Thursday, October 30, 2014

hi ho, hi ho it's back to ... ah whatever.

I'm heading back to work on Monday and I have extremely mixed feelings about it.  On one hand I know Ted is in great hands and won't be going to day care to bring Spanish flu, Ebola, TB or hand/foot/mouth back to our family.  On the other hand I'm going to miss a lot of his life by being at work.  The hard part is knowing that I have a 33% chance of missing his new "firsts." (If they happen Monday - Friday).  He will be rolling over, sitting up, crawling and I might not be there to see it.

However, my pregnancy was expensive, not to mention labor and delivery and Ted's bills.  I'll be paying those off for a little while and it wouldn't be possible to do it on one salary.  Health insurance is also a HUGE factor because Ed's work does not provide affordable health insurance (seriously?  $1,000/mo? For shame.)

Although, maybe when I go back to work I'll stop looking at ridiculous things on the internet while Teddy's sleeping.  Like that Ukrainian Barbie doll who lives on light and air.  I found myself scrolling through picture after picture of her and her creepy family and realized that I needed to find much more enriching things to read off the internet.  Like satirical parenting blogs - those are my favorite.

I'm going to buy a lottery scratch off and if I win a lot of money I'm definitely not going back to work!  (Although I might be a nice employee and go back for my two weeks notice.)  I think of it as being my sign that I shouldn't go back.  Ed thinks I'm insane.

who wouldn't want to stay with this guy?

Friday, October 24, 2014

it's all political (except for this post)

It's been a little over two years since we started trying for a baby.  I am blessed beyond belief to have Teddy.  If any of those previous three pregnancies had worked, he wouldn't be here.  I know this.  I read a post recently where the woman who'd had two miscarriages dealt with it by picturing each of those pregnancies as her living son.  (She'd had the miscarriages prior to his birth).  He wanted to be in the family so bad that he had to wait until conditions were perfect, but he kept on trying.

I wanted to point out, however, that people dealing with pregnancy loss are incredibly sensitive, especially to images that might be circulating the internet.  Even now, I don't like to see them.  I'm sure you've all seen it, or one like it.  A picture of a fetus, aborted at 12 weeks or 10 weeks or 8 weeks.  Or, God forbid, 20 weeks.  We don't need a visual to picture what we've lost.  I know the people reposting these pictures aren't anti-miscarriage.  I know it's political, or religious.  I just wanted to point out that those pictures can be very upsetting for people dealing with pregnancy loss.  That's all I wanted to say about that.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

2 months old!

I can't believe that Ted is already two months old!  In lieu of a formal 60 day evaluation (frankly, who has time for that?), I'll just let you know how he's doing.  He's eating well - up to 5 ounces at a time.  He's sleeping through the night from around 9 or 10pm until 6am when he takes a bottle and then goes back to sleep for a few more hours.    He's been smiling while awake for a few weeks now, which more than makes up for the fussy evenings.  He likes when I sing songs to him with a particular affinity for "Old Macdonald."

We went to the beach for his first vacation.  He wasn't too enamored with the beach, at least when he was awake.  He screamed when his toes got wet in the ocean and then again when we got splashed by a wave.  He slept in his little beach tent for a while, lulled by the sound of the wind and waves.  He did, however, enjoy his first shower when we used the outdoor shower at the beach house to rinse off the sand and salt.

In the beginning, when Ted was first born, I think I was so overwhelmed with the fact that I was responsible for this tiny human that I never fully realized how much I love him.  Now that we've settled into a bit of routine and we understand each other for the most part, I'm blown away by how much I do love him.  He's so sweet; his smiles are so rewarding and I can't wait to see what he learns next!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

the six stages of maternity leave

Though maternity leave in this country leaves something to be desired as compared to nearly every other country in the developed world, for a working pregnant woman, the thought of twelve weeks off is like imagining that color has a sound - provided you can afford the unpaid leave.  Twelve.  Weeks.  Off.  As I near the end of my maternity leave, I realize that there are certain stages that you go through during those three months off with a newborn baby.

1.) Bliss:  If, like me, you take a few days or a week off before the baby is born in order to tie up loose ends and get everything ready, those days are utter bliss.  There's also anticipation and not a little stress, but the overall feeling is one of complete bliss.  Twelve.  Weeks.  No work for twelve weeks.

2.) Exhaustion: Labor heralds the age of exhaustion.  Once upon a time there was a nursery at the hospital that they took newborn babies to in order to allow the mother rest and recovery from the grueling hours (or days) of laboring.  A magical place where babies were cared for and brought to their mothers only at feeding times or upon request.  Now in order to facilitate bonding and breastfeeding, there are no nurseries and babies bed down in the room with their mothers, meaning that after 33+ hours of wakeful labor, the sleepless nights of newborn care starts with immediate effect.  Then you go home.  And it doesn't stop.

3.) Anxiety: If, like me, you were lucky enough to have your partner stay home with you and the new baby for a week or two, and the time comes for him to return to work, the overarching feeling is one of anxiety.  What will you do all day with this tiny baby?  How can you handle the feedings and naps and worries and floppy-headedness (dear God, the floppy head) of this helpless creature?  I felt that the days were too long and the time between waking up and going to bed was interminable.

4.) Routine: You start to get the hang of this.  You and baby form a routine based around his eating and sleeping habits - which, while they may not actually be routine or scheduled, you've at least figured out how much of each he needs.  The days don't seem so long.  Your baby doesn't seem as fragile.  You take him out of the house.  By yourself.  He starts to smile.  Five minutes of smiley baby makes up for the four hours you spent bounce-walking around the house trying to get him to stop crying.

5.) Bargaining:  You start to think, maybe you could stay home with this kid.  Maybe it would be nice.  You start to worry about how much of his life you'll miss while at work.  You start crunching numbers and think maybe you could make it on one salary.  Or maybe you could work part time!  If you gave up satellite television and possibly internet, stopped eating out and buying books, experimented with alternative fuel sources for your car...

6.) Resignation: You realize that, at least for now, you need two incomes.  You have debts.  Labor and delivery was expensive.  You don't want them to repo your baby.  You'll have to return to work at the end of twelve weeks.