Wednesday, October 23, 2013

the great gear parade, 31 weeks, 5 days

A cool EIGHTEEN EVER LOVING WEEKS AGO (seriously people, TIME. How does it work? Gah.), I wrote about baby gear. Or, more specifically, the insidious and pervasive world of baby capitalism. Because It. Is. Everywhere. And now, I’m its newest member. <curtsy>. Note to my readers with ADD: settle in, this is a long one.

Last weekend, I was baby shower bound and quite frankly, it was pretty lovely. Nearly all of my friends and family and loved ones, in one place, to eat good food, drink bellinis and put their hands on my bump like I’m a genie. It was all very loving and magical.

I guess this means that you also now have that terrible Christina Aguilera song stuck in your head?
You're welcome.

Also, there were gifts. So many gifts. So here, in a nutshell, is Sarah’s-totally-non-exhaustive-might-almost-be-random-despite-HOURS-of-seemingly-endless-online-“research”-guide-to-essential[1]-baby-gear. Ta-Dah!

First things first: Baby List. We used it and it was awesome. Mostly I was just swayed by that breathtakingly adorable child with lamb ears on the front page but also, I wanted a site where I could put together some wild conglomeration of all things Etsy-Amazon-Baby Gap-Honest Company. Also, luddite that I am, it was just, oh I don’t know, really freakin’ easy to use. So. In addition to all the so-painfully-sickly-cute-that-i-can-only-collapse-in-a-teary-puddle-of-impending-motherly-love clothing that we registered for – even though the one thing that LITERALLY EVERY MOTHER told me absolutely not to do under any circumstances but I couldn’t help myself because, oh hai, Elk leggings! Sloth Onesie! Ohmygosh these overalls! that bunny is wearing headphones! Patagonia, are you serious right now? – <collecting myself>. Right. Well, we also registered for what you might consider more, uh, essential items. And inherited some pretty excellent stuff from friends and neighbors. Without further adieu:

The moms in our neighborhood seem to swing, err, stroll, one of two ways: the City Mini or the more Rolls Royce-y UppaBaby Vista. So of course, we chose neither. Hello UppaBaby Cruz. What’s nice about it is that it’s overpriced your in-laws are happy to buy it for you. Thank you in laws.

Car seat
Truth: the hospital will literally not let you leave without proof that the entire local fire station has dually inspected not only the car seat itself but also it’s proper installation and the passing of several crash tests involving your 12 year old Subaru Outback. Some of that is false.

We went with the ever popular Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Carseat. <oohs and ahhs from the crowd>.  For no other reason than because we easily succumb to peer pressure and Amazon’s proclamation that this is the “#1 Car Seat in America!” So there’s that.

While the Oeuf Sparrow did beckon from the hot, trendy, modern nurseries that seem to appear only on Apartment Therapy and never in real life, we, ahem, restrained ourselves. Because a crib that costs more than our bed seemed to send the wrong message to our totally not spoiled child.

Enter stage right, the common man’s alternative: Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1. And now, before your very eyes, it will transform itself into <wait for it> a toddler bed!

And, for the early days (weeks? months?) and easy boob-to-baby-mouth-access, we swiped this mini co-sleeper for 70% off the going price at a neighborhood moms yard sale. #winning.

Crib Mattress
We like mother earth. And we like organic. And if all goes according to plan <menacing laughter as she wills the baby, still in her womb, to sleep like a sophisticated, respectful human person from approximately 7pm-7am on a regular basis> the baby will be spending a lot of time on this thing. Like, you know, for years to come. So we splurged. Organic, Greenguard certified, the whole freakin’ deal.

Yes, this. I may be sleep deprived, but at least I’ll be (relatively, if only for several minutes in between projectile baby vomiting and arcs of urine) clean.

Speaking of Baby Bjorn, I’m kind of digging them. Which is why we decided to GIVE THEM ALL OUR MONEY FOREVER AND EVER, and also registered for[2] this bangin’ travel crib. Plus, you know, sheets for the crib. We’re not heathens.

