The One Where I Spend Waaay Too Much on Baby Clothes

As I’ve mentioned before, when things in the Ostrich household are running smoothly, life with a 9 month old is totally doable. When things hit a bump, things get a little out of hand and someone usually ends up crying.

This was a full weekend. We had plans on Saturday night to see friends, including my former-potential mom friend (who I had a lot in common with than last time. Potential fire re-kindled.) Then we slide a visit with Mr. O’s cousin in the morning. All this was happening about 45 minutes south of our city, so we piled in the car at 11:00 am and didn’t get home until 11:00 pm. The next day we went to see friends who have just recently had twins.

I have posts about this, because it was a lot of baby time. And for the first time, I didn’t feel like a mama-impostor. But that isn’t what this post is about. That post requires a little more introspection that I have the bandwidth for at the ‘mo.

No, this post is about what happens when you have no clean laundry.

Typically, we set aside one day of the week to do our hausfrau-ing– Mr. O does laundry, sterilizes everything, gets Chick’s bag ready for the week. I do the grocery shopping, meal prep, and occasionally clean the bathroom. (I have mostly given up on cleaning the rest of our home, but the bathroom is non-negotiable.)

This weekend left no time for our usual chore deep-dive. So Monday morning rolls around, and I realize Chick has one clean outfit left. Sweet! I put it on, get him ready, and realize (just as we’re about to get out the door) that someone has unleashed a toxic mess in his diaper (Hint: It wasn’t Mr. O.)

So I take Chick over to his changing table, and in the process of disposing of said hazardous waste, Chick pees ALL OVER himself. Luckily (or lazily, depending on how you look at it) I hadn’t yet put his 3-6 month clothing away, so I crammed my 9 month old in clothing he has no business being in. Chick struggled and complained, all while looking like a stuffed sausage (admittedly an adorable stuffed sausage.)

My strategy with Chick’s clothing has been to buy as few pieces as possible. It is the cheapskate in me- why would I spend money to have tons of clothes around that he will at best wear once? I now have an answer to that question. Because when your kid pees all over himself when you’re already running late, you really do need a spare.

It does not help matters that he pretty much swims in anything but Carter’s and Hanna Andersson. Nope, no cheapo Target brands for this kid. (Aside: If you all know of any brands good for long and lean babies, feel free to share.)

giphy (4)

#dreamcometrue

All this means is I just put down some serious cash on clothes for Chick. And I feel bad. Yes, I said it. I feel bad about buying clothing for Chick, though I must admit that I feel this way buying anything. I rarely buy spur of the moment- I like to visit things in the store (or online) several times before I actually make a purchase. If possible, I would hoard money like Scrooge McDuck and swim around in it (after being properly sanitized, of course.) Then again, I really didn’t want to end up with a naked baby because Mama Ostrich is tightfisted.

Sure, I may have bought a few pairs of pants, extra onesies, and some pricey pjs. But what I really bought was a little more peace of mind. (Or that’s what I keep telling myself every time I do the mental math on his wardrobe.)

The Suspense is Killing You

Oh my loyal readers… You’re probably wondering where I’ve been. Sorry to have left you all hanging, but my life got busy again. And in the best possible way.

I am officially off house arrest bed rest!

After my appointment with my doctor last week, everything looked good. When I was hooked up to the NST, Chick continued to perform well and my contractions were really just Braxton Hick– not consistent or strong enough to cause any concern. My cervix, though still wee, has not changed. So I’ve still got enough between Chick and the outside world not to worry about him/her falling out of my vagina anytime soon.

Better yet, I was given the fFN test and it came back negative. In this case, negative is very positive- it means that I have a 99% likelihood of NOT having a baby in the next two weeks. Whew!

For some reason, my doctor/midwife team wanted me to go to a Fetal Medicine Specialist on Monday. The idea was to determine what level of monitoring I might need for the rest of my pregnancy. To be honest, I’m still not too sure why I had that appointment. And said specialist isn’t too sure why either. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Mr. O and I met with her, and went over all the details and drama over the last few weeks. She asked a ton of questions, looked over the results, and gave her synopsis of what she thinks happened.

Her guess is that my cervix started to shorten (which is normal toward the end of pregnancy) and in that process a small blood vessel may have burst. This happens sometimes, and is nothing to worry about. There was some concern this might have been signs of a partial placental abruption, but since Chick has continued to grow at a healthy rate and there is no more bleeding, we’ve pretty much ruled that out. Fun Fact: babies only need 50% of the placenta. The other 50%? Leftovers, I guess.

