2 Months: Gender Equality

Look who’s 2 months!  He actually turned 2 months a week ago, but I wanted to get the stats from his doctor visit.

This little chunker is now 13lbs 2oz and 23″ tall.  He jumped up from the 40% to the 70% for weight in the last month so he may not be a monster baby yet, but he’s working on it!

We’re just starting to get “real” smiles out of Wesley which I gotta admit is pretty damn cool. He’s more and more alert, making eye contact, and usually sleeping about 5 hours at night. Basically he’s a pretty darn good baby–he even survived his 2 month vaccinations like a champ!

And now for your monthly rant:

I’m not a crazed feminist by any means. Quite frankly I believe there are differences between the sexes, but “different” doesn’t mean “superior.”  For either gender.  I recognize there are common preferences that may be used for targeted marketing (ex. a lot of little girls do like pink), but I am sick to death of overly stereotypical advertising. This means that nothing brings out my feminist side quite like looking at baby gear.

Men Are Not Idiots

At least, they’re no more likely to be idiots than women.  A lot of baby commercials portray men as completely incompetent. I even have seen onsies with the head/arm/leg holes labeled and “Dad, you’ve got this” printed in the center.  This sort of thing makes me feel downright twitchy.  It’s not cool to assume women can’t use power tools, or code, or be athletic, and it just as not cool to assume that men handle babies (or cook, or sew, etc). In fact, dads can be pretty badass.

There’s More to Life Than Gray

Whenever I would look at baby clothes and sort them by “gender neutral” everything would be gray.  Gray with sheep. Seriously? There are lots of gender neutral color and pattern options, how did it get limited to gray?  And apparently sheep are the only “neutral” animal?  If you’re trying to find gender neutral options, your best bet it to search under “boy” because that usually seems to mean “not pink or floral”

Which brings me to….

Gender is Not a Color

I was searching Amazon for pacifiers the other day and rather than list the colors as “blue/green” and “pink/purple” they would be listed as “boy colors” and “girl colors.”  There was even a set that had a fox on a blue background and a raccoon on a tan background that was labeled as “boy colors.” Is it that hard to label things by color or pattern and leave gender out of it? Maybe your little girl likes cars.  Maybe your little boy likes pink. These things don’t have to be gender specific. I have to give a shoutout to Primary because a while back I saw an advertisement of theirs that said pink wasn’t just for girls and showed a bunch of adorable little boys rockin’ some pink.

That all being said, I don’t think children need all gender neutral clothes and gear.  We definitely dress Wesley in a slightly more “boyish” style and if we had had a girl I would have fully embraced pink and ruffles.  I still wanted a gender neutral base wardrobe and accessories/gear though so if we have a second kid we’ll have plenty of things to reuse.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

1 Month: Makin’ Milk

1Month

Our little peanut is 1 month old! Wesley is now 9lbs 12oz and 21″ long. He’s keeping his eyes open longer and starting to focus on faces.  He’s discovered his fingers and I’ve already caught him sucking his thumb. Unfortunately, he’s also learned how to wail, but luckily he tends to calm down as soon as he’s cuddled.

Most people include likes and dislikes with monthly updates, but at this point he likes food, napping on mommy or daddy, and farting.  He dislikes having to wait for food and being poopy. There’s not much excitement in being 1 month old…

If you’ve been reading at all about having a baby, you’ve probably also read that breastfeeding is Hard. I’m here to tell you it’s not hard, it’s stupidly frustrating and seemingly impossible at times! If anyone tells you that their baby had a perfect latch from day one and was always full and happy, you have my permission to punch her in the boob.*

Breastfeeding has been hands-down the hardest and most stressful part of having an infant around.  It didn’t help matters that Wesley was an early baby either.  Even though he was technically fully developed, it’s apparently pretty common for early babies to respond more like premies when it comes to feeding.  Pretty much he would go to latch and immediately fall asleep without actually eating anything.  It’s even more frustrating in the first few days before your milk comes in and we ended up having to supplement with donor breast milk while we were in the hospital.

Even once we got back home and my milk came in, it never seemed  like there was enough to keep Wesley satisfied. It’s been a rough journey, but if you’re struggling too know that you are not alone! Talk to your mom friends, find a lactation consultant, and/or find a breastfeeding support group. Here are some things that helped me, but be sure to check with your pediatrician or lactation consultant since I am obviously not a doctor.**

Drink Drink Drink

Water that is.  Hydrating the heck out of yourself is one of the best ways to ramp up milk production.  Having a partner who will constantly refill your water cup throughout the day is incredibly helpful since it’s easy to get distracted and forget on your own (guilty).