Baby Las Vegas
Okay, I’m not going to lie. I was totally against this, at first. I mean, let’s just get real: it’s ugly. But obviously, I’m a monster because STIMULATION! BABIES NEED STIMULATION! And without some kind of multi-colored giraffe-monkey to tug on and a mirror with which to admire their good genes gawk, this baby can kiss the Ivy League goodbye. So, yeah. We got one and have now welcomed into our home a Tiny Love Super Deluxe Lights and Music Gymini Activity Gym. Because nothing says love like over-stimulation.

For the bath
I just learned that you don’t bathe babies everyday. <adds to alarmingly long list of shit-i-did-not-know-but-sure-am-glad-i-learned-like, uh, NOW>.

But for the 1-3 times per week we do decide to freshen up our offspring, we went big:

We might just dress him in this until college/he becomes properly warped. But seriously, ohmygoshbabyshark. 

And then, also, you know, the bath. Which we inherited, unused, from a friend. It hangs on the back of the door, flat. So for apartment living, I'm pretty much sold.

Also, baby nails. I remain both intrigued and terrified. How on earth am I supposed to cut them? TERROR. But these might help. Also, this and this. For cleanliness and nose cleanliness, respectively.

This is not technically for the bath – and, if dropped in the bath, would require a call to child protective services – but let’s just go with it: baby thermometer!

While hesitant to dip my toe into what apparently is some, heretofore unknown, Great Swaddling Debate!, we’re hoping to engage in some safe, sleep-inducing, swaddlin’.

And to that end, we have enlisted the help of these and these. Plus, C learned how to swaddle during residency. So that’s totally going to be his jam. I’ll be showering.

For carrying
As mentioned in my earlier posting, I'm all for anything that sounds like some kind of Gitmo sensory deprivation device. That's why the confusingly hooded ErgoBaby is my preferred carrier. Luckily, we inherited one. And, for when the baby is smaller, and, consequently, less Gitmo-ready, another inherited item: the terrifyingly complex seeming MobyWrap (well, well, doesn't she look happy and well rested). I find this youtube video absolutely mind boggling (also: holy mom jeans, batman!). Thank goodness I have 8 weeks to master this.

For the boobs
You may recall my extended ta-ta-related-diatribe a couple weeks back. Well, if you haven’t had enough of my burgeoning bosom, welcome back. It turns out, boobs are fussy little creatures who require kind of a lot of gear.

And last but not least: Medela Electric Double Breastpump. Which, technically, I don’t yet own but which, I’m promised, my insurance will be covering. <fist pump>

For the little prince
Because he can’t be literally the only child ever to have walked this earth without one: Sophie!

And in second place for inexplicably popular baby accessory: Wubbanub and, closely behind it, the alliterative Sleep Sheep.

For the parents who are now required to carry the little prince’s gear all over the ever-loving place
His and Hers and then, again, also Hers. Because, you know, lady has to look good mildly presentable.

I wish I could say this was it. That this exceedingly long and complex list – which includes multiple items I did not even know existed until several weeks ago and whose utility I may only partially understand – was it. But, dear readers, we all know that I would be lying. Because we all know that there is more. That really, it never ends. There are books to read to babies, and d├ęcor[6] with which to decorate baby’s new digs, and oh-dear-lord-so-many-cloth-diapers-to-wrangle-and-snap-and-fold. This, dear readers, is, in fact, just the beginning.

Save yourselves!

(And, in the meantime, please let me know what I’m missing. Just 8ish weeks until things get real around here.)

[1] Much of this is decidedly not essential.
[2] So that someone else could give them all their money. Natch.
[3] Yes. Seriously. Honeysuckle. No wonder no one takes us seriously.
[4] Mostly because anything named “My BrestFriend” is just not something I can put my money behind.
[5] Many a mama recommended Dr. Brown’s as being “most like the nipple” and “won’t confuse the baby.” Noted.
[6] Said in the most sneering French way possible.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

thirty week surprise, 30 weeks, 5 days

Things were going too smoothly. Apparently, in all my heartburn-low-back-pain-can-hardly-put-on-my-shoes-and-I-will-never-sleep-again glory, I was just a little too comfortable. Smug, even. Enter, stage left: THE UNIVERSE.

