Disclaimer: this is a personal blog that represents my perspective based on my own experience. I recognize that your experience may be different and that some of those differences may be painful. Please know that I am here to love and support you, no matter how different our journeys may be.
Before I get started, I want to congratulate my gal pal Rachel on the birth of her beautiful baby girl! Rachel worked hard for this sweet baby, and I am thrilled to get to meet this little answered prayer. I hope I have as much strength and bravery as Rachel when the time comes. And I cannot wait to kiss on those precious baby cheeks!!!
People keep asking me…
Are you excited?!?!
Depends on what we are talking about. I am absolutely excited about the baby but not nearly as excited about how the baby gets here. The concept of labor and delivery is slightly terrifying. (The baby comes out of WHERE?!) Especially since current mothers LOVE to share their most gruesome stories. Why?!
Were your families excited?
They are not monsters – of course they were. This is the first grandchild on both sides of the family. Bradley’s mother found a gorgeous wooden rocker that has been in the family for decades for our tiny newborn, my mother has been asking other moms at her school for ideas on the perfect care package for me after baby is born, and my dad briefly tried to convince my mother that they needed to purchase a bigger car to accommodate car seats. Our families are incredibly happy and supportive.
Do you have any names picked out?
True to my over-planning nature, I have had both a girl name and a boy name picked out for almost a year. I have always wanted my children to have family names – strong names that represent our family’s past. Bradley and I still think it is a boy so we have started saying the name around the house. It is adorable.
Will you have a natural birth?
Real talk: I am not even sure I know what that means. This feels as testy as the “What does organic really mean?” debate.
Do you have a birth plan?
Uh. No. Which is CRAZY, because I love a plan! Here is how I am feeling about it right now – I am open to anything. I am not opposed to an epidural but would like to go as long as I can without one (mainly because the thought of not feeling my legs freaks me out). I don’t think I will want to deliver the baby in a bathtub because swimming in my bodily fluids doesn’t sound like something I will enjoy. However, a warm bath while I am in labor might be really nice. Do I want a C-section? Nope. But if that is what is needed to keep my baby safe, then chop chop. I have no clue what labor and delivery is like. I want to give myself enough grace to listen to my body, to use interventions that are available, and to do it in a way that best suits me and my baby. Also, by not having a specific birth plan I am not asking to hear about yours. That would fall under “unsolicited advice.”
Will you breastfeed?
I will try. BUT I will do whatever is best for myself and the baby. Notice that I included myself. I am an important part of this equation. I will not be guilted or shamed into thinking that there is only one to feed my child, especially if that means sacrificing my own health and sanity.
Will you go back to work?
Momma has bills to pay. Yes. We are also still on our debt free journey. I love the idea of reducing my hours to part time once my student loans are paid off. But I also love my job as it is. For now, I am planning to keep the full time job, work my photography job with Sharon Elizabeth Photography on the side, and keep kicking my student loans in the booty.
Do you have a nursery theme?
I have a tentative one that is contingent upon the confirmation of the baby’s gender. If it is a boy, we are good to hit the ground running. If it is a girl, I am far less prepared.
Are you doing genetic testing?
For some reason, this one is hard to talk about. I have felt so conflicted about this. We are blessed to not have any physical indications of genetic abnormalities in our family. We could both be carriers, however, which complicates our reassurance. Part of me wants to feel prepared. But part of me worries about how the results might change this pregnancy for me. What should be six months of celebration and nervous excitement could be clouded with worry over results that are not definitive. And part of me knows that I will love and cherish this life NO MATTER WHAT. So the results seems like they could do more harm than good right now. We decided not to. It is such a deeply personal decision, and I can see how people choose to do something else. I spent lots of time talking to my doctor about this and talking to my husband. While I’m not sure there is a right answer, I am confident in what we decided to do. What will be, will be.
How do you think the dogs will handle the baby?
Honey will not enjoy the process. I anticipate many silent protests from the far end of the couch and significant huffing whenever the baby cries. Reece will lick it and love it. The combination of her two favorite hoomans – what could be better?! My only worry about her is that she can get very excited and isn’t always aware of your personal space. That being said, she was such a gentle mother with her puppies that I wonder if some of those instincts won’t come back to her once the baby comes home. Rose is harder to anticipate since she has been away for the past seven months at training. Based on her puppy personality, I am guessing that she will be slightly indifferent so long as she gets lots of toys, treats, and outside time. She will likely take a greater interest in the baby once it can interact with her more.
How do you think Bradley will do?
Don’t do that. Don’t assume that because he is a man he will intrinsically have a more difficult time with parenthood. Fun fact: I would not have pursued growing our family if I didn’t think he could “handle it.” Fun fact 2: I didn’t even really want children until I married Bradley. The grace and patience in which he handles our marriage gave me the reassurance I needed that we could handle parenting together. I honestly don’t think I would be pregnant right now if it weren’t for him in my life. I anticipate that we will parent differently. The crusty nose will drive me crazy and it likely won’t give him pause. When he is away from home, I will fret over minor details. When I am away (yep, I am totally leaving my husband alone with our child and I will NEVER call it babysitting), he will let the kid eat ice cream for dinner and bathe in the sprinklers in the front yard. All of that is absolutely wonderful and necessary.