Pump Pump Pump!

Breast milk production is a supply and demand situation so you can try and trick your body into making more.  I tend to pump after Wesley nurses because he can’t seem to get everything on his own.  Matt and I also split the night shift  so I make sure to pump right before I go to bed so Matt has a bottle ready for the next feeding (letting me sleep through one!). You may also have a little one that just cannot seem to latch and it may be easier to pump and bottle feed.  You do you mama!

Herbal Supplements

The lactation consultant in the hospital recommended Go-Lacta (Malungay).  My endless internet quest for boosting milk supply mostly turned up recommendations for Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle. Our pediatrician recommended all of the above. Lots of people also recommended Mother’s Milk tea, but the flavors (anise) aren’t my thing so I prefer taking capsule supplements.

Cookies!

Yes, cookies!  Or whatever baked goods you desire.  There are tons of recipes out there for lactation cookies/breads/smoothies.  What they all have in common in Brewers Yeast and Flax Meal so if you’re baking savvy you can probably modify an existing favorite recipe.  Other food recommendations for boosting milk production include oatmeal, red Gatorade (?), and Starbucks “Pink Drink” (???).

This is the recipe I used for oatmeal cookies.  You can totally switch around the “mix ins” for your own personal taste too.  Not a fan of coconut?  Skip it.  Feel like nuts?  Add ’em! You could also swap out the chocolate chips for a dried fruit (raisins/craisins/blue berries).

Don’t be afraid to supplement

Even doing all of the above we still have to supplement with formula.  We decided the most important thing was to make sure our little guy was getting enough food.  Anytime we supplement with formula I also make sure to pump and we give him any pumped milk the same day since there is a risk with supplementing that your milk supply will go down.

Our pediatrician (who is also a lactation consultant) is 100% on board with what we’re doing.  Every bit of breast milk your baby gets is great and moms need to take care of themselves too (rather than wear themselves down stressing about about milk production). If you see magic promises of freezers full of breast milk on Pinterest, take them with a grain of salt.  These things can help, but they may not be a magic instant fix.

Just remember, the most important thing is feeding your baby, so even if breastfeeding doesn’t work out for you at all, it’s ok, you are not a failure!  As long as your baby is getting the necessary calories and checking out fine with the pediatrician, you’re doing great!

 

*Ok, not really, moms need to support other moms.  If you’re one of the stupidly luckily mamas who had zero issues with breastfeeding, yay for you!  Just be aware that your fellow mamas may be struggling  and may also be close to (or well past) tears.

**Matt really likes to tell people “Trust me, I’m a doctor.” And while he does indeed have a doctorate, no one in their right mind trusts lawyers 🙂

Save

Save

Save

Nursery Reveal (for Real!)

Sorry I psyched you out last time, but some things just happen on their own time.  I have a real nursery reveal for you now, although there are still some minor tweaks that still need doing.

Let’s start with a quick reminder of what we started with, shall we?

study1

Ugh.

Acoustical ceiling tiles, paneled walls (you can’t tell they’re paneling in the picture, but trust me), and trim belonging to basic modern construction instead of a Victorian beauty.  So we demoed All The Things, put up new drywall, routed some custom casings, got me sent to the ER, and cobbled together the rest of the trim pieces from stock moldings.

nurseryReveal_5

I opted for a colorful ceiling and muted walls partly because of the ceiling fan, and partly because I figured there would be more busy-ness happening on the walls and floor and didn’t want too much color competition.

Oh, and if you’re wondering if that is a TARDIS blanket on the chair, yes, yes it is!

nurseryReveal_2

I also wanted something fun and whimsical, without being overly baby-ish. The animal portraits are by Yago Partel and actually from a calendar I picked up a few years ago.  I fell in love with the mobile from Haba because it was bright and stimulating for baby, but still pretty artsy.

The chifferobe was apparently built by my great-grandfather and has actually managed to stay in use over the years. I re-painted it, but still feel like it’s missing a little something.

nurseryReveal_4

I didn’t want a specific changing table in the room, but I did want a changing station.  We picked up the cubby organizer from Target and added a bit more structure by screwing on an MDF backing.  I absolutely love the animal bins and they’re great for stashing towels, blankets, and small loose toys.  All the diapering supplies are on a rolling cart, perfect when mom’s a righty and dad’s a lefty.

nurseryReveal_1

Things that still need doing:

  • Install a real closet door
  • Refinish the main bedroom door
  • Hem the curtains
  • I’d really like to move the alphabet wall down a smidge (it’s a little too high and driving me bonkers) but that would be a significant undertaking (and Matt will probably kill me for even thinking about it)

There’s actually not too much left given that we unexpectedly lost about 3 weeks of work time thanks to this kiddo arriving early.  Now that we have a newborn around, it may be some time before the room is 100% done, but it’s mostly there and fully functional so it seemed like a good time to show it off!