Back to said synopsis: Of course, as I was in the office for the suspicious brown spotting, I was hooked up to machines which found my Silent Contractions. Then I went to the hospital where I was monitored more, and the doctors kept finding more odd things and ordering more NSTs. Each symptom in isolation might have been fine, but because they were all happening within a short time frame we took a more cautious approach.

As she pointed out, there was no way to know from the outset that I wasn’t going into labor. Another fun fact from this doctor– If you are going into real, actual labor, there isn’t really a way to stop it, only delay it. Since mine was successfully stopped with intervention, I wasn’t in “true” labor, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. Not that I would change any course we took– you just can’t know in the moment, so Mr. O, the doctors, and I made the best decisions we could with the information we had. Since I was hooked up to that NST machine for between 45 and 1.5 hours at a time, we had A LOT of information.

Essentially, the Fetal Medicine doc diagnosed me with a case of over-monitoring.

After going over our case, she said “How about this… I’m just going to treat you like a normal pregnant woman.” No extra monitoring, just one more ultrasound in a month to make sure Chick is still good, but no additional appointments, NSTs, blood work, blah, blah, blah. Music to my ears, friends.

I’m still on “restricted activity” which seems fine to me since I’m officially uncomfortable. I knew it was bound to happen, and 33 weeks is as good a time as any I suppose. With Chick gaining .5 lbs each week from here on out, my tiny frame is starting to protest under the pressure. I’d much rather be home napping, and now I have a doctor’s note to validate me!

With this information, I went back to work this week– three full days and two half days. I’m planning to ask my manager for a work from home schedule (three days in the office, two days at home) so I can take it easy into the Final Countdown to Babyville. I’m fully aware how fortunate I am to have this option– every once in a while, my middle class guilt creeps up on me because I know so many women don’t have the supportive, flexible work environment I do. Is it odd I feel a little bad about this? Is it at least less terrible that I know and appreciate how fortunate I am?

But this is a post for another day, perhaps.

I also have notes from the Baby Extravaganza coming your way! Stay tuned…

Bed Rest, Day Two

Maybe bed rest is like vacation… At first, it’s hard to settle in to this new pace. Then you just give in and start to enjoy yourself.

Okay, perhaps “enjoying this” is stretching things a bit too far. However, I will say that Day Two of Bed Rest Fest was easier than Day One.

The odd thing about being on BR (and being a complete nut job) is that you’re alone with your own body. I had nothing to do but pay attention to every little movement and twinge. As there have been no twinges, I’ve really only been focusing on Chick’s movement. Um… ladies and gents… Now that I am paying attention, I sorta love it.

I’ve had a hard time connecting with being pregnant. Part of it is that being present in my life has been a challenge, given all the emotional turmoil I’ve experienced over the last few months. Part of it, I now realize, is that I didn’t want to get too attached because what if something happened and I miscarried? So I’d just let Chick do Chick, and I’d do me.

Obviously, this is a hard separation to maintain when someone is literally growing in your body. Bed Rest, Day Two has just made me sink into being pregnant. I had a low point when I could feel Chick kicking and thought “Please don’t go anywhere yet. We’re just getting to know each other.” I cried a little because I realize now I’m not ready to be not pregnant. Not quite yet, anyway. I played sad sappy “Don’t Leave Me” music to Chick. We’ll see if emotional manipulation works in utero.

Bed Rest Fest 2015!

Bed Rest Fest 2015!

In happier news, I’ve been able to work from home. This is good to a degree– it gives me something to focus on besides whether or not my baby is about to fall out my whoooha. At the same time, it is also a little frustrating because I’m watching this big project of mine progress from afar. Back story: I was supposed to present it to the team this week and get the ball rolling on the actual work. In my absence, my boss is doing this. Very nice of him, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I worked so flipping hard to get this project where it is, I wish I could be the one barking orders on the floor. As is, I feel one step behind all the time.

In other news, Mr. O is a saint. What he is fielding right now is pretty amazing. As I’m hanging out in bed with our cat and a laptop, he is arranging to buy a new-ish car. Through our mechanic, we’re getting a used one at auction (hopefully today!) and this has meant a lot of back and forth, comparing the cars available, wire transfers, and the rest. Love my husband though I do, he always gets anxious about making big decisions like this and he has had to do a lot of it on the fly and mostly on his own. Definitely outside his comfort zone, and I’ll say he is handling it pretty well.

