I’m feeling the pressure.
My husband and I have very different approaches to preparing for Baby. His goals have centered around getting our finances and estate planning in order, resolving debt, increasing savings, determining who should take our kids if anything should happen to us, etc. I have almost exclusively been concentrating on how my day to day life is going to change and the emotional shifts come March/April, like breastfeeding, where the baby will sleep, what items we need, how to condition our kitty cat to the new baby, etc.
My husband has always said he didn’t want to talk about the Little Things until the third trimester. I couldn’t help but think about the Little Things throughout the pregnancy, and feeling lost because I didn’t know the answers and I didn’t really have anyone to help me sort through it. I’ve tried to do as much reading as possible, but what happens is I’m inundated with information, much of it conflicting or offering up ALL options rather than a few, and the result is I’m still as lost as I was before I started reading.
Well, after the long wait, the third trimester is here. My husband and I start talking nursery, diaper service, and freezing meals tonight during our weekly talk. Hooray! …except now I’m a little nervous. I hope he doesn’t expect me to have all the Little Things figured out, like he had many of the Big Things figured out.
I’ve narrowed things down a bit, I have some resources I like, but – for example – our first foray into paying attention to Little Things this past weekend (looking for and buying a rocking chair) was a miserable failure. I had a few gliders in mind that I wanted to check out, but the stores didn’t really stock them. They’re available online, which is fine, but I’ve got to at least try them out in person first! I don’t want to buy something that big blindly and have to think about how to return or exchange it. And there are certain features that I’m looking for per Consumer Reports recommendations that aren’t described online, so I’d have to actually check it out in person. So… for this one Little Thing of buying a rocking chair/ glider, it’s turned into this big production! How on earth are we supposed to figure out a crib, much less what bottle nipples to stock up on???
I came across this piece written by a mother who tried to conceive in her 30s, experienced difficulty, went through the adoption process, then became pregnant. She noted:
You can have a child. As soon as we brought Emily home, we felt it was meant to be. With an adopted child, it’s less narcissistic: You aren’t always looking for ways they are or aren’t like you. She gets to be her own separate person. Having Emily has helped me see my son the same way. Instead of “How is he like me?” it’s “How can I help him grow to be his best?”
I think that’s a beautiful concept! I really like it. I will probably have a tendency to look for similarities in the little one I’m carrying between my husband and me. We opted for conceiving first, adoption second, given my age. But I do like the idea of loving and getting to know a child on his or her personality and preferences alone, without any preconceptions about how the child would/could/should be because they carry our genes.
Still, I look forward to shaping an adopted child, and finding that they learn positive things from me and my husband – more of the nurture side than nature side.
Today I enter my third trimester. I can’t believe it’s a short few months before I get to meet our little … kickboxer. I swear, the past few days, the baby has been on a rampage in there. My husband felt the baby kick and jab and roll around last night, and he was shocked. “What the heck is going on in there??” Exactly!
And I’m just on the cusp of the last stage of pregnancy here. What happens as things progress? Will the baby’s movements get even more pronounced, or will the baby be constricted with less room as it grows?
Other symptoms and changes are now noticeable. I am definitely feeling how unwieldy my body is compared to just a few weeks ago. I am trying to fight the waddle when I walk. My center of gravity is beginning to shift, or at least I’m beginning to notice it. I can’t sit on a seat or bench that is too low… because it’s so hard to get back up without a pole or handle to pull myself up (like on public transit) or someone’s help!
I noticed my heartburn is waning, and that’s a good thing, but my breasts and back are starting to be sore, which is not a good thing. It’s like the first trimester symptoms are rearing their ugly heads again! I didn’t know that would happen.
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Another thing my husband and I have been talking about is some aspects of parenting. We discussed how much internet and gadget access our kids should have, whether there should be any restrictions, and at what age our kids should have their own cell phones. We have also recently talked about our own childhoods, and specific situations that were good or bad, and how we might want to handle them differently. We have also discussed discipline and strategies for handling misbehavior or tantrums. No hard and fast decisions on any of these, but the initial talks have shown us we are generally landing in the same spot on these issues.