Save

Save

Save

Save

New Mom Hacks

Hey look, it’s Wesley’s due date today!  Little dude is about 2 1/2 weeks old!  He was back to his birth weight within a week and was over 8lbs as of Tuesday.  His newborn clothes are already getting snug!  Kiddo also survived his first bath… actually he fell asleep in the bath so my mom is convinced he didn’t actually pick up any genes from our side of the family.

WesWeek1

I’ve been busy recovering so not much has been happening on the home improvement front (although I just starting working on the final nursery project!).  Plenty has been happening on the postpartum and baby front though, so if that’s not your jam go ahead an skip the rest of the post.

The following aren’t all exactly “hacks,” but just some suggestions for new moms that I think would be helpful.

Stock Up

We didn’t get  a chance to do this since the kiddo surprised us early.  I ended up sending Matt out on a Target run the day we got back from the hospital.  If you can I would make sure you have plenty of the following items:

  • Toliet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Paper plates
  • Easy meals/freezer meals
  • Dish soap/dishwasher detergent/hand soap/laundry detergent (free and clear or baby specific)
  • Batteries, if you have any baby gear that uses them

Also make sure you have:

  • Nursing bras
  • Hands-free pumping bra
  • Full coverage undies (fear no granny panty! especially if there’s a chance you may have a c-section because lower-cut waistbands may hit your stitches)
  • Pain relief options for sore breasts–I immediately ordered nipple cream. Lansinoh Soothies, and the Lansinoh TheraPearls before anything got uncomfortable.
  • Nipple pads (personally I prefer the reusable bamboo ones)
  • Maxi pads (if you don’t buy these ahead of time suddenly you’re sending your husband off on his own to the feminine hygiene aisle and that’s just kind of cruel)
  • Stool softener (check with your health care provider about what is safe to take postpartum, especially if you’re breastfeeding.  They’ll probably automatically give you something in the hospital, but you’ll want more once you get home… it’s one of those awesome post-delivery occurrences that people don’t tend to warn you about)
Baskets for All the Things

1. Bathroom baskets

Life after giving birth is…. messy to say the least and pretty uncomfortable for a while. Bathroom trips especially become An Event.  Make it easier on yourself and stock a postpartum basket in any bathroom you use frequently.  These are what I’ve found useful:

  • Pain relief spray (like Dermoplast)
  • Witch hazel pads (like Tucks)
  • Peri bottle
  • Super overnight maxi pads/regular maxi pads/panty liners depending on how far recovered you are.  Some women really like adult diapers for the worst of it too.

I got a bottle of Dermoplast, a container of witch hazel pads, and a peri bottle from the hospital so if you’re a 1 bathroom house you probably won’t need to go out an get them.  I did end up buying duplicates so I could have everything I needed in our second bathroom too.

I meant to pick up an inexpensive sitz bath but you can also just fill the tub with a few inches of water for the same results. My midwife recommended soaking both for pain relief and for helping the stitches dissolve.  Personally I think it would be easier to be at chair height rather than haul myself in and out of the tub… but I also have a big deep claw foot so that’s a lot of hauling.*

2. Breastfeeding/Pumping baskets

If you’re breastfeeding you may also want a strategically placed feeding basket stashed on each level. If you’re pumping you may just want a way to corral all the parts.

  • Burp cloths
  • Nipple cream
  • Nipple pads
  • Nipple** shield (if using)
  • First aid tape (if you’re using a nipple shield and have a flail-y baby, tape is a game changer)

3. Changing baskets

This is another one that probably only matters if you have a large or multi-floor house.  We have a changing station setup on each floor–a permanent one in the nursery and a small basket downstairs with a changing pad, diapers, wipes, and diaper cream.

Padsicles

I saw these all over Pinterest and have long since decided that I have no pride, so why the hell not?  Basically you just saturate a pad with aloe and witch hazel and pop it in the freezer.  Bam!  Soothing ice pack for your lady bits (because this is NOT a time when you want to be relying on the frozen peas… unless you really hate peas).

