About that Time Magazine Cover

I don’t subscribe to Time  so I have to qualify this by saying that no, I have not read the accompanying articles yet.

I’ve seen comments all over Facebook and the Ravelry forums I frequent and I’ve read a lot of really good points that people are making.   I don’t feel completely qualified to offer a full opinion on this since I haven’t read the articles, but here are a couple random thoughts I have.

Like my friend Meaghan, I have to agree that we really should be focusing on showing how normal it is for toddlers ages 1-2 to continue to nurse.  It is like once they hit one you are supposed to be done, yet given the opportunity to self-wean, most aren’t going to be done until 1 minimum and many will continue to nurse throughout 1 and even 2 years old.  Her point was also that all these different health organizations do recommend nursing to age 2, so why can’t we work on normalizing that?  Instead we show an older child and want everyone to flip out that they are still nursing.  Since I nursed longer than I initially intended (it was 26 months exactly for E) I won’t say anything negative about mothers who nurse older children.  Weaning when a child isn’t ready yet isn’t so easy.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, but I also don’t think very many people set out to nurse their baby until they are 4 or 5.

Which brings me to my other point.  Why are we showing older children nursing and making it sound like it is ALL the mother’s choice to be nursing this long.  Sure, nursing is a two-way street so if mom needs to be done with it she certainly has a say!  But it isn’t like moms are saying, “oh I want to be extreme, I’m going to nurse my child until he is 5 no matter what!”  As difficult as weaning a child who isn’t ready might be I don’t know how on earth you force a child to keep nursing when he or she is done.

 

Nesting

I think I’m nesting.  I’ve been going non-stop today with cleaning (more organizing/purging than actual cleaning) and laundry.  Today isn’t even my normal laundry day.

We also ran a lot of errands.  E was pretty good until the last store, than he got antsy.  I was hoping that we could make it to the greenhouse too, but that didn’t happen.  After the last store I gave him the option of the greenhouse or home and he was ready to go home.  I thought it looked like it was going to rain again anyway and a lot of what I would have wanted to look at is actually outside.

I’m glad to finally focus some of this energy at home.  Last week it all got focused at work.  I’m only working until the end of the month so I’m trying to make sure everything is in order for whoever is hired and for my boss until he hires someone.  I think he still holding out hope that he will be able to hire someone before I leave.  I have my doubts about that happening.  My position just posted yesterday and I have about two weeks left now.

The funny thing about the work “nesting” is that I remember doing it last time too.  There was no one doing my job for the 6 weeks I was on maternity leave, so I spent a lot of time getting things cleared out and organized.

What a mess of weeds

I feel guilty.  I can’t help it.  After the weather we had this weekend my Facebook feed was full of things like “I worked all day and got my flowers panted and my beds mulched” and “I’m totally exhausted after working in the yard all day!”

I watered some of my potted and hanging plants.  That was it.  We used Saturday to make our trip to IKEA and watch the Kentucky Derby and then yesterday I don’t even remember what exactly we did, but it wasn’t yard work.

I haven’t even made it to a greenhouse yet.

At least the lawn got mowed on Friday.  That was not something I did, that was something M did.  Come to think of it, he did trim up some of the bushes in the back too.

Now really I think I have a valid excuse for being a little lax in the weeding/planting/sprucing things up.  It isn’t exactly easy to do when you are 8 months pregnant.  That and the ground hasn’t been really all that great for weeding yet.  It has been kind of dry.  This week should get us the rain we need to soften everything.  Of course with Mother’s Day this weekend we have plans and I still won’t really get to work outside, but it will happen eventually.

So tonight after our walk while E was running around the backyard and M was playing with him I got my raised bed vegetable garden weeded again.  I had worked on it when we had our warm spell in March, but it was neglected far too long.  I even pulled out my kale which had grown to about 4 ft and was flowering.

Speaking of rain, I can tell a storm is on its way.  The radar just confirmed that so I better get the windows closed because it looks like we are going to have another downpour.

Preparations for Birth (or why I chose hospital over home this time)

I’ve now completed 30 weeks of this pregnancy.  As I complete these last 8-10 or so weeks I’m starting to think more towards the actual birth and preparing myself for it.

For awhile I was kind of avoiding thinking about it too much- at least in comparison to last time.  I wasn’t sure if it was sort of natural to do that since the birth experience isn’t a complete unknown like it was before (although obviously every birth is different) or it was because I’m having a hospital birth this time and in some ways that is a little hard to deal with having previously had a planned home birth.

I had wanted to have a home birth this time too, and really, there is no reason why I couldn’t have gone down that path.  I wasn’t risked out by the midwife I talked to this time and once I found out that my former midwife had un-retired, I know I could have gone back to her too, even though it would have meant leaving the doctor I had already started seeing.  It was something I really thought and prayed about though, and I couldn’t shake my gut feeling that this time the doctor/hospital option was the route to go.

