands Mister Man?) it was the first time that i felt like i was bonding with MY baby, and it really hit me that this.is.happening.

photo1-1

***

here’s to the next 20 weeks being just as wonderful as the first. and to me remembering to soak them all in a little more. because having a baby is a miracle, and i think i need to appreciate how amazing it actually is, that’s what i think.

p.s. how much bigger do we think that belly is going to get? i’m betting on a crap ton bigger. i’m practicing my waddle as we speak. 

FIND ME HERE TOO: BLOGLOVIN || FACEBOOK || TWITTER || INSTAGRAM

7 things people do when you get pregnant.

in my limited experience as a pregnant person, i’ve started to notice some recurring patterns in the things people do to me since i started growing a person inside of me. and naturally, i started to realize how hysterical some of them were (at least to me, they might not be funny to you at all, now that i think about it). if you’ve ever had a baby, i hope this makes you laugh. if you’re planning on having one someday, i hope this little list helps prepare you for what will most certainly be done to you.

*if you have trouble distinguishing my sarcastic tone from my serious tone, or you just really don’t get my sense of humor, i would like to preface this by saying that all of this is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. also, please feel free to do any of these things to me next time you see me. it’ll be fun.*

background

1. judge your coffee drinking.

actually, if you’re like me, this will happen before you even announce you’re pregnant. it will come from all sides. your doctor might say something like, “well, i made it through med school without caffeine, so i bet you can do it for 9 months”, and everyone else might will insinuate tell you to your face that the second you stop drinking coffee is the second they’ll know you’re pregnant. except joke’s on EVERYONE, because once you realize it doesn’t make you feel ill in your first trimester, you have no intention of giving up coffee. (yes, i moved to half-caf at home, and i only order lattes at the coffee shop because it’s controlled amounts of caffeine, but give it up? no sir, you’d be wrong about that, so take your judgey face elsewhere.)

2. touch your belly.

yes. this is most definitely a thing that will happen to you. and it’s okay to fall on either side of the touch is/is not okay spectrum. i thought i was firmly on the do not touch side, but want to know something incredibly unexpected that i found out about myself? turns out that now that i have a little bump, i am okay with people touching my belly. not strangers or co-workers, OBVIOUSLY, but i’m having some kind of out of body experience where i have subconsciously given the belly area to the baby, and i’m okay with people touching it! some ground rules exist: a) you must ask before you touch. b) flat palms at all times, otherwise i will feel like you’re squeezing the chub layer. c) YOU MUST ASK BEFORE YOU TOUCH.

p.s. did you see that my bump is totally popping out?

3. provide their opinion on your decision to find out the gender (or not).

you hate that we’re not finding out if we’re having a boy or girl until it’s born? oh, you were hoping we’d wait because that’s more exciting? too bad you totally missed the meeting between my husband and me where the decision was made, otherwise we would definitely have given you a say in the matter!

(we are waiting until baby z. is born to see if it’s a little lady or little gentleman. you may leave your opinion on this decision in the comment section below!)

4. raise their eyebrows when you say the word “waterbirth”.

i know this might freak people out, so the eyebrow raise is more understandable. careful though, if you make a face, i will be obligated to tell you about it in incredible detail. but yea, i might give birth in a bathtub! which also happens to be in a hospital, because i am a woman who likes to have options, and likes very much the idea of a healthy baby at the end of the ordeal, however that needs to happen. also, the idea of a natural birth without being surrounded in warm, soothing water gives me anxiety feelings.

5. tell you about the time they lost their mucus plug in a terribly horrifying situation.

firstly, i have plenty of horror stories i’m making up in my head right now about what could go wrong, i don’t need to hear about how your water broke while you were sitting at work in the middle of an important meeting with all the important people. secondly, i need time to come to terms with things like mucus plugs and broken water and the labor process, so you’ll forgive me if i don’t fully participate in the conversation. i’m trying to avoid getting ptsd BEFORE i give birth.

6. ask you if you’ve gained any weight yet.

this happened to me in the  crowded bathroom at work a few weeks ago. it wasn’t so much asked of me as yelled at me. i blinked a few times before answering “nope, not yet.” can we just all agree that unless i volunteer the information to you, and i probably will because i am a great over-sharer, you promise not to ask me about how much i weigh? you know, like i’m still a normal woman with pride?

(4 pounds so far if you care, right on track, i’m the queen of gaining pregnancy weight, go ahead and punch me in 6 months when i hate myself for saying that out loud.)

7. love on you more than you ever expected.

see, i’m not a total cold-blooded people-hater. the few hilarious/shocking/rude things that may happen to you are far outshadowed by the amazing love that is bestowed upon you when people find out you’re pregnant. i can’t count the amount of times i’ve been surprised by a card or a gift or just a “happy for you” message that we’ve gotten over the past few months. this baby of ours is going to be so loved and welcomed and cuddled, that when i think about it too much, i get a little weepy. i mean, it’s not even out in the world yet, and it’s already loved! people are wonderful.

the moral of the story is this: people will say things that surprise (and maybe even shock) you…just like when you’re not pregnant. the key is to stay calm and not let the hormones win. and then you’ll see that most of it is done out of love, and at that point the hormones might win and make you cry.

