Monday, December 31, 2012

Bad Advice from People Who Don't Know What They're Talking About

How does an expectant mom deal with this type of unsolicited "help"?  Especially when it comes from well-meaning, close family?  Any ideas?

I am at a loss for how to handle this as I'm sure it's only going to get worse. E thinks I should just ignore it, but then I find myself second-guessing some decisions, even doctor's advice because of these comments. I am a smart, educated, albeit first-time mom, but I think I can handle this or at least be trusted to do what's right for me, my baby and my husband, no?  UGH!

Specifically, I'm a little terrified I'm going to be an epic failure at breast feeding and that our baby will never get a good night's rest.  Food and sleep  - 2 very important things.

A close family member who was not able to breast feed because of a type of medication she was taking happened to offer some breastfeeding advice the other day.  She is a full supporter of formula feeding though I very much think that had she been afforded the choice, she'd have been breastfeeding, but that's beyond the point.

Conversation started out with sleeping arrangements - she a strong believer in putting the baby right in the crib from day 1.  Easy to do if you aren't breastfeeding, right?  Well my bedroom is next to the baby's room so I suppose it would be easy enough to walk a little ways down the hall to feed our little one, but I might not want to.  If I went in the nursery to feed then at least I wouldn't wake E up too right?  Well E and I have talked and he plans to be as involved as I am in the feeding department even if that means he gets the baby and brings him to me so I can feed him.  We have talked about what is right for our family but are flexible to all sorts of sleep options and plan to see what works best for the 3 of us in the end.  When I try to explain this, it falls on deaf ears and that frustrates me to no end.

Then there was the "you should allow the baby to go to the nursery so you can get some rest while you're in the hospital" comment.  Her argument  - that this is going to be the last night I will get a real night's sleep EVER.  I hate to break it to them, but I don't think I've had a peaceful, no worries sleep since 3 years prior, pre-infertility.  Frankly, I am sure I'll sleep better knowing that little one is right beside me and I can take a peak at him whenever I want.  Why don't folks understand that my frame of reference isn't necessarily yours?

Conversation continued..."and you should be prepared for your milk not to come in right away and have to supplement with formula...they'll take care of it in the nursery."  I simply stated that's not what I wanted as colostrum contains all the nutrients babies need for the first few days until your milk comes in and that I was fully prepared for that.  Of course, if the doctors say there's a medical need to supplement, we'll be doing that, but my little one isn't getting a bottle just because you say so!  She must have skipped right over the breastfeeding chapters in the baby books because that's part of breastfeeding 101.  I stood my ground on this point, but realized it wasn't worth my time.  All she knows is bottle feeding so why am I even listening!  Annoyed, I didn't get much rest last night and it's New Year's Eve - I'm sure I'll be asleep by 10 pm.

My only real plans when the little guy arrives are to be flexible and to listen to the wants and needs of my little family with the advice of medical doctors to guide us.  Tuning out others is going to have to be a quickly mastered skill.

Happy New Year everyone - we're are really looking forward to a joyous 2013.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Keeping Track

I bought this wonderful pregnancy journal that I had every intention of writing in each day, documenting this journey that we're on.  But alas, the best laid plans...  Instead, this blog has become a better way for me to track what's going on inside and out.

I am feeling big, I mean BIG!  I've gained 26 pounds so far which is right about where I should be for the total pregnancy so I'm hoping I'll be able to keep things under control for 4 more weeks despite holiday temptations.  Forward bending of any sort is pretty much out these days. E has to help me out of bed and if I'm on my feet longer than 1 hour, my back is throbbing.  I've had back problems before I was pregnant but having an extra 26 lbs on the front of me isn't helping.

I treated myself to a prenatal massage 2 weeks ago and it was amazing. I felt like a million bucks - so I booked another for this Saturday and I'm really looking forward to it.

Sleep is strange as some days I wake after a night filled with 3-4 bathroom trips and still manage to feel refreshed, yet others - when the alarm goes off, I feel like a zombie.  Zombie mornings are not fun.  My ankles have begun to swell slightly putting off any boot purchases I thought I might have in my near future.

Dairy is not my friend, neither are spicy foods or big meals but I can deal.   My gums are an absolute mess but I've been to the dentist and there's really not much I can do. If I bump the most sensitive area, my mouth starts gushing blood a-la horror film style.

