January 27, 2009

What got me weepy... today.

So I'm pregnant. Us pregnant women tend to get a little emotional. It's the hormones. But it is also such an emotional journey during the nine and half months of growing life and becoming a mom. I cry a lot. All the time really. There's always something getting me a little choked.

To bring you in on the emotional rollercoaster that is me, I am beginning a serial on the blog that I'm calling, "What got me weepy".

I started this post just after 10:30 am this morning, while at work responding to some emails, tackling a new project, and checking out some blog news (it's multi-tasking!) Although I was in the office for only a couple of hours, I started to tear up TWICE. I know!!!

So, what got me weepy... today?

1. To my surprise, when I got to my office this morning there was a present on my desk! All wrapped in tissue paper with yellow ribbon, and addressed to me AND baby from a co-worker virtually across the hall. She followed me into my office and insisted that I open it right away.

I was so blown away. It was the most beautiful hand-knitted baby blanket in pale yellow. Made of the softest baby wool. She went on to say that it was made by her mom. It was such a kind gesture that I couldn't take it. I hugged the blanket - our first baby blanket! - and started to cry. I couldn't believe it.

2. Just when I thought that my daily cry was out of my system for the day, I happen to come across this letter on the McMommy blog. It was a letter that Barack Obama wrote to his daughters that was published in Parade magazine. As a mom-to-be I couldn't get past two paragraphs without crying. It was just so touching.

For all of you...

Dear Malia and Sasha,

I know that you've both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn't have let you have. But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me—about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential—schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college—even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you'll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country—but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free—that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.

That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better—and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It's a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you've had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much—although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you—to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That's why I've taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.

Love, Dad

January 24, 2009

Month 7, Third Trimester!


Today, the baby and I will be celebrating a great milestone. As of today, I will be 28 weeks, which according to What to Expect marks the first day of month 7, and the beginning of my third trimester. Again, my third trimester!! Can you believe it?

“You’ve come a long way, baby.”

I think that we might celebrate in a small way. Like your first highschool boyfriend that gave you a little drug store gift on your “month-iversary” because going a month was really going the distance, I have wanted to do something special before now. Hell each month that passes does seem to be so significant when you are creating a little life inside. No?

So here’s to week 28! I am so fortunate for the pregnancy that I have had so far. May the next 12 weeks be as blessed.

~ humps

January 23, 2009

Why can't I get it together?

I should be at home with my feet up and a tray of brownies resting on my belly while watching some not-too-much-thought-needed TV. It is a Friday night after all. Everyone in my department has left. And I can probably guess that everyone in the office has left. I only hear the hum of fluorescent lights and my own breathing.

While I am usually a late worker – I am brain dead in the morning – I don’t know why I’m letting myself work late. And, work on weekends (I have for the past three weeks and will tomorrow). Shit, I’m pregnant. I’ve been pretty good at playing the pregnancy card.

I’m too tired to build a more rationale diagnosis of my workaholic psychosis so I’m just gonna throw out some random thoughts. Indulge me while I brainstorm a little. Could it be that:
- I have become so connected to my career and this particular job for the last several years that I’m finding it hard to let go.
- The fact that my boss, as nice and supportive and positive as she is, doesn’t have children and doesn’t understand.
- I worry about leaving things half started and abandoning my work for a year (I’m hoping to take a full year of matt leave – as allowed in Canada, although the financial impacts is SCARY).
- I’m trying to do a year’s full of work by March and putting too much pressure on myself.
- I’m still in denial about the baby and trying to distract myself in work.
- I’m making myself feel more comfortable and in control – work I know, motherhood and what’s ahead for the next year I don’t.
- I am afraid that I won’t be good at it – being a mother that is.

In the back (but not so deep) of my mind I know that my life will change dramatically in 3 months – and in some big ways already has. I know that the things that I care about and stew over will be so trivial and insignificant with my new priorities and perspectives. But I can’t help but be a little scared that it will be a sudden change and not a gradual one. In addition to all the physical preparation, will I have time for the emotional and intellectual preparation too? Moms out there how are you or did you do it?

January 19, 2009

Baby Names

It seems like forever ago that dad-to-be and I would sit and daydream about one day - far, far in the distant future - having children. We would talk about our own upbringings and what we wanted for our kids. We would imagine what they would look like, whether they would have my hair and his nose. We would talk about soccer lessons and dance classes, art lessons and library visits. We would even talk about baby names.