Nursing Undershirt

If you’re breastfeeding you’re going to want some nice, accessible shirts, and if you at all self-conscious or shy you’re going to want to stay as covered as possible.  I saw this hack on the Pinterest and think it’s brilliant!  If you don’t want to  buy a ton of nursing specific tops you can pair these with some looser fitting shirts and just pull them up without baring your postpartum belly.  I also LOVE this drapey shirt from amazon.  It covers the bra straps and provides similar coverage to a nursing scarf.

Breast Pump Bag

I my breast pump was fully covered by insurance, but it didn’t come with a bag.  No biggie, I can find a bag designed to fit it, right?  Well, sure if I want to shell out $100 for one. Um, no.  After some browsing I started looking at large lunch bags.  I found one with dimensions to fit my pump + some extra space and picked up a mini cooler pouch too.  This way I can stash my milk in the fridge at work but keep everything together as I tote it back and forth. An extra pocket on the lunch bag also works great for storing the small stuff.  If you use a separate cooler pouch you don’t really need an insulated lunch bag, they just happen to be a good size, nicely structured, and cheap.

Some women seem to stock their pumping bags with everything under the sun. I have my pump, nipple pads, milk storage bags, and a hands free pumping bra.  I figure I can stash other useful items, like a cardigan and snacks, in my desk rather than needing a huge bag to haul everything in. Heck, my purse is already big enough so I can (and have!) fit Harry Potter book 7 in it with all my other crap.

FYI: I have the Spectra S2 pump and after much searching I found this cooler (XL) and this mini pouch (XS) are just about perfect for it (although I do use storage bags instead of the bottles that came with the pump).

Layered Crib Sheets

Wesley is still sharing our room so we haven’t seen this in action yet, but it seems like a really good idea.  When you make up the crib, put on a sheet, then a mattress protector, then another sheet, another mattress protector, and finally another sheet.  If something unfortunate seeps out of your baby (especially in the middle of the night!) you just have to strip off the top 2 layers and you’re good to go! (our crib mattress already had a water proof layer which is why we started with a sheet instead of a mattress protector).

Related: make sure you have multiple covers for your changing pad.  It’s probably not worth layering them, it’s just a good idea to have backups as babies tend to explode from both ends.

 

*True story: damn near got stuck in the bathtub while I was pregnant.

**I think I just set some sort of record for how many times I’ve used the word “nipple” in a post

Save

Save

Save

Save

Nursery Reveal

nurseryReveal1

Oh sorry, not OF the nursery, but FOR the Nursery (but I’m going to give you a sneak peak anyway).

Yup, our little dude decided to make an entrance a good 2 1/2 weeks ahead of schedule.  It was incredibly unexpected to say the least, especially since my family does not do early babies.   I was born 19 days late, in July, and my parents did not have central air so I was expecting some major karma coming back at me.  Last Thursday on my personal Facebook page I even jokingly posted that I was 37 weeks so was ready for baby to make his appearance any day now so I could start deflating.

Well, he actually listened.

MeetWesley

Meet Wesley, born July 10th, 2017 at 6:39am, 7lbs 12oz,* 20 inches.

Now, when I said I was ready for him, I lied.  All day Sunday I was feeling a little run down and experiencing periodic contractions, which I  just assumed were Braxton Hicks.  Later in the afternoon they started to get a little more frequent so at 3:30 I started timing them assuming I’d end up just ruling them out as a false alarm.  I also asked Matt to make some muffins so I’d have some breakfast before  work on Monday.  This was phase 1 of Denial.

So Matt’s busy baking and I’m busy assuming I’m just normal pregnancy tired and whoever Braxton Hicks contractions were named after was possibly the world’s biggest douche.  I’m also messaging a friend of mine complaining about contractions and telling her not to get her hopes up because there was no way this kid was going to get here before August. Phase 2 of denial.

By around 5:30pm things are more painful, and Matt has started the timing app on his phone.  They were still lasting a little longer and getting a bit more frequent. but still a bit irregular. I decided to hop in the tub and soak because that will relax me and make it all stop, right?  Phase 3 of denial.  While I’m in the tub Matt decides to run to the store quick and get snacks just in case we end up having to head to the hospital.  When he gets back he starts packing hospital bags while I direct things from the bed because I am officially In Pain.  Luckily he had installed the car seat on Saturday, mostly because he was looking for things to do.

Around 7pm my contractions were pretty much in the 4-1-1 territory (coming every 4 minutes, last about 1 minute, for an hour).  I called the 24 hour midwife line for my clinic, fully expecting to be told that because my contractions weren’t exactly 4-1-1, I should just keep waiting.  See that?  Phase 4.  The midwife on call, however, says to get thee the hospital and she’ll meet us there.