Who knows how everything will play out?
I wonder if most parents just know at a gut level what their kids’ names should be. Because we’re really struggling with this.
We do know the sex of the baby, but it turns out we were more confident in a name if the baby were the other sex. As of last night, we have a running list of about 10 names with various degrees of confidence and feeling toward them, and not a single one jumps out as the name for our little one.
What to do? We can keep brainstorming – we certainly have the time before the baby comes – but I didn’t think this process would be so arduous. I hate the idea of being lukewarm about a name, that’s just not what I want.
We’ve talked about waiting until the baby is born and interacting with our newborn before settling on a name. Sounds good in theory, but what if at that point, still nothing jumps out at us as the “right” name? Then, we’re really behind the eight ball.
Met with a friend who is a doula yesterday. I was interested in understanding her services as a doula, and what I can expect for the birthing process. Here are some new things that I learned:
- You can instruct hospital staff not to even offer you drugs if you don’t want it.
- Most of the labor can be done at home, near loved ones and with pain managed in the tub with water and breathing until you’re basically ready to push. The hospital isn’t far from us at all, so this is a big plus for me.
- You can opt not to have an IV put in at triage. That’s only if you might want an epidural later, and it might inhibit your mobility and ideal positioning for labor. They can always put in an IV later, it’s just more convenient for the nurses to do it early.
- The doula can play a large role for the partner, to instruct the partner on how to be most effective in supporting the woman in labor.
Also, we don’t have experienced family in very close proximity, so she is willing to be available after the birth to help with any trouble or guidance, including breast feeding, which is great. (I know I could also get a lactation consultant.)
It was just nice to talk to someone who does this a lot, rather than talking to others’ personal birthing experiences that may outdated in terms of options (going to C-section waaaay too quickly or easily, just because it’s more convenient or a better payment for the physician) or are frankly so personal and individual that they don’t really help me prepare. They’re definitely wonderful stories, but they don’t necessarily tell me what I can expect, or help me identify what I want.
I’m preparing for a long, tiring labor with no drugs if I can help it. It’s definitely intimidating, if not slightly terrifying. But this is what I wanted! We will see how this birth actually plays out – it may not end up being anything that I anticipate.
I’ve been feeling the baby move recently! It’s not a kicking sensation like I would have expected, and what might actually happen more in the later months of the pregnancy, but it’s definitely distinct baby movement!
On some level, I feel a little silly. After all, women since the beginning of time have gone through this. But I can’t help being so excited and tickled to feel my little one moving inside me! It’s stunning every time it happens. It doesn’t cease to take me by surprise. I make a comment whenever I’m with my husband, and he immediately moves his hands to my belly, sometimes even puts his ear to my belly, haha! It’s too early for him to feel anything – the movement isn’t strong enough to be felt on the outside, but he really wants to be a part of this, and I can’t wait until he can feel it, too.
There’s also a little bit of the weirdness of this entire experience that I can’t shake – feeling like I’m in one of the Alien movies, or that whole Frankenstein thing – “It’s alive! It’s alive!!” Pregnancy is one of the most natural, awe-inspiring, and STRANGE things that someone can go through.
We just signed up for childbirth and baby care classes at the local hospital. It’s early yet, but the classes fill up so quickly that we needed to reserve a space. Now that’s a weird thing to put into your calendar! “Childbirth class, 9am-4pm,” and “baby care class, 10am-4pm.” Yikes!
I’m so very very happy! I guess I didn’t realize how much I had been holding my breath.
I got a call from the genetic counselor yesterday and she informed me that the amniocentesis results were very good, no genetic abnormalities, no open birth defects, no problems at all. Completely healthy at the genetic level.
HOORAY!! Our little baby is ok!!
Now, we finally get to enjoy getting into the planning phase. Names! Nursery! Car seat!