Wooooah, Livin’ On A Prayer

I am 21 weeks pregnant. Well, tomorrow I will be. I can’t believe it. It feels like time has gone by very fast since our first anatomy scan. And now I sit here typing this and I can feel kicks (or is it punches?) and movement. Last night we went to see Jerry Seinfeld perform at Foxwoods in Connecticut, and I was laughing up a storm (obviously). And he was kicking the whole time. Probably because I was laughing a lot, but I jokingly said to The Husband it means he’s already a Seinfeld fan.

I am still nervous and have my fears, but lately I’ve been channeling my anxiety into researching infant/baby products. I was feeling like a slacker and feeling, as they say, “behind the 8 ball” because I didn’t start thinking about anything until after our 18 week anatomy scan. I really just couldn’t. I felt like it was pointless to spend time reading reviews and reading about safety and coming up with nursery ideas until after we made it past that scan. I couldn’t wrap my mind around thinking about this stuff and beginning to plan for November until we knew whether or not there were anatomical anomalies or concerns.

So now we know, and I’m channeling my nervous energy to trying to learn as much as I can about cribs and car seats and strollers and baby wearing and nursery ideas, etc. etc. I’ve spent countless hours on websites and reading reviews, and a good friend of mine bought me the Baby Bargains book – and I’ve read almost every chapter now. I have many friends who have kids, but I was not well versed in any of the different products or brands. A total novice. Now I feel more educated and a little less overwhelmed. However, even after reading parts of the book, the first time we went to Babies ‘R Us was completely overwhelming. We spent HOURS in there and only decided on about three items. And it seems like everyone has an opinion to offer and they are all different – someone loved this, but someone else hated it. Someone’s baby wouldn’t sleep without ____, and another person’s baby hated it and they ended up selling it. So some of this may be useless until baby is here and I know what he likes. Maybe I’m making too much out of it or taking it too seriously, but I went through too much grief and heartache to get to this point and I want to make sure we have everything we need, and that it’s SAFE. My hyper-vigilance has turned from getting through the first half of the pregnancy to what is going to happen when Baby Boy is (hopefully) here with us, happy and healthy.

And I do say “hopefully” because I am painfully aware that just because we’ve made it this far, and just because things are going well, doesn’t mean that something can’t happen later in pregnancy. It will never escape me that there is no “safe point”… I am happy and thankful to have made it this far, but until he is here – safe and in one piece with all his fingers and toes – I will have that fear in the back of my mind.

Even though I still have my fears and anxiety, I do enjoy being pregnant for the most part. Well, now that I’m safely in the second trimester and am no longer nauseous and tired. I have energy and am walking, doing some light weight training and practicing yoga several times a week. I like watching my bump grow and feeling him move. Sometimes it’s strange when a large chunk of my abdomen feels like it’s shifting and moving, but I like feeling him and knowing he’s there. I like looking at nursery ideas, even though it overwhelms me. I’ve started wearing maternity pants more and more, and I like them because they are actually really comfortable and I wish I could wear them ALL THE TIME. I’ve been getting a chair massage every other week (we have a masseuse at work every Thursday) and I like taking that time out for me – and it helps my back (I have been experiencing some back pain.) I like my Snoogle pregnancy pillow, which I bought to help with my back pain and to help me fall asleep easier without tossing and turning.

One point of stress that I’ve had recently has to do with having a baby shower. I was ambivalent about whether or not I wanted to have one – the fears and anxieties that crop up after having three losses will make any celebration seem like a bad idea and a jinx. But I will also say that I don’t want to cheat myself out of happiness and celebrating our baby boy – I want my turn to celebrate my little one too. Sometimes I would also feel down on myself for not allowing myself to feel or experience the joys and excitement that “normal” pregnant woman feel. I would justify it by saying I would be happy and excited once he’s here, and it doesn’t matter if I’m happy and excited now. Which I still consider to be true and valid. But as time has gone on and I’ve tried to relax and enjoy this pregnancy more, I became more comfortable with the idea of a shower. So now my mother, aunt and friend M are off and running with it. BUT NOW… there is always a but…

