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Archive for February, 2013

I’m Not That Lady – Counting in Weeks

I started thinking about the “I’m not that lady” series (or at least it will be a series when/if I post a second one of these) early on in my pregnancy and hadn’t announced it yet. These ideas have clearly been baking for awhile!

And let me say, there is nothing wrong with being “that lady.” In fact, I think in all of the situations where I think about “that lady,” “she” is the standard and I’m the odd duck. And feeling like an odd duck, I thought I would take to the blogging world to hopefully find other odd ducks with me. I’m not trying to bash “that lady,” I think the world wants me to be “that lady” and I’m just not good at it. If you are that lady, rock out and go you!

First things first, pregnant ladies apparently count in weeks. Before I got pregnant, I thought it was crazy annoying and would force me to do math in my head (basically dividing any number by 4). “Ok… so you’re 25 weeks… which is… basically 6 months, right? Great.” Thinking: Why couldn’t you just say that?

Then I became pregnant and kept my same mentality. When people ask me how pregnant I am, I just tell them in months. That’s really all people care about, right?

Except for women who recently had kids… they care! When I was first confronted with that, I didn’t know what to do with it!

Me: I’m like 3 months pregnant.
Her: Yeah, but how many weeks?

Seriously?! I’m back to having to do math in my head!? Ummm… if I have an appointment with my doctor for an 18 week check up and that’s in about 4 weeks… 4 weeks? Um, yeah… I think that’s in 4 weeks, that would make me 14 weeks pregnant.

I still think it’s a little silly, it’s not like any of us remember what happens in each week… Although according to the Enfamil “Expecting Baby” app on my phone, at 14 weeks a fetus develops taste buds. I only know that because I had to check my phone to make sure I actually was 14 weeks pregnant! Ask me for a fun fact about week 15 and I’ve got nothing!

If it weren’t for prenatal yoga, I would have no idea how many weeks I am. At the beginning of each yoga class, we all go around the room and say how many weeks we are… so at least I can remember week to week! (full admission – I still have to consult the app on my phone sometimes).

However, I’ve slightly gained a perpective on why women count in weeks. Because no one can agree on what really counts as a month! What to Expect When You’re Expecting breaks them out one way, the 2 websites that I like to check break months out in another 2 ways, and when I count (September, October, Novermber, etc) I get another number. It’s bananas. I basically just divide by 4 (although some months do have 5 weeks) and go with it. I’m 27 weeks pregnant right now… so let’s say I’m a bit over 6 months pregnant, that sounds roughly right, doesn’t it?

Even knowing I’m a little off, I’d still rather communicate it in “real-people” time. Who really cares about weeks? You know, unless you’re a 13 week old fetus and you’re anxious to develop some taste buds…


Body Image – Part 2

I had a doctor’s appointment a week and a half ago… so I’m going to pretend that all of the information I’m spouting is current… and not delayed due to my own posting laziness. (Most of it’s the same, just not the weight gain part… but I don’t know how it’s changed)

Weight Gain: In the last month, since I last saw my doctor, I’ve gained 9 pounds! That brings her “official weight gain total” to 18 pounds! The suggested healthy weight gain (by week 40, I was only 25 weeks when I saw her) is 25 to 35 pounds… I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll be on the high side…

My latest physical obsession: how shallow my belly button is getting! I knew it would happen (I’m still really hoping my belly button doesn’t become an outie – I HATE belly buttons), but it’s so weird to watch it happen. My belly button has always been pretty deep, at least I think so. It’s weird for it to seem so SHORT!

How I feel: pretty good actually! Had I written this right after seeing the doctor, I would have said great. Last night however, both on the couch and tossing and turning in bed, I started to feel like a turtle on its back – it’s getting harder to move around on my own!

Weird fact: The doctor told me that if Booger were born now, he/she would have a really good chance of survival. I still wouldn’t be able to take him/her home from the hospital until after the due date (end of May), but he/she would live! I find that so crazy, he/she is only a little more than half-baked! Stay in the oven, Booger!

(side note: the he/she stuff is weird. I think I’m just going to switch between the two at random – but know, we still don’t know the gender)

Best compliment I’ve received so far (although I totally don’t think it’s true): “You don’t even look pregnant from behind! I didn’t know until you turned around!” Thank you very much, sweet liar. I appreciate you trying to make me feel like I’m not carrying  1/2 of this baby weight on butt/back/hips/thighs!