So if all goes well, I’ll have a new car and no new baby by the end of the day. Fingers and legs crossed.

Go on Bed Rest Like It’s Your Birthday

(BTW, I haven’t responded to many of your lovely comments from a few posts ago. Sorry. I will get to them. As you’re about to see, I’ve been busy. And not in a fun, “I won a free trip to Cabo” kind of way.)

You know… there are times where I start worrying if the world has some massive beef with me that no one is telling me about.

If it keeps up like this, I’m going to become incredibly paranoid.

Oh, you think I’m already incredibly paranoid? Would you like proof the Universe is unusually interested in busting my balls? I submit for your consideration the following evidence:

Exhibit A: The Car Calamity

Last Monday, Mr. O got into a car accident. No one was hurt- whew! But the car wasn’t driveable, so we had to deal with the insurance company. You know how much I love insurance companies. On this Monday, we learned that they were totaling our car rather than fixing it. Oooookay…. The good-ish news is that we had already planned to buy a new-ish car to replace the 18-year-old rust bucket that I drive. We’ll just have to wait a little bit longer to replace it, that’s all. (Allow me to brag for a minute: 18 years old, rust holes the size of kittens, 273K miles, and it still has the best pick up of any car I’ve driven. And I haven’t had a car payment since 2007. #bragover)

Exhibit B: The Card Calamity

Last Thursday, Mr. O got a call from our bank to ask if we were currently at a Wal-Mart in Florida. (No.) Did we think some one was making unauthorized charges using our card at said Wal-Mart in Florida? (Yes.) Cue the canceling of cards and lots of paper work.

Sadly, I’m sort of used to this. With all the breaches at stores like Target and TJ Maxx over the years, we’ve had to replace our cards a few times. This is, however, the first time we’ve caught actual charges on one of our cards. It sucks, but this is what happens when we no longer use chickens to barter for goods. (I mean, it’d be pretty hard to pass off a fraudulent chicken…)

Exhibit C: The Head Cold Calamity

This Saturday was a busy day. We had a ton of morning errands to run, then an hour drive out to celebrate a friend’s birthday which was in the country. (This will be relevant. Sorta.) We got there, and about an hour later I started sniffling. Nothing crazy, just the sniffles. It gets worse. I think it is just allergies.

Sunday morning rolls around and I have full-on congestion. As you all know, pregnant ladies can’t take any decongestants. So I just get to sit there drowning in my own face for days. This isn’t fun for anyone, but I have particularly shit sinuses so I get lots of sinus pain and rolicking headaches. This also usually leads to me hating everyone for a few days for no other reason than they don’t have to breathe out of their mouths.

Exhibit D: The Cervix Calamity (which isn’t technically alliterative, but still works)

As if Sunday were delightful enough, I woke up with some light brown spotting. This didn’t send me into an immediate panic, but I still thought of calling my offices. They don’t have a 24 hour help line for nothing. The nurse says it is probably nothing but to call my doctor on Monday if it hasn’t stopped or has increased.

Monday, I stay home from work because of my exploding sinuses, and notice that the spotting hasn’t stopped. I call the office, and they recommend coming in for a check up… “just in case.” Fine. I can do “just in case.” I’m a HUGE FAN of “just in case.” I get an appointment for 3:00 pm.

Yesterday morning, I pee. Brown spotting is still there, but now accompanied by something a little more sinister- about half a teaspoon of brown goo. Like what you get at the end of your period. Soooo, I call the doctor and explain what’s happening, and can get squeezed in at 10:30 am.

At 10:30, I meet with my midwife (who I have vaguely mixed feelings about, but that’s another story.) She checks my vitals, asks me tons of questions, checks Chick’s heartbeat (which is stellar) then performs a manual inspection of my lady bits. Something doesn’t feel right. In the 7 weeks since my last ultrasound, my cervix has shortened quite a bit and has also softened a whole lot. Hence, the extra colorful discharge.

What a Stress Test on your birthday looks like.

What a Stress Test on your birthday looks like.

To make sure I’m not going into labor without knowing it, I am put on a stress test while I wait for the ultrasound doctor to see me (who very sweetly offers to give up her lunch break to fit me in.)

