Delayed Post Apologies
Currently, 36 weeks pregnant and approaching 37 in two days (Due January 25th) , each week since the last update I gave you at 30 weeks has been an upside-down roller-coaster ride. So I apologize for having to make-up for it here. I keep saying that I will do better in subsequent post timings, but obviously, life is sometimes much more overwhelming than my swollen and numb hands can handle!
My wife and I both flew back to New York to attend our baby shower, hosted by the same wife’s cousin who pretty much slayed our wedding decoration and design. The theme of the wedding was, “Game of Thrones” and included her making each table a specific “house” as featured on the show, complete with plush animals representing each. Also featuring a beautiful head table with treats and various other beautiful touches. I will be sure to place photos when time permits!
So how did the baby shower go? With a majority Latino and different generation attendants, I would probably say that less than 20% of the individuals who went actually understood the theme. Culture would have expected some baby blue everything baby shower- but we don’t like corny, we like epic.
So for us 20%, we were blown away by how beautiful it was! For the others, they must’ve thought it was cute to have stuffed baby animals and decor everywhere.
How did I personally deal? Well, I was lucky in that my wife and I found a great dress, and my colleague helped me find decent heels…which I decided within about 15 minutes of wearing on the actual day to gave away to one of my wife’s cousins. Heels were never kind to my Flintstone feet.
As far as emotionally, it was a little more complex. I could feel the amount of love and support in the room. Yet it also felt overwhelming. It was again, a complicated emotion, feeling supported and yet feeling uncomfortable with the attention. Usually, attention does not bother me much, but since I have been pregnant, tides seemed to have shifted a little. Perhaps it is a mix of me not feeling like I am in my own body anymore, not recognizing myself, therefore not feeling very confident. Or just the strange feeling that everyone is literally sizing me up: how I look, act, carry myself, and how I compare to other pregnant women they have known. My stomach wasn’t enormous, I admit- with a feeble appetite the first and second semesters, plus the new Gestational Diabetes diet, weight wasn’t putting on so much even though the baby and I were healthy.
I have become so much more self-conscious, and at times it has become a strange nagging discomfort randomly during the pregnancy. It also may have to do with a twinge of passive sadness, watching people I knew and some I cared about just get up during the baby shower, get unlimited drinks from the bar, gathering in groups to take shots, and I not being able to really be a part of that social aspect and unwinding- in the past more than half a year. I can admit, from what I could decipher about that day, I missed being a part of that silly bonding gesture that we had been doing for years now; that now I wasn’t invited over even with water. What makes it harder? I wear my emotions on my sleeve, making me an open book to those who know me well. Also, well…hormones.
Yes, I know- everyone was there because of my wife and I (+ this beautiful little guy), and I am so thankful for my ultra supportive and incredibly patient wife, her friends and family + and this amazing opportunity I have been given to physically cultivate a life inside of me who will eventually conquer the Seven Kingdoms…
um, I mean- be awesome.
Additionally, I am not in any way regretful of this process, the role shift, nor prospective responsibilities and future baby giggles- I look forward to that growth and emotional evolution, but the thought did honestly cross my mind that those “other” days were actually really behind me, the new Chapter is being written. That the little guy inside of my tummy was going to start running things from now on, and I think it just all made me feel nervous and insecure. There is no pause button to gather myself at this point. I also irrationally feared that everyone there would eventually size me up as some sort of a “this or that” kind of mother at some point, or already have.
Seriously though- why did I even care? No idea, I never really cared for anyone’s perception, except for that of my wife, some of her family, one friend and mother-in-law to be honest. Hormones again perhaps? No one really knows that I plan to be the best damn wife to the love of my life and an award-winning mother to our child!
It also didn’t help that I felt exhausted from lack of sleep, bummed by the void of my immediate family not being present, and one of the foods there that I smelled even covered throughout was making me feel sick to my stomach. I definitely miss my stamina. I tried to play it strong, but don’t think it came across that way at all.