If you’re looking for a nice way to compliment a pregnant friend, I totally recommend stealing that one! It made me feel good all day!

Moving: I’ve been feeling Booger moving for about a month now. My wonderful boyfriend has felt it all of the 3 times (and 2 of those were back to back). I swear anytime he puts his hand to my belly, the little Booger stops moving! 2 minutes after T removes his hand, I’m back to hosting a dance party. I wonder if it has anything to do with the soothing nature that T’s hand is always comfortably warm. Part of me thinks I’m already creating a brat though. Even the doctor got to feel a flip when she was chasing Booger around to hear his heartbeat!

Pictures: I PROMISE to get the hang of this by week 40!!!!

Week 25 (a bit more than 6 months pregnant). I thought the comparison might be fun, too.

Week 25 (a bit more than 6 months pregnant). I thought the comparison might be fun, too.

Snow Day!

So… we got a little snow here outside of Boston this past weekend:

Peanut standing up, trying to assess the winter insanity at the back door

Peanut standing up, trying to assess the winter insanity at the back door

Specifically we got around 2 and a half feet (it’s hard to tell exactly because there was a lot of wind and thus, lots of snow drifts).

It was actually really nice! My wonderful boyfriend and I both worked from home on Friday which was a good thing because the roads were all closed at 4 pm on Friday. Or Governor declared a driving ban on all roads from 4 pm on Friday to 4 pm on Saturday (or so I’ve been told… I’m not 100% sure on the end time because T and I couldn’t care less). If you were found driving during that time you could receive a ticket up to $500 and/or up to a year in jail. The reasoning being that even minor accidents can take away the valuable resources that are first responders. Emergency personnel dealing with a fender-bender can’t also be dealing with a major accident where someone is desperately hanging on to life. This type of ban hasn’t been declared in MA since 1978. Of course the following people were exempt: emergency personnel, law enforcement, utility workers, medical professionals, and the media.

I think it’s a great idea. Yes, we all live in New England and we all know how to drive in snow, but that doesn’t mean we SHOULD!

T and I took it as a message: enjoy the weekend! All of our busy-person plans were cancelled and happily replaced with days of snuggling on the couch (usually together with the addition of at least one of our cats), watching Netflix movies, or reading books. We also spent a bunch of time cooking food in case we lost power. We never lost power (yay!), so all the extra lasagna has made its way into the freezer.

For some reason this storm was named Nemo. That meant we had to watch Finding Nemo! I love this movie, I’ve probably seen it 25 times. I whole-heartedly recommend it if you’ve never seen it before.

Eventually on Sunday, we shoveled ourselves out. By “we,” I mean T did it… the doctor said I can’t shovel, but I helped clean off the cars!

It was a really great weekend of forced relaxation and bonding, even if it did drive the cats a little nutty… At one point, my little peanut tried to shovel her way out the back door with her paw, all it did was make a pile of snow on her back feet. She was less than pleased…

Really?! It just keeps going?! This is ridiculous!

Really?! It just keeps going?! This is ridiculous!

What’s in a Name?

My wonderful boyfriend and I have decided not to find out the gender before the birth of our baby. However, because of that we’ve had to choose both a male and female name. I thought this was actually a lot of fun. It took T and I a little while to choose names that we both liked, but we’ve come to a compromise pretty easily. The only snafu was that T thinks I’m trying to name a grandmother instead of a baby girl, but I really like old-fashioned names.

We’ve decided not to reveal the names before the birth and I get the impression that it’s really driving people crazy. Why have we decided to withhold the name? Basically because I don’t want to hear negativity. I don’t want to hear “Oh, you shouldn’t name your baby XYZ, because I knew an XYZ in the second grade and he was a jerk.” That sucks, but I didn’t know an XYZ in the second grade who was a jerk so I don’t think my child will be a jerk just because of a name…

Lots of my coworkers have named their children with names I’m not in love with, but I would never tell them that! About 4 of them have named their daughters Avery. The name Avery always makes me think of office supplies, but I keep my mouth shut because my opinion doesn’t matter! They like the name and that’s all that really matters. But I’m not sure everyone would feel that way…

Also, while I don’t mind my wonderful boyfriend commenting on how I like old-fashioned names, I don’t want other people complaining about it. If they do it after the baby is born, at least I can say “yeah, but isn’t she cute?” and divert attention.