Dad-to-be was more ahead of the game on baby names than I was. There was always a story about a cousin, aunt, uncle, brother or sister that could be honoured as the namesake of his future child, as was the tradition for many in the family (in fact his brother’s son was given Dad-to-be’s name and EVERYONE was named after his mother). He already had a long list of family members / potential baby names accumulated over the years.

In the early days of our baby daydreaming, before any of it was at all a REAL short term possibility, he would mention a few baby names. I would respond, as the loving, supportive, accommodating partner that I am, that it was such an interesting story. And of course we can name our son, one day, far far from now, after your cousin. I had no real options so it sounded good at the time.

But now it’s a different story. Now that I am actually having a baby, now that there’s a little person going inside of me, those names and those stories that he mentioned during our euphoric daydreams about the future seem stupid. Yeah, I said it.

We were having a conversation about names a few months ago – when I was maybe 5 months along. When he mentioned again those names that he had chosen so long ago my reaction was “No way! Are you kidding me? I don’t want to name this baby [insert name here].” He had a couple of alternates, and went on to list then. Of course, they definitely wouldn’t do. I said no to all of them. I could see that he wasn’t impressed. He said, “Well, what do you want to name the baby then? Let’s hear your ideas.” I knew the door that I would be walking into at that moment. Anything that I would say would be shot down just for spite. And really, I didn’t have any names. I needed to regroup and try this again.

Fast forward to last week. We have been successfully avoiding the baby naming process. I have been doing some thinking (which as you know by now, includes research). Equipped with my new book of 60,000 baby names, I can now address baby naming. This particularly session went very well. I’m pleased to report that we’re making some ground. We have a few great options that WE BOTH LOVE for a boy and a few ideas that need to be built upon for a girl.

My goal before going into labour is to have three girl names and three boy names. Reasonable, no? But the pressure of having a great name that will identify this person that we’re making, for the rest of their lives, is a pretty big deal. It’s a high pressure situation.

And if it doesn’t work I can always try to pregnancy card.

“I just gave birth for [insert labour time here] hours and carried this baby for almost 10 months!! I should be able to name him/her!!!” And then I’ll start crying. Because the baby is getting his last name anyway, I really should be able to call the shots on this one.

Here’s hoping,

January 12, 2009

Buying for Baby

I don’t know how we will possibly be ready for this baby in three months. Did you know that babies need A LOT of stuff? All kinds of stuff – big and small. Where is all of this stuff supposed to come from?

I have over the past months picked up some things for the baby on a very haphazard basis. Dad-to-be has been picking things up also. For the major purchases I have been doing a lot research – reading reviews, talking to other parents, trying out items in the story before committing, asking random strangers in the street – knowing in the back of my mind that with these things you never really can tell how something functions until you’re holding a screaming baby or mischievous toddler while trying to operate said item, AND every baby/ household/ family/ situation is different. But there’s something about the research that makes me feel like I have things in “control”. I have a pretty good strategy for the big baby things.

On the other baby stuff, not so much. And we all know that as much as we think that things are in control, they are never in control.

Just the other day, I wanted to take advantage of the great post-Christmas sales and stock up on the baby’s layette. Nothing beats going shopping for cute little baby clothes. This was one area that I hadn’t put too much thought into. Apart from some advice from moms on sizes and special items that work well, etc I was hoping to just wing this one.

After a day at the mall I came home tired and frustrated with a lousy couple of items to show for all of my work. The reason – it’s freaking hard to find neutrals. EVERYTHING is either completely girlish or completely boyish. Why didn’t anyone tell me I was going to have a hard time? I would have planned for this!!

I understand that more and more people are finding out the sex of their baby. That’s totally cool. As a result there are more parents than 20, 10 even 5 years ago that are looking for gender specific things. But what about us expectant parents who don’t know? There clearly aren’t enough yellow jumpers to go around – if they are even designed at all.

To illustrate my point, I pulled a few website screen grabs from the Gap, Old Navy and Roots – very popular retailers. I’d like you to observe the sub-sections that I am highlighting with my mouse in these images. Please note that the headers have some variation of “baby boy” and “baby girl”. No general baby category to encompass the “unknown” “TBD” “not yet defined” baby.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B
Exhibit C

Frustrating, no? I was at a busy retailer on a Saturday, browsing (no, hunting) through the baby section. After dismissing pretty much all of the items for being too gender specific, I was holding in my hand 3 outfits that were still questionable. So I asked someone beside me for their opinion. After the conversation I was left holding one outfit. I now had to line up in what was the worst line ever to pay for one baby outfit, which would probably be worn for a total of 10 minutes before being puked on.

