Thursday, February 23, 2012

Poem: "I'd Rather be the Father"

I receive daily emails from The Writer's.Almanac with Garrison.Keillor. Here is today's poem, that really struck a chord with me. Can't wait to share it with Mr. Jem.

I'd Rather be the Father

Right from the start, it's easier to be the father: no morning
nausea, no stretch marks. You can wait outside the

delivery room and keep your clothes on. Notice how
closely the word mother resembles smother, notice

how she is either too strict or too lenient: wrong for giving up
everything or not enough. Psychology books blame her

for whatever is the matter with all of us while the father
slips into the next room for a beer. I wanted to be

the rational one, the one who told a joke at dinner.
If I were her father we would throw a ball across

the lawn while the grill fills with smoke. But who
wants to be the mother? Who wants to tell her what

to wear and deliver her to the beauty shop and explain
bras and tampons? Who wants to show her what

a woman still is? I am supposed to teach her how to
wash the dishes and do the laundry only I don't want

her to grow up and be like me. I'd rather be the father
who tells her she is loved; I'd rather take her fishing

and teach her to skip stones across the lake of history;
I'd rather show her how far she can spit.

"I'd Rather be the Father" by Faith Shearin, from Moving the Piano. © 
Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2011. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

REALLY?!!!!? (updated link)

In case you missed Saturday.Night.Live this weekend, I wanted to share this clip from Weekly.Update. My favorite part is at about 1:40.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February IComLeavWe

Welcome new readers and old friends!

Yes, I'm one of those obnoxious IF'ers who actually got knocked up. So if you want to skip my blog, I totally get it. 

I'm 30 weeks pregnant after 2 years of TTC. We're talking 3 IFVs (plus 1 FET), giving up hope and then one final try - IUI with donor sperm gave us a BFP. And my oh my, she stuck around.

It's been a relatively easy pregnancy, up until 4 weeks ago when I got sick with a bad cold, coughed myself silly, fractured a rib doing so and lost a lot of sleep due to the pain.

Let me close with a tidbit you might not know about me: My favorite website to visit each day is not CNN or Google. It's - for the morning spoilers because I'm a huge nerd.


Friday, February 17, 2012

29 week update

Pregnancy update and pic... feel free to skip.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Signing up for childbirth classes (gulp!)

One thing I've been struggling is all the things that need to get done BEFORE this baby is born and my deep-seeded belief that something will go wrong and ruin it all (sound familiar?).

So, I've been agonizing about which childbirth classes to take. I finally bit the bullet and signed up for 4 classes through the hospital where we will be giving birth. 

I'm posting them here on this blog, because it will magically make this whole surreal thing that much real:

  • Childbirth: This practical approach to childbirth is offered in one-day Saturday Class or a two-session weekday class, depending on location. In this program you will learn about the labor process, pain management basics, and what to expect on the big day. Prepared Childbirth is designed for couples who enjoy in-class instruction and interacting and learning with other couples.
  • Breastfeeding Your Infant: This class, taught by a lactation expert, explores the advantages and benefits of breastfeeding and discusses nutrition, positions that are comfortable, common problems, pumping and storage of breast milk. (Yes, Mr. Jem is coming with me!!!)
  • CPR - Infant & Child CPR & Safety: This is a class you cannot afford to miss! Join us for a hands-on session that will provide you the opportunity to practice with CPR mannequins.
  • Newborn Care: Explore the essential information and skills you’ll need to feel confident and prepared for your newborn’s care. Learn basic diapering, feeding and bathing techniques.

Hopefully, attending these classes will make thing more tangible and real. I just feel so darn overwhelmed.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Baby Shower blues

When I announced my pregnancy a couple of months ago, two friends generously volunteered to throw me a baby shower. I was told all I have to do is pick a date and supply a list of names (+addresses). 

Well, not so easy. 

Both these friends live in small apartments, so then the shower was going to be at my house (great, I get to clean!!? Thanks!). Then the parade of questions: "What colors do you like? Do you want a theme? what type of food should we have?"

I thought as the mom-to-be I was just supposed to show up, smile a lot and leave (with lots of loot and good memories). 

Fast forward to last Wednesday, during our couples counseling (yes, we are still going) Mr. Jem and I are talking about the shower and how he wants his mother there - I agree, but we live in a smallish house and my mom will be there,too. How do we make this work?

At that session I came to a sudden and tearful revelation. 

I don't want a baby shower. 

I never wanted a shower, but had only bowed to social pressure. In fact Jewish tradition (superstition?) is that you have a party once the baby arrives - for the bris or circumcision if it's a boy, or for the baby naming (Hebrew name) if it's a girl.

