Ode to My Winter Maternity Coat

40 weeks, advanved maternal age, babies, first pregnancy, maternity clothes, maternity coat, motherhood, overdue, pregnancy, third trimester, winter baby

After a whole summer and fall  wearing the same lululemon leggings, top and cardigan, I was wondering if I’d really have to succumb to buying you. Would you be worth the expense of needing you for only a measly two months? Maybe I could get away with leaving my old winter coat unzipped and using a cozy scarf like Mr. Kravitz?

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I had been living in California for the past five years. I didn’t really remember what “winter” meant in the Midwest. Yes, I had seen the news of the polar vortex last year from my sunny living room while wearing my ridiculous Uggs because it was like, 60 degrees out and felt a little “chilly” in the apartment.

I decided to tentatively search for you on a brisk day at the end of October when the zipper in my XS puffy coat finally gave up the struggle to operate. It was around 40 degrees and I was cold. And scared. Because I knew that soon it would be 45 degrees LESS than what, at the time, felt cold enough.

Still feeling stubborn, I decided to go the craigslist route with buying you. I didn’t need a $150 winter maternity coat. I didn’t think you were worth it. So I spent a few days scouring the “for sale” section, sheepishly searching “winter maternity coat” with a few paltry results in the wrong sizes showing up here and there, but disappearing just as quickly.

Then you appeared. A size 4 Gap puffy jacket. In the grossest, weirdest grey/green/brown color. You were priced at $25. I emailed your owner and began the somewhat dubious, sketchy, always skeptical process of hooking up with a craigslist buyer. The mistrust, the “are you for real”, the “are you someone who I should be meeting at a public location” sussing out, the “will you actually show up because I’ve been burned twice this last weekend” question, the hiding behind an anonymous email address before you finally get a cell number to “text when you’re close and I’ll come outside” god forbid we exchange names or see each other’s private living quarters. After a week or so of back and forth and figuring out when we could make the exchange, which now seemed as difficult and forbidden and spontaneously organized as a first-time college nickel bag pick-up, we had a meeting place and time. There had been so much back and forth that I forgot if your price was $20 or $25. I texted your owner who told me it was $25. I only had a $20 on me, so I could go pull out another $20 at the bank. Did she have change? No. Ok, I thought, still semi-annoyed that was even making this temporary, unfashionable monstrosity of a clothing purchase, how about I give her $20 and we call it a deal? Nope. $25, and she just procured $15 from her husband for change. This was starting to feel like too much effort.

I parked on the crowded Lincoln Park street with my hazards on, and the “I’m here!” text that sent you down to me. Your owner was pleasant and all business, and I threw you on as if you had always been in my closet. You looked brand new, covered my butt, and fit my expanding belly perfectly.

You still do. You still do maternity winter coat that I have grown to love and depend on.

Yes, you’re big, you have a nondescript muddy color, and are ugly as hell. I’ve spilled so much crap down my front that has been caught on the belly area of your facing, and my mom says I look like a mushroom when I have you on, but you’ve been worth every penny. I would’ve paid more for you if asked. You’ve been functional. You still fit so well even though I’m 40 weeks +1 day and am drawing stares everywhere I go (seriously, something happened this last week…every person, ALL THE PEOPLE, can’t help but ask me when I’m due and comment, and “ooooo” and “ahhhh” with wide eyes and open mouths…my body is screaming “HAVING A BABY ANY DAY NOW!!!”). And this morning, when I saw the temps (-3. Yes, NEGATIVE THREE) and thought, “hey, I’m going to try and squeeze into my old winter coat that I know is more technical and warmer than this used GAP coat” and almost threw up because of the squeeze and compression and could feel my baby squirm as if asking me “what in the hell?”…I put you back on and sighed at your comfortable fit, your warm embrace, and you know what? I was toasty, damn toasty, as I made my way to the icy car.

