VIDEO: Badass Pregnant Lady Tells Haters to Suck It

I have so many posts to write. SO MANY. But I’ve spent the majority of my free time over the past week sorting through daycare stupidity, juggling baby shower dramz, and then my direct report at work gave her notice. Sooo… yeah… You just keep being fabulous, and I’ll catch up with you in a few.

In the meantime, please join me in applauding Kristi Gordon, a Canadian Meteorologist. She is pregnant and receiving some horrifying responses from viewers trying to shame her shape, size, and clothes. Kristi, however, is a badass and took to the air to talk about this complete bull-shittery.

Kristi, I salute you.

(Bonus: Her male colleague who is unclear if he is quoting “some rapper” or Taylor Swift. Hater’s gonna hate, indeed.)

LISTICLE: 12 Women with Perfect Responses for Why They Don’t Have Kids

For a long time, I was ambivalent about having children. There are a lot of reasons for this that I won’t bore you with. The great irony, of course, is that once I knew I wanted kids, having them proved really difficult.

Through out both phases of my life– Meh on kids and Yay on kids– I was always baffled by how many people asked me outright if I wanted children. At parties, at the copier in the office… It pissed me off, and I always had such a hard time finding a graceful but firm way to tell people that this was none of their business.

Once I started down that craptastic journey of infertility, these questions weren’t just annoying– they were hurtful. Some people don’t have kids because they can’t have kids. Others don’t want them. Neither position is really anyone’s business.

Which is why I love this list of famous women sans children calling out this shit head on.

Well done, ladies. Well done.

12 Women with Perfect Responses for Why They Don’t Have Kids

Living in Fast-Forward: The Daycare Edition

Before I even accepted that I am going to give birth to a real live human in a few months, I began to freak out about daycare options. Not kidding- I started a list of potential daycare centers on January 5th, one month after I got my positive test.

For better or worse, I live in one of those thriving metropolises where finding daycare is a bit of a bloodsport. There isn’t a shortage of facilities, it seems. People are practically running daycares out of bodegas in my neighborhood. And though I love to stop in a grab a Fanta from time to time, I’m not sure I want to leave my child there. However, if you want to get into a decent, reputable place, you really should have signed up three years ago.

Though physically this pregnancy has been easy, it’s been a doozy on me mentally and emotionally. I’m still figuring out how to live a life without my mom in it, navigate my own emotions, and set healthy boundaries on grieving members of my family. Under “normal” circumstances, I would have a spreadsheet with a list of daycares, outlining pros and cons, pricing structures, miles from home/office… But I can’t. I just can’t.

The trouble is I also can’t leave this up to the last minute. If I want to get into a daycare that is close enough to where Mr. O and I work and isn’t run out of a garage, I need to get this ball rolling. So I pulled up the list from January 5th and I’ve set up tours with our top two choices.

Why are these our top two? Because a) both are on the way to/from work for both Mr. O and I, and b) we know people who sent their kids there, and everyone came out with all limbs intact. Other than that, I have NO IDEA what these places are like.

Having your first child ushers in a whole bunch of other firsts. This is the very first time I have to evaluate a daycare center. Turns out there is a lot more to it than making sure teachers don’t let children eat paste. In preparation for these tours, I’m brainstorming a list of questions to ask. You know… so I at least give off the illusion of being a responsible parent.

So far I’ve got:

  • What is the teacher to child ratio?
  • Are teachers trained for the age groups they teach? How do they stay up-to-date on current methods/approaches?
  • How do teachers partner with families on the development of the child?
  • How do you determine if/when a child is ready to move up to another level/room/group?
  • How is each day structured?
  • What different kinds of activities do children engage in on a given day?
  • Are there outdoor activities (weather permitting, of course?)
  • How is playtime used as a way to learn– both educational and emotional?
  • Does each kid have their own crib? Is this a thing, or do you just let them pile on top of each other?
  • How do you sanitize play areas and toys? Let’s face it. Kids are gross.
  • How do you handle any need for personalize care per child? I’m thinking dietary, but also developmental.
  • Are there specific food restrictions?
  • Could Mr. O or I visit during the day, or is that frowned upon?

I realize that when I drop Chick off for the first time, they will essentially be a breathing, eating, pooping machine. They will not be doing long division or exploring Mozart. Some of these questions are a little bit excessive now, but I also don’t want to do this again in 6 months. I’d like to find a place we like and can safely put our bundle of joy for a few years.

Anyone else out there thinking about this stuff yet? Any questions I should ask or other stuff I should consider?

A Tale of Two Families. Make that Three.

This weekend, I made dinner for my in-laws. My stepmother-in-law has been laid up in bed for a while, and my father-in-law needed a break from playing caretaker for a night. So Mr. Ostrich and I went over to provide them with a meal sans prep, cooking, and clean up.