TMI alert - the cervical mucus has increased a ton which is kinda grossing me out but I know it's there to protect the baby. And I know baby has changed positions in the last 2 weeks because I'm less constipated! Imagine that.  I only have to take a stool softener every other day instead of every day.

We had our 36 week appointment on Tuesday and baby is measuring right about 6 lbs 8 oz. The doc said he could grow up to a 1/2 lb per week, but hopefully not.  I'm hoping for a very reasonable 7lbs 8 oz.  I'm not sure an 8 pounder would come out of me easily.

My cervix is still closed with 4 weeks to go. I've got a call into my acupuncturist to get on her schedule next week. I am not eager for this little guy to arrive before his due date, but I want to avoid being induced so anything I can do to naturally get things started in the next 2-3 weeks will be good.

Phew, OK that was a pretty good update. We're nearing the home stretch which is unbelievable still.  The hospital bag is packed, the car seat is installed and now I'm just trying to wrap my head around the fact that a 7-ish pound being is going to make its way out of my you know what!

Monday, December 10, 2012

OMG We're Getting Close

35 weeks tomorrow!  Seriously?!?  I am going to be a mommy in about 5 weeks - sooner if the critics are correct.  It seems everyone has a comment on when the baby will come or how big I am these days.  I got into the elevator last week and some man said to me, "Oh boy! Boil the water!"  Dude, not going to give birth right here in the hallway thank you very much.

I am looking pretty big these days.  I have gained about 23 pounds so far which I'm OK with. I am trying to stick to 25 but I'm not sure that will really work out in the end. If I'm a few pounds off, I suppose it's not a huge deal.  It's tough with all the goodies for the holidays, but I honestly can't eat a big meal any more. It makes me so incredibly uncomfortable and then I can't sleep.  Not fun, but I'll live.  This is a piece of cake compared to where we were last year.

Yes, last year which I've deemed as the worst Christmas-ever.  It makes me sad to think about how absolutely miserable the two of us were this time last year.  We had failed our first IVF.  That was the year I thought we'd get our Christmas miracle, but sadly no.  We went to the Christmas tree lot - got out and I cried and we left without a tree.  Just didn't have any holiday spirit in me.  We went to Mass on Christmas Eve and left before the entrance hymn.  I just cried and couldn't bring myself to celebrate the birth of a child no matter who it was.  It was terrible but this year is different.

My list of to-dos is slowly getting completed and I finally feel like we're ready.  The hospital bag is mostly packed and we have to put the car seat in the car, but I think all the really important things are done.  Now it's just the nice-to-dos like cooking baking and casserole freezing that I'd like to get finished.  It's tough because I love to cook but my back really hurts if I'm standing for anything longer than an hour.  I will probably just give up on the baking a little this year and have to live with that.

These weeks are flying by and I am so eager to meet this little man.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Secret Thoughts

Is it bad that I'm secretly (or maybe not-so-secretly) thrilled that my friend who announced her 5-week old pregnancy at her sister's wedding back in October called me the other day to say that she's had bad morning sickness?  She called to check in on me yesterday but I let the message go to voicemail because I was in the supermarket...and I smiled when I listened to the message. I don't think it's severe, as she said she's just taking some medication for it - but I was a happy that a little Karma was making it's way around.

I haven't figured out when I'll call back because I'm still hurt by her original "it was actually pretty easy" comment but I know I'll have to at some point. I'm thinking email will do just fine in this case.  She's not even past the 12 week mark and is complaining openly - I can only imagine I might have a whole 6 more months of hearing about this.  My therapist says that I could nip that in the bud if I wanted with a quick note saying something like: "Even though I'm pregnant and thrilled right now, we're not done building our family and it's just really hard to hear complaints about being pregnant."  I wonder if she would even "get" that.  It's worth a try I suppose.

Today marks 34 weeks incredibly.  I'm in awe that this is my life and soon we'll be welcoming a little one into our home.  We have waited for this moment for over 3 years and I can't believe 6 weeks is all that stands between us. I've been busily preparing for the holidays and baby's arrival all at once.  Some say that the last few weeks go really slow, but I'm having the opposite feeling because with holiday preparations I feel like things are moving at warp speed. I've officially begun packing my hospital bag...and will wash some of the baby's clothes this weekend too.  It all seems unreal!