Life as a New Mom

A first-time mom adjusting to her new everything

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I think made the “Home Alone” face. I’m pretty sure I did…

…when I walked into Widget’s room this morning at 3am, after he woke me scrying (his scream/cry hybrid).  He was lying there on his tummy, with his face mashed into the side of his crib.  Not a good feeling.

He’s been rolling onto his side a lot the last few days, and apparently he’s figured out the last 90 degrees.  I’m not sure if he can do it reliably yet or not, but still.  Add to this that he never seems to want to roll from his tummy to his back (I’ve seen him do it, he just doesn’t do it often).  Rather, when he’s done with tummy time, he buries his face into the floor and cries.

So the order of business, after I took care of his immediate needs and he was back in bed:

  • Purchase a new baby monitor with video.  Stupid, perhaps, but it keeps me from having anxiety through the roof.  Pay extra for 1-day shipping.
  • Google that shit.  Attempt to discern if advice found is relevant, given the assumption the baby is 6 months old instead of 3
  • Decide advice from Google is B.S. even though some comes from people with credentials
  • Call pediatrician at 8:00:01 am (they open at 8).  Leave a message with the triage nurse.
  • Tell my husband, and get laughed at
  • Make frowny face while yelling “MY CONCERN IS LEGITIMATE!!”
  • Wait for return call and write blog post while so doing

So there you have it.  What would you do?


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Hello again, panic

Would running into the street screaming like a banshee alter the perception of me in my neighborhood, I wonder?  Because I feel like it today.

I’m pretty sure I’m just going to have more and more moments of panic, but I can’t say I enjoy the ride.  Today’s hit when I realized I am in month 9, and there are 28 days until my due date.  That makes the whole thing seem more imminent that I’d previously considered, and I’m thinking that drugs should start NOW, as opposed to actual labor…

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Waiting for the call

Do you ever feel like once you have a grasp on everything happening in your life, there’s always something new added, just to keep you off-balance?  I do, and it’s been happening more and more often.  I find this disturbing, probably because I struggle with wanting to control everything so my equilibrium doesn’t get thrown off.  Weird and counter-intuitive, I know.

But I was doing pretty well, handling all the pregnancy-related symptoms and stresses, until last Friday.  I was scheduled to have an ultrasound to see if my placenta was still low-lying.  I also took the one-hour glucose test while I was there.  The placenta had moved, so everything there is good.

Nothing is ever that easy.

On the ultrasound, the technician noticed there was something.  She and the doctor weren’t sure what, but they had a guess.  They ended up referring me to a high-risk practice for another ultrasound to confirm what they think.  The guess right now is that there is a fetal splenic cyst.  Being a librarian, the first thing I did was look through medical literature I have access to and see what has been published about the topic.  2 articles, total.  I’m guessing that makes it rare.

Now I’ve got nothing to do, but sit by my phone and wait for the referral office to call me to schedule the ultrasound.  My OB’s office said it would likely take place this week, so I’ve been nothing but anxious waiting for the call.  I want to get it scheduled and figure out what the problem is, and how we address it.  I’d also like to know so I can square everything away at work, but honestly?  I’ll take the first appointment they can get me.

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Another landmark, and other goings-on

I am so excited to finally have hit my double-digit countdown to my due date.  It makes it seem attainable, something I really need right now.  Lately, every evening I’ve felt like absolute rubbish, dealing with pain and unable to have any downtime after work.

After my doctor’s appointment last week, it doesn’t look like that’s going away any time soon.  I was diagnosed with sciatica, and it isn’t something they can “fix” because sciatica is caused by some other condition – in my case, pregnancy.  Their stated goal with treatment is to diminish the pain by 50%.  So I would still be in near-constant pain, just a lesser degree of it.  And the treatment?  Is going to either a physical therapist or chiropractor, multiple times a week.  I’m not interested in doing that, because our insurance doesn’t cover the cost of anything until we hit our deductible, and there’s no resolution.  It doesn’t make sense to me, rational or financial, to pay someone to treat me multiple times a week, miss work because I have to be at said treatments, and pay out-of-pocket for those treatments, when the condition causing the problem isn’t going to get fixed.  I talked it over with my husband and decided that I will not pursue treatment for those reasons.

