Attending a large, outdoor music festival in downtown Atlanta while 21 weeks pregnant may seem like a bad idea to some, but if there are artists you can’t miss like Florence + the Machine and Ludacris (and an artist your hubby can’t miss like Pearl Jam), it will be totally worth it. Just follow a few tips, and you’ll be good to go.
1. Do bring your husband with you, especially if he happens to be extremely protective. He will yell at the guy who tries to smoke a joint right next to you and your unborn child. (Disclaimer: I was under no illusion that there wouldn’t be weed there, but this guy was a little too close for comfort)
2.Don’t pass up the opportunity to skip ahead in line for the port-a-potties when a nice couple notices your belly and offers to let you go in front of them.
3.Do rock out to Luda harder than the barely-legal drunks who probably can’t name a single Luda song from before this year. Belt out all the lyrics and dance to your favorite songs until your womb peanut is dancing right along with you.
Me and the sis... the "real" Luda fans
4.Don’t stay near the stage for Pearl Jam. Those fans are crazy. Instead, escape with your sister for some food and one-on-one time while the hubby has the time of his life jumping around with the other fans.
JD on a post-Pearl Jam high
5.Do find a shady spot to sit back and chug some water while groups you don’t care as much about are playing. You’ll want to save your energy for the good stuff.
6.Don’t forget to bring a blanket to sit on for shade-sitting and water-chugging.
7.Do fill yourself up with some Jimmy John’s before the festival, so you don’t have to rely on the overly expensive garbage they have there. And yes, Jimmy John’s is equally delicious in other states.
8.Don’t expect anyone to notice your bump in the giant sea of people trying to catch the subway home. Prepare to stand for this return trip.
9.Do brush up on your “sculpting with play-doh” and “drawing with your eyes closed” skills before going over to your hubby’s cousin’s house for dinner and Cranium.
10.Do cherish these last few opportunities when road trips and weekend getaways are still breezy and feasible.
There is a battle raging. It’s parents, soon-to-be parents, and wanna-be parents vs. non-parents. Naturally, this battle is all playing out via Facebook, and I’m starting to feel very much in the midst of it all.
Shortly after I found out I was pregnant (but before I was ready to announce it), a Facebook friend (an acquaintance I knew from a few classes in college) posted a status venting about other people celebrating their pregnancies and their children on Facebook. She admitted that her and her husband had been dealing with fertility issues and complained that others don’t realize how hurtful their statuses can be to someone who is unable to conceive. My heart breaks for her, because I can’t imagine how difficult that would be… BUT… it’s not like anyone is out there purposefully rubbing her own pregnancy in her face. I’m allowed to celebrate the fact that I’m pregnant. It doesn’t mean I’m gloating; it means I’m sharing my personal happiness with my friends and family. While I do feel bad for her, I resent her for making me feel guilty about sharing my joyful news (when the time came) on Facebook.
Not long after that, I found out about a new app called Unbaby.Me that will automatically cover baby pictures posted by friends with something that you do like, whether it be animals, landscapes, etc. On one hand, I feel like I should be okay with this one because it kind of falls under the category of “if you don’t want to see it, just hide it.” On the other hand, I’m kind of offended this app even exists because I don’t understand what’s SO offensive about babies. Sure, maybe you’re not a kid person and you get tired of seeing people post pictures of their kids over and over, but maybe I hate seeing you post pictures of yourself drunk at the bar over and over. There’s no app to hide THOSE pictures, is there?
A week or so ago, another Facebook friend (a girl I knew in high school) posted a status complaining about people posting pictures of their ultrasound photos on Facebook by ever-so-eloquently saying, “Since when is it okay to post pictures of your uterus on Facebook?” She then proceeded to spew out a sarcastic congratulations for “proving to the world that you’ll be squeezing a person out from between your legs in 9 months.” Uhhh, okay. I didn’t realize pregnancy was so offensive, or that there was something disturbing or private about an ultrasound photo. I mean, RELAX, it’s not like I’m posting pictures of the ACTUAL CHILDBIRTH PART.
All of these developments were pretty shocking to me. I’d always assumed that pregnancy and childbirth were celebrated by everyone, and now it seems like people with babies are practically the enemy. I understand some people can be over-the-top by only talking about their kids and nothing else, or continually bragging about what makes their kid the BEST EVER, but I don’t understand when it became a bad thing to share pregnancy and baby pics and updates? My guess is, most of the people who are upset about these things either 1. Don’t want kids or 2. want kids but aren’t in a place in their life where they’re ready for kids and are insecure, so they have to twist things around to make people with kids “the enemy.”
Personally, I LOVE seeing pictures of my friends’ babies so I can watch them grow and change. I love when people announce pregnancies or births on Facebook, because it allows me to keep in touch with people I might not have otherwise. My response to all of the people who don’t enjoy these things is the same. My Facebook profile is my place to share my own thoughts, opinions, and life changes. I have a lot of friends and family who live far away, and Facebook is a great place to share pictures and updates so that they can feel like they’re still going through the journey with me. If you don’t like what I or anyone out there is sharing, it’s as simple as removing me from your friends list or hiding me from your news feed (this IS a feature Facebook offers, and is EXTREMELY easy to do). Same goes for me, I may not agree with your political opinions or your incessant updates about mundane things like what you’re eating, but if I don’t like it, it’s my responsibility to deal with it, or hide it from my view. NO ONE should have to censor themselves just to please other people, not even people with babies.
It’s hard to believe but I’m officially 20 weeks, which means I’m HALFWAY THERE! It’s exciting, scary and a little bit sad all at the same time. Of course, the bigger I get, the more I realize why women are SO ready to deliver by the end, so I’m sure I’ll be over being pregnant soon enough. For now, at least, I’m loving it.
