10 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

I know a few women right now who are pregnant.  It is such an exciting time for them.  I think back to that time and smile.  However, I also do remember the incredible things people eCard_twins-300x210said to me.  At the time it took everything in my power to not either be offended, cry, yell or do all three.  Now when I think about it, I think people were actually trying to either help or show interest, but it just came out the wrong way.  With that said I came up with my “favorite” 10 things people said to me when I was pregnant.

  1. Are you afraid your cats are going to smother your baby in its sleep?

Well, I am now!   In all honesty Ringo twice jumped into the crib at the same time Liam was in there and the one time he jumped right back out.  The second time he curled up and went to sleep.  I am probably going to get blasted for this, but I thought it was so cute I took a few pictures of it.  I then removed Ringo from the crib.  He never did it again.

  1. Wow, you are huge. I can’t believe you still have another 2 months to go.

Thanks for reminding me on how big and uncomfortable I am.  Also I appreciate you pointing out that I still have another 60 days of this in which I will inevitably get larger and more uncomfortable.

    8.  You look awful! Are you ok?

No, no I am not ok.  I have not been able to hold anything down for 5 months.  I spend most of my time hanging over a toilet bowl.   But thank you for confirming what I feared.  I look as bad as I feel.

  1. Why are you going back to work? Surely you can afford to stay home?

Well, I am so glad you have an insight on my family’s finances and what we can afford.  The truth is yes I need to go back and furthermore, I want to go back to work.

  1. It’s about time

I waited for almost five years after getting married to have a baby.  For the first two years after I got married people were constantly asking me when we were going to have a baby.  Every time I was sick or had a headache someone asked if I was pregnant.  When I finally was pregnant I had one woman say to me, “It’s about time.”

  1. You know breastfeeding is better, right? No judgment.

Umm, that sounds like judgment to me.  It always made people slightly uncomfortable when I told them I had postpartum depression after Liam, so with Ava it was suggested that I try to take some things off the table that gave me stress in my last pregnancy.  Breastfeeding had been a huge issue for me.  Still I had one person say to me, “Well you could at least try.”

  1. Did you plan it?

I was always taken aback by the number of people who were basically asking me, were we not being careful and are now having an unplanned pregnancy.  I got this only once with Liam, but several people asked me when I was pregnant with Ava.  I feel bad for the one person who had asked me, as they got me on a particularly raw day and I snapped back, “No it wasn’t planned, thank you for reminding me.”  (Of course that wasn’t true, but I was tired of hearing it)

  1. Two babies under two. How are you going to manage it?  What were you thinking?

Well for starters I was thinking people weren’t going to be so rude, but the truth is I wanted my kids close together.  I didn’t want to get through the sleepless night, diapers, and whatnot and then start all over again.  I figured we were already in the trenches let’s just plow through it.  I am not going to lie it was really, really hard in the beginning, but I am so glad we did.  Liam and Ava are very close.

  1. Enjoy your sleep now because when the baby comes you won’t be getting any?

Alright first of all who is sleeping at 9 months pregnant?  Really?!  Between the back aches, the impossibility to find a comfortable spot, and every ten minutes you feel like you have to pee, sleeping is not happening.  Also, the idea that you can stock pile sleep so when the baby comes it will help you, blows my mind.

  1. How much weight did you gain?  I only gained 15lbs.  Did your doctor say you are ok?  How are going to lose all the weight?

I mean, I am not sure which one to hit first.  If asking a woman what her weight is not acceptable, why would you think its ok to do so when she is pregnant?  Good for you and you 15lb weight gain.  I hate you, but good for you.  I plan to lose the weight on a strict diet of never sleeping or eating or what some would call being a parent.  The truth is each time I had to work hard to lose the weight.  It didn’t just fall off for me, but no pain no gain.

Good luck mommas.  Don’t let it get to you and if you can laugh it off.

