Life as a New Mom

A first-time mom adjusting to her new everything

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I had my 18 week ultrasound yesterday, and some of this 3-d/4-d imaging is some freaky stuff. I can’t understand why anyone would actively seek it out, but hey, to each their own. We did get a silver lining out of the whole thing, and that is an ultrasound image that makes baby look like a pterodactyl. That is what I call a keepsake.

Everything else checked out fine, which was a bit of a relief. I’m sure no one wants to hear that there are markers for spina bifida or any defects, and since we opted out of screening, this was when we were going to get any bad news. Fortunately, my only issue is getting another medically necessary ultrasound at 28 weeks because of a “low-lying placenta.” Apparently baby likes using it as a pillow (that’s according to the ultrasound tech, who saw it being used exactly that way and me making inferences because I can).

We also went ahead and found out what we’re having – maybe this makes me terrible, but I was so relieved when the gender was the one I was hoping for. Long story short, there are some health issues in my immediate family that seem to affect one gender more than the others, and knowing that I don’t have to worry about it for my child is a weight off my shoulders. I know people will say it doesn’t matter what you get as long as they’re healthy, but while that would be true for a boy or girl until middle age, once they hit that and you know there’s all this crap they might have to deal with, I’m pretty sure you’d hope for the opposite as well.


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Am I the boat anchor?

Do you ever worry about things happening, when you’re not sure if it will even come to pass?  I have a lot lately.

We have quite a few people coming down for the 4th of July, and because we live 8 hours away from them, they’re staying 5 days.  Four people are coming in on the 29th, and staying through the 4th, and two are coming on the 2nd, and leaving the 6th.  All I can think is that for 2.5 days we will have 8 people (counting ourselves) in our home and I have no idea what to do with them or what to feed them.  Even more of a challenge, I’m not taking any time off from work because I need to save it for maternity leave.  I see days where I go to work, come home and have to feed 8 people, which is just overwhelming.

Being a reader of the fabulous Sandy Coughlin’s Reluctant Entertainer, I knew I could overcome the anxiety about feeding them by letting go of wanting it to be perfect and have everyone leave feeling like it was the best house party they’ve been to; they’re not coming because of the food, they’re coming to see us, so I know that as long as we spend time with them, they’ll leave happy.

But actually finding things to do with them concerns me.  Not because there are no options, but because they’re all outdoorsy, activity-oriented people, and frankly, I have no energy right now.  This pregnancy has me so fatigued, almost all the time, that I can barely get to work and come home to do one thing.  One thing could be cook a fresh dinner, take a shower, or do one chore, but I can’t do more than one, unless I’m having a really good day.  I know for the days I’m working, that thing will be cooking dinner.

Also, I can’t do a lot outside because the heat is already well past 90 degrees, so here’s my fear: I will be the boat anchor that weighs down the fun.

Maybe that’s a stupid worry to have, but I really want my guests to enjoy their visit, as well as get to do the things they enjoy with us, and right now I have limitations that might hamper that.  I’m hoping I can pull something out of reserves I don’t realize I have, but the worst case scenario?  My husband’s friends (that’s who’s visiting) will do things with him during the day, and I’ll enjoy time with them at a more sedate setting.  I struggle with this reality, but have to accept that sometimes that’s just the way things happen.

Do you struggle with feelings of being a burden, or the “not fun” person at the party?  How do you handle that as we move to summer, a season notorious for entertaining and parties?

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A kick-off!

I’ve been trying to think of a clever way to start these posts, and suddenly it occurred to me: a Father’s Day post!

Yes, technically my husband is not exactly a father yet, but considering he’s only got 4 1/2 months to go, I thought it deserved some recognition.  There’s also the fact he’s put up with me for the past 4 1/2 months, with the crabbiness, fatigue, and nausea, and being a champ like that practically screams for a special day where I’m extra nice to him.

The thing about my husband is that he really doesn’t care about “things”.  For the first few holidays we spent together, back when we were dating, I got him stuff, but one year for Christmas, I took him to a resort to look at Christmas lights because he had mentioned he enjoys them.  That’s when he told me he cares far more about spending time with the people he loves than getting a particular item.  He loves sharing experiences with his family, and so now I make it a point to gift him experiences instead.  That might mean he only gets one gift a year, instead of something on each holiday, or one really awesome experience and some small, daytime ones.  A small, daytime experience was perfect for Father’s Day, as an “I love you” and as a “thank you for putting up with me.”

I took him out to a park near us, rented a boat and we spent almost 2 hours out on the water.  It was a rowboat though, and that worked against my master plan as I hadn’t really wanted him to have to do the manual labor…but he picked it, so I can go with the flow on that.  It was so lovely to just be out there, together, and not talk about anything in particular.  Sometimes I think of the comic that said once you live with someone, you talk more, but communicate less.  That’s not something I want for my family, and it throws into relief how special these moments are.  After boating, I took him out for dinner to a place we’d never tried before, where we got to continue just enjoying the company of the other.

He thought I was being silly for making a big deal out of something he doesn’t think applies to him, but honestly?  I’m glad I did it, because it made me feel good to do something for someone I love so much and not be told “you don’t have to do that.”  A perfect excuse to do something I enjoy.