Tag Archives: Parenting

The Second Trimester: A Love Story

March 9, 2016

2nd Trimester

Oh second trimester, how I love thee. The long bouts of energy, the relief from nausea, the vast exploration into the world of carbs with an extra side of carbs. Words cannot express how lovely it is to walk around vertically and not constantly cry on the bathroom floor. The last time I threw up was 8 weeks ago, and already I look back at it with the strange nostalgia usually reserved for wartime movies I pretended to enjoy.

The visible proof of pregnancy is nice, too. All that extra help with doors without the weight of nine months of cheeseburgers resting on your pelvic bone. I’ll take it! Of course there will always be the friend of a friend who asks if you’re overdue at 23 weeks or the aunt who constantly points out your third cousin’s wife who “looks like she’s swallowed a basketball.” But we persevere. I may not look like I’ve swallowed a basketball, but it does look like I’ve swallowed a basketball player–and if that’s not overachieving, I don’t know what is.

Perhaps my favorite part of the second trimester is the TO DO LIST. Some women nest for the last few days of pregnancy, I nest for the last few months. Which is great for my minimalist pixie girl clean house dreams, but sad for Austin who is helping me scrub the basement steps at 11pm. I can’t wait to see what I’ll be doing at the end of May. The day before Eva was born I moved an entire couch across the living room while Austin cleaned the ceiling fans.

There is still so much to do.

When people ask how I’m feeling, I hesitate to answer. This has been the physically hardest pregnancy so far, but my favorite out of the three. Despite the bodily side effects, these months mark the end of a chapter that I have very much enjoyed–and I’m very aware each day how lucky I am to do it one more time.

Three months to go.

***

Second trimester with Evie.

Essays For Motherhood: A Parenting Guide For The Millennial Mom

February 4, 2016

Essays

Chapter One

I Can No Longer See My Vagina (And Other Concerns): A Pregnancy Story

Chapter Two

Dressing Your Bumps: A Buyer’s Guide To Clothing A Large Mammal With Dignity

Chapter Three

I’d Like To Be Naked, Wearing A Wide Brimmed Hat, Listening To Sufjan, And Immersed In Water: Finding A Birth Plan That Doesn’t Sound Like The Plot To A Psychological Thriller

Chapter Four

Tucks Pads, Ice Packs, And Hemorrhoidal Spray: A Postpartum Love Story

Chapter Five

 Breastfeeding vs Bottle-feeding: How To Figure Out What’s Best And Then Stop Talking About It

Chapter Six

Dr. Seuss’s Bedtime Tales: What To Keep And What To Misplace At A Goodwill Drop-Off

Chapter Seven

The Baby Is Always Watching: The Art Of Covert Intercourse (A Handbook)

Chapter Eight

My Kid Is An Asshat: When Babies Become Toddlers And Ruin Your Day

Chapter Nine

Mumps, Shingles, Rubella, And 47 Other Things Your Child Doesn’t Have But You Google Anyways

Chapter Ten

That’s Great Honey! (And Other Phrases To Acknowledge Your Child While Staring Aimlessly At The Wall)

Chapter Eleven

Nobody’s Sleeping, Not Even The Dog: A Comprehensive Guide To Napping While Standing Up

Chapter Twelve

I Was Told This Would Take Two Days : When Potty Training Isn’t “A Breeze” (A Survivor’s Guide)

Chapter Thirteen

Pinterest Lied To Me: 17 Children’s Crafts That Require Zero Skills, Rallying, Or Clean Up

  Chapter Fourteen

Mommy, Where Is Your Penis? : Troubleshooting Your Way Out Of Uncomfortable Conversations With Four Easy Words (Go Ask Your Dad)

Chapter Fifteen

Public School Vs. Private School: An Exhaustive List Of Why It Doesn’t Matter Either Way

Chapter Sixteen

From Wall-E to Inside Out: 11 Pixar Movies To Avoid On Your Period

Chapter Seventeen

Lost In Costco And All I Need Is Cinnamon: A Detailed Map

Chapter Eighteen

I’m Sorry Your Child Feels That Way: The Ultimate Guide To Navigating “The Other Mom”

Chapter Nineteen

 27 Ways To Disable An iPhone: The Teenage Years

Chapter Twenty

My Child Wants To Take A Year Off Before College To Smoke Weed (A Self Help Directory)

Epilogue

They’ll Probably Be Fine After Therapy: A Realistic Ethos

***

Kids 1-3: A Side By Side Comparison That Is Likely Interesting To No One

January 28, 2016

3

Have you ever sat with a group of parents, stuck in the middle of a 45 minute discussion about infant pooping patterns and wondered: HOW DID I GET HERE? HOW DO I GET OUT? This post is kind of like that conversation!