My emotions that weekend were all over the place, while I tried to keep it together- I know it was obvious something wasn’t right with me. For that, I feel pretty bad. Aren’t I supposed to be the glowing epitome of the blushing miracle of motherhood after all? Where the lights turn down and the spotlight comes up when I enter a room? Where the confidence in what I am doing radiates with every single stride and gesture I make? Instead, I went to the restroom five times, threw up pitifully as silently as I could only about 20 minutes into getting there, had some diarrhea because, well why not? Then rubbed my tummy in the stall, hoping the baby’s random movements would make me feel like I was doing a good job and that I got this. Hoping that I could pull myself together emotionally.
I absolutely loved the baby shower, the games, the gifts, the laughs…just wish I felt more confident that day (although now at my 36-week mark, that has much improved). I reflect on that day affectionately, the work involved in people putting it together and all of the wonderful people I admire who have been there since day one of my wife and I’s relationship…minus one individual who should’ve just stayed home.
I love them all, and hearing all of the drunken and non-drunken words of support was charming. I am so lucky to have my wife, her family, friends, and that support in my life. I hope that my wife knows how much I appreciate her- and that I constantly think about the above and beyond support she has been providing being amazing.
This week, my wife had to go away for work for about a week. We had been talking for awhile about finally putting up the forest decals (including a lion, zebra, birds, and a tree!) that we purchased for the baby’s room. We knew it would be time-consuming, and with all baby preparations going on it was difficult to find the motivation to get it done. Yet we finally committed! It took us about two long hours, but the outcome was pretty adorable! Will have to post pics to this blog when I have the time!
Then came D-Day (aka wife work Departure day) and I felt pretty down about it. She had managed to get her employer to drop another week-long departure that was supposed to occur soon-after and I was smitten. I honestly could not ask for a more emotionally present woman than her throughout all this, and count my blessings.
So she left for the workweek, then I realized…being this pregnant is a little hard on your own (think: getting up from couches, in and out of beds, in and out of cars, dropping ANYTHING on the floor that needs to be picked up)- also, I missed her making me laugh through the ligament pain and other neat things my body was doing. Even since the beginning of the pregnancy, I was experiencing insomnia, but this week was the worst! Looking at the empty spot next to me on the bed I felt a real void. So eager to see her upon her day of arrival, I told her I would pick her up from the airport, and that was the most rewarding part of my week.
In that week, I felt and literally saw my stomach grow exponentially. Finally, I actually looked legitimately pregnant! I tilted my head in the mirror and thought,
Hmph, this does not look so bad on me!
Two of my colleagues planned a baby shower for me at work, and it was absolutely sweet. Chock full of games and decor, they clearly enjoyed the distraction from work and a moment to have some cake (that I couldn’t have, thanks GD!). Again, I counted my blessings that I moved from my prior contract to this new one just at the right time. The quality of my colleagues is hands-down better than the rigid and chaotic organization I had been tasked to assist for over six months prior to the move. I would say I wished the other org. the best, but I don’t.
Due to the GD diagnosis, we have been seeing tyke weekly for ultrasounds to ensure his growth and other aspects are as expected. This week, we watched as our fabulous ultrasound specialist Karen placed the goo on my tummy ritualistically, found tyke and then like a flip of a switch, showed us a first-time 3D image of his face!
I know, I know…have mentioned it plenty of times, “This is when I felt things began to get real”. Honestly though, THIS is the moment the little guy inside of me truly became a little person our little person, – not a moving 2D image; but with gorgeous chubby cheeks, a pair of closed eyes, and clearly sucking his thumb. Since then, we have noted that this guy is an insatiable thumb sucker, and also pretty chill only when it comes to the ultrasound appointments, making poor Karen’s life pretty difficult. This is also the only time we believe that since then, we have ever seen him move is hand remotely away from his mouth to give us a mostly full view of his face. Ohhhhh and those little lips! We took the photo from this session, plastered it on baby shower thank you cards, and sent them out to everyone. Then I took the photo, put it in a small heart-shaped ornament that says, “My first Christmas, 2017” and gifted it to my wife.
Wife Ready for Lift Off
One reason that I adore my wife is that she is absolutely a planner. She is a woman who has a plan for her plans- whereas I am a more, hey lets wing it kind of character (don’t worry, this does not apply to the pregnancy as much, lol). There is an entire corner of our living room dedicated to what she calls, “Go time.” A medium-sized suitcase with essentials such as my bio-oil, clothing, clothing for the shower (for both her and I) if I need to wind down there at the hospital, and probably quite a few other things I didn’t take stock of. The car seat is ready and raring to go, a large binder of the baby’s medical records. a written list of additional things to take stock of. Her excitement is palpable at this point, with any move I make that seems out of the ordinary making her ask,
“Is it Go time????”