I was wrong to judge, to question your need. I underestimated your extreme value and you know what winter maternity coat? I think I might even wear you POST partum, until the temperature warm up again. And when the time comes to bid you adieu, I will write you the most amazing craigslist add and find you an owner deserving of your worth.

Love, Me.

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Things I will not Facebook about when this baby arrives

39 weeks, advanved maternal age, babies, first pregnancy, motherhood, pregnancy, third trimester

39 weeks (tomorrow), 50% effaced (my doula said to decline internal exams, but I couldn’t help it at my appointment yesterday and was like: “reach in there and feel my cervix thankyouyesplease”), my husband has the worst case of the flu I’ve ever seen (trying not to be mad at him for it and play the convincing role of “Concerned Wife: late 30’s, blonde, could give birth at any momo. She’s not afraid to sequester her husband in a separate room and get annoyed every time she hears him hack up a lung without covering his mouth, but also feels bad for him and makes soup, does grocery store runs to get Gatorade and drugs…and secretly follows him around with disinfectant wipes, scouring down every surface he touches), and I fins myself paying extra close attention to the Facebook status of new moms on my feed.

I’m going to vow here and now, (with clear eyes and an open mind that I might, ok probably will, do ALL these things once baby fever hits me and I fall in total love with this creature that I have been growing), that I will NEVER post on FB:

1. The sleeping patterns of myself and our baby. Because really…an adult getting 4 hours of sleep and celebrating publicly isn’t really interesting, is it?

2. Ask things in a status that I can easily google. Because…the internet. And if I really have a question that demands a trusted answer, I will private message the moms that I know, individually, not in some big group message that they (with their own spitting up, pooping, crying baby) will have to eventually bow out of.

3. Put ANY photos of my labor and delivery story up. Any. None of the before, the DURING, or the immediately after.

3. Put braggy pictures of myself without makeup on, my sleeping newborn curled on my chest.  Duh, I will have make up on. What’s the point of a braggy new mom pic with the perfect newborn I don’t look radiant with the help of a little macaca and Nars orgasm blush?

4. Posts about how we’re “so blessed”. This really gets me. And I know people do it all the time with the best of intentions…but what is this really saying? That some being, some one, some deity, is sitting somewhere, blessing some of us humans, and then with others just being all “nahhhh, you’re not gonna be blessed, sorry sucka!”. And what if something were to happen to me or the baby during labor…does that mean I was blessed with a great pregnancy, but then whoever dishes out these blessings, decided that I shouldn’t be blessed with a healthy baby? I know this is a cynical attitude…but I just have enough friends and people I care about who have had huge problems becoming mothers, that to say I’m “blessed” because I have had a baby would just be a kinda dick thing to say. Don’t get me wrong…this whole pregnancy/baby making thing is A FREAKING MIRACLE, like, I can’t wrap my little human brain around it, even now…but all species procreate, and I doubt monkeys or fish or worms go around thinking they are blessed because they did what their bodies just naturally do. I will be grateful, and might express that, but I will not let all my facebook friends know that I’ve been blessed.

5. Selfies of me and baby. Because public selfies are bad enough. Why subject an innocent being to a world or narcissism he will come to know alllllllll in good time? Plus by the time he’s old enough to know what a selfie even is, I’m sure it’ll be a relic from the past, like record players, VHS tapes, and J.Crew mock roll down turtlenecks.

6. Declare FB a “no baby” zone. There’s the high and mighty “I’m going to break my NO FACEBOOK PICTURES OF BABY rule and just put this adorable video of River dancing to One Direction…” type status that I’m kinda over as well. I get it. You don’t want to exploit your baby, or have FB creeping around with their advertisers all up in your baby business. Totally understandable. But who are you? A Kardashian? Princess Kate? I think if we are friends of Facebook, I probably want to see at least a few pics of you and your precious bundle..especially after a few weeks when he/she is cute and doesn’t look like a little old blob of a man. Don’t over do it. Like, I don’t need to see a million photos…but let us all know that everything is ok, give us a visual aid so we can put a face to the name, and let us see, every once in a while, how things are progessing with the little guy/gal. Promise I won’t sell the image to TMZ.

