Practical Pregnancy Advice

December 19, 2012 at 10:20 am | Posted in Family, Pregnancy Fun Time | 4 Comments
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There’s a LOT of advice out there for those “in the family way” – from the best position to sleep in (on your left side, apparently) to what not to eat (while still eating almost everything in sight) – you could Google your every move and still not find all the info available.  But even with the overwhelming amount of advice out there, there are some very practical things I wish someone had shared with me before I found out the hard way.  For example:

The Wet Badge of Pregnancy: When leaning over to wash your hands, reach for something, etc., be sure to wipe off the counter area that your belly will touch before you reach out (because your belly will touch it!).  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a wet line across my midsection and had to walk around with water (or tomato sauce…) cutting across my protruding belly.  Not attractive, especially at work when you’re trying to appear professional.  (And yes, “trying” is the operative word here).

Pregnancy Weight Gain

Strangers Know Best!  Or so they think.  And they’re not afraid to tell you.  Everything.  Last week I was in line at the grocery and a TOTAL STRANGER approached me to let me know that “claims” that cocoa butter lotion like Palmer’s helps with stretch marks is a BALD-FACED LIE perpetuated by corporate America.  True story.  I didn’t even have any lotion in my cart!  Her recommendation?  Gotu Kola supplements.

Ohhh-kay.  First of all, lady, I certainly don’t want to discuss anything about my pregnancy or the evils of corporate America in the middle of a grocery store with some strange gal who lacks boundaries.  And Gotu Kola supplements?  We’re in Stop & Shop!  I’m exhausted, my back is killing me, my feet hurt, and even grocery shopping feels like a herculean effort.  The last thing I’m going to do is follow a random stranger’s advice, hunt all over the greater Boston area to find a supplement that my doctor hasn’t approved that may or may not help with stretch marks.

So ladies, when some wackadoo approaches you in the grocery or any other public place – and trust me, a stranger will approach you – do what I do and pretend you don’t speak English, or you’re about to yak.  Works (almost) every time.

And speaking of stretch marks…

Stretch Marks are Horrifying!  No one, NO ONE, tells you this, but it’s true, and it’s also true that it is okay to think that.  Yes, they’re natural.  Yes, they’re unavoidable for those who are susceptible to them.  And yes, in the grand scheme of things, they’re NO BIG DEAL.  But this blog is about being honest, and honestly, my stretch marks startle me every time I catch a glimpse of them.  It looks like my baby is trying to claw her way out – like she’s either auditioning for the next Alien film or she’s so miserable in there she’ll do anything to get out!

Clearly this is not the case.  Obviously the red gashes have nothing to do with Baby L-ski’s state, other than to indicate that she’s growing (thankfully) and I need to make more room for her!  But I’m super self-conscious about them, even when I’m alone.  And it’s okay to feel that way, dagnabbit!

Worrying About How Much I Worry… Should I be Worried?  Around the middle of my second trimester, I started thinking.  Okay, okay, it was more than just thinking; I started worrying, particularly about silly things.  For example, a few weeks ago I was up all night worrying that both our cars were too small to have a baby and a dog, and that there was no way we would be able to fit everything for both of them in our little sedans should we need to travel for a weekend.  I was up all night long considering what our next vehicle should be, when we could swing getting a new one financially, and if it should be Andrew’s or mine that we replace.

In the morning I was exhausted and cranky, and shared my concerns with the hubs.  His response?  “It’s going to be okay.  We will figure it out, and if we have to travel before we get a new car, we can always just rent one.  And next time you think you’re going to worry all night long, just wake me up and we’ll talk it through together.”  He was absolutely right and totally logical, and that made me worry.  Why was I worrying so much?  Was something wrong with me?  Should I worry about how much I worry?

The short answer is: Sarah, don’t worry about it.  Worrying (to a certain extent) is, apparently, totally normal.  So as long as your worries don’t interfere with your life or become debilitating, you probably don’t need to worry about them – even though it’s natural to worry.