A lot of my life seems taken up by concerns lately.  We just found out a good friend moved up his wedding to the end of September, and it means a lot to my husband that I attend.  Since he seldom asks things like that of me, I agreed to go and go approved for time off from work (looking forward to that part!).  But the wedding is an 8-hour car ride away with only 1 pit stop.  I can’t imagine how many we’ll need this time around, but I’m thinking at least one every 2 hours, plus the discomfort of riding in a car for that long.  I’ll be 4 days away from 8 months pregnant the day of the wedding, we’ll be staying with people I’d rather not, and the entire trip will occur over just 4 days.  I know I can do it, I’m just nervous about being a nuisance on the drive.  I did stand up for myself though, and told my husband that if he wanted me to go then we would have to leave earlier than we normally do, at noon instead of late afternoon, so he would have to take a half-day off at work.  When we leave, we’ll leave early morning the day after, for the same reasons: I get worse in the evenings, so it will be exponentially harder for me to leave late.

I swear, some days I wonder how I’ll possibly live with this until the baby drops.  Then I remember I don’t have a choice.  So I live with it.

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Is lying about personal business to a near-stranger a bad lie?

I am inclined to say no, just for the record.  But then, I’m biased, since that is exactly what I did today for the first time at work.

I work with instructors and students, so there are two very different relationship dynamics.  With the instructors, I feel a peer-to-peer rapport and we can do things among ourselves because there’s no power difference in the relationship.  Students, on the other hand, are usually people I’m acquainted with less often, more superficially, and because I am staff, there’s more “power” on my side of the relationship since I am responsible for certain aspects of their education.

That being the case, there are things I don’t feel comfortable sharing with students.  Things I don’t want to discuss with students, regardless of if I need to share it or not.  My reproductive state is one of those things.

Fortunately, I just started my 6th month and I still don’t really show until the evenings (weird, I know).  I wear blazers to work, so it’s been hiding what little there is well, and aside from staff I’ve told, no one has really noticed yet.  I suspect that’s as much due to another woman being due this past week, and yet another who is due the day before I, but who shows much more.  So thank you ladies, for taking the heat off me.

But today all that changed, and I lied (but not really) to a student.

The student saw me Friday evening and said she saw my “little bun.”  Since I don’t, in fact, have a “little bun”, I said no.  I knew damn well what she meant though, and that makes it sort of a lie.  I don’t feel bad.

I have no intention of discussing the intimate details of my medical conditions with any student, and plan on changing the subject once I can’t avoid talking about it any longer.  They don’t need to know, and I don’t want to share.  I just wish that society (where I work) didn’t feel so entitled to that information and expect that you’ll want to discuss your pregnancy with all and sundry.

There will probably be more on this as the summer and fall progress, but for now, I feel hopeful I’ll be afforded the dignity of being left alone.

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Is it a bad thing I’m not concerned about this?

Apparently you’re not prepared to be a parent unless you’re worried about if you’ll be good at it.  At least, that’s the “conventional” wisdom people seem to throw around a lot, like anxiety is a sign you’re totally ready to be a parent.

We all know that is not true, at least not 100% of the time.  If you’re truly concerned about how you will feed or clothe your child, don’t reproduce.  It’s honestly that simple.

If, on the other hand, you have concerns but a plan to make it work, then chances are you’re more ready than if you were freaking out about it.

The same things seems true to me when it comes to lifestyle.  If you’re honestly thrown into a panic when you think about what you’ll have to give up when you’re a parent, now is not the time to give it up.  Parenting, to me, seems to involve a lot of judging what’s more important to you (like a clean house versus active lifestyles) and if you aren’t prepared to compromise a little on your pre-child standards, maybe it’s not something you’re ready for.

But here’s my confession: I’m not worried if I’ll be a good parent.  Again, conventional wisdom often suggests that if you’re not filled with dread at the prospect of each of your choices irrevocably screwing up your kid’s life, then you’re not aware enough of the impact a parent has on a child’s life.  I’m not worried about this either.

Here’s why, in a nutshell:

  • Kids are remarkably resilient
  • You WILL make mistakes.  The trick is making sure to correct them, either with apologies or modeling the correct behavior, whichever is appropriate to the mistake you made.
  • I had amazing parents, who raised a decent child themselves.  I feel very confident going forward because I don’t have a list of things I don’t want to do differently – I have a HUGE list of things I want to do the same as my parents.  Good examples of successful techniques and approaches are empowering.

What about you?  Do you think you should be nervous?  Why, and how much, if so?  Why not?