The new arrival

advanved maternal age, babies, boys, change, first pregnancy, first time dads, first time moms, motherhood

Where. To. Start.

The fact that I’m writing this while leaning over the kitchen counter soaking my nipples in warm salt water?
Or that the 17 day old baby boy is sleeping and I have maybe 2 precious hours to get myself back to feeling like a person?
Or that after 60 hours in labor I ended up having a c-section and the whole ordeal had me PTSD crying almost every day for a week after?
Or that I finally saw my incision, slightly crooked and cut longer on the right side than the left because his little shoulder was lodged in a weird way on my right side, and felt like some science experiment?

No one told me that having a newborn would reduce my being to a pure physical vessel…my only purpose to feed and care for a helpless being. Or that caring for a newborn is a one way street, giving everything to this little life who cares not that you have layers of stitches crossing the bikini line, or that your mammary glands are freaking out, swollen and sore, or that your uterus is shrinking and cramping, that there will be vicodin and stool softeners and more people wondering about your gastrointestinal functions than you ever thought possible, that you would replay the events of your labor over and over again with your husband and cry over the pain and trauma of it all, that he will see and do things for you that you never imagined (involving blood and vomit and maxi pads and helping you walk and do ANYTHING).

But I was warned how wonderful it would be, how I would fall in love like never before, how all the pain would go away once that little babe was in my arms.

Readers, moms to be, new moms, professional moms…I have to say this wasn’t 100% true for me. It is there. It comes and goes. It is profoundly present when he smiles in his slumber, when his little fuzzy head nuzzles into my neck and he falls asleep, cooing and making the sweetest sounds, when he sees my face now or hears my voice and I think I can truly see some sort of recognition, when I’ve learned what soothes him and can calm those cries with a song, or a rocking chair session, or my milk. Still, it’s a liiiiittle more like a blind date than love at first sight…we are getting to know each other. Sussing out what we are in store for us with this union. Learning what we can tolerate, let go of, give, what we love about each other, what doesn’t work. There’s the fear of commitment and enormous responability mixed with an eternal love that can’t be explained.

And remember how afraid I was of losing my relationship with my husband? Well I’ve never loved him more. Our household has been a constant (and VERY welcome) stream of help and family and visitors, so we haven’t had a lot of alone time, but holy moley…he has become the head of our household, a caretaker like I’ve never seen, and although we were committed to co-sleeping, we now start the baby in a bassinet and the half hour we have together, in bed, side by side, has become one of the best parts of my day.

The baby was feed and changed and asleep last night at 10pm, my husband’s mom was in town and we were feeling ambitious, so we decided to surprise my husband and show up at his work. When he saw us, his family, he teared up.

Because it’s finally hitting us. This is our family. We are family.

I looked up “family” and the defintion is pretty sterile:
: a group of people who are related to each other

: a person’s children

: a group of related people including people who lived in the past

I suppose this cardboard definition is necessary and the best dictionary.com can do with the “traditional” sense of the word. But what a shame. If you are reading this, you probably understand how little justice these definitions do the word.

I am formimg my own definition and will share it soon as I learn more from this little boy and the big man in my life. It’s bubbling inside me, this deep feeling of awe and confusion and love and sense of forever…

The Waiting Game and What’s up With the Obsession With Using Acronyms on Message Boards?

37 weeks, advanved maternal age, babies, change, first pregnancy, first time dads, husbands, in-laws, motherhood, pregnancy, third trimester

Ok ladies and gents, I still don’t know what “LO” “DS” or “DH” mean on these pregnancy boards. The use of acronyms is out of control. Is there a decoder or something? I’ve been googling the crap out of the internet lately and pregnant women write in code 1/3 of the time. I’m in the pregnant club! So I feel like I should be able to translate!

37 weeks today.
How do you play these last zero to 21-ish days? Officially full term and shhyyyyyat has gotten real. Full blown nesting (what did people do before the internet to keep them busy and Amazon Prime for all the last little things they need?!), belly dropping, food passing right through me (tmi, but I guess the emptying out is a big sign), crazy hysterical crying in the middle of the night because I’m worried my husband has enough on his plate with his own life and throwing a baby into the mix is going to spell a word that rhymes with “schmivorce”.