 

Things I’ve Googled in the Past Few Days:

32 weeks pregnant, advanved maternal age, babies, first pregnancy, google, husbands, in-laws, motherhood, pregnancy, third trimester

“What not to google when you are pregnant”

“Will yoga squish my baby?”

“If I lean too much against a counter will I damage my baby’s head?”

“When will my husband accept that there is a real human in my body that will be his son in 7 weeks?”

“Do first time parents ever have sex, ever again?”

“What’s the difference between regular underwear and maternity underwear?”

“32 weeks and something hard as a rock is pushing out my stomach in a sustained position, what is it?”

“For real, what’s the story with vaccinations?”

“Will blinds really kill my baby?”

“Will bumper pads really kill my baby?”

“Do I really need to buy breast pads?”

“Having a newborn during a polar vortex”

“My baby is moving like crazy, can he strangle himself with his umbilical cord?”

“Pregnant and my hair never gets greasy, why can I go 6 days without washing my hair?”

“My mom’s nursery for the baby is nicer than mine”

Cows

advanved maternal age, boys, first pregnancy, in-laws, motherhood, pregnancy, third trimester

So my sister has a new boyfriend. He’s great. I like them together. She’s happy around him and I think they challenge each other in all the right ways.

The boyfriend has a father. Who might be a hoot. In all the right ways…or not.

I met father o’ boyfriend in a coffee shop last week. I was NOT prepared to see anyone I knew. You know those days? When you just run out the door and hope there’s maybe a crumb of concealor somewhere in your bag, or on the steering wheel (I sometimes do my make up in the car…but NO MORE!), and you tell yourself that maybe you’ve pulled off the messy top bun with the glamour of Gisele? It was one of those mornings. I ran in the coffee shop my sis works at to grab a delicious cup of decaf joe, and there they were.

The mom reminded me of a tall Nancy Regan, with a polished, beautiful first lady air about her. The dad was in full out Packer gear, and didn’t have much to say. He grew up on a farm in Central WI, and I looked like the Wrecks of Hesperus, so I didn’t blame him for the stone cold expression on his face. Maybe he was imagining that his son could reproduce with my sister, and genetically, their offspring could come out looking like my hot mess of a self.

Of course the convo turned to my pregnancy, and the awkward talk of where it was going to happen and how I was feeling about birth, and  if I was taking Lamaze and yadayada. Talk that’s maybe a little personal for strangers, and I always get a tad self-conscious, like I have to apologize for doing Bradley Method and going au natural.

Then, out of nowhere, pops pops in. And delivers a monologue of advice and observations. Some gems that are seared into my memory:

“You know cows lay down while they labor and when they are about to give birth, they stand.”

“Cows moan, and moo, and below for hours and hours.”

“You know some cultures they would dig a hole in the ground and (*insert a spitting sort of sound*) squat and have their baby right in that hole.”

“I’ve seen dogs, cats, cows, give birth tons of times.”

And my fav:

“Child birth is the hardest thing you will ever do in your entire life.”

I think I laughed a lot, in effort to help the new boyfriend not look so mortified as he hung on to his mom’s chair for dear life. There was some joke as we said goodbye about me only being able to think of cows now when I deliver, and I think I may have hahahahagreedhahaha through my ohmygodohmygodsmile.

Good to know a midwestern farmer sees all mammals as equal: bovine, human, canine…and that he feels my labor pains. From the farm belt to your ears ladies!

My favorite saying

change, first pregnancy, motherhood, pregnancy, third trimester

Maybe most of you know this quote already. A quick google search reveals that it’s been attributed to many people, and turned into a million different pics (memes? it that what the kids are callling that…when you put a word and picture together?), so…it’s out there. But I first heard this when I was getting certified to teach yoga this past winter and have found myself coming back to it over the past few days.

