It has been almost 8 months of inconsistent blogging. The usual excuses are the culprits. Primarily my lack of sleep and feeling pinched everyday for a free second are the contenders for my stretches of absence. As our family grew so too did the responsibilities and returning to work added on top of the heap more stressors and timing issues. By nightfall once the house was quiet and the papers of students graded, there was little energy left for much. Poor David has been so understanding and often from 8PM-8:30PM when I surrender to sleep, we would lay in bed for some pillow talk and have “our time” as a couple in 30 short minutes. But, at least those minutes were uninterrupted! This season of life is good though, I don’t want to give off the impression that we are not happy. Happiness is definitely a constant in the house and in my heart. It’s just very busy feeling and having a stride or a routine that let’s us balance these busy endeavors has been elusive. Then we thought how do we make our lives EVEN MORE complicated? Ah yes, let’s buy a new house, sell our house, pack, and move all before Christmas! My sister-in-law called these early months with a new baby the longest shortest time and it truly is. Yes, there are hard days, yes we are all tired, yes we bit off more than we can chew, yes we are all laughing, yes we are all eating, yes we are all screaming, but it is flying by and I wish I could slow it all down and stay inside of this manic experience a little longer. I don’t want it to end even though I crawl into bed completely zapped every night.
With the holidays keying up, I am feeling particularly nostalgic for everything and blogging feels like the right endeavor to make some space for. These little dudes and this little life should be documented more consistently because I know that I will want these stories to read and read and read as our days continue.
What!?! How has it been three years since David and I walked down the aisle and said “I do!” I guess the old cliche is right: time flies when you are having fun. I seriously love this guy. He has challenged me, inspired me, loved me, supported me, and made me laugh each and everyday. In these short three years, we have built a family and a home together and I am so incredibly grateful to have such a fabulous husband (Of course, I am a pretty fun wife too!). Our little twosome is about to be a threesome but I am really happy to have had these three years together. It has been an adventure and promises to continue to be. Thankfully I will have this lovely guy by my side to keep it all interesting!
When it became official: The Kiss
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9…..60! That’s about it from this point. It is amazing to think we are in the home stretch of this long waiting game for baby. But, we are SO very excited to meet this little guy. Last night, we worked on our birth plan “wish list.” Of course, the day of will likely throw us some curve balls, but we are hoping that as long as everything progresses well and the baby isn’t in any distress that we can have the labor and delivery we both imagine. The baby room is coming together bit by bit and last night we washed his little baby clothes. Everything is so tiny! Of course, only he knows exactly when he is coming but we like to pretend that this 60 day estimated due date is it.
Yesterday David woke up and said, “Want to go for a Sunday drive?” We didn’t have a real plan but decided that we wanted to avoid highways and just follow the back roads and see where they took us. Packing a few snacks, we got into the car and started our journey. An hour and a little bit later, we found ourselves in Salem. The streets were completely quiet as families stayed in to enjoy their restful Sunday morning. We walked the old cobblestone streets to the wharf and slowly made our way around the town. Before heading back in the car, we grabbed some pizza and lattes. We took little detours all the way home and truly enjoyed our “Sunday Drive.” A random journey really did turn into a special Sunday together!
Ten couples sit in a semi-circle in the basement room of the hospital. We are there to learn about the natural process of childbirth. Sitting there, David and I cannot stop laughing at the humor of this setting. We are all educated adults and yet this natural human act of giving birth to a child is so mystifying that we have all registered for a four week course. The room is quiet when we first arrive as couples check in and get their name tags. I can not help but glance around at all the bumps I am surrounded by. This was the first time I was in the room with so many fellow pregnant ladies and honestly it felt great. It felt like I was among “my people.” Our instructor is super nice and introduced herself as a mother, nurse, and educator. And with that we began our natural childbirth class.
I am hoping that in the end of these four weeks, I will have a clearer understanding of what “textbook” delivery looks like. When everything goes according to plan: What is happening to one’s body? What is happening to the baby? How can you tell when it is time to go to the hospital? What pain management options are available? How can you unpack your delivery wishlist? How can I have the delivery I imagine for myself and my baby? It feels like I should somehow know the answers to these questions already. Since I am pregnant shouldn’t my primal pregnant brain take over and just somehow know? Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that and I am hoping that David and I not only answer these questions but actually feel prepared for this journey soon.
Scanning the room it was clear that each one of us was having a very different pregnancy experience. Age is not the only indicator, but as we warm up and start to share stories about our baby bellies, it becomes apparent that our symptoms of pregnancy run the gamut. I will definitely admit that having the latest estimated due date in the group leaves me with a little bump envy. I couldn’t help but ask David if we were in the right place and if we were really pregnant? He laughed and just said our guy is little but yes you are most definitely pregnant! The first night was all about getting to the basics of human anatomy during childbirth and giving an overview of the courses topics. I am currently a little intimidated by all of the reading we have to do. The cute purple folders passed out contained dozens and dozens of handouts and recommended reading lists. And, for someone who is SO type A like myself, these “suggested” materials immediately get put under the “mandatory” category in my eyes. Yes, I know every woman’s experience will be different and that there is not “test” I am studying for, but somehow being as informed as I can be gives me comfort (perhaps that is the historian in me).
The best part of the birth class was the last fifteen minutes. Spread out in our couplings, we laid down on yoga mats with pillows, closed our eyes and were led through a relaxation exercise. AH! It was divine. At first, I felt so tense on the mat and my mind kept wandering off to my to-do list, but I gently tugged it back a few times and by the end of the exercise, I truly felt like I relaxed. Even the little guy who was poking my ribs and bobbing around in my tummy when I first laid down went completely still by the end. It was actually quite a cool experience. Our only real homework from class is to practice these relaxation techniques and David is super cute and excited to help guide me through them. I think these next four weeks will end up being quite insightful, fun, and will allow us to hopefully make friends with other couples in the area who share our June arrival month.
Whenever I get nervous or overwhelmed my go to is to create a “to-do list.” I know that it is a little weird but it just helps me to organize the chaos around me and helps me feel productive. With the list in hand, I can believe that one by one it will all get done. Yesterday, was an overwhelming day as I watched my April calendar go from manageable to overcrowded. Taking a few minutes to myself, I decided it would probably be a good idea to think about creating a third trimester to do list. The school year will inevitable throw me a curve ball as the final months wind down, but somehow this seems natural and non-intimidating. However, this baby business is just so new to David and I and, even though many of our loved ones have given us great advice, until we walk through this experience we just won’t really understand how dramatic the change will be. Fingers are crossed that this “to do for the countdown to baby” helps us stay focused and as stress-free as possible as we inch ever closer to his arrival.
Third Trimester: To Do
Finances & Paperwork:
Continue to budget for Baby
Life insurance/Create a Will
Put money aside for Hospital Bill
Update 401K plans
- Put baby on Healthcare
Read about Breastfeeding, Childbirth, & Baby Sleep Patterns
Find a Pediatrician
Baby proof house
Get information on Baptism
Send thank you notes for Baby Shower
Set up baby room
Work on Baby Book
Prepare and Freeze Meals ahead of time:
Sheesh this is a long to do list but somehow getting it down makes it seem more manageable even though it takes a few scrolls to see the list in all of its beauty. Can I ask if I am missing anything? What did you or would you include for a hospital bag? Any additions I should make? Let me know what your experiences with the third trimester have been like because I am SO open to suggestions!