Enter my MIL. My mother has been in touch with her throughout and they chose a date for the shower together, which works for both of them. Except now my MIL and FIL decided that they want to fulfill one of their travel bucket list destinations this year (instead of next year like they originally planned) and so she asked The Husband if I would be “mad” if she wasn’t at the shower. After she had offered to help my mother, had a list of friends she wanted added to the invitation list and has been itching to be a grandmother since we got married. The Husband is an only child, so we are her only shot at being a grandmother. For the record, we are not very close – we get along and have never had any disagreements or whatnot, but it’s not like we go shopping together or out to lunch together or hang out. So I wouldn’t cry myself to sleep. I just think it’s rude that they are considering changing her travel plans and it just so happens to coincide with the baby shower date so she won’t be there. She didn’t have this planned ahead of time – she’s planning it after knowing about the shower. It’s just annoying to me, and The Husband (trying to be the dutiful son) keeps trying to justify it – “Well, business is good for them right now so they know they can leave now with no worries – it might not be good next year.” Or “My grandfather has been sick lately but he’s doing better – he might be very sick next year and they might not want to leave then if he’s really ill.” And “Well, wouldn’t it be better for them to be around next year in case we need help with the baby? At least we don’t need help right now.” If, if, if. What if my aunt had balls? Then she’d be my uncle. One of her ideas, to make it up to me/us (just the fact that you feel like you have to make amends to someone for something proves that you know it isn’t exactly right!), is to throw a second shower when she’s back. It took me long enough to become comfortable with the idea of one shower, never mind two. I am not a fan of this idea – I really do not want two showers when one would suffice.

Okay, this post took a turn for the worse. If you read through all of that, please accept my apologies. Rant over. But if anyone out there has any recommendations on any products they had and loved/couldn’t live without, or that were a waste of time and money, I would love to hear about it.

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20 Responses to Wooooah, Livin’ On A Prayer

  1. Ok, things:
    Let your mom handle the shower and don’t invite any of MIL’s guests. Tell MIL she can host her own shower for her side of the family at her convenience of she wants to. And tell your husband you WILL NOT need help with the baby. If you need help that is HIS job and you won’t need (or want) anyone else, except maybe your own mother. He needs to quit making excuses for MIL and just admit that she’s being a flake and it’s annoying.

    Ok, so anyways, YAY for 21 weeks! Don’t feel bad that you haven’t built a registry or a nursery yet–there’s plenty of time. I remember I nearly had a panic attack at 20 weeks when we walked into buy buy baby for the first time. It was reeeeally overwhelming. There’s so much stuff that you actually don’t need. But I’ll chime in with some of my top buys:

    1. Britax B-Ready stroller/travel system, and Britax infant seat and now the Britax clicktight advocate car seat. I’m a huge fan of Britax!

    2. Rock n Play
    BG slept in it next to our bed as an infant and since Mr. MLACS is gone all the time I’ve always put her in it in the bathroom while I shower–even now at 16 months! It’s like a hammock and she falls asleep in it 1/2 the time. Definitely got my $ worth.

    3. Shortstacks magnetic seatbelt holders (google this)
    Seriously, these saved me a lot of time and trouble when putting BG in her seat. And they are cute.

    4. Go Pod
    At 4 months I started popping BG in this thing (bought the one with the infant insert). It’s great–can set it up anywhere and attach toys to it. Even took it to Costa Rica and used it in the airport and on the beach.

    5. Baby carriers
    There are SO many kinds, but the ones I have that I love are a Maya ringsling, an Ergo 360 (BG loved to face outward) and now a toddler Tula and a Sakura Bloom silk ringsling. My kid never wanted to be put down, plus it’s easier to use a carrier than a stroller (like at the mall).

    For products, I’ve had great luck with Weleda Calendula diaper cream, Burts Bees baby bee tear free shampoo, and we use Honest diapers (buy in bulk online). The good thing about products is you can get samples of most of them or ask for travel kits for your shower to test out a bunch of things.

    You got this. One thing at a time. It’s ok to not be feverishly pinning crap on pinterest. One thing though-if possible, plan a maternity photoshoot. You’ll want to remember this ❤ XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, she is a flake and yes, it is annoying! I just don’t understand why she wants to do this when she’s known the shower date for over a month! I guess this is what we can expect in the future! (As you can tell I’m still irritated.)
      Thanks for sharing your tips/recommendations. I’m going back and forth on the Rock ‘N Play. You aren’t the first person to recommend it (I’ve had several friends swear by it) but for some reason it makes me so nervous. It’s like I’ve singled out this one product and all of my fears are now centered on it. And Honest diapers are high on our must try list – I already get one subscription each month for cleaning/personal care products and I’ve been very satisfied with everything I’ve tried through them. We’ve been using the products for a little over a year now. I’ll definitely have to Google the seatbelt holders – I’ve never heard of them before!
      Thanks again for the input!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mamalife says:

    I am a big fan of the munire cribs. I have one that goes all the way to becoming an adult twin bed. Pure wood cribs and sturdy.

