Life as a New Mom

A first-time mom adjusting to her new everything


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Doctors now think I’m crazy. Or going to kill my child, maybe.

I really hope most people don’t have pregnancies like I have.  Because this whole thing has sucked, pretty much start to finish.  I’m over 38 weeks and still have to take Zofran for nausea, which has been constant since about 7 weeks.  I had placenta previa (that resolved), then they found the fetal cyst (that is shrinking), they wrote me out on short-term disability because I can barely walk thanks to a low fetus that they have to reach around to do my (now weekly) cervix checks, and now, most recently, I had ANOTHER ultrasound because I’m shrinking.  YES, SHRINKING.  I now measure a full 4 cm behind where my fundal height is supposed to be, down from my all-time high at 36 weeks where I was on track and had been until then.  So they wanted to check growth, and fluid levels, to hopefully “avoid a negative fetal outcome.”  Don’t you love that turn of phrase, “negative fetal outcome”?

The results of this ultrasound, true to everything else they’ve found wrong with me, were fine.  Baby is still growing, and my fluid levels are at the high-end of normal.  What they said that means is that I’m just a “compact carrier”.  I prefer to think of it as a concealed carry, but maybe that’s the hormones…

And, by the way, I’m still not dilated at all, nor am I fully effaced, so there is no end in sight.

But I did learn something.  A valuable something.  When you tell your doctor that things need to start moving along because you are sick and tired of being sick and in pain, and you are about ready to get a coat hanger, they immediately start to act nonchalantly concerned because they are afraid you are crazy.  They start asking you questions about if you’re excited (yes, TO BE ALONE IN MY OWN BODY AGAIN), do you have help, is your husband excited (no, he’s done nothing but write checks to you people for procedures that turn out to be unnecessary), and to please remember they’re there for you.  I just bet they are, because that’s a billable visit.

So now I’m on the loony radar because they think I’m going to harm myself or be one of the women that drowns their child in a bathtub.  What they don’t get is that I will be so happy to just have the whole pregnancy part over and done, that I will be the happiest clam in the sea when it happens.


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A family dynamic

Sandy’s questions, over at The Reluctant Entertainer were so good I ended up writing a massive comment and thought I’d write a post as well.
This is the first year my husband and I will have some external motivation to develop our own family dynamic.  With the holidays coming up, this affects our ability to entertain guests or travel to our extended families as guests.  Baby is the entire reason we now have the motivation to strike out on our own and find a new rhythm for our holidays.

Previously, we had a routine that worked for us as a couple, since we had no children and could easily travel with the dog for the 8 hours one-way it took to get home to our families for Christmas and Thanksgiving.  They had, of course, fallen into the rhythm of hosting these holidays, and it was always expected that we would be there at one family’s celebration (or both, in the case of Christmas).  It was complicated because my husband’s parents are divorced, so there were essentially 3 sets to see.  But we never saw the need to rock the boat, and the one year we offered to host Thanksgiving, people said they would come and we were alone after everyone decided it was inconvenient to drive to us.

This year, the question of their convenience doesn’t matter to us as a family as much.  We do want to see them, of course, but at the same time we emphatically do not want to travel with a newborn for that period of time.  It provided a great opportunity to sit down as a couple and discuss what mattered most to each of us and reach a compromise.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I always feel closest to my husband when we resolve issues like this together.  It brings us an additional degree of intimacy, because we’ve proven to each other that we can open up about our feelings, good and bad, and be safe with each other.

So we talked.  About how he wants to involve his family, and I want to establish ourselves as a family first, with our own traditions.  How I was afraid of traveling that long with an infant, and disrupting any forming routines.  How I was concerned about the immune system that wouldn’t be fully established.  How we both deeply want to share our family with our extended families during the holidays, and how our family is now ourselves and Baby.  We talked and talked, and came to the conclusion that we could manage about 2-3 people at a time, not staying with us at the house, for long weekends.  We’ll offer each couple or person a weekend, invite them to stay for 3 or 4 days, and if they can’t come we’ll do our best to make it work with them, but our schedule will be our top priority.  And we’re not inviting anyone for the weekend of Thanksgiving, or for Christmas Eve/Day.  Those are for us, our first opportunity to share the best of our childhoods with Baby, and once we figure out what we want, next year we can discuss with our extended families what we would like to see happen (and compromise again!).