I haven’t written in a while because everything seems like it’s already been written about: the funny body pillow routine, the heartburn, the shower, the third trimester aches and pains, the lists of how to prepare, advice on anything you can imagine. This last trimester I’ve pretty much been on cruise control (i.e. boring stuff that no one needs to read about).

There have been two things that have happened that I didn’t expect:

1. Pain. Like I’m being kicked in the vagina pain. I did take a slip in the snow and went down like a tipped cow a few weeks ago. I felt pretty well padded with the snow and my puffy coat…and it could’ve been coincidence, because the baby dropping down and getting bigger does cause pain, but the day after that I could hardly walk. A chiropractic appointment and massage where the lady was actually massaging the ligaments that attach to my sit bones…yes…right all up in there, really helped FYI. I feel like I’m back. Dare I say…comfortable.

2. Loneliness. I don’t know what’s going on in the marital department. I’m going to set up my husband’s behavior with an anecdote that involves his blood line:

The mother-in-law said a month ago that she looked at our registry and wanted to buy our mattress. AMAZING! It’s one of our more expensive items (and by “our” I mean snobby, paranoid, picky “ME” who suddenly wants my baby to only sleep on organic cotton), and a necessity we haven’t purchased. My parents have poured a small fortune into this grandchild, so my husband and I felt comfortable letting his mom take on this luxury item.

Weeks go by. No mattress. She emails me to say that she found one made of soy foam that is cheaper and would I take a look at that.
Ok. Sure. I take a look, and suggest to her that she buy one or two or three of the gazillion other things we need off the registry, or give us a gift card for whatever she’s comfortable with that we can put towards getting the mattress I obsessively researched and picked out. “No, if the $259 mattress is the one you want, that’s what you should have” is the response.

So now I feel like an asshole. Husband is getting peeved that his mom won’t just get the damn mattress like she offered, that’s she’s been pretty absent this whole pregnancy, that he had to ask her if she was excited to be a grandma to which she responded “Am I excited? I mean, I’m happy for YOU”. And the friggin mattress is still on the registry and I’m boring you to death writing about.

POINT BEING: she’s on her own time, is doing this at her convenience, isn’t thinking about making our lives a little less stressful…or putting me in a position to defend my registry choices, or worrying that the baby could be early, or blah blah blah. And it’s fine. She’s not my mom. We have places for the baby to sleep. We can buy our own mattress. But…

I see the same thing in my husband. This “I’ll do it tomorrow”, this procrastination, this inability to think ahead, or plan things out for the future, or GET IT DONE so the reward of being able to relax and feel secure can happen. And he’s operated like this in small ways from the get-go 9 months ago…painting himself into corners with money, with time, with his career, with his health, with getting our apartment ready. I guess I assumed that having a baby and becoming a parent creates a universal shift in the human species. That he would change right along with me. That he would be buying onesies that say “I love my mom”, and pedicures for me, and actively assembling the nursery, and worried about the air quality in our home and always thinking “what does my pregnant wife need? What can I do?” I pee a thousand times a night…like maybe get that night light I asked for?
But then I think that I’m a big girl and I can do/get/buy/assemble anything. I’m not sick. I’m pregnant. And I feel like an asshole again.
How entitled are we during this 9 month gestational time? I feel like I have to detach from him, pull away and let him struggle as he grapples with this weird resistance and inertia and procrastination. He’s not really there for us, so I need to be there for me, and let him…what?

This all came out last night at 3am in a big, heaving, crying, curled up in the fetal position, bawl. I couldn’t believe it. Again…me..with the crying. What the hell?

I have an amazing husband. He loves me. I love him. We have a lot of fun and tenderness and understanding between us. But I keep replaying in my head all the blog posts and friend’s stories about how “ammmmaaaaazzzing” their husbands were, and I can’t say that. My husband has been really disappointing and it scares me to the core. We are in our late 30’s and, I thought, ready for this. Ready to make a shift. Ready to welcome this responsibility. But maybe the older you are, the harder it is to change, to break routines and habits, to change the narrative you’ve told yourself your whole life.

Great.