Friday, June 3, 2011

My next project

There's a reason I haven't done much lately.  I've hardly cooked, barely done housework, and knitted only reluctantly.  I've felt so listless.

It's been hard to think about much other than this:
It's easier to envision the baby if you imagine an upside down gummy bear.
 Gene and I are thrilled to announce that I'm expecting a baby in mid-December.  This week marks the start of my 2nd trimester.  Because we're not going to share the baby's name until s/he arrives, we'll call it "Bean" while it's in utero.

We've known since early April and it's been excruciating not to say anything.  I suspected that I was pregnant right after conception because I felt weird... different... but it wasn't confirmed for a couple weeks.  We've been waiting for the first ultrasound before we said anything.  We're also trying to keep the news under wraps so that we can break the news in person to my grandparents in New England next week.  I even went so far as to temporarily block my cousins on facebook and am praying that they don't read this blog (I don't think they do).  I was the first grandchild on my dad's side and this baby will be the first great-grandchild.  It's such exciting news to share!

As restless as I've been feeling, I also feel 100% normal.  Not a touch of morning sickness, no queasiness, no weird cravings, no freaky mood swings.  I was grossed out by raw meat for a week or so, but that's about it.  I'm one of those lucky women whose - knock on wood - early pregnancy is easy.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  It wasn't until the first ultrasound when we saw the blurry image on the screen bouncing around like an Olympic swimmer that it really hit home: I am having a baby. 


My mom is the last of her siblings to become a grandparent, and my dad is among the last of his generation to become a grandparent.  Dad is already issuing mandates with the reason of "because I'm the grandpa" behind them.  Such as, "we're eating out in a restaurant for Thanksgiving, and we're going to have a private room".  At that point I'll be 3 weeks from my due date and I doubt that I'd fit into a booth, so I'm rather relieved about the private room thing.  When my mom asked why we're getting a private room for 5 people rather than just eat in the main dining room, he declared: "because I'm the grandpa". 

Alrighty then!

I find myself feeling an enormous sense of anticipation, mingled with terror, hope, and excitement.  I suppose many expectant parents feel that way.  This summer we'll be converting our 2nd bedroom - now an office and storage room - into a nursery.  As soon as we find out the baby's gender, we'll start picking colors.  We're not going to do a theme room: no arks, dinosaurs, race cars, Disney characters, cartoons, or wallpaper borders.  It'll be a simple room that the baby can grow into and develop as s/he develops their own taste in a few years.

The cool thing is that my parents have saved my crib, high chair, and bassinet.  We'll pull them out of my folks' attic sometime soon to check their condition and clean them up.  That'll save us a few dollars.

What piece of wisdom do you wish someone had shared with you when you were a new parent?  If you don't have children, have you heard sage advice that sounded good shared to others?


  1. Congratulations! So exciting. And yes, be ready to look at baby when you leave the hospital with them and think, "Wait, they're just going to let me leave with a baby?!?!??" Give yourself a good week or two after birth to start feeling somewhat normal again. Only it will be a new normal :-) Also, if you are planning on breastfeeding - it is rough on everyone for at LEAST a week. You are teaching baby how to nurse and teaching yourself how to nurse baby. If I hadn't read everything I could get my hands on about breastfeeding while I was pregnant I would have quit. (I had an inverted nipple and production issues) But if you stick with it, it not only gets easier, it is amazing. There is no other feeling like it in the world. I ended up nursing my first for almost 2 years and my second for a year.
    OK, I think I have eaten up all available comment space :-/ I am a wealth of knowledge on pregnancy and childbirth, just email me if you have any questions!