Over dinner, Kittiwake* (Mr. O’s stepmom) told us that she was starting to plan a baby shower for “someone.” Then she launched into her  plan…. But before I go on, a moment or two of background.

Mr. O’s biological parents split up when he was young. It is safe to say this divorce was not pleasant. Throughout most of his childhood, Mr. O had to navigate those heady waters so many children of divorce do– loving two people who cannot stand each other. Holidays in particular were hard. Either he had to shuttle from one parent’s house to the other (resulting in round trip car rides of 2+ hours) or he had to choose. Once Mr. O’s dad (Murre*) married Kittiwake, her family’s dinners, birthdays, weddings, etc were added to the mix.

This would be fine except that no one family seems to like any of the others. It’s like the Hatfields and the McCoys… and the McCoys. I don’t know how to put it, exactly. Each family is a little clannish. They are fiercely loving and supportive of each other, but they all seem to have a difficult time extending this to anyone outside their immediate family. Every gathering requires a mental shifting of alliances. You have to be “theirs.” And then you hop in the car, drive 45 minutes to another person’s house where you become “theirs.”

Luckily, Mr. O and I are pretty easy going. For the last 15 years, we’ve danced this dance like pros. I don’t know if it is age, or having a baby, or what, but… It is starting to get old. Just this Christmas, Mr. O suggested an extended vacation to Hawaii in large part to avoid the drama. If it weren’t for my being 2 months pregnant, I would have seriously considered it.

One thing we’ve agreed on is that we don’t want this for Chick. It’s just exhausting. It also isn’t fair. It is subtle, but you do pick up on a vibe from each family that they are some how better. (Although, sometimes this even is explicitly stated.) I like all my in-laws and their families, and would hope to raise Chick to appreciate each one for what and who they are. This may be a lot harder than it sounds.

So… Back to dinner…

Kittiwake laid out her plan for our baby shower. She and Murre will host one at their house for their family and friends. We can invite our friends, or whoever else we want to come. Mr. O’s mom can have her baby shower “or do whatever she wants.” Bonus: We could get twice the presents and cake! (These are all her words, not mine.)

I sat there a little bit stunned. First of all, I haven’t really thought about a baby shower. I’m still easing into this, frankly. But something about this hit me the wrong way. Mr. O and I just said we’d think about it and get back to them.

My instinct screams “Hells no.” I’m not one for baby showers, at least how most people approach them. I have no desire to play games like “Guess that Poopy Diaper!” or “Pin the Tail on the Pregnant Lady!” I hate opening presents in front of other people– especially when everyone expects you to coo over the tiny onsies they are giving you. I’m not one for cooing under any circumstances.

All sorts of questions start popping up. Which shower will be “better?” Which one will be “the real one?” Our friends aren’t going to go to both. My dad and sister have said they might like to come up. Which one should they choose to attend? This is how a slippery slope starts.

But more than that, I don’t want to begin my family with a metaphorical game of Ping Pong. This isn’t about “their” families anymore. It is about “ours.” And I mean that in the most inclusive way I can think of. I want ALL OF THEM in one room, acting like humans not sectarians.

And just when you think I’ve made up mind… Something struck me as Kittiwake started going over her shower plans.This is shower is her “coming out” party as a grandmother. Kittiwake never had children of her own, so Mr. O is it. She has been such a wonderful support to him and to me over the years. Even so, there is always the implication that she wasn’t his “real mom.” She very graciously took the back seat to Mr. O’s biological mother at major life events, like graduations, our wedding, and all the rest. Now it’s her time to be a 100% bonafide matriarch.

I get it.

But I still don’t want two motherfucking parties.


*Kittiwake and Murre are bird names! Seriously, I love how many weird and awesome names we have for various birds.

Who Wants to Know?

You may not have figured this out, but I am actually a private person. I may have willfully blogged about my infertility treatments to perfect strangers. But remember… none (or I should say very few) know who I am.

Infertility– IVF in particular– meant that I knew a lot more about my pregnancy than I would have otherwise. I mean, I literally saw the embryo inserted into my uterus. I know my exact conception date. Because I’m an IVF mama, I also had a whole bunch of early ultrasounds– more than a “normal” pregnant woman would. I have seen my insides more in the last 2 years than I would have expected to in my whole life time.

In principle, this is fine. Thanks to all this technology and SCIENCE!, I am pregnant and happy to be starting my family. But I also wish I had a bit of the mystery I assume “normal” pregnant women have.

In part because of this, Mr. O and I have decided that we don’t want to know the sex of our baby until it comes out. I like the not knowing. I like the idea that for 9 months, there are no expectations or assumptions about this kid, so Chick can just focus on being happy and healthy.

It would appear that other people are not okay with this.