Truly I’ll discuss sleep training and sippy cups any day, but my favorite parenting conversations revolve around family dynamics; personality differences, birth order, how we are shaped by our childhoods. I also love how much our ideas about pregnancy and motherhood shift with time and/or more children. For example, if you have a child who sleeps through the night at a few weeks old, you might have a different perspective on sleep than someone who hasn’t slept through the night in two years. Time is an even stronger factor. I love talking to mothers of teenagers and adults. There is often so much grace and balance behind their stories, a comfort to those of us still in the toddler trenches.

I have no profound conclusion to share from these conversations. All I have is some raw data, a side-by-side comparison of three kids from the same uterus that is likely interesting to no one else but me. Even Austin will see this post in his inbox and hit delete. Feel free to do the same. Just glad I finally have it written down in one spot.

xo

+++

PREGNANCY

FIRST SIGN OF PREGNANCY
Baby #1: positive pregnancy test
Baby #2: positive pregnancy test
Baby #3: round ligament pain, food aversion, sore chest

FATHERLY RESPONSE 
Baby #1: what
Baby #2: yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Baby #3: so excited, do you want to watch tv

MORNING SICKNESS
Baby #1: medium, sick until 10 weeks
Baby #2: worse, sick until 12 weeks
Baby #3: worst, throwing up regularly until 19 weeks

#1 CRAVED FOOD 
Baby #1: mexicana
Baby #2: icy fountain coke
Baby #3: greek salad

WEIRDEST PHYSICAL AILMENT
Baby #1: eyelashes fell out
Baby #2: plantar fasciitis
Baby #3: toe and fingernail infection (kill me)

PREGNANCY ROSE
Baby #1: ability to sleep in
Baby #2: cold weather in third trimester
Baby #3: last pregnancy nostalgia

PREGNANCY THORN
Baby #1: pelvic pain
Baby #2: round ligament pain
Baby #3: tbd

GENDER PREFERENCE BEFORE ANATOMY SCAN
Baby #1: girl (super cool boy instead)
Baby #2: boy (super cool girl instead)
Baby #3: don’t care (don’t know)

DELIVERY DAY
Baby #1: due date
Baby #2: due date (I know)
Baby #3: tbd (whenever babe)

TOTAL HOURS OF LABOR
Baby #1: 24 hours
Baby #2: 17 hours
Baby #3: less than a day would be nice

BIRTH PLAN
Baby #1: natural birth please!!
Baby #2: whatever happens happens?
Baby #3: still deciding

BIRTH REALITY
Baby #1: epidural at hour 17 and 2 centimeters dilated, thank baby jesus
Baby #2: epidural at hospital door
Baby #3: healthy baby=grateful heart

POSTPARTUM CRAMPING
Baby #1: what’s that
Baby #2: hysterical sobbing, percocet
Baby #3: tbd

POSTPARTUM RECOVERY TIME
Baby #1: one year (third degree tear)
Baby #2: six weeks (praise)
Baby #3: tbd

BEBE

NEWBORN TEMPERAMENT
Baby #1: Charlie Sheen of babies (colic)
Baby #2: Mother Theresa of babies (angelic)
Baby #3: tbd

BABY’S SLEEP PREFERENCE 
Baby #1: insisted co-sleeping
Baby #2: insisted independance
Baby #3: (last baby so please cuddle with me until you’re 15)

BABY’S SLEEP MILESTONES
Baby #1: slept through the night at 14 months
Baby #2: slept through the night at 2 weeks
Baby #3: tbd

CRAWLED
Baby #1: a week before 7 months
Baby #2: a week before 7 months
Baby #3: (the later the better)

WALKED
Baby #1: 10 months
Baby #2: 9 months
Baby #3: (the later the better)

PACIFIER
Baby #1: self weaned at five months
Baby #2: addict at two years and counting
Baby #3: (no preference, pros and cons)

BABY’S STANCE ON BABY WEARING
Baby #1: yup
Baby #2: lol, nope
Baby #3: (please?)