  2. Congratulations! It's a very exciting journey!!

    What piece of wisdom do you wish someone had shared with you when you were a new parent?
    --Hire a midwife
    --Hire a labor doula (she'll support both you and hubby)
    --Have the baby at home or at a birth-center
    --Your body was DESIGNED to do this. Don't let anyone take a position of power over you or convince you that you need "rescued" from your body.
    --Cloth diaper (even sew your own - see

  3. I would tell you to do what the ladies above told you, because i found these choices to be true/the best for me, but you guys can figure out what is best for you. As i have said, i am sooo excited for you guys and little bean. I bet that baby is going to have all the coolest handmade stuff and love animals- i can't wait for pics of toddling tots chasing chickens!

  4. Congratulations! And a word of warning - several of the older baby furniture does not meet modern safety standards. Check with the manufacturer to see if they are considered safe. In a lot of cases, all they will have to do is add a small piece of equipment to bring it up to code.

  5. oh wow! It's been a while since I've popped by your blog, and I've only been here a couple times before that, and THIS is the post ! :0 How wonderful for you and every good wish for a wonderful pregnancy, safe and swift delivery, and a very healthy baby. I will come by more often to see how you progress! Congratulations.

  6. This is probably TMI but I have heard this from several new mommies...the first time you uh... "do the tango" after baby is born it'll hurt like a *^&&(^%. I have not had kids myself but the women I know who have gave me the warning. So if you're expecting something pleasant that first time you probably won't get it so you may as well plan to get it over with, then enjoy it after then. :-)

  7. **excited happy dance with kermit arms** I'm so excited for you. I will happily talk your ear off about what worked for us with Mr H, and will encourage you to cloth diaper, breastfeed, etc. But the most important piece of advice I can possibly give is that you should do WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU. Every pregnancy is different. Every parent is different. And EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT. What we did with H might not work for Bean even a little tiny bit. You should never let anyone -- including your mother, best friend, etc -- tell you how you have to do things with your baby. But by all means, collect as many stories as you want, because they might be helpful in figuring out what it is that works for you and Bean. Oh! And ASK FOR HELP. We want to help. =D

  8. Thanks for all the wonderful words of support! You'll definitely get to join us on this journey. We plan to use cloth diapers and I will breastfeed (unless for some reason I can't). As for the rest, we'll figure it out as we go along.

  9. Oh Jenn! So many congratulations!

  10. Congratulations!!! I have to second what Margaret said - do what works for you! Or, rather, what works for the baby. :) I follow my son's schedule, which thankfully worked with what I wanted, and it made him so much happier. If the baby gets colic, try omitting milk from your diet if you're nursing. And hold that baby *a lot* and don't listen to the people who say you should put them down because they need to learn independence. They'll do that just fine when they're older. Personally, I kiss my son at least a dozen times a day to pay it forward to the teenage years when he won't let me anymore. :)

  11. Congratulations on your bean in the oven! That is such exciting news. My best advice would be to just relax into parenting. Your life will change a lot, and sometimes it will be hard (like lack of sleep), but you will love your little one with a ferocity you cannot explain, and parenting is the biggest blessing in the world. Trust yourself more than the childrearing/parenting experts. And enjoy your new little one. New life is such a miracle.

  12. Congrats! And love your writing style ! the truck story made me laugh AND snort in the most undignified way, I scared poor dexterdog. As far as babies, all the advice you are getting here is great !

    Since I work in forestry and see things in the long term (a tree takes a hecka time to grow), and i am no spring chicken and have two content daughters in their 20's, i can give you this extra advice with a tiny smidge of authority (just a fruitfly sized smidge however) ~

    tell them that you love them - all the time. When you have your bean, you will wonder where they have been all your life - its such a fierce love, this natural love that good mothers have for their children. However, when they are babies its easy, but as they grow and grow, they will make mistakes, they will break things, they will call you out to challenge you, they will tell you that they hate you - but please, always tell them that you love them fiercely and for ever...and by the time they have graduated from college, you end up with the best functional relationship ever, because mom let go to let them grow, but she didnt let go of her love for them.

    It does make a difference for a human to grow into an adult knowing that they are loved no matter what :)