On a deeper level, there's still part of me (about 5%) that is still skeptical that we'll have a real, take-home baby. Given that it's taken us over two years to get to this point (I know, not that long if the IF community, but you know what I mean), I know first hand that much can and could go wrong. Despite the fact that I've had a relatively easy pregnancy (ha! pg isn't easy, but my experience has been easier than most), there's a little voice in my head that is listing everything that could go wrong. (Of course the other 95% of me loves being pregnant, loves the attention that I get being pregnant, feels filled with love and is all glow-y and shit.)

I also remember dreading and reluctantly going to baby showers and just couldn't see myself having one for me. The shower was scheduled for Sat, March 10th, which is the during my last month of work.

I was dreading my own shower, folks. Not good.

So I said, "No. The invites haven't gone out yet, so let's just cancel." Mr. Jem agreed.

The new plan is to throw a party AFTER the baby comes to introduce her to family and friends. It will be in May or June (with the help of those friends who volunteered for the shower). I'm even thinking of having it catered by my favorite Mexican restaurant, so it's super easy.
That way the WHOLE family can be there (I can organize the comings and goings of the mothers) and I won't feel stressed.

Hugh sigh of relief.

Of course I really need to deal with these feelings of doom and gloom and disbelief about actually taking home a baby. I much rather do that here on this blog, with my own therapist, or talking to Mr. Jem. It's all been rather overwhelming. The pressure of a shower wasn't helping, either.


Next post: Childbirth classes (oh, my!).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

28w2d: OB visit and Maternity Leave (Updated)

28 freaking weeks! Can you believe it, peeps? Amazing. It's still hard for me to wrap my little brain around. My incredible shrinking brain... (I have zero short-term memory left).

Yesterday's visit to the OB went well. I really like my OB, Dr. L. He's so easy going and positive. I have a friend whose doc is so conservative with the "You can eat this or do that's." Dr. L is very permissive, but has told me not to use my favorite face cream with some sort of acid in it, and my favorite protein powder because it has some artificial sweetener.

The best part of the visit was that Mr. Jem was there. We initially were shown into a room without an u/s machine... Mr. Jem looked around and said, "Hey, my ticket stub didn't say anything about not being able to see our baby today... Can we see her?" Dr. L laughed and led us into another examining room, with the caveat that we shouldn't "expect" an u/s. He then spent 5 minutes going bit by bit over our baby's anatomy. "There's her eye socket, her chin, her hands, her heart (144 ppm - perfectly normal), her belly, her labia, her feet, her brain, her eye socket again..." and on and on. LOVED IT! Mr. Jem has so few opportunities to "experience" her. I keep asking him to put his hand on my belly to feel her kicking, but he doesn't really feel much and is disappointed.

The other good thing was Dr. L confirmed that it is "pretty standard" for his patients to go on maternity/disability leave at week 36, as that's the point where he won't try to stop labor or a "birthday party." So I informed my boss that I'll be going out on leave 2 weeks earlier than I had said (4 weeks before my due date). Just 7 weeks away!!! Such a relief to move up the date. I'm bloody tired, as our friends across the pond put it.

UPDATE: To answer Oak's question: this new start date won't affect my leave end date. I'm fortunate to live in California, so there is extra protection for my job and extra disability pay, so I'll have a total of 22 weeks of disability + baby bonding leave.

My cold symptoms are slowly dissipating. Still on antibiotics (fully cleared by Dr. L), nasal spray, Robitussin. Still coughing, but starting to feel more normal. Unfortunately, normal means my insomnia is back. I was up at 3:00 a.m. for over an hour. Tired this morning.
Okay, I better get back to work. 

Tomorrow: I'll post about my big Baby Shower Revelation.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pediatrician = check!

Mr. Jem and I met with Dr. K last night for a consult. We LOVE him. He's been in practice for 27 years, very easy going, very funny, very straight forward in his communication style. There are 2 other physicians in his practice. They have a good night/weekend service and sick visits on Saturdays. He'll come personally to the hospital to check out our baby after she is born, and then sends a nurse to our home 2 days after we come home to see how baby and mom are doing. Both Mr. Jem and I feel totally comfortable with him and are very happy that we got to meet him ahead of time.

My cold is finally clearing up. Slowly. I'm still coughing, which hurts, but the antibiotics and the nasal spray is working and I'm better enough to come in to work. I wish I could just stay home and rest for the remainder of my pregnancy, but I need this job (mortgage to pay). 

I'm at 28 weeks, so the end is in sight. 

OB checkup tomorrow.  I'll let you all (those readers who are still following) know how it goes.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pediatrician Consult Questions?

Monday I have an appointment with Dr. K, a pediatrician. (Gulp!) 

Dr. K comes recommended by my OB and a personal friend with a one-year-old. I don't want the first time I meet this man to be in the hospital after delivering (I tear up just typing those words).

So, my question for you all out there who have been there and done that, what questions should I ask during this consult? I imagine I'll have around 15 minutes with him.

So, bring it on, folks? What should I ask?