Often times, I feel guilty about not sharing the names because I think some people are taking it personally. There are a lot of people I love who I feel like I should tell but I’m afraid of needless negativity. There are also a ton of people who I’m not close to who think I’m being silly and practically interrogate me about the naming choices…

Because we aren’t telling anyone, lots of people have been giving me suggestions without my request. Specifically, people want me to use their names, which is sweet (or they are just being silly, depending on their personality)… except that the suggestors aren’t very close to me at all. My favorite is that one of my newer coworkers wanted me to use her middle name because she never wants kids. Hannah may be a nice name and all, but it doesn’t have any particular meaning for me.

Lots of people are curious as to our logic on what type of names we considered though, so I thought I would share that. First and foremost: popularity! My name is Jen, when I was in the 2nd grade, there were 3 girls (including myself) in my class of only 20 kids named Jen and we all had the same first initial in our last name! I’m almost never the only Jen in a room… so I didn’t want to use any name in the top 20 for popularity.

On the flip side, I only refer to my wonderful boyfriend on this blog as “T” because his name is so unique (I never call him T in real life). He’s never met anyone else with his name (although he might if he lived in Scotland). His name is spelled phonetically and is very easy to pronounce, it’s just unique, but we didn’t want to go too far on the other end of the spectrum. Both T and my brother spent their childhoods unable to find anything in a store with their name on it (like a Christmas ornament) and I think it made them both feel a little too unique. So not too popular and not too unique.

Factor number two: nicknames. My best friend’s name is Sarah and she hates the fact that she doesn’t have nickname. (Technically, the name Sarah does have nicknames, but she has no interest in being known as Sar or Sally). And on the other end of that spectrum, I would like a child to have a full name. I knew a girl in elementary school named “Jenny” not “Jennifer,” just “Jenny.” I’ve always felt badly because I feel that in adulthood (in the business world), full names are helpful. No one who knows me ever calls me Jennifer, but every form I fill out has “Jennifer” on it. At work, I answer the phone “Jennifer.” I use it all the time for formal things and I appreciate being able to do that.

So those are the biggies: not too popular, not too unique, has a nickname, and has a full name.

What are we calling the baby now? Well, not “baby” that’s for sure! I’ve called it baby more times in this post than in real life in the last 5 months! For some reason, I think of a baby as something on the outside that smells good (or badly if it’s pooping) and is needy and cuddly. Right now, it doesn’t feel like a baby, it feels more like a belly ache to be honest… (and I say that in the most loving way, I promise).

Every time I go for an ultrasound, the tech says “and there’s your little peanut.” That’s just weird to me because this is my little peanut:

THIS is my little peanut. She's had the nickname for almost 4 years.

THIS is my little peanut. She’s had the nickname for almost 4 years so she gets to keep it.

So the gender neutral name that we’ve chosen is Booger, Boogs for short. The reason we went with that name is because in the beginning stages, websites told me that the baby is the size of a caper, a grain of rice, a peppercorn… which to me was like a booger, a booger, a slightly larger booger. Booger really resonated with me especially after seeing Bodies the Exhibition a few years ago at the Museum of Science. (But that’s a little morbid, so I won’t go into the full details).

So while I think we have some really nice names saved up and in the vault, we’re calling our little fetus Booger for now. I don’t imagine we’ll keep the nickname after the birth though – then the baby will have real nicknames. Some people in our lives (the future grandfathers specifically) are very upset about the name Booger, like we’re planning to use it forever. And of course we’re not. Unless Booger is a girl, and then T says he’s calling her that forever – because “who is going to want to date a girl known as Booger?” (T thinks it will make his job easier in regards to keeping her away from creepy boys/girls wanting to date her.) 🙂

So what were/are/would be your criteria for a name?

So What Are You Having?