By 8pm I’m being checked out in triage.  I’m totally having contractions and they’re steadily ramping up, but I’m fairly convinced I’m being a pansy and will be getting sent home.  (Yup, we just hit phase 5 denial).  Turns out I’m only 1cm dilated so I’m clearly going home, right?  Wrong.  They tell me to start walking and they’ll recheck me at 10.

Matt and I start doing laps around the maternity ward.  Things hurt so we’re going slow.  I’m still mostly Ok so I have my phone out and figure I’ll use this as an opportunity to walk my Magicarp in Pokemon Go.  That last about 2 laps and then I’m really feeling some pain.  Now we’re going a couple yards and I’m having to stop and lean against the wall as another contraction hits.  By 9pm I can’t keep walking anymore and insist on going back to the triage room so I can lay down again.  Denial is steadily fading.

At 10pm the midwife checks me again–4cm.  She’s actually pretty impressed and announces that she’s admitting me.  Bye-bye denial.

At this point things start getting fuzzy.  My birth plan (plan A) was to avoid needles at all costs.  I didn’t want an IV unless the doctors thought I was dying, and I didn’t want an epidural. I was going to see how things went and try a water birth + nitrous oxide.  This wasn’t out of any specific desire to have a natural birth, I just have a hard core needle phobia.  However, contractions have REALLY ramped up at this point and I’d been howling in pain for a while, so we busted out the nitrous oxide as soon as I’m settled in my room.

Guys, nitrous oxide as a pain reliever is a joke.  It may have taken the edge off, but it was a razor edge and nothing more.  I’m pretty rapidly realizing that I am a pansy and I want All The Drugs because I literally cannot cope.  I figure the few minutes of stress I’ll feel from the needles will still be way better than feeling contractions like these for hours.

Sometime around midnight they call the anesthesiologist in.  They were super accommodating with my request to lidocaine the hell out of my hand before sticking the IV in, and I survived.  The nurse even completely covered my hand in bandages so I wouldn’t be able to see anything sticking out.  After they’re satisfied with the amount of  fluids I’ve gotten, the anesthesiologist comes back to stick a frickin needle in my spine. Not gonna lie, I was completely terrified at this point.  Matt’s holding on to me while I’m curled up and I’m paranoid about moving and screwing something up…I’m also still feeling huge amounts of pain and keep screaming periodically.  Matt’s thinking I’m only freaking out about the epidural at this point and keeps telling me there’s not even a needle near me yet.  Yeah, but there are plenty of other reasons for me to be in pain.

Somewhere around 1:30-2 the epidural took effect and it was magical.

Finally I’m relaxed and the nurses just let me sleep while things progress.  I’m periodically woken up to get moved around a little bit, but mostly I just got to relax.  Around 4 they decided the epidural had slowed down my contractions a bit too much so they added pitocin to my IV.  I’ve heard some baaaad stuff about pitocin, but my epidural was still going strong so there wasn’t a noticeable difference for me.

The pitocin did it’s job and a little after 5 it’s go time.  The midwife and a couple nurses come in and essentially ask me if I know what I’m doing….um, no. Luckily it’s not that complicated at this point and I can feel my contractions just enough to know when they’re happening (but just some pressure and no actual pain), so I can tell when I’m supposed to push without the nurses having to tell me.

At 6:39am on Monday, July 10th, Wesley officially entered our lives.  The nurses handed him to me right away and I called him “my little cone-head” because he was pretty pointy.  He was also super quiet so the nurses immediately took him back to check him out more thoroughly.  Thankfully everything was fine and he was apparently just a quiet baby. Let’s hope it lasts….

He’s been an absolute doll so far and things are going better than I expected.  I’m feeling shockingly good and Wesley has passed every test they’ve thrown at him. Matt has also been an absolute rock star of a dad.  Breast feeding is a struggle, but that’s apparently pretty standard, especially with early babies.  We’re pushing on through and slowly making progress though.

The nursery isn’t quite done, but some projects are going to be on hold for a little bit.  I figure I’ll do a “close enough” reveal soon though.

 

*Yup, 7lbs 12oz at 2 1/2 weeks early.  If he had lasted until the 27th (or later!) he would have been a monster baby.  I don’t think pushing him out would have been as easy, but he could have totally earned the nickname Wesley “The Crusher**”… now I’ll have wait and see if grows into it. 