Least you have yet to experience the joys of a stress test, it is remarkably unremarkable. They strap you in with two monitors attached to your belly: one for the baby and one for your uterus. They want to get a baseline for the baby’s heart rate and measure your contractions. It also helps to determine if the baby is under any duress if you are having contractions. Mostly, I sat there reading People magazine…

After about 45 minutes hooked up to the machine, we determine that Chick is completely unbothered by this cervix business as is my uterus. We have a health heartbeat and no contractions. Thanks to People, I also determine that backless dresses are all the rage this season, and celebrities sometimes do their own grocery shopping.

At around 12:00, I’m taken to the ultrasound room. Mr. O joins me from work about 10 minutes in. The doctor is the same person who did our anatomy scan at 20 weeks, and I really like her. She’s calm, not too cute about the whole thing, and patiently answers my “What’s that thing over there?” questions.

Again, we determine that Chick is awesome. All the organs are growing nicely, very active (don’t I know it!) and weighing about 3.5 lbs. The placenta looks fine, there is plenty of amniotic fluid. In short, I have a healthy albeit shy baby who still doesn’t want anyone looking at his/her face.

What I don’t have is a lot of cervix. For unknown reasons, my cervix has shortened to 1.5 cm. This can lead to preterm labor, which isn’t not what any of us are rooting for.

At 30w6d, most of Chick’s organs are in good condition. The exception would be the lungs, which are the last to develop in any tiny human. In case I do go early, my midwife suggested I get a steroid shot that helps Chick with lung development. If he/she doesn’t make it to full term, this could shorten our time in the NICU.

I topped of this awesome day with a shot of steroids in my butt.

Oh, did I mention that it was MY BIRTHDAY? Say it with me… “FML.”

The important bits are this:

  • I am not in labor now, nor does it look like this is imminent.
  • I am on bed rest so as not to put more pressure on my tiny real estate of cervix. This will be re-evalutated on Saturday. If there hasn’t been any more leakage, contractions, and my cervix is playing nice, I can resume normal activities.
  • Chick is just not interested in any of this, and so keeps smacking my insides which I’m starting to actually find endearing.
Guess how I'll be spending my time?

Guess how I’ll be spending my time?

There is an echo here from my mom, strangely enough. You see, she was on bed rest for all three of her kids. (And this was before the Internet!) When I told my father, he sort of chuckled and said “Well, you are your mother’s daughter.” It’s worth noting, she had three healthy (though far from normal) children. This makes me feel better.

Also in the eerie connection department, I just so happen to have my mother’s copy of Anna Karenina. It is the exact copy she read while on bed rest with me. The cover is so 1970’s, I can hardly stand it.

So… got any ideas to keep an anxious pregnant lady entertained and not Googling while she is immobile?

Signs Your Baby May Be Eating Your Brain

Forget All the ThingsBefore I was pregnant, I heard about this thing called “Pregnancy Brain.” Basically, you get pregnant and become an idiot. Though I didn’t think it was implausible, I also didn’t quite believe it. Stretch marks, I get. Nausea? Fine. (Well, not fine, but at least understandable.) But how in the name of the Holy Roman Empire can the fact that you are having a baby affect your memory or common sense?

I’m here to set the record straight. It’s real. It’s really, really real.

So far here are some things I’m chalking up to Pregnancy Brain:

  • I threw trash (think gum wrappers and receipts) into the sink, and could not understand what was wrong with that. At all.
  • It took me 45 minutes to make a meal that normally takes me 20 because I couldn’t find anything in my own kitchen. Where’s the pasta strainer? No, really… where in the hell is the pasta strainer?!What things
  • I tried to pay for something in the grocery store with my subway card. Repeatedly.
  • Conversely, I also tried to use my credit card to get on the bus.
  • I had dinner with someone I’ve known for 2 years, sat across the table from him, and couldn’t remember his name for about 15 minutes. I know I know this guy… Eddie? Aaron?
  • I washed my hair with shower gel.
  • I’ve bought at least two packages for Chick (clothes, bedding, etc.) and not remembered until they’ve arrived at my house. Even then, I’m genuinely surprised by what I purchased or why. (Thankfully, Pregnancy Brain has left my excellent taste intact.)
  • It took me 10 minutes to get out of a parking garage because I missed the exit. Twice. It was like Groundhog Day only trapped in concrete.
  • I ran a stop sign whilst doing Kegels. True story.

I’ve also heard this doesn’t really ever get better. Once out to the womb, these darling little cherubs continue to wreak havoc on … well, everything. Now I seem to have forgotten why this whole having a baby thing was such a hot idea…

Just Me and My Bump. And Unsolicited Opinions.