At the moment, my response to that question is “we don’t know” or “we won’t find out until we meet the baby” or “it’s a surprise!” but my snarky side always wants to say “we’re hoping for a human.” 🙂

That’s right, I’m one of those people who isn’t finding out the gender beforehand. My wonderful boyfriend wanted to but he easily acquiesced to my wishes because I “was the one doing all the work” (his words). I asked him why he wanted to find out, he said “because [he’s] a planner.” The way I see it, small human beings aren’t that different from one another (in terms of their needs) depending on gender… so he can plan for a human being. There are so many reasons that I didn’t want to get a sneak peek at “the plumbing” so I thought I would share them with you. Before I do that though, I thought I would share the reactions of those around me when they find out I don’t want to know in advance.

There are 3 distinct reactions:

  1. Other parents who also didn’t find out: “That’s the best! It’s so much fun!”
  2. Other parents who DID find out: “Oh well… everyone’s different…”
  3. Non-parents who plan to find out the gender when they’re pregnant: “Oh, I could never do that! I would have to know, I would need to plan!” (These tend to be the people who hate my decision the most)
  4. (Non-parents who either never plan to have kids or who also wouldn’t find out just move along to different questions)

So why don’t I want to find out? Well first, I’m hoping to have a second child at some point (I love my own brother! I totally want to give the gift of a sibling to my own child). Since I can’t find out this imaginary #2’s gender now, I have to buy all gender neutral stuff (for the big stuff at least) anyway.

I honestly don’t care about the gender. I would love to have one of each gender and since I have neither right now, what does it matter?

I hate the idea of gender stereotyping someone who hasn’t even been born yet. I think our society loves to gender stereotype (just consider the debate about women on the front lines in the military right now. I feel like half the arguments coming from old men are something about women being too frail. Yes, some women are little and frail… so are some men! And some women could “kick my lily ass” – to quote Offspring – but I digress). I’ve heard/read that once some people find out their child’s gender, they start to gender stereotype the fetus: Oh, he kicks like a soccer player, she kicks like a ballerina, I’d love for him to grow up and be president, I’d love for her to be a good cook. I hate this! First off, I hope my kid is a good cook either way because I’m terrible! And most of my female friends did soccer leagues as kids too, so why can’t she kick like a soccer player? I don’t want to gender stereotype (and I don’t want anyone else doing it on my behalf).

Also, I have heard so many stories of people being told that they are having a girl and when they give birth it turns out to be a boy: surprise! (or vice versa) That seems really scary to me. And even if I were told one thing and then a few weeks later (still before birth – which is something else I’ve heard) told something else, that seems like a bummer to me because now you’re picturing one person and then you have to readjust your thought process.

While I don’t think I would actually do this, I’ve heard that some women mourn the loss of whatever they aren’t having. For example, they are told they are having a boy, and they spend a few days being sad as though they lost a daughter. I don’t imagine you have that same emotional loss when you’re actually holding the sweet child and learning the gender for the first time. It’s a sad thought to me to have feelings of losing a child while you’re currently pregnant with a healthy, living child.

And the final reason I don’t want to find out is actually for my wonderful boyfriend. He’s 50% the parent, just as I am, but I’m getting 90% of the attention and credit. And while I’m sure a lot of people think that makes sense because “I’m doing all the work,” I don’t feel that way. During the first trimester, T had to care for both of us. I didn’t clean anything (I didn’t even really clean up after myself) and I didn’t feed myself. I was a useless glob most of the time. He had to take complete care of me. Plus, we hadn’t told anyone that we were pregnant, so he couldn’t even commiserate with anyone, all he could do was say that I was sick. He did a boat load of work! He’s still doing more than his half! (He won’t let me near chemicals so he’s doing all of the major cleaning and he has to clean out the litter box every time because pregnant ladies aren’t allowed to). So I love the idea that I get to deliver the baby and he gets to deliver the news. I just picture him running out to a waiting room filled with our expectant friends and family shouting “it’s a girl!” or “it’s a boy!” and having love radiated at him. I know that I’ll get plenty of love after delivering said person, I want him to have a moment too.

Yeah… the birth! 🙂

Other perks include choosing names (which I’ll post about next week). I thought it was fun to think of names for both genders. I like both of the names we came up with and I hope to get to meet them both some day.

Also, it’s funny hearing people’s guesses for gender. So far, a bunch of people have told me that I’m having a girl because I had a lot of morning sickness. But I’m also carrying low… which means a boy. And there are a whole bunch of the other silly ones, I can’t wait to hear more of them!

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