And those, my friends, are some of the nuggets of truth I wish someone had shared with me early on in my pregnancy.  I may be taking my factinis virgin these days, but I’m still serving ‘em up!

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The Pregnancy Inquisition, Part Deux

March 29, 2012 at 9:28 am | Posted in Married Life, Pregnancy Fun Time | 2 Comments
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In my last post regarding procreation pressure (like that alliteration?), I lamented the awkwardness of having my friends, colleagues and loved ones harass me about my reproductive status, and received some great tips and feedback from you, dear reader(s).  Well, today I’d like to expand upon this topic and bring every retail establishment that sells anything related to children into the mix.

Mind Your Own Bees wax

Mind your own... (Photo from Beyond The Hive)

Have you seen the story in the New York Times by Charles Duhigg about how Target knew a teenager was pregnant before her own father did?  It’s both fascinating and creepy, and, apparently, happening every day, much to my annoyance.  The gist of the article is that, based on just a smidge of demographic information and the things you buy, even things that don’t seem like obvious signs at first glance (fragrance-free lotion, cotton balls and hand sanitizer, for example, indicate you’re about to pop out a tiny human), retailers can virtually predict major life events like pregnancy.

Lucky for me (ha!), it seems I’ve found myself on the list of “probably preggers, so shamelessly market baby-related products to her” distribution list.  From emails (cough cough Target cough cough) to catalogs (Pottery Barn Kids, I’m talking to you!), coupons (Babies “R” Us, back off!) to advice (no, I don’t need to purchase X, Y or Z to prepare for my inevitable parental cluelessness), I’m being bombarded on a daily basis with baby-related information and savings (but at least it’s helping the post office stay afloat).

I’ll say it again: I’m NOT pregnant.  Yes, I’ve been happily married for over a year, am in my thirties and recently bought a home, but I am not “with child.”

I am, however, thinking about how this must feel to women experiencing fertility struggles.  These retailers don’t know what our reproductive status is – they don’t have a clue about whether we find these communications exciting or a difficult reminder of a very sensitive, very personal issue.  I understand the need to make money, to attract customers at this time in their lives; I even respect the power of the statistics nerd!  (Seriously, all hail the nerds of the world!)  But for goodness sake, please back off.  Or at least hide your intentions a little better so we can assume it’s just a coincidence that diapers are on sale… again…

I’ll procreate when I’m good and ready,
Sarah

The Pregnancy Inquisition

January 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Posted in Married Life, Pregnancy Fun Time | 11 Comments
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Thought things would change in 2012?  Sorry, folks!  I’m going to continue my habit of complaining about something fairly insignificant and then soliciting your advice.  Because that’s how to start the year on the right foot.

What’s got my knickers in a twist lately?  Pregnancy!

Or rather, the overzealous, overwhelming, overabundant questions regarding my hypothetical (and at this point, purely fictional!) pregnancy. Friends, family, colleagues, frenemies, even random baristas, stylists, salespeople and hobos (true story) are prying into my obstetric beeswax!

I know I’m not alone in this. It seems like the questions start the second you get hitched. But now that the hubs and I have been married for over a year, the frequency and intensity of questions has become more like an Inquisition.

My question is: how do you deflect these questions?

While I usually answer: “I’m birthing a house!” because, as you know, dealing with our little fixer-upper has been akin to creating new life (and going through a really, really, really long labor), there must be a better way to do it.

Most people ask out of love (or what I assume is love).  People seem to think an Andrew + Sarah combination is just what the world needs, so I don’t want to be insulting – because that is actually very flattering.

But at the same time, it’s a LOT of pressure and, quite frankly, nobody’s business!  So how, dear reader(s), do I handle this?

P.S. I am also aware that some folks are assuming that my “winter padding” is actually a bun in the oven.  Frankly, I’ve been so stressed over the past eight months, that if there was an actual bun in my actual stainless steel oven in my actual kitchen, it wouldn’t last long.  Eating one’s feelings isn’t the same as eating for two.  But here we are.

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