FIND ME HERE TOO: BLOGLOVIN || FACEBOOK || TWITTER || INSTAGRAM

baby stuff: first trimester wrap-up.

thank you all for your sweet words on the announcement of our new addition. it was so much fun to tell all of you and you wouldn’t believe how hard it was to keep it a secret for three whole months. in case you’re worried that this blog is going to become nothing but baby-related posts, you can rest easy. although i obviously think about it constantly, my life does consist of other things outside of being pregnant. like i said in my last post, i’m hoping that my appetite and energy will come back soon so i can start doing normal things again (and then write about them!). there will still be posts about the process of growing a human inside me, but they definitely won’t be the only content around here.

so in the spirit of not boring you ALL THE TIME with pregnancy stuff, i thought i’d do trimester wrap-ups and stuff all the major things into one big post so we could move on to the juicy stuff on other days (rude people and hiding the fact that you’re not drinking). let’s start with trimester one, although full disclosure: i still have about 10 or so days left in it.

|||

there are about a million things that go through your head when you find out you’re pregnant. “holy crap! this is so exciting! boy or girl? holy crap! how will i tell everyone? holy crap!” for me at least, not one of those thoughts included, “how is this going to make me feel for the next 9 months?”.

but let me tell you that once the initial euphoria diminishes (just the tiniest amount you know, my euphoria is still in full swing), that thought consumes most of your waking hours. because no matter what type of pregnancy you have, easy or not so easy, you will feel different than your normal self, and that can be…unsettling…to say the least. but also fun? it’s all very rollercoaster-ish. here’s what my experience has been over the past 12 weeks or so:

energy: like i mentioned in the last post, ever so subtly, the fatigue, lethargy and general lack of energy has been incredible. you know how you have those days where you feel like a zombie and no amount of coffee will help you become a real human? you know those days? yea, well take one of those days, multiply that feeling by a billion, add to it that you don’t really feel like drinking coffee/you can’t drink enough coffee in your pregnant state to make a difference, and you can start to scratch the surface of understanding how i’ve been feeling, energy-wise. to really drive the point home, let’s just say that when i was able to do the dishes, it felt like i had just accomplished a feat of mythical proportions.

morning sickness: a pleasant surprise for me was the fact that although i have been getting nauseous like clockwork (breakfast and dinner time, every day yo), there has been no actual vomiting in my life. and for that, i have been thanking the good Lord every single day.

food: lest you think that pregnancy is all just one big food fest, i’m here to tell you that i am not one of the lucky ones who wants to eat everything all the time forever, at least not in the first trimester. in fact, i think it’s safe to say that the way i’ve been surviving is by force feeding myself. that’s the only way to describe mealtimes lately, because eating is supposed to be a thing you do willingly. this has been sad you guys, because i really love food. and yet, nothing really sounds good to me. and that makes me weepy. (edit: just kidding, one thing has sounded good to me, and that one thing has been sauerkraut. yep, i’ve gone through three large jars all by myself so far, and that train shows no signs of stopping. all aboard the sauerkraut express, destination childbirth. i’m sorry that was too much).

bump: nothing to report in this area right now. my belly still just looks like my belly. my clothes all fit fine, no maternity clothes or belly bands for me (although my siblings totally got me one the other day, woooo!). i hate to say it, but i have a feeling i won’t look pregnant until about the second half of this pregnancy…and all i want is a round belly!

favorite products:

  • mama bee belly butter: you guys, i know that this won’t stop me from getting stretch marks if that’s what is destined for me. and to be honest, i just don’t really care. but a girl’s gotta try, right? and this stuff just feels so moisturizing and awesome.

mama bee

  • snoogle body pillow: i literally JUST got this in the mail today, and it’s already my favorite thing i’ve ever had. sleeping just isn’t the same when you’re pregnant, even when you don’t have a big belly, and this is my new best friend.
  • gedney sauerkraut: see note above on the only food that sounds good to me. the gedney brand just really does it for me too.

sauerkraut

  • dr. bronner’s eucalyptus pure castile soap: all-natural, and the scent is not strong enough to make me gag like the lavender version, but also almost has a stress relief factor to it. cannot say enough good things about this stuff.
  • yoga pants of any kind: okay, my girl card is going to get revoked for saying this, but i’ve never really understood the whole “wear yoga pants all the time” thing. i prefer jeans or straight sweatpants to yoga pants. until now. i get it now. they are the perfect blend of stretchy and supportive and i would live in them if i were allowed. i kind of want this pair for my birthday. maybe more than one.

chaturanga tight

  • tracy anderson pregnancy dvds: when i feel a burst of energy, i have been trying to get workouts in when i can. these dvds are amazing, tracy is pregnant in them, which makes you feel better about being able to do everything (if she can do it, i can do it!), and they just make me feel stronger all around.

let me know if you like this sort of post and are cool with me doing them for each trimester, or if you’re like, um TMI erin, no more of this please. also let me know if you have any pressing questions about this whole being knocked up thing. i’m kind of an open book and really like to talk about it. have a fabulous weekend all!

FIND ME HERE TOO: BLOGLOVIN || FACEBOOK || TWITTER || INSTAGRAM

and then there were three.

baby z coming august 2014

oh yes. baby z. will be making his or her appearance later this summer and mister man and i could not be more excited!

turns out that growing a tiny human being inside your own body takes the wind out of your sails, energy-wise, hence my absence from this space over the past few weeks. i feel myself coming out of the fog, ever so gradually, so i will be back in business very soon.

that means you’ll get to hear me squawk about food (oh how i cannot wait for my appetite to come back!), home projects, and snippets of daily life once again. i’ll probably throw in some funny stories about pregnancy, including tips on how to hide your new sobriety over the holidays.

thanks for being patient with me as i start to feel more like myself again. i’m excited for this next adventure in our lives to begin, and can’t wait to share it with all of you.

FIND ME HERE TOO: BLOGLOVIN || FACEBOOK || TWITTER || INSTAGRAM