Really great article about how the common “trapped in the wrong body” narrative can be problematic:
- As someone in your third trimester, you wake up from a cold sleep, vomiting from nasal drainage.
- As a non-gestational parent-to-be, you send your VERY pregnant partner to the grocery store by himself because you just don’t have the energy to get off the couch.
It goes without saying, both K and I are battling really terrible colds right now. I really hope this passes very soon. *sigh*
Today, the entire family was awake at 3 a.m. This is a typical wake time for K, as of late, when Falco starts bopping around and hunger pangs begin. Usually, if he gets up, eats a snack and watches something on television, he’s able to eventually get back to sleep.
Not so for me this morning. Even with the heaviest duty prescription sleep aids, I’m typically only able to sleep in three-hour blocks, which last night translated to:
- Meds round 1, 9 p.m.
- Sleep, 9:30 p.m. to midnight
- Meds round 2, midnight-ish
- Sleep, 12:30 to 3 a.m.
After a snack and DVR’d television show, I tried to go back to bed with K, but sleep has proven elusive. I know that I’ll be able to sleep again later, but it usually requires several hours of awake time first.
I think that anxiety around baby preparedness is making sleep particularly difficult right now. When I allow myself an opportunity to take a step back and evaluate where we’re at with preparations, I feel like we’re in good shape. We have secured the vast majority of necessities, and when I really analyze it, I think that the vastness of the remaining wait time is what’s really eating at me. It’s sending me into a bit of a tailspin, filling my days with worry about the unknown, the what if’s, the frenzied pace of nothingness.
I know that I’m much calmer when I feel like I have a sense of control and am working toward small projects. With that in mind, I made a large, long-awaited purchase – a chest freezer – and plan to spend some of March and April preparing meals that can be frozen and easily reheated when Falco makes a debut. Doing something practical and useful will help to refocus some of this nervous energy.
Oddly enough, even with this maelstrom of anxiety, I feel like I’m fairly practical when it comes impending parenthood. I know that no matter how many tasks I feel I’ve completed, no matter how many BabyCenter to-do lists I’ve owned, no one is ever fully prepared for motherhood. Yes, our little one will have the majority of what every expert deems to be a necessity for infancy, but at the end of the day, as a friend so eloquently said, we will be bringing home a “tiny, demanding stranger.” Falco will have an endless list of needs and very little ability to communicate what they are, and it’s our job as parents to trust our instincts and jump in with both feet. I feel strangely confident that we’ll be okay… if only we could get to the damn finish line.
A lot of so-called mommy bloggers describe hitting a wall in their pregnancies. There comes a time in which you are just so damn over it and want to give birth already. I never realized that this could happen as a non-gestational partner, too, but whoa. I. Am. There. Of course, Falco still needs time to grow and develop. Our Little definitely needs to get fatter, too, because skinny babies just aren’t cute.
Veteran parents, what advice do you have? What do you wish you’d focused on before your first little one made an appearance?
I know it’s normal to experience the distraction of nesting during a mom-to-be’s third trimester, but I never thought that this would extend to non-gestational moms-to-be! While we’re gearing up for a very large event at work, there is a small lull right now, during which all I want to do is:
- Prep the remainder of our cloth diapers, now that the new washing machine arrived yesterday.
- Work on decor for baby Falco’s room.
- Talk, daydream, G-chat, Facebook, text and/or blog about the baby.
- Watch tv.
- Conduct other miscellaneous Falco-related tasks.
- Sleep some more.
K says that I am way more distracted than he is, which is true and strange, considering that he’s the one carrying the baby. Have others gone through this and how did you cope? I could really use some advice here!
After a long day of work, K and I hustled over to the OB’s office for the first of our every 2 weeks appointments. We arrived a little bit early, which is fairly typical for us, and they’re usually able to get us in a few minutes early. It was clear from the moment we arrived that they were running a bit behind. After twenty minutes of waiting in the lobby, we realized that we were the absolute last appointment of the day.
We were finally whisked in by one of the nurses for a weight check, blood pressure reading (only slightly above normal – woohoo!), and a quick listen via doppler to Falco’s 130 bpm heartbeat. Then, we were dumped into the likely worst exam room of the entire office, where we continued our wait. The nurse warned us that they were running slightly behind and apologized in advance.
At that point, I was getting pretty tired, which translated into zany behavior in an attempt to stay awake. I did some nutty dances to the easy listening music playing overhead before discovering the training model of Mirena. The insert-the-Mirena game thankfully kept me occupied for a few minutes. K was amused but mildly horrified by my antics.
The doctor finally arrived and apologized for the wait. K inquired about the upper abdominal pain he’s been experiencing lately and the doctor thinks that it’s uterine pain from being repeatedly kicked and punched in the same area by our soon-to-be not-so-Little, who will apparently be gaining about half a pound each week for the remainder of the time inside her/his papa.
