The other night we had a scare as we approach our baby’s due date. I had some very strong Braxton-Hicks 3 to 4 minutes apart and felt them for an hour. It was scary. I was sure I was in labor but alas, it was false labor. Nonetheless, it was a scary thing- I was not feeling well at all, felt lethargic, felt like I was also coming down with general illness that was going around my office a few weeks ago, and to top it off, was having false labor. It at least opened my eyes to the realization that I needed more rest and this was confirmed by the midwife I saw the next morning. Needless to say, she said I needed more rest, more hydration, and needed to listen to my body. She was right.
Now came the dreaded part, talking to my boss about possibly working part-time, working from home, or doing some combination thereof. This conversation I dread because I always feel like a needy whiner when I ask for something especially since women have babies daily and I feel like I should be stronger and not so weak. It is, after all, a man’s world and you do not see many men asking for bed rest. Of course, when I see a real man (not that hokey “man” I saw on Oprah), give birth to something the size of a bowling ball from something which starts off as the size of a pea, then I will be impressed and be ashamed for asking for rest. Anyway, the moment came. I talked with my boss but fortunately, the big boss walked in at the divine moment and approved my request on the spot – he thought it was a no-brainer. Of course, he is a new boss and what a refreshing one at that. It was nice that he thought of me as a human being instead of a machine, a robot hired to do work. It was quite nice and since then, I am just trying to get some rest, and stay focused on the thought that there are still at least two or three more weeks to go. My due date is 3 weeks away but the longer the baby stays in, the better off the baby will be. I am prone to having small babies, and therefore, it is even more vital that this baby go as long as possible – 39 weeks or more is ideal.
This incident was eye opening and I am glad that I was able to react immediately and start doing what my body needs otherwise, it could carry some bad consequences. I look forward to the R&R and trying to stay healthy for the next few weeks – now, if someone just had a magic cure for this horrible upper respiratory infection, that would be great!
I am approaching that stage in my pregnancy (34 weeks) where I am starting to focus on the baby and with the baby comes the arduous task of childbirth. My first experience was not all that great. I was in pain for a long time and was utterly miserable. I wanted natural and that is how I went but there was nothing natural about it let me tell ya. So, along with packing the bag this time, I am also considering hiring a Doula or a massage therapist – someone to help me manage pain.
While I could take the easy way out and get an epidural I find the cons and risks of of an epidural outweighs its benefits and I am in no mood to have a needle stuck in my back, me laying on my side for hours …. that sounds uncomfortable beyond belief as well. So, I am considering now whether I should hire a doula for the labor and delivery. It would be covered by my healthcare spending account but not insurance which kinda sucks but since I am only paying $100 for my total maternity care, I cannot really complain. So, now I am working with a group and hopefully can find a good person to show up on “birth”day and help out a bit. While my husband is a great trooper and coach he may have his hands full with our daughter if my mom is not here in time. Moreover, there is something about a neutral person there to help out instead of family. I definitely do not want my mom near the hospital this time- she was not a help last time but rather, a hindrance. Needless to say, I think the peace of mind of knowing that someone will be there for you and show up to help no matter what type of birthing relief you may choose is a huge relief. I just hope I can hire someone in time and meet with them before … D-day.
This is my 2nd pregnancy but even during my first, I have noticed that my favorite pre-pregnancy stores like Victoria’s Secret do not carry a maternity line nor do I see them making an effort to help women who are pregnant or nursing. It seems counterintuitive in my opinion to not tap into this market. Let’s analyze.
Victoria’s secret is the leader in the market for sexy lingerie, pajamas, bras, hosiery, and other “accoutrements” so to speak that you may need for … well, let’s face it – sex! Sex is what sells at Victoria’s Secret. It is often not about comfort when you purchase there- it is all about the sexiness you exude and the sex you will get as a result – well, hopefully.
So, why would Victoria’s Secret leave such a gaping hole in their market? Why would they not tap into the sexiest market out there – pregnancy and nursing? I have often wondered that and not realized the answer other than what my husband told me which is it runs afoul of their image. After all, they women to get laid and men to get excited but they do not want anyone to get pregnant? What?! Are you kidding me? Pregnant women are the sexiest creatures out there…. Sure, they get big and bloated and have bad gas sometimes and acid reflux but my God, they are procreating and often look irresistible during these times. Pregnancy is sexy and nursing is even sexier. How many women out there can feed a child and help that child grow? Her breast is out and a baby is sucking on it to extract nutrients? Are you kidding me? What kind of store would not tap into this market?