    2) this is truly sometthimg that is based on comfort and baby preference, so I would suggest you hold off on the baby carrier till he is here.
    3) a big ticket decision is car seat, convertible vs bucket. We chose the bucket purely for snow and winters. Itz frigging cold where I stay and since my baby was born in winter, I didnt want to place him in a freezing car seat, i wanted to take the car seat home to keep it warm. But remember a bucket lasts only a year, you have to buy convertible anyway. But these things are damn damn expensive. Same for strollers. Blow your mind away expensive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I think we’ve decided on an EcoChic crib, but not the color! It’s a convertible too – I like the idea of it growing with him.
      We too decided on an infant bucket seat – like you mentioned, the New England winters can get cold and snowy and I don’t want him getting cold, so all the same thoughts you had. Glad I’m not alone in that!! I know we’ll have to get the convertible eventually, but if I don’t need it right away I might hold off on buying it until he’s a few months old and I get closer to actually needing it. And, agree on the expensive comment – I had no idea, NONE, how much this stuff was until I started researching!!

      Like

  3. Love how things are coming along with your registry. I agree, channeling some energy into positive things really helps the anxiety and fear. Cant wait to see all your final decisions!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lyra211 says:

    So glad to hear that things are still going well, and that you’re getting more comfortable with planning/stuff/showers. Such a big step. The anatomy scan must have been a huge relief.

    Baby stuff advice… ha. 🙂 You’ve opened up the floodgates! The essentials are: (1) car seat, (2) place for baby to sleep, (3) diapers, (4) a few clothes. Everything else is gravy. Here were our choices for the essentials, and our couldn’t-have-lived-without non-essentials…

    1) We went with infant carseat / stroller system that we got as a hand-me-down, and we love it. Graco click connect, for the record. A family friend even bought us a jogging stroller that can be used with the infant carseat when he’s little but converts to a normal jogging stroller when he’s got head and neck control (i.e., nowish). So easy to pop him in and out of the car/stroller, and sometimes he even keeps napping in his carseat when we take him out of the car (sometimes = like twice in his life).
    2) We went with Arms Reach Mini Co-Sleeper (again, hand-me-down), and it worked out great for us. Was so nice to be able to just sit up in bed and grab him to feed him in the middle of the night without getting up (I think also less disruptive to his sleep then getting him out of a crib or rock ‘n’ play, walking to the rocking chair, etc.), but also calmed my I’m-going-to-smother-the-baby cosleeping fears because he had his own separate sleeping area. He didn’t sleep in his crib for the first few months, but now that we’re there, we went with an Ikea Gulliver (sturdy and safe, can’t beat the price, converts to a toddler bed) and one of those natural mattresses without nasty fumes (from a relatively low-cost green company we found in Baby Bargains… I think cost was $160?).
    3) We went with Target brand and have been very happy. Cheap, decent quality, cool pee indicator stripe, not a single episode of diaper rash in 5 months.
    4) We bought almost no clothes, since we got so many as gifts and hand-me-downs. My totally average-size baby at birth (7lb 2.6oz) was in newborn size clothes for about two weeks, and then 0-3 month size for about three weeks. So don’t go crazy on the clothes buying. I know they’re cute, but it’s totally a waste of money. If you see stuff you can’t resist, buy in 9mo or larger sizes — everyone buys 6mo and smaller sizes, and we started running out of free clothes around 9/12mo sizes. Hard to get the seasons right until your baby settles onto a growth curve (within the first few weeks), but you can’t go wrong with onesies.

    Other things that have been essential for us:
    – BLACKOUT CURTAINS. Seriously, once your baby gets sensitive to light and noise (at 2-3 months old), blackout curtains and white noise machine are awesome for daytime naps and for not having your baby up at the crack of dawn all summer long.
    – Yoga ball. When you’re exhausted from walking and rocking, bouncing makes a nice alternative. Used it in pregnancy, labor, and now it’s our go-to nap crutch. Usually three minutes of bouncing and he’s out cold.
    – Carriers. We used Boba wrap for newborn, and now use Baby Bjorn (hips, I know… but he is only happy facing out and we got a hand-me-down Bjorn so it seemed crazy to shell out for the Ergo 360 — if I were doing it again, I’d totally put the Ergo 360 on a registry, though!).
    – Pack ‘n’ Play. Used it as our downstairs changing / baby-entertaining station when he was a newborn, and we still use it for baby-entertaining but now it’s also our go-to travel sleep place.
    – Video monitor. We splurged on this a little (Infant Optics), but it has been SO worth it. Being able to see him is priceless. In the early days, you can usually watch them breathe when you’re freaked out (priceless!). Then, when you start trying for “drowsy-but-awake,” you can see if he’s got his eyes wide open while he fusses (probably need to intervene) or if he’s fussing with his eyes closed (he’ll almost certainly fall asleep on his own). You can also see what’s keeping him awake — our little guy was busting out of the swaddle and rolling onto his side for a while, so we switched to the Merlin Magic Sleep Suit, and presto, problem solved. Without the video monitor, you don’t know if a swaddle-breakout has occurred (intervention necessary) or whether it’s just normal pre-sleep fussing (no intervention necessary).