This week, I’ve started to feel her moving around. At first, I wasn’t 100% sure what it was. I thought it could have been gas bubbles or a muscle twitch, and I didn’t want to go around telling everyone I was feeling something in case I actually wasn’t (not that they’d know the difference, but still). The other night, I laid down in bed and I could feel her. People always refer to it as “flutters,” so I guess I had imagined it would feel lighter than it did, but it felt like a cross between a muscle twitch and someone lightly tapping me from inside my belly. I laid there for a while, just feeling her move around, feeling so full of love and happiness. The first part of the pregnancy is so surreal. You barely grow at all and it’s easy to wonder if there really is anything in there. The ultrasounds help, but they are few and far between. Suddenly, my belly has grown exponentially and she’s poking around to let me know she’s there. It makes me feel really connected to her and reminds me that there’s really a person in there, not just a few cells that happen to be growing.
I told JD about the moving, but he didn’t seem overly excited at first. I might have been offended if I didn’t know him well enough to ask, “Do you feel left out that you can’t feel it yet?”
“Yeah,” he replied sadly.
I tried to explain to him how it felt, so that he could be a part of it. He poked my belly a few times, but she seemed to be done moving around for a while. Soon enough she’ll be kicking hard enough for him to feel it and maybe even see her moving around. I can’t wait for him to share in those moments.
We also started our baby registry and are about half done. Many, MANY thanks go to two of my friends, who I emailed asking for advice and they provided very detailed responses with stuff they recommend, brands, features, etc. This saved a TON of time (and probably a nervous breakdown) when registering.
When we originally found out we were having a girl, JD was insistent that there would be absolutely no pink. I just smiled and nodded, knowing that there would be plenty of people who would buy us pink outfits or pink toys, but I was surprised that when we registered, he picked out a few pink things on his own. We were looking at some green swaddling blankets, and he turned to the pink and brown polka dot ones and said, “I like these.” I didn’t argue, just smiled to myself and said “okay,” picturing JD holding our little baby girl, all wrapped in a pink polka dot blanket.
The theme of last week seemed to be “baby fever.” The bathroom project was finalized and JD hung up all the fixtures. We have transformed it from a 90’s mess to a fun, baby-friendly bathroom.
From the paint color to the wallpaper border, there were many atrocities in this bathroom.
Lighter and brighter- the monkey theme comes to life.
I had started looking at nursery furniture at places like Babies R Us and Rooms To Go Kids, when a friend saw a Craigslist posting on Facebook and shared it with me. Ah, the beauty of social networking. I hadn’t really been checking Craigslist because there’s so much junk on there and I didn’t have the patience to be checking it all the time. Plus, a lot of the nicer stuff I could find wasn’t priced much below the brand new stuff I was looking at, so it didn’t seem worth it. That is, until we received the posting from our friend.
They had listed a crib, dresser, and changing table for just over what I was going to pay for a crib alone. The best part is that the pieces were HAND MADE by one of their friends, so they are beautiful, unique, high quality pieces. JD and I drove over to look at them Wednesday night. The couple selling the furniture is SO warm and friendly, and they seem happy that the pieces will be going to a family that appreciates them. We still need to buy a glider, but getting this furniture is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. (For now, I'm holding off on pics of the nursery until it's finished).
I had 2 (yes, 2!) doctor appointments last week. The first was just a quick checkup at my regular OB. They took my weight, blood pressure, and listened to the heartbeat. At first, all we could hear was muffled noises as the baby moved around (definitely an active one!), but we were eventually able to hear the heartbeat, which is strong and healthy.
The next day, we had to go to another doctor to get my level II ultrasound. This is the ultrasound where they measure the baby, check for any abnormalities and determine the gender! I’m very pleased to report that everything looks perfectly healthy! The baby measures up to the right size, all of the organs like the heart, brain, and kidneys are developing normally, and there are no signs of any defects. How thrilling and what a relief to know that! The baby was once again very active in there, touching its face and even rolling over during the appointment. At our last ultrasound, our little one was still just a tiny peanut, but this time we could see limbs, the spine and some of the facial features. There’s no turning back now- there’s definitely a baby in there!
At the very end, they revealed the gender.
When they said girl, I cried. Actually, every time I tell someone it’s a girl, I cry. I mean it when I say I would have been happy either way, because I think a boy would have been so much fun too, but I think most moms want to have a little girl of their own. I’ve always had a close relationship with my mother, so I hope that I can have the same with my daughter. Plus, I think JD will be SUPER CUTE with a little girl. She is going to be such a daddy’s girl. He quickly announced, “I’m still going to take her dirt biking and teach her to shoot.”
I laughed, “Of course, babe. Just because she’s a girl doesn’t mean you can’t do those things.”
Then I could see him start to get nervous.
“She’s not wearing makeup till she’s 18…. And no dating till 30!” he announced.
He is happy to be having a girl, but I think he’s afraid of having one too, because he feels he will have to be more protective. I’m not too worried about it. Once it gets around that her daddy is a police officer who answers the door with a shotgun, I doubt she will have many dates :)
Over the weekend, a good friend was visiting from Indiana and we went shopping. JD suggested we make a Build-A-Bear as the baby’s first stuffed animal (I love that this was JD’s idea). It’s really special knowing that we made something for the baby with love. When we signed the certificate “With love from Mommy and Daddy,” I almost cried. Things are starting to get very real.
"Teddy" waiting patiently in the crib
She is now a “she” and not an “it.” Her nursery is coming along. She’s starting to get some clothes and toys here and there. She is well on her way, this little person we made.