Here are some ideas- nursing bras; sexy nursing bras so that by night, this woman can get it on with her man should she wish, and by day, nurse in public. Here is another thought – nursing covers for those women who would like to hide her hooters from Uncle John who is visiting. What about maternity bras that can adjust to fit the woman as she progresses from trimester to trimester? What about the delivery gown? Doesn’t a woman in agonizing labor pain deserve a sexy gown to wear too? What about a nice cotton maternity panty for the pregnant woman? They can even use what they already sell and just make it maternity. After all, just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you do not have sex anymore- if anything, you need to make yourself feel even sexier. Why not tap into that line? I have never understood for the life of me and after my first pregnancy, I even stopped shopping there because frankly, I no longer feel connected to the store or that they serve all women. Maybe that is their goal – to only serve those who are not pregnant or nursing but I for one feel it is a little discriminatory and leaves out a huge piece of the market-the piece that may actually need the “secret”.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to see my baby’s face at a 30-week ultrasound. I was amazed at how clear things looked even though they were anything but clear. It was still nice to see that the little guy or gal is doing well – alert, kicking, moving, and a strong heart rate. I think it finally hit me that another life is on its way into our world and it is starting to freak me out. No matter how prepared you are for childbirth and the arrival of a new baby into your home, the first few weeks always find the parents dazed and confused. Change is hard on most everyone even those who are looking forward to it. I am sure we will be no different because for me, while the concept is great, I am starting to stress out a bit. What if I can’t do it? What if I can’t care for two? What if this kid is as active as our first? Then what? Will I have a nervous breakdown? Will my employer be supportive of my needs and issues? As you know, in this economy, people worry more about everything.
I am starting to dream more and more about the coming of this new life into our lives but mainly, I think it is because I realize things are about to change. I think that is the big thing in my life right now – CHANGE. It started with the election of my new commander in chief, and does not stop there. In January, I get two new bosses – two! I get a new boss at my full-time job and also with the Reserves. I am about to enter unchartered territory and while I know change is part of life and my career, I would remiss if I wasn’t a little nervous. For example, will the new boss support my need to take 16 weeks off or will I be let go? What if I can no longer work full-time or need accommodations? What will happen to me? What about the Reserves? Is the guy going to be family friendly or will it be mission first and the family suffers? Anyway, all these thoughts are going through my head and I wish I had a crystal ball to see into the future so I can put my mind at ease one way or the other- ‘tis better to know than to delve into the unknown. Perhaps the biggest change coming in 2009 that will affect my immediate daily life is the birth of our new son or daughter. It is going to be strange I think and I am not sure I am ready for the challenges that come with raising two. I still have not gotten used to the challenges that come with raising one. Heck, everyday is something new and as our daughter learns, so do we. I am lucky to have supportive friends and family and a husband who truly is a great dad and partner in my life. But I think the first six months we will both be delving into unchartered waters as we try to find balance with life, the children, and work. While I look forward to the adventure and challenge, I know there will be times when it will be very tough.
As I look at the pictures of yesterday’s ultrasound, and realize that only 10 weeks remain between us and this new life force, I feel it’ll be alright – people have done this for centuries and succeeded. Our parents raised us and everything seems to have worked out okay. I think in the end, change is what keeps us on our toes and keeps us from being complacent and change keeps our society progressing – so, in February, we will take the big change that enters our lives and do what we can with it to succeed – to be the best we can be as parents, as partners, and as humans. Change is more than a concept- more than a slogan and how we choose to view change and how we choose to react to it is what will determine our success , our adaptability, and our ability to grow.
I heard another story this past week of a couple who could not conceive or have children. Great marriage – great people but they could not have kids. Since they wanted to share their love and wealth, they unselfishly adopted not one but two boys – one of whom was troubled and caused many issues for them. I have heard many a stories of women who try and try and cannot have kids. When I was visiting my hometown last month, I heard that my ex-boyfriend and his wife could not conceive so they had to adopt 2 kids- one boy, one girl as well. I had no idea. Not that adoption is horrible but there is a difference I think in having your own and adopting. I think it is wonderful and truly amazing how selfless couples who have so much love to give adopt and give their love to a kid who otherwise may not get a shot. I think it is admirable really because I am not sure I could do it. I remember my own step-grandmother could not have kids of her own – she conceived three times but all ended in miscarriage. My grandfather already had 3 kids from his first marriage so they did not adopt but it certainly makes you wonder what is at play when these types of things occur.
Conversely, there are those people who are procreating who really have no business doing so. The mom who thinks it is a good idea to give birth in a toilet hoping the “problem” will just be flushed away. The father who did not want to be a father so drops off a newborn in a dumpster. The mother who starves her child because she thinks the baby needs to be punished for crying. There are countless other stories of people who are able to conceive with no problems and bring children into the world who are otherwise not wanted, mistreated, or left to die.
It just baffles me that perfectly great people who want to have children sometimes cannot and I always wonder how God allows that to happen. I am sure there is some rhyme or reason but it makes no sense to me. As I hear more and more stories of those not able to conceive or have children of their own, I truly believe there is a plan for them and the kids they end up adopting, but I just do not understand it yet.