Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving + Pregnancy = Happiness

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I had always hoped that if I ever got pregnant that the nine months would land somewhere around Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving gods have heard my prayers. Tonight, Ryan, Thor and I will be driving to Charleston to spend the holiday with my family. While I'm stuffing my face with turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie, I hope you all have a fantastic holiday filled with family, friends, and food. If you're spending Thanksgiving alone, no worries, sometimes quiet holidays are nice. They allow you to catch up on the sleep you've most likely been lacking, and you won't have to wrestle the mashed potatoes from your sister. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What I've Learned This Year

Please read through and answer the following questions as YES or NO:

1. Are you homeless?

2. Are you or any of your relatives missing, i.e. kidnapped or abducted by aliens?

3. Are you dying of an incurable disease?

4. Have you gone more than 24 hours without eating, unvolutarily?

5. Are you suffering from an addiction that controls your life and has shut every person you've ever loved out of your life forever?

If you have answered no to these questions, I'd say you're doing just fine.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Working Mom or Stay At Home Mom?

So far, the decisions attached to this whole mommy thing have been simple. Legal guardian? Done, easy. Do we want to raise the kid in church? Done, easy. Choosing which pregnancy and baby books was easy. Choosing names was easy. Choosing a doctor...well, I think we just got really really lucky with that one, but regardless, easy. Choosing a birth plan, easy. Should I breastfeed? Done, easy. Choosing who will be in the delivery room, easy. Should I take birthing/parenting classes? Done, easy. The one thing I have struggled to make a decision on is the one thing that should be the easiest decision in the world. Should I stay at home, or should I go back to work?

Before you start stoning me, let me explain. Ryan and I are not rolling in the dough, by any means. We have been fortunate and wise enough to pull ourselves out of the financial crater we were in a year ago, and our bank account looks better than negative. We could afford for me to stay home, it would be tight, like fitting 12 Mexicans in a mini cooper tight, but we could do it. I worry that we may not be able to afford things for our kids, and we might put ourselves in a bind financially if I do stay at home for any length of time. Now I totally realize that they aren't going to college or playing hockey when they're six weeks old, but that crap is expensive and the cost for those things add up fast and seriously, the school system gives you like a week's notice for this stuff. I would like to give our kids opportunities that we didn't have growing up, like a paid college education, or the opportunity to go to football or ballet camp. If I decide to stay at home, regardless of my bachelor's degree and 10 years of accounting experience, interviewers will see the gap in my resume and think I'm not current in my field. It's the age old story so many women have gone through. They decide to stay at home, and when the kids go to school the mom decides it's time to go back to work, only, she can't find a job because she's been out of the game too long, so she ends up working retail, or taking a receptionist position in an attempt to prove herself worthy. In the meantime she's making $8/hr. and wondering why she's even bothering with all this trouble because now the gas getting to and from the job, and the after-school babysitter is more than her paycheck, so now they REALLY can't afford for little Johnny to go to space camp.

I'm not a fan of someone else raising my child. Not that I have no faith in the daycare system. I know a lot of working mom's who really love their daycares. I want to raise my child, that's all. I'm also not a fan of missing milestones in my kid's life. I recall a friend of mine who came into work crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said, that as she was dropping her kid off at daycare, she happily reported that her son took his first steps last night. The girl smiled and said, "Oh yeah he's been doing that for days now." I can only imagine how disappointing that must be. You're his mom and you're missing huge things, like first steps and first words.

I know, I know, at this point you're probably thinking that this is just a matter of what's more important-your career or your kid. I fully understand; however, that's not how I see it. I see my job as a means of being able to provide extra things for my kid that I didn't have growing up. So really it all does come down to the kid. Will I be more upset about missing the kids first steps, or explaining to little Billy why we can't afford for him to go to football camp with his friends? I have no idea. I have no idea what to do.

Ideally, I would work part time, and get daycare part time. That would be the best of both worlds. I get to keep my career and stay current in my field, while still having time for my baby. I'd even be able to do a workout everyday! The only problem with that is, I have no idea if my employer will go for that. I could do my job in 25 hrs. a week no problem. There are days I leave early because I have absolutely nothing left to do. My employer would save money, wouldn't have to pay benefits, would have someone experienced and someone they like in the position, but I have no idea if they'll see it this way. They are hiring a girl to work in customer service and be my "back-up" when I go on maternity leave. They may just say screw it, we'll just keep chicky-poo instead of you. That's no bueno.

Ya know what, yes it would be a bummer to miss my kid's first steps, first words, ect. but really I'm the only one suffering from that standpoint. Sprout isn't going to know if mommy was there for his/her first steps. I have no idea if my mom was there for my first steps and I'm no less of a person because of it. Later on, not being able to send my kid to college, or being able to pay for my daughter's wedding, or being able to pay for them to play sports, the kids are the ones suffering then. I think I would rather be able to afford for my kids to be able to do things and have the life they want than me be selfish and tell them they have to go without because I don't want to miss anything. Does this make any sense? I'm not a professional writer, I'm just a blogger who sometimes can't get her words to make sense. I guess perhaps I solved my own dilemma. I'm just gonna keep my fingers crossed that my boss likes the part time idea...