BREASTFEEDING
Baby #1: weaned at 20 months
Baby #2: self-weaned at 6 months
Baby #3: (last baby so you will do this until you’re 7)

PERSONALITY PROS
Baby #1: easy attachment because often attached
Baby #2: easy to care for because often content
Baby #3: tbd

BIG KIDS

POTTY TRAINING
Baby #1: a year of struggle
Baby #2: take your time, kid
Baby #3: let’s work on being born first

NAPS
Baby #1: stopped at three
Baby #2: you will nap until you’re 5
Baby #3: (see above)

PRESCHOOL
Baby #1: first day at 3 years old, emotional armageddon
Baby #2: first day at 18 months old, best day of her life
Baby #3: tbd

HARDEST YEAR OF PARENTING TO DATE
Baby #1: the year of the threenager
Baby #2: expecting the same
Baby #3: have you ever met a three-year-old you liked

TEMPERAMENT 
Baby #1: tentative, sweet, sensitive
Baby #2: wild, happy, confident
Baby #3: tbd

CHILD’S INTEREST IN BABIES
Baby #1: 10/10
Baby #2: 2/10
Baby #3: n/a (the oven is closed, we can get a dog)

CONTRIBUTED PARENTAL GRIEF  
Baby #1: 100%
Baby #2: 100%
Baby #3: not looking good

CONTRIBUTED HAPPINESS 
Baby #1: 100%
Baby #2: 100%
Baby #3: so far, so great

***

When Babies Get Bigger (Evie Turns 2)

December 13, 2015

Two years ago on a cold winter morning, Eva December entered this world on her due date after 17 hours of labor. Austin delivered her. There was snow on the ground. My first three thoughts were: Did I tear? No really, how bad did I tear? SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME THE SITUATION.

It was fine and she was a dream. Evie was a sweet, easy going baby from the start. When she turned one, I joked that she took up 10% of my parenting energy while her brother took up the other 90%. I guess she took this as a criticism and spent the rest of the year trying to prove me wrong. Therefore year two has been a year of reinvention. My carefree baby has grown into a loud and feral two-year-old. Instead of cooing on the living room floor and quietly playing with toys, Evie demands attention and craves adventure. No ledge is too high, no scream is too loud, no rock is left unthrown.

She’s the funniest, fiercest kid I know. So glad to know her.

Happy birthday to my wild, daring girl.


***

Eva Turns One

Birth Story

Home Movies

Eva's Birth

The First Trimester: There On The Couch She Lies

November 24, 2015

IMG_6151

October 7

Everyone tells you to absolutely not take a pregnancy test before your missed period, but I like to waste 40-60 dollars just in case science is wrong. This time was no different. I took a test three days before my period, two days before, one day, and then on all the days after. Four days later, it was still negative and I was feeling some emotions. Namely:

1) Confused. Where is my period? Why does my period never cooperate?

2) Annoyed. Now I have take Clomid again. Clomid is dumb. I hate Clomid.

3) Fine. We’ve only been trying for two months and this is the first round of medicine. No big deal. Eva took six months and Waylon took a year. I can wait.

If you are new here, I take a drug called Clomid to have my babies because I have the ovaries of a grumpy old man. It’s fine. Women, many of them my friends and family, have had to endure much worse.

And so I gave up. I bought a box of tampons, called in another prescription, and focused on getting through the next month. I never really thought the drugs would work the first time anyways.

A day later I was packing a picnic dinner when I realized nothing sounded good enough to eat. No sandwiches, no snacks, and especially no desserts. This is very unlike my normal self who specializes in sandwiches, snacks, and desserts. It is exactly like my pregnant self, who only craves McDonald’s chicken sandwiches and hot meals.

Weird, I thought weirdly. Weird, weird, weird.

And so I did what you do when faced with potentially life-changing news, I put on a show for the kids and ate a stringed cheese. Then I ran to the upstairs bathroom, took a test, and went into my bedroom to change. When I came back into the bathroom to throw the test away, I looked down and the stick was faintly positive. I called my friend Heather immediately to analyze and she said, “You’re pregnant, dummy!”, just like she did after I tested positive for Eva and didn’t believe it.

Then I took another test just in case and lo and behold, I was with child.

Edit

Austin was surprised too, especially since I’d been stomping around the house discussing my “special time of the month” for days (his favorite topic!). After I told him, we hid from the kids and danced around the basement, giddy with the delusion that maybe this was going to be so much easier than the first two times.