One of the many things I’ve found weird about pregnancy is how freely people will comment on your body. Like it’s no big deal. Here is a sampling of the observations I’ve received thus far:

  • I’m carrying high.
  • I’m carrying low.
  • My feet are swelling.
  • My face is “glowing.” (What the hell does that even mean?)
  • I’m massive.
  • I’m tiny.
  • Am I actually pregnant?

I also have been on the receiving end of many a warm nod toward my bump from just about every old person I see. While on the bus/train, people will stare at my bump for a moment or two, then offer up their seat to me in a panic. Yes, panic. Like I might go into labor any minute if I don’t sit down.

It’s so odd to be so conspicuous.

My feet are massive! Wait, no... they are tiny!

My feet are massive! Wait, no… they are tiny!

The Feet Swelling comment came from none other than my co-worker Myna, aka the Queen of Oversharing and Inappropriate Behavior. She looked me up and down, landed on my feet and announced “You’re feet look really big. You’re swelling.” Followed by a 20 minute monologue about how her feet swelled 3 whole sizes by the end of her pregnancy. Sigh…

First of all, it was the end of the day after the first warm day of the year. Yes. My feet were swelling because they do that sometimes even if I’m not pregnant. But mostly I just thought “I’ve just been checked out by my coworker. And that’s creepy.”

Think about it for a minute. It’s totally weird that for a brief period of your life, everyone feels it’s okay to stare at your body, analyze, and offer up commentary about it. Of course, as women, our bodies are always subject to some inane form of public scrutiny, but I feel like there is something different at play here. I’ve been looked up and down before by skeevy boys on the street, but it was rarely followed by “Damn, girl…. you’re feet look really big.” I find this behavior appalling, even without the odd comment about my feet.

Can we start some movement about street harassment for pregnant women? As far as I’m concerned, it is never okay to make comments about other people’s bodies. I’m not sure why it is cool to do this just because I’m harboring a tiny life form. But as with most things in pregnancy, rules are rewritten and bizarre expectations are set.

Perhaps next time I should say “My feet look big? Well, your crow’s feet are coming in gloriously!”

Make Way for Baby

This weekend, I begrudgingly took a prenatal yoga class.

Since I’ve had to quit pilates and running, I knew I would have to pick up something else or I would lose my shit. I need to move, but I also have come to terms with the reality that I need to slow down. That is, I think, what my abdominal muscles tearing apart was trying to tell me.

I have resisted yoga my entire adult life. It just seemed so fruity to me. I need exercise where there is yelling, grunting, and the occasional need for obscenities. The idea of being trapped in a room smelling like patchouli sounded like torture.

But my body and my baby are trying to tell me something. This shit is not about me any more. Aaaand as luck would have it, there is a yoga studio right down the street from my place that offers prenatal yoga on Sunday afternoons. I was running out of excuses.

As I prepared for class, I realized exactly zero of my workout clothes fit me any more. None. All the spandex I own has been stretched to their last stitches. The sports bra that had fit just two days prior practically screamed for mercy. I cried on the couch for about 5 minutes because I couldn’t back out– I had already pre-paid for the class.

Decked in Mr. O’s sweatpants and a ratty old t-shirt, off to prenatal yoga I went.

I was the first one there and filled with a lot of anxious energy. “I’m going to hate this. Someone is going to read my chakra or something ridiculous and I’ll just have to leave.” And in walks the instructor, Randi, who is the picture of calm, graceful, voluptuous, earth mother. I told her about my injury, and she said she’d suggest certain modifications, but the class should be just what I was looking for.

It turns out I am a yoga natural. Yes, it did take me some time to slooooooow doooooown. There were a few times when Randi had to remind me to “make room for the belly” and this helped me sink into positions and fully experience my body as it is now. As the class went on, I fought it less and something clicked inside me. Specifically, someone kicked inside me.

This body, the one I have today, is something I have never known before. Up until this point in my pregnancy, Chick and I were living like roommates to a certain degree. I wasn’t bothering Chick and, with the exception of some seriously unpleasant constipation early on, Chick wasn’t really bothering me. Then around week 24, Chick literally busted through my abs. No longer roommates, someone is taking over all the communal living spaces. (Hint: it isn’t me.)

At the end of the class, we had a moment of meditation where Randi encouraged us to put our hands on our bellies. Yoga had woken Chick up and sparked a dance party in my uterus. For a little while at least, I started to feel a connection to my child. Me and Chick, we’re in this together.