My baby shower was today and I’m feeling very grateful. This baby is already so loved. He deserves only my best thoughts…they will be our destiny.

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Path to Amazing

29 weeks, advanved maternal age, change, first pregnancy, third trimester, Uncategorized

“The only path to amazing runs directly through not-yet-amazing. But not-yet-amazing is a great place to start, because that’s where you are. For now. There’s a big difference between not settling and not starting”.

-Seth Godin

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This speaks to me today as an impending sense of FOREVER has started to set into my bones. With us having just moved, myself looking down a path of unpaid maternity leave, it feels like our financial situation will never change. The weather makes me feel like I will never see sunshine or feel warmth on my skin again. My husband reminded me in his birthday note that “this is the last birthday where it will be just the two of us”…

My body will never be the same. My life will never be the same. My marriage will never be the same. My career will never be the same.

Probably all true. And the only reason it feels daunting is because I KNOW it’s coming. So many life changes are gradual. We look back and think: “that was me?” and laugh, cry, mourn, comfort, admire and rejoice in the versions of our selves that have morphed and made choices over the years, astonished that time has passed. We might not feel different, but we can acknowledge that change has occurred.

Change. It’s a little harder the older you get eh?

And pregnacy is so crazy because you just don’t know. Put ten pregnant women in a room and you’ll have ten different conception, pregnancy, and birth stories. I don’t know what kind of a mother I will be, how my husband will change, what opportunities will open up and which ones may be closed. I don’t know that Chicago will be the place we raise our family…we could hate it. We could love it and find ourselves thriving.

I know you are probably reading this like “Duh advancedmaternalblahblah…everything changes. Deal.”.

Maybe it’s that the leaves have fallen, the days are getting shorter, and this baby is shoving my lungs up into my throat. And this is where I am…for now. On a path to amazing.

Things I’ve Heard My Husband Say

husbands, pregnancy

My husband is great. He’s an actor i.e. a sensitive type who can listen, emote, take in criticism, and really analyze and assess situations. He’s super smart, extremely curious, has a graduate degree, but is also a self-taught/read, knows-a-little-bit-about-a-lot-of-things kind of guy. He’s athletic and rugged…dabbled in professional cycling for a while and his 38 year old legs and butt still retain that muscle. He’s very striking, and often told he looks like Robert Downey Jr., that kind of dark, scruffy, floppy, ironic handsomeness. People often say he “looks like an actor”. The flip side of all this that he’s also one of the more original, utterly creative, WEIRDEST people I have ever met. My sister, after a summer of watching him act, described him as a “huge, handsome fairy”. Yes. He has very unique dance moves, aggressive Jack Nicholson-esque eyebrows that can dart up with alarming strength, a genius knack for making up songs on the spot that describe what is happening in the moment, and he will surprise you with his eerie, precise, deep knowledge of sports stats and IPA beers, as well as documentary films, show tune lyrics, and the Little House on the Prairie series.

Lately, some things that have been coming out of his brilliant, handsome, inappropriate mouth are also surprising. Here are a few of my favorites from this week:

1. “Yeah, she’s getting HUGE!”
Overheard while he was on the phone talking to his best bud. Yep.
In his defense, my stomach did just seem to pop out over night and has grown from nothing at 19 weeks to a full-out pregnant bump in 3 weeks. And when I yelled “HEY!!!” from the other room, he did quickly qualify the statement with “I mean just her stomach, she’s the same everywhere else, skinnier even…”.

2. “So…going to the bathroom while in the womb…is the baby pooping in your stomach?”
I mean…I don’t really know what to say here. Dudes DO understand that the stomach and uterus are two different vessels, right?

3. “What about the name Darby?”
No.

4. “What about Blue?”
No.

5. “Wolfgang?”
NOOOOO!!!!!!