This is not going to be pretty.

Now I know better. Now I know that shopping for neutrals won’t be a walk in the green and yellow park.

Week 26,

January 8, 2009

Belly Bump I: Just When U Thought I Was Kidding

With sweaty palms and heart palpations I release to the world my very first baby bump pictures. I have no idea why I am so nervous about this! Maybe it’s because I have been able to confide in this blog with relative anonymity and this will be a new blogging direction that I have never taken before. You will now have a face for the seemingly uncontrollable blog rants that come from HumpsNBump. Maybe it’s because I am actually displaying my expanding girth to the whole Internet. It’s not fun getting bigger by the second – not just the belly but arms, hands, face, thighs, butt – to even your circle of friends, family and acquaintance. Why not open the scrutiny to the world? Or maybe because once I take this step there is no turning back.

And you thought I was just procrastinating.

I’m a Capricorn. We analyze things to death. It’s not me, it’s in the stars. But after much internal debate, I think I’m ready to do this.

With no further ado, I present to you, “Belly Bump I: Just When U Thought I Was Kidding”. This is in tribute to the many friends and family that saw the new bump for the first time this past holiday season - since it only really started to fill out in late November/ December.

Saturday - Week 25... thought the tight tank top and skinny jeans would really show you what I'm working wit!

This morning - Week 25, Day 5... a more realistic view of what I really would like if you saw me on the street. Took this picture before leaving for work, wet hair and all.

I will continue to post bump pictures – hopefully every two weeks or so. I know that there will be some big gains in the next 10 weeks. We’re in the final stretch people. 15 weeks – or 3 ½ months to go!!

Your pregnant friend
~ humps

January 6, 2009

The M-word

It hits me every so often that in a few months our lives will change. We will go from being two to being three. I will be a mother. Even when I sit in my office thinking about it, or lie in bed imagining what that could feel like, I know that there is no preparing for/ anticipating it. I am going to be a mother and that is exciting, terrifying, humbling, energizing. Am I ready? I have no idea.

I was talking to a friend of mine that I have known for at least 15 years. We were friends in high school. We both were moving down the same career path, and therefore spent a lot of time in the same classes. I could create a whole post about the funny things that have happened to us, and our whole circle of friends, over the last decade plus – through school, college/university, first jobs, boyfriends, fianc├ęs and kids. She, like a few of my friends, is a mom. Her daughter just turned 5.

Like most people, her reaction to the news that dad-to-be and I were HAVING A BABY was of shock, excitement and jubilation. (I have such great family and friends). And my words to her – I need you. How can I possibly do this??

She revealed to me last week that I was the last person that she thought would be having a baby right now.

Me: “Are you serious? The LAST person? Come on.”
Her: “No babe, really. I didn’t see that coming.”
Me: “But the LAST person? Of all the people that we know. Did you not think I could have a baby?!”
Her: “Really the last person. What about your industry parties all the time, you and (dad-to-be) were out every weekend – cabing from the condo downtown. You were focused on your career. You were traveling. What about moving? Did you not break up with (ex boyfriend) years ago for trying to move you in to the house in the ‘burbs.”

She may have been right. Honestly this time last year I thought so too. I was focused on other things – mostly myself. Dad-to-be and I were planning a move to the US just before we found out that I was expecting. As soon as I looked at the stick with two lines I knew that everything happens for a reason. Even though the baby was a surprise (for us and everyone else), that doesn’t mean that I’m not exactly where I should be – waiting to meet this baby face to face. That doesn’t mean that this isn’t the best thing that is happening to us. It is.

So during those days of self-doubt, when I think that there’s no possible way that I can do this whole mother thing, when I question if I’m even equipped to do this, I remind myself that I wouldn’t be given this chance if I wasn’t capable. I know that I can be and will be a loving, caring and supportive mother. I am empracing the m-word.

I can’t wait.

January 5, 2009

And then it was 2009...

Well I'm back. It was a fantastic holiday. So great to have some much needed relaxation time. With my birthday in there (December 24th) the last couple of weeks have been jam packed with family events, a few visits from friends and lots and lots of vegging out. Who knows if we'll be able to do that much sleeping again! As much as it would have been nice to go away again this holiday session, the lack of airport lineups, security searches, stop overs, terminal prices and airplane food was fine by me.

I have taken a few pictures of the baby bump. Now at 25 weeks I know that the next few months are going to be crazy!! Stay tuned for that this week.

Talk soon,
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