**You either get it or you don’t, and if you don’t I can’t help you and neither can Patrick Stewart.

Image result for captain picard facepalm

Save

Save

Save

Happy Mother’s Day

First off, I want to wish a very happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, moms-to-be, step-moms, and foster moms out there.  You’re all amazing!

It may be my first first sort-of Mother’s Day, but we didn’t do anything special–more work on the nursery and lots of naps for me. Matt did surprise me with the Eames elephant I’ve been lusting after though!  He had planned to surprise me with it for the baby shower, but the color he knew I wanted was no longer available.  He broke down on our anniversary and asked me if another color would be ok and it just arrived a couple days ago… so it’s sort a combo anniversary/mother’s day/baby shower gift.

mothersDay2017

I think I will name him Alonso. (Allons-y!)

As for, I’m officially in my Third Trimester now–home stretch baby! I’ve been steadily hitting the pregnancy milestones too.  Yay?

Having Issues Getting out of Bed

Not because I’m huge (I definitely look pregnant–although not in the above photo oddly enough–and am seeing numbers on the scale that are distressing-yet-normal, but I’m not hugely pregnant), everything just hurts.  My pelvis especially hurts when I’ve been laying down for a while and try and get upright again.  It’s similar in feeling to having done waaay too many crunches so your abs start to burn and rebel, only lower down.  The last midwife I saw sent me a video of some stretches to do, so hopefully they help.

Stairs are Hard

I finally had to give up and recruit Matt to carry my laundry down to the basement.  I can handle our main stairs fine, but our basement stairs are narrow and I’m a little unbalanced at the moment so I need to hang on to the hand rail.  Suddenly there’s not a whole lot of space for the basket unless I balance it against my belly which is its own level of awkward.

I also feeling mildly bad for the slow, plodding way I ascend stairs when I’m out in public.  Then I figure, the stairs are wide enough, if you have a problem with my speed just go around.  I did have to come to a full stop on a landing at work because two ladies were walking up side-by-side and chatting.  That’s fine and all, but if you’re taking up the full width of the stairs and someone’s trying to head the opposite way switch to single file for like 2 steps. This is even just general politeness and not purely because I’m a cranky pregnant lady.

The Cat is Pissed

Schmutz was napping on my belly the other day when the little dude starting kicking.  He’s now big enough that you can feel (and often see) the kicks on the outside.  Schmutz turned and glared at me since she’s not used to be kicked by her current bed (and it was clearly my fault).  Mort’s started obsessively kneading my belly and then deciding to sleep next to me instead.  I don’t know if he thinks I’m too lumpy or what.

So Many Kicks!

The first movements I really felt were just from the kiddo shifting around (I think).  I would just get pressure changes in a specific area as he wedged himself into a new position.  The last few weeks I’ve been getting more and more definite kicks and they’re getting increasingly more visible on the outside of my belly.  They started off feeling like weird little muscle spasm-y things, but he’s gotten some good shots to my ribs lately and thrown a couple punches that have made me wince a little bit.  I am really not looking forward to the day he discovers my bladder…

OMG Heartburn!

One of my very first pregnancy symptoms was some mild heartburn (but we were also eating our way through a large batch of chili so I thought I was just getting old and decrepit at the time).  Now I’m getting legit heartburn and popping Tums like candy.  I get heartburn by so much as thinking about food.

Unsolicited Advice

This actually hasn’t been bad at all!  Most people keep pretty quiet or share the “this worked well for me, but it’s honestly a crapshoot” kind of stories (which are actually useful).  The only person who rubbed my the wrong way was, oddly enough, the midwife at one of my prenatal appointments.  I was talking about how I was considering a water birth because I am deathly afraid of needles* and don’t handle pain well.**  Her response was that I clearly just needed to educate myself further because it didn’t seem to her like a good reason to try a water birth.  I sort of wanted to shoot back “look lady, the reason I’m already freaking out about this is BECAUSE I was reading about it and looking at my options.”  Then she seemed a little miffed that I didn’t have any questions.  Maybe it’s because I’m actually reading about what to expect and I hadn’t encountered anything out of the ordinary at the moment?  Most of the midwives I’ve seen at my appointments have been awesome, but this one was just not a good match for me.

My mom (of course!) also hopped on the unsolicited advice train after looking at our baby registry.  She means well, but she started questioning some of the bigger items (Were we sure we wanted this car seat instead of that car seat because so-and-so really liked that one).  While she definitely brought up some good points, it just stressed me out that all the previous research I did was wrong so I re-researched everything…aaaand ended up with the exact same products I picked out the first time.  Moral of the story: everyone is going find different products that fit their individual needs.