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Mommy Is Going to Get a Bookbag

For some time now I have debated about going back to school.  My husband and I have had many talks about it, but in the end I have always decided not to go back.  Primarily because I was…am….too afraid of missing something with my kids.  Even so, there has been this gnawing ache in me to go back.  Quite frankly I have wanted to go back since I graduated.  Now twelve years later nothing has changed except that I am older.

I look at my sister-in-law and my cousin who are both young mothers and are in school.  They amaze me how they juggle it and make it work.  The funny thing is I think no matter what, if you really want something, you make it work, and you find the time.   I know it isn’t going to be easy.  I am not going to be able to snap my fingers and poof have more time, but I do think if it is important to make it happen.  I know that there have been times I missed things with my kids.  I didn’t get to see Liam give his first love in preschool the handmade card he made for her (but I did sit with him the night before while he made it).  I did not get to see Ava at her dress rehearsal for her recital last year (but I took her to every class, picture, and was there for the day of the recital).   I will always have time for the extra hug before I run out the door in the morning.  I will always be late to work to miss my kid’s holiday performance at school.   In the end the important thing is that I am always there for them.  Every night my husband and I end the night with our kids saying how much we love them and no matter what we will always love them.

MEME.jpgI know I can give myself the easy out on why not to go back to school and it would it be a valid excuse.  But here in lies the problem.  I want my kids to see their mom as a happy, fulfilled, ambitious, hardworking mom.   It took me a long time career wise to be in a place that I can say I am happy.  And while everyone’s definition is different on what fulfills them and drives them, for me it’s going to back to school.  So this momma in the next year besides writing in her blog, selling her Avon, going to work, and soaking up every moment with my kids and husband, will also be studying for the GRE’s.   No more excuses.  It’s time to hit the books.

 

 

 

The Unexpected Gift

TimeWhen I decided to be a gestational carrier my main focus was helping out two amazing people in their quest to parenthood.  I never imagined that through this journey I would gain something from it other than some additional attention.

It has now been 5 months since the baby was born and in hindsight this pregnancy in many ways saved me.  I had been at my past employer for nine and half years when I went out on disability a couple of months prior to the birth.  It was not an easy time for me.  I felt poorly.  I was unable to take care of my children and the simplest things were very taxing to me.  After the baby was born, they could not get me to stop bleeding and because of this my hemoglobin count dropped to a 7.  The doctor told me average range was 12-14.  Because of this drop in my hemoglobin I was anemic.  I never realized how debilitating that could be.  I had body aches and pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue.  About a week and half post-partum I started to feel like myself again (thanks to the iron supplements I was taking) and that is when it hit me like a bolt of lightning.

The first time I was taking a shower when I burst into tears.  Not realizing how loudly I was crying my husband came in to see what was wrong.  I looked at him and said, “I do not want to go back.”  There were no additional words needed he knew what I meant by that.  A week later he had just finished drumming and I was working at the computer.  I turned around on the chair to face him and burst into tears again, and said “I really do not want to go back.”  Without hesitation Will said I do not how we will do it, we will figure it out, but you aren’t going to go back.  He then said you better write your resignation letter.  Just the thought of that made my stomach do flip flops and caused me to feel anxious, but I sat down and wrote it.

To say I had been unhappy for some time would be an understatement and the details aren’t really important.  For some reason however, I never had the courage to do something about it.  After the baby was born something inside of me changed.  I can’t really explain it, but I will say this.  Seeing how in a split second the lives of two people changed so much, was like an epiphany to me.  These two incredible parents now had their family.  A journey for them that had many bumps in the road, but they never gave up.  Somewhere along my own journey I had silently cried defeat.  But in that moment something renewed me and gave me the sense that I needed to make some changes.

That pregnancy as a gestational carrier will always be different and special for many reasons.  However, one of the biggest reasons will always be for the first in many years I finally took a step in the right direction towards my road of happiness.  There were some sacrifices I had to make, but it has been more than worth it.  With this renewed feeling of life and love I truly believe that my future has endless possibilities and for that I will always be indebted to “Baby Wednesday”.