In our years of being together, I have never witnessed her so gleeful about something that so horrifies me. It is the truth, we are indeed ying and yang, and I am so grateful that she seems to have control of this situation before it even happens.
She is so excited to begin this family, and I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a part of it in this way. To be a parent, with her alongside me to our son.
Baby Still Has No Name
Yep. That is pretty much the update on that. We have been back and forth on this, and are now taking it with a grain of salt. We will figure it out.
Yo Momma Should Have Taught You Better
I realized something. Those blog posts and mentions stating that some people are absolutely senseless when it comes to pregnancy are completely true. Sometimes colleagues are the ones who make the most unnecessary comments. For example, I got this one the other day:
“Wow, you’re losing your bustline”
Or they make a big deal every…single…time they see you, every day like you just told them you were pregnant an hour before and now all of a sudden you look like a hot air balloon.
Even those individuals who aren’t your colleagues. One of the contenders for most insensitive:
“Wow. That’s gonna be a big bebe.”
This was after I put a small collage consisting of three photos of my wife putting her hand on my tummy, us beaming for the camera on Facebook. I grabbed my phone tightly and began typing,
“Your a (*#)ing idiot” [delete delete delete]
Taking a breath, I then waited 10 minutes to pass before satisfying the compulsion to respond. Maybe I am sensitive about my GD and proud of the fact that our son is actually measuring normal in the 57th percentile (we found that out Week 36); especially with my struggles regarding the daily meal plans. Yet how could you possibly allow your fingers to punch that into your electronic device and not expect a smart remark from a sarcastic individual that doesn’t take to idiocy lightly? Tactfully, I responded (after plenty of backspacing):
Nope, average size. In fact, I’m smaller than most at [this many] months with little weight gain = good pregnancy.
The response from miss congeniality? A heart emoji.
This entire pregnancy I have held my tongue much better than I thought I would. Someone needs to give me a happy-face sticker or something.
Symptoms of Torture…For My Wife
I have noticed that pregnant women often speak about their symptoms (don’t worry that part will be coming up soon in reflection), but not so much about what inflections they commit on their significant others. I have to admit, I have been feeling terrible- at about 33 Weeks I began doing something I never did unless I was heavily intoxicated or sick…snore. Snoring loud enough to wake up my wife, snoring loud enough to even wake myself up.
Combine that with the tossing and turning, insomnia, andddddd pulling a turtle-on-her-back struggle the many times I to go the restroom at night. At some point, I woke up to a pillow in my face smack dab in-between us and after peering over, her sleeping like a princess. The other, I woke up to her feet in my face. It had gotten so bad that she actively decided to sleep opposite me in the other direction, holding my legs as a substitute for my body. I do love this woman.
She mentions that she is surprised and thought that I would be more of a nightmare (my word) while pregnant. My hormones are all over the place, but for the most part I have tried to keep my composure. Guess my ultimate goal is to not to let everything get the best of me for more than one day, simply accept the pains and other things as a blessing quite a few women out there wish they could experience.
Don’t get me wrong, I still cried when I saw the animated movie Coco, cried when I completely used up all the hot water in the shower and there was none left, cried when I couldn’t find my phone in the house, cried in a bathroom stall at work when everyone seemed to have brought doughnuts to work and I couldn’t have any (damn you Gestational Diabetes!!!), cried when I had to go back home only five minutes into my drive to work because I forgot my ID even though I was still going to be early going in, rolled down the window while driving and yelled obscenities at the guy in front of me that kept weaving in the lane because he was on his cell phone, andddd my short-kept patience with idiocy has only become shorter, making snarky remarks here and there I couldn’t stop myself from making.
Yet besides all that, I have endured.
There are things I miss, but there are some pretty amazing things that this surreal experience has given me that I could never have imagined. While I do know that sleep will be less attainable than it is now (and it really is!), I look forward to waking up to this little guy sometime soon, the minimal sleep I will get but without snoring and able to hold my wife in my arms without my hands going numb- even if it is a for half an hour.