Jul 8 2015

My Mommy Must-Haves Part I: Pregnancy & a Hospital Packing List

My Mommy Must-Haves Part I: Pregnancy & a Hospital Packing List

Moving across the country forces you to reconsider what you actually need for Baby #2. If it’s not an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY, we don’t want to unpack it, so we’ve had to take a good hard look at which items make the cut.

When I was pregnant with Peaches, we were fortunate enough to have a beautiful shower, and settled enough so that she came home to a painted, decorated nursery stocked with furniture and baby gear. I feel like we pretty much tried it all (except a wipes warmer, because everyone we talked to agreed: nah). This time around, as we sifted through all the boxes of stored infant belongings, we only pulled out the essentials.

A mama friend recently challenged me to narrow it down to my three top mommy must-haves in each category. Not the obvious stuff like prenatal vitamins, but the comfort-and-peace-of-mind stuff. For pregnancy, no problem; but for Part II (the newborn phase), I’ll have to list a few more than three. No getting around it.

With P, I bought every book known to mankind, pounds of lotions and butters, and a huge yellow exercise ball to sit on. I spent way too much on a maternity wardrobe and ended up actually wearing about half of it (at least I didn’t have to buy anything for pregnancy #2!). I’m slowly learning that moderation is key. When I found out I was expecting this time, I knew there were only a couple items I would NEED to have on hand: Continue reading

Jul 3 2015

Yes, I Just Ordered Coffee

Yes, I Just Ordered Coffee

Yesterday morning, after another round of steam mopping and sanitizing, I thought I’d treat myself to a breakfast sandwich and cherry pastry at a well-known bakery-café. “And a medium coffee, please,” I said. The employee cheerfully handed me an empty to-go cup.

As I turned toward the coffee carafes, the patron behind me gaped at my belly. “Are you sure?” she asked with raised eyebrows. It was a woman about my age, holding a toddler by the hand.

“Oh, it’s just for a half-caff,” I reassured her, as if I owed this stranger some explanation. I slunk away and pulled the decaf lever, guilt slowly melting into irritation. My eyes were narrowed by the time I topped off my cup with regular light roast, just as I always do.

I was annoyed with her, yes, but I was also annoyed with myself, and with a society that treats pregnant women as if they are everybody’s business. If you have ever been with child, you could probably tell us countless tales about all the strangers who reached out to rub your stomach or offered (sometimes inappropriate) unsolicited advice. I once had a parent sit down at conferences and say, “Hi, my child loves your class. Are you planning to breastfeed?” Why, hello. Nice to meet you.

With Peaches, I read everything I could find about The Pregnancy Rules, and I did my best to follow everything to the letter — but all the contradictory research gradually rendered that impossible. This time around, I figured I should just stick to what my doctor recommends. I don’t smoke (never have), I don’t drink (um, REALLY miss it), and I don’t eat raw fish (really miss that, too). For the record, my OB has also mentioned that I prooobably shouldn’t be in a crouched position scrubbing floors, and that I’m supposed to be avoiding stress.

Whoops. I’m really trying to get better about that, Doc.

But there are some behaviors she thinks are just fine, even though I’m not sure that the general public — at least according to the Interweb and random women in a bakery — would approve. These are my pregnancy confessions. Continue reading

May 12 2015

The Opposite of Nesting

The Opposite of Nesting

If you’ve ever moved from anywhere to anywhere, you know that it is quite a disorienting endeavor. If you’ve ever moved at the beginning of your third trimester, you know that it is the EXACT OPPOSITE of everything your body is telling you to do. Every hormonal cell that exists in your system is like, “We must ARRANGE THINGS! Organize things! Sanitize things!” But at the end of today, my house looked like this. Continue reading

May 5 2015

Why Being Pregnant Is Incredibly Weird

Why Being Pregnant Is Incredibly Weird

Full disclosure: most of the time, I kind of love being pregnant. (If you are now gagging yourself with a spoon and grappling for the red X in the corner, that’s cool. No judgment.)

But you know what? Pregnancy is incredibly weird. And by that, I mean that it is incredible, and also weird. The “incredible” factor generally involves various epiphanies containing the exclamation, “My body is capable of what?!” And the strangest part is that it exists within these two extremes simultaneously, this insanely awesome thing which is also the most unfathomably bizarre thing.

Allow me to attempt to fathom. Continue reading