    Honestly, that’s about it. Everything else is gravy. You’ll figure out age-appropriate toys and books as you go (the library is a wonderful thing). If you want to register a bit ahead, consider the Bumbo 3-in-one seat (we skipped the basic bumbo seat, which wouldn’t fit our kid’s chunky thighs anyway, and he started being able to sit up in the convertible seat at about 4.5 months).

    Good luck! This is such an exciting stage!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the tips!
      Re: blackout curtains, that wasn’t on my radar yet but obviously that makes sense! We’ve decided on nursery colors, but not on which items will be which color.
      We’ve decided on an infant car seat/stroller, but not a convertible yet. We decided to pass on a jogger for now, since I won’t be able to jog with him for many months and the idea of having “alone time” on my runs really appeals to me. And, nobody offered a hand me down or to buy one so I guess I’m just going to hold off. I might change my mind on this but right now I’m okay with not having one.
      We did pick out a Graco Pack n’ Play with a bassinet which we’ll keep in our living room and use if we travel. Some of them are just so fancy with all these extras and it was hard to wade through it and decide what we thought was a necessary.
      And I totally agree about the video monitor – I definitely want to be able to see him!!! That’s one item we knocked off easily when we went to start our registry. 🙂
      Thanks again for sharing – it’s good to hear (read) that I’m on the right track with some of these things!

      Like

      • lyra211 says:

        You are so right about the value of “alone time” — for me, it’s dog-walking time. One day my husband decided to come with me and wear the baby on the dog walk, and I was all, “Oh, sure, that’s cool…” but afterwards I was like, “let’s not do that again, k?” 🙂 I realized it was just really fabulous to have some quiet time with no other humans!

        Good luck with the shower and dealing with the MIL. I agree with whoever said above that while flaky sucks, it’s better than all up-in-your-business, so maybe that’s a silver lining?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. RJ says:

    I’m so happy that things are going well. I find it’s easier to ignore the anxiety when the baby is moving and kicking, but it’s totally there. Glad you’re channeling that energy elsewhere!

    As for your MIL, very unfair of her to offer help and then rescind it. I understand your frustration and I would NOT want to have a second shower just for that reason.

    Wishing you the best in all of these decisions, including registry items!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Argh, your MIL would drive me nuts. How inconsiderate.
    I can so relate to being overwhelmed by all the options for baby gear, and at the same time scared to even start looking into it. Looking back though, you’ll be just fine. What was great for us was finding a good local store, with owners who are happy to help and share advice (i.e., probably not the big chains). After trying them out, and talking to the shop owner, we picked a completely different stroller than the one that had been on our list before.
    The one key item I’d suggest is some form of baby carrier. This is highly personal, for both baby and mom, and you obviously can’t ask the baby now. I used a woven wrap starting when SB was about a week old, and an Ergo carrier from about 8-14 months. I think SB liked the wrap better, but when I needed both hands free I felt my wiggly toddler was safer in the Ergo than in my wrap style at the time. Lately we’ve mainly used the stroller (we hardly ever did during her first year of life), but I’m looking for ways to carry her again… Given that he’s due in November, you’ll probably also want to look for some form of babywearing jacket/cover to keep you both warm.
    Another choice that worked very well for us was to place a crib right next to our bed, with one side of the rails taken off. This way SB was always within reach (great for middle-of-the-night feedings) but still had her own space. She’s later slept in our bed, and we’re comfortable with that (where “comfortable” does include the occasional foot between your ribs) but for an infant I’d still prefer them to have their own sleeping surface. (This is a gut feeling, but from what I remember there actually is some science to back this up.)
    Before this gets too long, I’ll stop 😉 but feel free to email if you have any questions!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing!
      We’re leaning towards a Halo bassinet that pulls right up to our bed, because the crib won’t fit in our room. It’ll bring him to eye level and give him his own sleeping space, which I like. The sleeping situation was one of my first big dilemmas, but right now I feel comfortable with the bassinet idea – he’ll be within arms reach and I don’t feel like I’ll roll over on him.
      And, agreed on the baby carrier. I definitely want to give baby wearing a go of it (although I will have to return to work after a 12 week leave) and I know he may not like all types. I just had a friend offer to let me borrow a few of hers to test out once he’s here, so I think I may do that! I hope I can get one we both like!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Ramblin’ Man | Sweeping Up the Broken Pieces

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