Before I start receiving hate mail, allow me to clarify. I am in no way, shape or form saying stay at home moms are selfish. Two of my best friends are stay at home moms and they in no way are selfish people. They however have different situations than I. If you can afford to stay home and choose to do so, that is completely up to you, and I am in no way passing judgement. This post is specifically speaking about me and my family. I can only speak on my behalf since I live my life. I can't possible know your life situation or why you choose the decisions you did, nor do I pretend to. I am strictly speaking for myself.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sprout What the Heck Are You Doing In There?

We've decided to call the kid Sprout. It sounds a lot better than "it". I'm trying to convince Ryan that we should let the gender be a surprise. I have yet to succeed with that task. Ryan wants a boy so bad he can barely stand it. I keep telling him that knowing the gender isn't going to change anything, that the gender has already been decided, and that's that. He knows all that, yet he still wants to know. He says he wants to bask in the joy of being able to tell people he has a son. What is he going to tell people if we have a little girl? Maybe he needs time to mourn the loss of the son he never had? I have no idea. Men. I'm still convinced that if we could create sperm in a lab, they'd be an obsolete species.

Making a kid is exhausting. My friend Kristine, who is also pregnant, said that everyday during the first trimester we use the same amount of energy it takes to run a full marathon. Well daggum, no wonder I'm pooped after cleaning the kitchen! I actually feel VERY lucky so far. I've had few to no symptoms. One day of nausea that's it. Other than starving every 5 minutes and feeling like I'm gonna fall asleep at any moment, I feel good. I have those moments where my body just feels weird. I know, I know, that's a completely vague and general term, but I don't know how else to explain it. I just feel odd, not myself, strange. Not bad, just different. That's typically when I ask Sprout what he/she's doing in there.

Apples and Taco Bell have become my best friends. We're not talking, like an apple a day type thing. I'm talking like bushels of apples. One day I had three and that wasn't enough, I wanted more. Apples have a lot of natural sugar in them, so 2-3 is gonna have to be my limit there, much to Sprout's dismay. Taco Bell, this is new. I hate fast food, it literally makes me sick. Taco Bell is the worst. It's absolutely disgusting, it tastes like grease. I can almost feel my arteries clogging as I would order Ryan's food in the drive through. I was driving around on my lunch break trying to figure out what to eat, when I saw a Taco Bell. Without even thinking I was driving into the drive through and ordering. It was delicious and EXACTLY what I wanted. Weird. Sweets make me sick. I had an Oreo the other day and ended up spitting it out, it tasted terrible. The thought of cake, or cookies, or ice cream makes me want to hurl. I'm hoping this whole hating sweets thing passes by the time Thanksgiving and Christmas get here. If not, well, no treats for me. That's alright, I have no problem with filling up on turkey, and mashed potatoes!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We Have A Heartbeat

Big news, I’m pregnant, half way through my first trimester, woohoo! It’s very surreal, I don’t look pregnant and I didn’t have any weird symptoms until recently, so this whole baby building thing is still pretty knew. We tried for three months, got pregnant some time in September, I feel VERY lucky it happened for us semi-fast. People say all the time that pregnancy and birth is a miracle. It’s hard to see it that way when: 1) you’ve never been through it, 2) teenagers pop up pregnant all the time. It’s not until you start reading pregnancy books and doing research that you realize that things have to line up just right and stay lined up just right to create a baby. It’s pretty amazing.

I can honestly say that there is something to be said about trying/but not trying. People told us, try but don’t try, the minute you stop trying so hard is when you’ll get pregnant. I tracked my ovulation for months, took my temperature, peed on sticks, made sure we only had sex every other day, the list goes on. September came and I said screw it, I’m not tracking any of this anymore, and we didn’t and we’re pregnant.

It’s a bit overwhelming. First thing, other than pee on 6 pregnancy tests, was to find a doctor. Again, I feel lucky, first doctor I met with we both really liked. No word of mouth, no asking around, I went to my insurance website pulled up a list of doctors and picked one out randomly. Called the office and set up an appointment. We lucked out on that one, I thought for sure I would have to meet with a bunch of doctors before we found one we liked. After I got home and dumped out the big bag of crap they gave me, realized I had enough bathroom reading material for the next 10 years is when the anxiety and overwhelming gasping started to set in. I called my mom-“There’s so much crap I have to do! I’m still working and in school! I have to schedule birthing classes now because they get booked super fast! I need to pre-register with the hospital, and figure out our kids religion, what if our kid doesn’t want to be our religion! I have to register with baby stores, and set up a nursery, OH MY GOD I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING!” My mom calmly told me to chill out and do one thing a day. There’s a reason why we have nine months, it takes that long to get ready. God bless my mom.

So there ya have it. I’m gonna have a baby. We're 7 weeks and heard the heartbeat today. It was amazing. Today was the most perfect day ever.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Worry

I fully realize that worrying about something is pointless. That it does no good to worry about it, it only adds stress to your life, contributes to health issues and shortens your life; however, for some it's just not as simple as saying "I'm not going to worry about this anymore."

Take me for example, I consider myself a professional worrier. For a long time it was the house in Virginia. What if they foreclose? Will it ruin my accounting career? Why won't they work with us? Surely there's something we can do? After I realized that there was absolutely nothing we could do, that our hands were tied, I did stop worrying and my mind simply moved on to the next topic of worry. I've been like that since college.

Oh how I wish I could be like Ryan or Marina sometimes. Aliens could be invading and they'd tell everyone to chill out, that the world wasn't coming to an end.

Are you a worrier? How do you calm your mind?