Trippy Dreams

These have been happening for a while. I don’t tend to remember my dreams but I definitely have while pregnant!  The last notable one was a nightmare about how I was never ever going to get the ceiling fan I wanted for the nursery.  I was shipped a broken one, then someone tried to convince me it was perfectly fine and I couldn’t exchange it anyway because it was the very last one ever.  The next day I called Lowes to check on the status of my order because the dream may have freaked me out a bit….

Bye Bye Wedding Ring

My fingers have started to swell enough that it’s getting really hard to get my rings off.  I had to resort to some windex the other day, so going forward I’m probably safer just leaving them off before they get solidly stuck. My ankles are starting to swell a bit too, but thankfully they haven’t morphed into full-on cankles yet.

Pregnancy Brain

More notable moments have been going to work with my skirt inside-out (thankfully it was stripey pattern and really not noticeable!) and getting halfway to my car before realizing I was still in my slippers. I also nearly forgot Matt’s birthday.  Ooops.  In general I’m just spacey as heck and very easily losing my train of thought.

Glucose Challenge Test–PASSED!

The internet really builds this up as being awful, but it wasn’t that bad.  The drink they give you is sort of a like a half-flat soda, so not exactly tasty, but not completely vile either (I went with the orange, but everyone I know recommended a different flavor).  I chose to have mine done first thing in the morning and grab breakfast after since I’ve heard any sugar consumption (not just sweets, but things like fruit too) beforehand can mess up your results.  How true this is, I don’t really know, but I really didn’t want to get stuck doing the 3 hour test so I figured it couldn’t hurt.

 

*  Really, it’s bad.  My regular doctor tried giving me valium before a shot once and it didn’t do a thing.  Nitrous Oxide at the dentist doesn’t have any effect until after the shots are done (ie I calm down again).  I currently have my own stash of prescription lidocaine to use before blood work, but I still get super anxious until it’s over  Yeah, I’m kind of mess.

** I am so screwed.

Oh BOY!

Looks like we’re officially expecting a little man this July!  This also means first baby pics!  Wheeeee!

baby1

I am notoriously bad at deciphering ultrasound images, but I could usually figure out the head and spine.  Once the tech started pointing out the stomach and kidneys….. um, sure.

baby2

I just think this shot’s kind of hilarious.  This is a frontal view of the face and if you look for it you can see the left eyeball, the nasal cavity, and the mouth open in a fish-faced little pucker.

Everything’s looking normal for the kiddo, but I do need to go back in another 4-6 weeks for them to check if I may have Oligohydramnios (ie Big Scary Word Thing that may or may not be an issue). In the meantime I’ll just be trying to drink water like it’s going out of style.

Now that we know the gender, I can finally get cracking on the nursery design!  My current inspiration is a selection of Yago Partal’s Zoo Portraits.  I picked up a calendar a few years back just to dissect it for the artwork (calendars are an awesome source of cheap art!).  We had them in the hallway in our apartment, but I think they’re awesome for a baby room–whimsical, but not overly cutesy.  It’s harder to find bedding to coordinate with art than vice-versa so the prints may possibly get swapped out.  We’ll see…

Next week my dad and brother-in-law are coming to work on the nursery.  All the drywall is up on the walls, but we still have to tape and mud (and sand and mud and sand and mud), and do the whole ceiling.  It also looks like we’re going to have to route some custom casings, because despite the fact that the door and window casings in this house are the simplest design ever (apart from just a plain 1×6) they are impossible to find.*  Hopefully my dad will save the day with his router!  This also means we should have actual house stuff to show in the near future! Woot!

 

*We found something really close once, but despite the fact that it was the company’s standard back-cut knife, there would be $200 setup fee plus the cost of materials.  For 2 doors and 2 windows (and only the vertical casings) that seemed excessive, so we’re DIYing this shit!

Save

Save

Slice of Life: Parenting Wins

I had my second prenatal visit about a week ago.  Kid still has a heartbeat which has got to make us parents of the year or something (don’t set the bar too high and you’ll always feel good about yourself!).

This past week one of the (male) cafeteria employees at work asked me if I was pregnant.  I debated for a split second about answering with “no, I’m just fat” but decided not to be a total asshole.  I’m growing as a person. Plus, this guy keeps me in french fries so it’s best to stay on his good side.  I still need to ask him what he would have done if I had said no…  It’s generally considered unwise to ask a women if she’s pregnant, but I suppose I was waiting there with my hand on my 4-month-belly looking like I was about to puke so the question wasn’t totally out of the blue.