On Friday, ladies and gentleman[1], there was blood. Of course, if we put on our remembering caps, we may recall that this pregnancy began with blood – like of the you’re-so-not-pregnant! variety. The kind where you may or may not wind up hunched over the kitchen table, ugly crying[2] into your insert-bowl-of-fattening-comfort-food-here while your partner tries to remain stoic in the face of GREAT UNCERTAINTY AND TERROR. The kind that leaves you doubting even the canned implantation bleeding speech of the fertility clinic nurse[3] and the wisdom of the goons sages on Yahoo! Answers. Because, dammit, it just feels like your period.

Of course, we all now know that I have literally zero insight into my own body because, bam: pregnant with human baby.

And so on Friday, when, at 30 weeks on the dot, there was blood, well, I was thrown. But this time it was not so much for my panic – though there was that – but more for C’s reaction. For C’s UTTER TERROR. For the wavering in his voice and the you-are-going-to-the-doctor-right-now-and-I-am-cancelling-all-my-afternoon-appointments-immediately defiantness. Of course, by then the bleeding had stopped and I had somehow managed to white-knuckle my way through coast through five solid hours of work. But the doctor agreed – I should come in. Just to, you know, make sure.

The short version of the story is that following my first speculum exam in FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN[4], I was pronounced completely fine. We even played a fun game where the nurse and C squeezed the baby’s foot and we watched his heart rate soar[5] and the nurse complimented me on the non-swollen appearance of my ankles[6].

Back at home, both relieved, I wanted to know why C was so worried – what was the thing he thought was happening. And then, just like that, out it came: BEDREST. That’s it. That’s what rendered him panicked and shaky. Sure, there was also, earlylaborplacentapreviacatastrophecatastrophecatastrophe. But really, it was just one thing, one thing that he knew, after 11 years of being together, would really screw with me: BEDREST.

Because here’s the thing, dear interwebs. If I’m not active, If I’m sitting too long, if I don’t exercise, if can’t get outside, if I’m stuck in one place for more than seven minutes: I slowly begin to, how do I say this? Lose my ever-loving shit[7]. And C, dear, sweet C, he knows that about me.

(Okay, let’s face it. C knew that his life would be a WAKING NIGHTMARE if I were suddenly confined to the couch for the next ten weeks. He was looking out for his own wellbeing. And, you know, mine and the baby’s. Maybe.)

This is me. On bedrest. 
Because this is what turns up when you Google Image search “going crazy on bedrest”. In stark contrast, Google Image searching “going crazy on bed rest” reveals a picture of Hulk Hogan with an orange boa. Because, OBVIOUSLY. I could not make this stuff up if I tried, you guys.

P.S. Yesterday I bent over to put on my shoes and <wait for it> I threw up. Sure, it was early in the morning, a time when I usually have a touch of the nausea. And yes, there is less and less room for my vital organs, food and GIANT BABY with each passing minute. But if I’m not mistaken, I bent over and, exactly one second later, the pressure on my stomach was such that there was, actually, quite literally, no more room. How is this a thing? This was totally not mentioned in any of the pregnancy books, you guys.

[1] I’m assuming there’s only one of you, tops.
[2] Thank you Huffington Post for this Kim-Kardashian-ugly-crying-montage profound piece of hard-hitting journalism.
[3] Lesson learned: never, ever doubt her.
[4] Deep insight: I prefer to keep my pants on.
[5] It’s amazing what passes for “fun” by week 30. I’m guessing my standards will only be lowered further for the next 18 years. Noted.
[6] I’m blushing. Now if only I could still see my ankles.
[7] See also when Phil Dunphy explains that Claire is “like a border collie” and needs to get out for a run every day. Yes. That. (And no, this is not some kind of backdoor brag – more an indication that I am probably in need of heavy sedation/years of therapy.)