From here on out, we’ll be back on weeks 32, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, and 40, depending on when Falco decides to make an appearance. The doctor said that she prefers to induce at week 41 if the baby doesn’t make a move on her/his own. At our next appointment, we’re going to meet the other doc in her practice, just in case. Fingers crossed that our actual OB is there on the big day(s), though, because I can’t imagine doing this without her endearing social awkwardness and teasing.
As of this week, K is 30 weeks pregnant and we officially have about 10 weeks left to go. It amazes me when I think of how far we’ve come. At this point, I feel like the majority of our large preparations have already occurred.
Our choice of cribs kept being reduced in price at every vendor we visited, but because we thought one of our family members, or even a group, might consider purchasing it from our registry, we kept putting it off… until it was even more greatly reduced on Zulily. We took it as a sign and snatched it right up! The crib arrived on Friday and I assembled it late last night while K and the dogs slumbered together on the couch. My parents purchased the crib mattress from our registry, and it should arrive next week. I can’t wait to post photos of the nursery, which should be completed soon!
The invitations to our family shower are officially in the mail, albeit wayyyyyy later than what makes me feel comfortable (or, notably, than what is considered polite to guests), but hey, I’m not planning it. My teammates at work indicated their desire to throw me a work shower, so now I am attending a total of four baby showers in seven days:
- 3/10 – our friends shower
- 3/15 – my work shower
- 3/16 – our family shower
- 3/17 – attending the shower of some friends
- 3/18 – taking a random day off work to recuperate from the whirlwind
It has taken forever and a day, but Lowe’s is delivering the new washing machine today. I’m really thankful for this fact, as hauling a week’s worth of laundry to a laundromat is getting exhausting. I intentionally did it alone this week, too, because K’s getting more tired now that our little Falco is getting larger and putting a lot more pressure on K’s back. I have to wait until at least Monday for the rental agency to send someone to actually install it (NO clue why Lowe’s doesn’t install it), but the end is in sight!
So many things on the horizon: the showers, another OB appointment, a meeting with the doula, and further Falco preparations. I am looking forward to documenting it all for you all!
If you recently read about the heterosexist poll I received in an Everyday Family weekly pregnancy email, you might be interested to hear that I received a response to my complaint about the exclusionary language:
Thank you for your communication to EverydayFamily (www.everydayfamily.com).
Thank you for your feedback. We have updated this poll within our email and site to read ‘partner’ rather than husband.
Thank you for your membership,
They really did change it, too. How do I know? For some reason, they send me emails at the beginning and the ending of each week. The change is documented below:
Now, this action and response doesn’t address every exclusionary issue at-hand with their original poll language, it’s a definite improvement. It’s also an important reminder that expressing what doesn’t work for you or your family and speaking out against exclusion and injustice sometimes, though not always, yields results.
I try to express to you just how much I adore you, but I’m certain I don’t always do as well as I could. I wanted to take a few minutes, on the precipice of our Little’s birth, to document a handful of the things I love about you:
- You are the strongest person I know. When you were first disclosing your gender identity to me, you could barely say the word transgender. Now, you are blazing a trail to create the family that we want, gender assumptions and roles, be damned. You knew that there would be bumps in the road, and there certainly have been, but you continue to face them with bravery and grace, reaching out when you need support.
- You are so damn patient. Little things that fluster me simply roll off your back. You bring me comfort when I’m at my wit’s end, and I’m always amazed by your patience. I know that it’s this particular quality that will secure your fate as a phenomenal dad.
- You never know when you’re being hilarious. Whenever you unintentionally crack a joke, it makes me laugh even harder when I realize that you aren’t aware of how funny you’re being!
- I think you’re aware that you’re attractive (though I’d probably say “devastatingly handsome”), and I know that you’d openly admit to having a nice ass, but I love that you’re not at all self-centered. You have a generosity of spirit that draws people to you, making us all better for knowing you.
I could probably go on for days about all of the things I treasure about you, but I don’t want our readers to gag on the schmaltz. Just know that I promise to continue reminding you of your amazing qualities with each passing day. Happy Valentine’s Day, love.
Prune-filled paczki as a seasonal remedy for pregnancy-related constipation:
Lately, I’ve noticed K sleeping on his back more frequently, which, at this stage of the game is generally frowned upon. When I told him I’d noticed this happening, he sheepishly admitted that he thinks it’s because he no longer has the momentum, with his growing belly, to roll from one side to the other. I said, “Awwwww! You’re like a turtle who gets stuck on his back and can’t flip his shell over!”
As a way to eliminate any potential stigma from this recent phenomena, we have since lovingly referred to it as “turtling.” Now, when I notice him on his back while he sleeps, I gently say, “Bean, you’re turtling.” He quietly fusses but finds his way onto his side to resume slumbering, which he is doing right now while I write this post. Have I mentioned lately how much I adore this man?