Also this past week I had a major pregnancy epiphany.  Technically I’ve got 2 hearts at the moment–I’m a Time Lord!  er… Lady.  Now where’s my TARDIS?  I REALLY wish I had thought of this at my first appointment when we got to hear the heartbeat for the first time.  The midwife probably would have thought I was absolutely nuts (not that she would have been wrong…).

And finally… we were out at breakfast yesterday and there was a soccer game on that Matt was half paying attention to.

Matt (watching an “injury”): Magic spray!
Me: You’re going to use that on our kid, aren’t you? They bump their head–magic spray!
Matt: That’s brilliant!
Me: We’d really just need a little spray bottle filled with water… I’m not opposed to this.
Matt: No way, I want the official EPL** Magic Spray!
Me: Good lord, I’ll make a fancy label for the bottle.
*If you never watch soccer, pretty much any time there’s an “injury” (ie someone pretends they’ve suffered extreme bodily harm in the hopes that the other team gets a penalty) someone inevitably comes out and sprays the afflicted area with “magic spray.”  I think it’s Windex.
**English Premier League

Flat-Pack & Vintage is Expanding!

Well, at least I am…. literally!  Matt and I are super excited to announce that we’re expecting a new addition to our family in July!

Which also means that this…

nursery1

… is the future baby room. (and yes, this picture was taken today)

Will we get it done in time?

Will I give up and say “screw it, kid can sleep in a box, I want ice cream”?*

Will I whack Matt with a crowbar for treating me like a fragile flower?**

Will I have to trust Matt to handle painting projects?***

Stay tuned….. same Bat Time.  Same Bat Channel.

 

If you’re interested in the details (if not, skip down to the next break, it’s cool), I’m officially in my second trimester as of today.  Woot!  According to different trackers baby is the size of a beet, a lemon, a cupcake…. or a mouse?  Either that’s some tiny produce (and mini cupcake) or someone out there gets some ginormous mice…. I also feel like the produce comparisons are kind of weird because there’s such a wide variation in sizes.  Twin Cities peeps, if you’ve been to Lunds and Byerlys you know there are lemons out there the size of naval oranges.  Anyway… there’s a baby, it’s the size of a something and it’s continuing to get bigger so wearing jeans kinda sucks, even with a belly band thingy.  I still maintain that leggings are not a proper substitute for pants unless your ass is covered.  Luckily I tend to like tunic tops anyway, so I’m in the clear of my own personal prudishness.

I seem to have lucked out with my first trimester in that I never got bad morning sickness, although I tended to feel pretty gross in the evenings.  Sources seem to say I should be feeling mostly normal again around now, but actually this last week has kind of sucked and been filled with day-long bouts of dry-heaving.  Hopefully that will end soon (it sounds like 16 weeks is the sweet spot for the majority of people… please?).  I know it could be way worse, but I’m still feeling ucky enough to be generally uncomfortable.

In terms of plans for the blog… yes, there will be baby stuff happening but I still plan to focus primarily on design and DIY.  The current project though is obviously the nursery (I’ve always wanted to design a baby room!).  As a first time mum though, I obviously have no frickin clue what I’m doing (I didn’t even hold an infant until my mid-twenties!) so I’m clearly not one to be doling out advice.  Babies are exciting though so he/she will definitely be making an appearance here and I’m sure I’ll be sharing both my excitements and epic failures, because, let’s face it, life is filled with both.

 

And because I’m just full of news today, we have a more recent addition to the household as well.

Meet Mort.

MeetMort

We adopted a new sweet little boy cat (age 2-3 years) to hopefully be a companion for Schmutz.  She’s still pretty pissy but slowly (very slowly) coming around.  Mort is an absolute sweetie who loves snuggles and following me around… Matt might be a tad jealous because we seem to have ended up with another mama’s boy.  He’s also spent a large part of this morning chasing his own tail so he’s a bit of a goofball.  Mort’s very interested in Schmutz and we’re hoping she’s more friendly with him by the time the baby comes because that’s going to be pretty hard on our little furry diva too.

 

* Not gonna lie, this is a real possibility.  I stared at a BOGO ice cream sale at the grocery store for a full five minutes before convincing myself I could in fact live without it.  I was always told being an adult would come with hard choices.

** And then take a nap because hefting a crowbar is a lot of work and man am I tired.

*** Thankfully this sounds like a no since interior paint is almost all low VOC now.

Save