Monday, October 7, 2013

dairy queen, 29 weeks, 3 days

Lately, I’ve been thinking about boobs. Specifically mine. Specifically my impending role as full-time-dairy-cow-nurse-maid nursing mama. Apparently, my body is already marshalling the energy for this riveting new gig – last week I noticed that my chest is currently running at least 86 degrees warmer than the rest of my body. Because, you know, PUMPING BLOOD TO VITAL AND NO LONGER B CUP BOOBS. For the baby.

According to wise ole Alphamom, I should also now be noticing other exciting-knocker-related-changes-and-party-tricks – but not having known what colostrum was before I Google image searched it,[1] I’m pretty content to live in a world of denial – no need to contemplate that I could, at any moment, begin leaking through a business suit. We can save that frightening possibility until after I give birth and have returned to work, dazed and confused, and possibly probably covered in spit up. Pleaseandthankyou.

In the meantime, my newly sweltering bosom prompted me to TAKE DRASTIC ACTION: I signed up for a lactation class. “Breastfeeding Essentials: Part I[2]” promises to prepare me for “successful nursing” using “videos,” “photographic books,” and “props” <I’ll wait here while you snicker childishly at the double entendres, intended and otherwise. No, really, I’ll wait.> In the face of my offer – wanna come look at boobs with me for a couple hours on December 4? – C remained steadfastly mature and professional. Please label this upcoming class under strangest date we’ve ever been on.

In other mammary related news, a few dear friends gave me the heads up that my insurance company might cover the cost of a breast pump. Seeing as I’ll be returning to work a mere 10 weeks after I push a giant baby out of myself and so as to avoid the aforementioned business-suit-leakage, I have big pumpin’ plans. For efficiency and because, you know, MORE SEXY!, I plan to go for the double: you can't unsee this[3].

Trying to be a good sport because I made him, C volunteered to call our insurance company to inquire about coverage. Apparently they will cover the cost – in fact, the Affordable Care Act now all but requires it[4] – but they ask that we reach out to various medical supply vendors with the make and model that we want. Devoted husband that he is, C made the first call:

C: Hi. <Literally no transition or introduction whatsoever> Do you sell breast pumps?
Medical supply vendor: excuse me?
C: <Without missing a beat and apparently totally unable to read social cues> Do you sell breast pumps?
Medical supply vendor: <to coworker in the background> what a creep

He swears this happened, word for word. I swear that he is either (a) lying in an attempt to get me to deal with this or (b) actually on the spectrum and totally unable to read social cues. I’m also not ruling out a combination of (a) and (b) because, c’mon! Ahem, readers, what do you think?

In the meantime, apparently the NYTimes Health section is cycling right along with me – they recently posted this timely article bringing to light the challenges women face in obtaining coverage not just for pumps but for lactation services. I guess I better plan on taking Breastfeeding Essentials: Parts II-XI before December 20.  

And that, dear blog-o-sphere, is this week’s installment in hooter related news/my feeble attempt to incorporate many different synonyms for “breast” into one post.

Also, this: how on earth am I twenty-nine weeks pregnant? GAH!

Most awkward cropped shot ever. Also, first casually-dressed-pregnant-Sarah-while-apple-picking photo.  Also, don't tell C that shortly before this photo was taken, I climbed a tree - there were really good looking apples up there.

[1] Probably don’t do that. Not because it’s particularly racy, more just confusing: as in, why so many baby cows? Why?
[2] <Panic> there are multiple parts?!
[3] Is that white wine? Also, this. And this. The latter obviously a stock photo from the 1980s and the former uh, I don’t know, from another planet and era entirely. You’re welcome.
[4] Obama, you’re the breast! <couldn’t resist> <boob humor> <sorry>.