Because humans abhor vacuums, this has led people to frantically trying to predict the gender of my baby. They base their assumptions on how I’m carrying, what came to them in a dream, a “gut feeling”, or what I had for dinner last night. One person tried to get me to do the “Needle Test” which is apparently when you rub a needle on your wrist and dangle it over your arm. Depending on which way the needle swings, you’re having a girl or a boy. Huh? How is this a thing?

It is amazing to me how judge-y people are about not finding out. Two of my favorite responses so far:

“I hate it when people don’t find out. You have the technology, why don’t you use it?”

The real question is why do you give a rat’s ass?

“But how will I know what color baby clothes to buy you? Green and yellow are just so boring.”

Then let’s go with my emo baby theme, and just get everything BLACK.

Pregnancy is funny. On one hand, it is an incredibly personal experience. This is happening in your body. You’re carrying this little person, taking care of it, dealing with all the new and exciting ways you’re changing. It is happening TO YOU in a very real sense.

But at the same time, pregnancy is very public. The bigger you get, the more conspicuous this very personal experience gets. People can’t help but know, and so can’t help but offer completely unsolicited advice about how and what you should be doing.

Along these lines, Mr. O and I have also decided against the FB announcement. At first it seemed harmless enough, but the truth is that I don’t want people I don’t care about to know. I also want to respect Chick’s privacy. Who knows? They may never want a Facebook account, Twitter handle, or whatever new-fangled social media is out by the time they are old enough to care.

Honestly, I don’t care what other people do. What I love about humans is that we all find a way in the world that works for us. If you want to post your ultrasounds on Facebook, that’s a-okay with me. What I don’t understand– and never will– is this insistence that we all experience pregnancy the same way. The people who love and support me know I’m pregnant– that is enough for me.

Everyone else can just learn about it on their own. And keep their opinions to themselves. Please.

You are what you wear… or are you?

Now that my OG wardrobe officially doesn’t fit, I’m on the hunt for maternity wear that doesn’t make me feel miserable.

I’ll admit there is a part of me that is mad at myself for caring about clothes. I shouldn’t be so vain. I should be more evolved. I should be perfectly content with wrapping myself in flour sacks, putting a bow on it, and call it a day.

Then I remember that I am human, and I stop being so hard on myself.

For me, clothing has been less about trends or vanity, and more about self expression. I started picking out my own clothing early– My first (and still favorite) outfit dates from kindergarten. Orange tie dye shirt, pink corduroy pants, and charcoal gray velcro shoes. I thought I was the shit… Until the librarian pointed out in front of the entire class that my clothing didn’t match and laughed at me. I distinctly remember thinking “That old lady is mean because I look amazing.” (Thank you, mom and dad, for raising one irrationally confident daughter.)

My sense of fashion hasn’t always lead to the most visually pleasing combinations, but I always found a way to make it work for me. As the last of three children with two very thrifty parents, I was on the receiving end of a lot of hand-me-downs. There was a massive black trash bag of corduroy pants that included cast offs from both my sister and brother. When I grew a little, my mom just dug into the bag and pulled out whatever fit. For this reason, I dressed like a child of the 80’s well into the 90’s. But goddamnit, I made it look fierce.

When high school came along (and the neverending cornucopia of corduroys was no more) I got an allowance and started shopping for myself. This allowance had to cover everything- gas, going out, coffee, cigarettes (unbeknownst to my parents) and my clothes. I learned many moons later that my folks set my allowance by under-budgeting what they thought I would need. This way I would learn to save, make sacrifices, and budget on my own.

Luckily for me, grunge and vintage were in so I became the Queen of the Thrift Shop. I still have a pair of brown suede cowboy boots that I bought in high school for $5. I also pillaged my mom’s closet on the regular, which is how I became the owner of an original Von Furstenberg wrap dress.

I mean what pregnant woman wants to balance on one leg in high heels-- and be happy about it?!

I mean what pregnant woman wants to balance on one leg in high heels– and look so damn happy about it?!

I’m not sure why, but maternity fashion doesn’t seem to allow for the same level of creativity. Like with so many things pregnancy-related, I get this feeling that we’re supposed to be entirely different people than we were before we got pregnant. Ladies, we are all now vessels for HUMAN LIFE so who we are no longer matters.

It doesn’t help that so many maternity models are clearly not pregnant. In some cases, I can even see the preggo suit that they are making these impossibly tiny women wear. The poses are the same as “regular” fashion models, including positions that no pregnant woman in her right mind would ever contort herself into.

It’s a strange feeling, to be honest. At a time when my body is feeling less and less like my own, it is becoming harder for me to express who I am. I spend waaaay more time getting dressed than I did before, in part because what fit me yesterday often doesn’t today.

In the meantime, I can still rock that DVF wrap dress– bump and all.