Hypocrite

Hypocrite.  That is what I am.  A person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.  After a morning of being yelled at, being told I am a mean mommy, cried at, and threatened to be hit, I yelled at both of my kids for yelling.  Well if that is not the anti-message, I do not know what is.

Sure I could make a lot of excuses of why I am burnt out and they are all valid ones, but what kiParenting -hypocritend of message am I sending to my children to not yell, as I yell at them for yelling?  Granted they both looked stunned at me and quieted down, but I feel really ashamed of myself.  They are both in their rooms sleeping or quietly quaking and I feel horrible.

Liam and Ava recently have been having a hard time listening and many times I feel like they are not made to do so.  It is true that the path of least resistance works, but it cannot be done for every occasion.  In the last 24 hours I have repeated myself giving the same instructions over and over again.  Granted that partly comes with the territory of little children behavior, but it has gone too far as evidence of my own temper tantrum with the children.  Why is it that my yelling got exactly what I wanted, but now I feel horrible?

Sometimes I feel like I am really failing at this parent job.  I question my ability, my strength, and my effectiveness.  I am sure all parents have those moments and I am not the only one to feel this way, however I am worn out.  I just wish there could be one day, just one day with no battles, no arguing, and no negotiating, just “Yes mommy”.

Its 12:15 right now and the kids will probably get up in an hour from nap.  I would like to erase this whole morning, however I cannot.  I need to reset and so do they.  Together we will figure this out.  If nothing else maybe instead of my next entry being entitled “Hypocrite”, it will be “The Art of Patience.”  Now that is something worth writing about.

9 Weeks and Counting

Baby DeliveryWell here I am 9 weeks away from D- Day and I am starting to feel like it’s the end.  Restless legs, charley horses, back pain, insomnia, and unable to catch my breath, I am in the uncomfortable stage of it all.

I sleep upright most nights to help with the breathing; however that is hard on my back and bladder.  I am up about every hour and half to go to the bathroom throughout the night, partly because of the pressure on my bladder, but partly because I am constantly thirsty and chugging water (I guess there are worse things).  However, nothing is as bad as the charley horses and restless legs.  That has been driving me insane.

Three nights ago I did not get very much sleep; maybe a couple of hours at best.  I was real delight that day.  My wonderful, supportive husband was amazing, as he dealt with my mini-breakdowns, and did his best to make me comfortable. I knew I needed to do something to at least to try to alleviate some of the discomfort.  Last night I took a hot bath before going to bed and for once my legs did not twitch.  I fell asleep in the tub and I might dry out my skin in the process, but if that’s what I need to do to sleep I will do it every night.  I also started eating a banana right before I go to bed hoping that will help with the charley horses.  A lot of people speculate that charley horses are result of dehydration (which is certainly not the case for me) or lack of potassium (possible).

I always find it interesting that at the very end of pregnancy it becomes unbearable.  Is labor not enough?  However, maybe that is the way it is intended to be.  I am in such discomfort the thought of labor does not phase me.  Sure it’s painful, yadda, yadda, yadda.  But, hey at least after it’s all over I will not be waking up in the middle of the night in agony grasping my calf muscle in pain, all while trying not to pee myself, because I have to go to the bathroom, again.

Yes I must admit as this third trimester is wrapping up I am getting quite anxious for D-Day.  I keep picturing in my mind what it will be like.  Of course, I am sure it will be nothing like I imagine, but one thing is for sure I can not wait to see the intended parents hold their baby girl in their arms.

Support Team

Today was not an easy day.  Liam is sick which has made him feel miserable and very irritable.  Ava had a 40 minute temper tantrum.  I am mentally and physically exhausted, which is why I am so lucky to have the husband I have.  After dinner he lit a candle, prepared a bath, and took the kids downstairs so I could relax.  I am very fortunate to have a kind, considerate, and thoughtful husband like mine. 

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I couldn’t do this without him