Posts tagged ‘Pregnancy’

August 3, 2011

And the Verdict Is . . .

When I first learned we’d have to move, I started to wonder whether it would be easier to move while eight months pregnant or with a ten-month-old child.  We’ve now done both, and the verdict is . . .

It is easier to move with a ten-month-old child, more specifically, a ten-month-old child who cannot yet walk on his own (but can crawl around, gnaw on boxes, and try his darndest to climb floor lamps).

My reasons are as follows:

  1. This is fairly obvious, but once the child is born, other people can hold him.  That means the mom can hold other stuff.  Perhaps too much of a given to be stated explicitly, but there you go.
  2. When caring for a ten-month-old child (and not simultaneously pregnant), one can lift boxes of all shapes and sizes without being reprimanded by one’s family.  Also, the phrase “caring for a ten-month-old child” is secret mommy code for “look how toned my arms are,” which is doubly helpful when one plans to put one’s entire life into and out of boxes in the span of about two weeks.
  3. For me, being pregnant meant being sleepy. Caring for Jacob makes me tired, too, but now I’m very focused on what I can do during his naps that would be dangerous for him to be around otherwise, plus there’s too much to clean up at the end of the day for me to go to bed when I should.  This sounds like a bad thing, but really it’s added a couple of hours of work time to my week!
  4. Piggy-backing off #3, nursing said ten-month-old child means that at regular intervals, one must stop everything, sit down, and snuggle for a couple of minutes.  It’s a good idea to sing some hymns, talk to God, and give one’s eyes permission to shut during this time.
  5. When I was pregnant, I was still working in an office full time.  Now I am at home all day.  Because I am surrounded by this giant project and not just thinking about it from midtown while trying to do something else, the process is moving much more quickly this time around.
  6. Finally, because I’ve had almost a year with Jacob (can you believe it?!), I have a pretty good idea of what my lifestyle for at least the next year or two will look like.  Last year, before I’d ever really spent any time with a newborn baby, never mind my own baby, I had no idea what daily life would look like, and thus, what my home should look like.  Now I know it’s full of giggles, hugs, dancing, and reaching for anything in the bottom three feet of our home.  Can you say “shelving”?

Photos are coming soon, really.  It’s not quite box city here anymore; now it’s more like box rural countryside, where cardboard is spread out, but still all over the place.

Wow, weird metaphor.

Anyway, settling in is going very well—and very quickly!  Thanks again, reader friends, for your thoughts and prayers for a smooth transition.  Thus far, that’s exactly what we’ve had.

July 21, 2011

My Home, the Office

Maybe it’s because I’ve always had a minor infatuation with office supplies (really, who doesn’t?), but when I was growing up, I was kind of excited about the idea of working in an office.  This was plenty before Michael Scott or Jim and Pam made it cool.  This was just me, my best friend, and the pens, paper, and old telephones our parents let us use to pretend.

 

I realize now that with the exception of my job at Borders, all the time I’ve spent working in and after college has been in an office setting.  Sounds super exciting, right?  Exactly the adventure a globetrotting college student looks for in the midst of her higher education.

 

Actually, it was.  From my school’s internship office to a couple of publishing houses, then a literary agency, and then another publishing house, I was always surrounded by people who were smart, funny, and passionate about their jobs.  And, of course, Post-Its.

 

Now I am happily discovering how my assistant positions in the workforce have prepared me for my job as stay-at-home-mom and co-manager of a household (apartmenthold?), freelance business aside. This post was prompted by the realization that my trips to Office Max are becoming more and more frequent.  While some of the items I’m looking for are for business-related, most of them are intended to keep things rolling on the home front.  Really, there is as much organizing, following up, and filing to do in a home as there is in an office.

 

For example, I have a plastic bin with hanging folders containing everything from medical and insurance information to keepsake cards John and I have given one another or received from family to forms we’ll need to file our taxes next year (hooray!).  I’m in and out of that box at least once a week, either with something new to file or to retrieve some tidbit of information.

 

Because I am internet-recipe-hunting obsessed, I also have a binder with printouts of recipes I’ve tried or want to try.  The OfficeMax trip this week was, in part, to purchase tabbed dividers to better organize the binder (check it out—aren’t they beautiful?).  For the first time in my life, I’m consistently using the three-hole punch that fits in the binder.  My room was always messy when I was younger, but now I find not having piles of paper all over helps to keep my brain on straight.  Having a small desk (read: room for only one stack at a time) has been a real help on the organizational/sanity side, as well.

 

As helpful as most of my office experience has been, there are some things I picked up that aren’t really applicable at home.  At my last job, I once (or twice) almost tipped a file cabinet on myself by opening both drawers at once.  Yes, I was pregnant both times.  Yes, I will blame it on being overtired or just too darn hungry to think.

 

Still, now when I’m putting laundry away, I’ll only open one drawer at a time, because I forget that in a dresser, more than one drawer can open at once.  And maybe because a little bit of me is afraid the dresser is going to fall on me.  Thank goodness I don’t have to worry about that occupational hazard anymore.

 

And thank goodness there are just as many uses for Post-Its at home as there are in a cubicle.

June 9, 2011

On Nursing

On the days when I was feeling sleep-deprived while carrying Jacob, my view on pregnancy looked something like this:

A little person is living inside of me, stealing my food, zapping my energy, and kicking me to boot.  Once it’s born—a process I don’t even want to think about—it will continue to feed off of me, relegating me to the sad life of a 24/7 cafeteria.

I haven’t seen the movie Aliens, but I was pretty sure I was living it.

Yes, pregnancy is exhausting, and labor and delivery are not the most comfortable situations a woman can find herself in, but there are joys in these experiences all the same.  Likewise, there are joys in nursing.  It may have taken me eight months to really appreciate them, and some of that may have to do with the imminent, though still distant issue of weaning, but finally I am here.

For someone who has always been physically modest and who has never had any serious medical conditions, using one’s body to sustain another life is rather overwhelming.  In my view, our society focuses on our minds, and sometimes our souls, as the defining characteristics of who we are.  Our bodies are simply vehicles to get us here or there, something practical but impartial to take us on the ride.

Becoming a mother has forced me to understand and appreciate my body in new ways.  I respect all that it is able to do, or rather all the fascinating capacities God has built in to it.  I find that when I get dressed and check to see how flat (or not so flat) my tummy looks post-partum, I am reminded that something so much more has happened there, and I’m not so critical anymore.

The same goes for nursing.  What was before a mysterious process that involved partially disrobing several times a day is now a special time to chill out, relax, and refocus.  I’ve read that there is a relaxing hormone that is released when a mother is nursing her child and I’ve definitely felt it.  In the first few weeks, that sometimes even made me feel lightheaded at the start of a nursing session.

Now, although my mind still does ramble sometimes, and it can be frustrating when I want to feed Jacob before we head out somewhere and he doesn’t want to eat, I appreciate these quiet times that we share.  Especially in the evenings, when he’s sleepy and clean from a bath, it’s as close as we get to snuggling.  I sing to him and gaze at his face, memorizing every detail so that I can think about him later in the evening when I’m still awake and starting to miss him.

Like so many things God has created, nursing—and pregnancy, and labor & delivery—seems like a crazy idea at first.  But with time, trust, and the right perspective, it turns out to be one of the most rewarding, encouraging, and literally life-giving things I could have ever imagined.

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