We took a picture and blurry little video after the kids were in bed to commemorate the occasion. Happiest kind of night.

October 10

Is this real????

October 20

There is nothing in my body that doesn’t feel like swine flu. I cannot type any more sentences.

October 22

So sick and tired and tired and sick and have I mentioned I AM ILL. I forgot about this. Or rather, I remembered being sick but forgot how bleak it is to rest your head on the toilet bowl after losing the third meal of the day. It’s okay though, I’ve already cried about it fifteen times which is a nice, insane release. See you never.

October 23

Two kids constantly asking for cheese sticks is a nice distraction from the unrelenting nausea that follows me around the house like a bad ex-boyfriend. Don’t worry though, the kids have seen enough Daniel Tiger episodes today that it’s like they are being parented by an other, nicer mom. A mom who takes trips to the clock factory and makes vegetable spaghetti instead of a mom who takes trips to the bathroom and makes boxed macaroni and cheese for every meal. Bless their confused hearts.

October 25

October 26

Ate 17 pizza goldfish for lunch if anyone is keeping track of my nutrition.

October 27

I have been infected with a head cold. Patient zero doesn’t seem too sorry. Yesterday she hid my keys in a bag of potatoes. I can’t take NyQuil, something I mention to anyone within a mile radius. Honestly I’m so sick of hearing myself complain that I’m considering selling my phone for pizza money. Please pray for my husband who no can no longer find any clean dishes, clean clothes, or clean children after 18 hour shifts at the hospital.

October 30

Rose: Put on real clothes this morning to attend Waylon’s preschool Halloween party.
Thorn: Threw up in the bathroom while Eva ate marshmallows covered in glue.
(Could have been worse).

October 31

I don’t want to be dramatic, but if I don’t eat a salad covered in french fries covered in ranch dressing in the next 24 hours I will die.

November 1

Already at the point in the pregnancy where every road sign, every obituary, every inanimate object on the living room floor holds a name possibility. Looked into my make-up bag this morning and read Fat Lash Mascara. Not bad.

Austin hates every name I love, part of our really fun marriage dynamic. If this baby is named by June, it will be a miracle.

November 3

Things I Can’t Handle On Any Emotional Level: NPR human interest stories, diaper commercials, Pixar movies, heartfelt Adele songs.

Just thinking about the ending to Toy Story 3 is too much to bear.

November 4

Whenever I’m in a state of emotional duress, I find myself coping with mental checklists. An inner monologue of questions if you will. For example: Are you sad? Why are you sad? Are you mad? Why are you mad? Are you anxious? Make a list of all the reasons why. It’s as if my brain is going into safety mode. A carefully calculated assessment to find root causes and possible solutions.

It’s happening all the time now. Mostly when it’s quiet; in the bathroom or in the car. And every time I’m surprised. Like, oh–you’re here again? I guess I didn’t notice everything shutting down.

The root cause is always the same. The baby, a baby, my baby–taking over in every way. First goes the body, then the mind.

November 5

Finally watched Inside Out. Cried 50% of the time as Pixar intended.

November 9

10 weeks today. Pregnancy glow or 47 filters? You decide.

November 10

Headed to California. What do you call a pregnant lady, a four-year-old, and a toddler boarding a plane? Actually, let’s not finish that joke.

November 20th

As it turns out, taking two young kids on a solo trip across the country while pregnant is possible. It’s also really hard. I’ll be recovering until April. The good news is that while I’m still dry heaving on a regular basis, the nausea is not constant and for that I am grateful.

November 23rd

Saw the baby today in a due date ultrasound. They didn’t give me a picture and I pretended not to care. I thought that maybe the third time this would be less magical, but I have found the opposite is true. Even though it is hard and gross and exhausting, pregnancy is beautiful. It is holy ground.

I will never have a pregnant Angelina Jolie body, something I had to reconcile years ago, but I am strong. I have made two babies with a uterus once deemed a failure. I wake up grateful and fall asleep dreaming of the day we’re all here.

June.

***

There is a time and place to lament pregnancy sickness and joke about the turmoils of motherhood, but I’d like to take a moment for thankfulness and a quick prayer for my fellow women waiting to be mothers. I stand with you in your journey to motherhood. You are strong. You are brave. You are not forgotten. 

First trimester with Eva