While I still feel 100% sure that a midwife and home birth was the right option for us last time, I didn’t feel so sure about that this time.  One of the big factors was stress.  I think it is important to minimize stress during pregnancy and this time I thought the mw/hb route would add to my stress rather than ease it.

For starters, my midwife options were at least 45 minutes away.  That wasn’t big deal last time, especially when we were able to do evening appointments so I never had to make the drive alone and we didn’t have to worry about taking off work.  The logistics were a little different this time.  The one midwife didn’t really do evening appointments and so it would have meant lots of time off work for me and probably for M too because I really did not like that drive and besides, he likes to come to my prenatal appointments too.  Then there is the issue of E- he would have been welcome at the appointments, but I want to focus on my health and the baby at my prenatal appointments, not worry about my 2-year-old.   Also, evening appointments really wouldn’t have out very well because he would have been out past bedtime and fallen asleep in the car too early or something.

The other stress thing- and this maybe sounds silly because it wasn’t such an issue last time- was that I didn’t want to go through my whole pregnancy worried that I was going to develop some complication that would risk me out.  I think it wasn’t an issue last time because I had no real reason to worry about anything.  I’ve had some problems with blood pressure here and there since then and so that was a concern for me now.

Last time I really didn’t know anything about any of the OBs in town, and since we had just moved here I didn’t know anyone here yet to ask for recommendations.  Well this time I did know who I could go see that would be most likely to help support the type of pregnancy and birth I wanted.  I have to say that so far I am very pleased.  One of the things I loved was when I came out of my first prenatal appointment the receptionist handed me a pregnancy book compliments of the office and said that my doctor says to throw away What to Expect While You’re Expecting if I owned it.  They aren’t in a hurry to label pregnancies as “high risk.”   I know that my doctor has a reputation for IMMEDIATELY placing the baby with mom after delivery (barring any emergency of course).   Perhaps as important of all, I will get the postpartum and breastfeeding support I need after birth from this office.  That is one thing I felt was a little lacking with my experience last time.

This is also working out a lot better for prenatal appointments too!  I’m able to schedule them in the early afternoon, so I just leave work a little early.  My mom is already watching E so I don’t have to make any special arrangements, and most of the time I’m able to schedule them on Tuesday afternoons when M’s schedule is flexible so he can meet me there.  Did I mention that it is a 5-10 minute drive?  More like 5 when I’m coming from work.

So I’m very happy so far with my prenatal care; however, the hospital still gives me some concerns.

What it boils down to is that when I labored and birthed in my own home I had a certain level of control that cannot have in the hospital.  I knew who was going to be present, I was in my own familiar space, I was completely free to move around as I wanted.

Now I’ve alleviated some of my concerns by doing a tour of our hospital maternity ward.  Now I’ve seed the LDR rooms and the postpartum rooms so I have a visual idea of where I’ll be.  I don’t know who all will be in and out while I’m there, but I’ve at least met some of the nurses who were very nice.  Also I keep reminding myself that everyone I’ve ever dealt with there has been very nice and I haven’t had a bad experience with them.  My friends who have given birth there have been happy with their experiences.  I’ve talked to my doctor about some of these things too and I’ve had some reassurance about some of it.  I still have to hope I test negative for GBS though, because if I don’t I really need to be on antibiotics for 4 hours prior to delivery, and that is going to put me in the hospital for longer and definitely be hooked up to an IV which is going to limit my ability to move.

But all that said, and I do think I needed to get it out there, I’m finally ready to start thinking about birth and preparing mentally for it.  I’m thinking of things that helped last time.  It was nice to see how the hospital bed could be manipulated to resemble the birth chair I used last time!

I’ve been doing prenatal yoga for awhile, I’m starting to drink the pregnancy tea now.  What I would really like are some good natural birth stories that take place in hospitals.  I’ve got tons of home birth stories, but they just remind me of what I won’t be doing this time. What I really need are stories that do take place in the hospital with positive feelings and outcomes.  If you know of any sources, please let me know!  (Especially if they involve an easy second stage of labor after having a rough second stage in a previous birth!)

Things are coming together

M and I headed to Pittsburgh today for an IKEA trip.  We got a dresser for the nursery.  It will obviously need assembled, but that was the last big thing on the list.  Once it is together I can start putting stuff up on the walls.  I might also start washing and sorting the baby clothes and getting the closet cleared out/organized.

I had plenty of knitting time in the car, I’m almost done with the first sleeve of E’s sweater.  After my third swatch I settled on size 7 needles.  I actually like the feel of the yarn swatched on size 6 the best, but the gauge was still a little tight.  I decided to do E’s sweater first.  I’m knitting the size 4, so it might fit this fall, it might fit next fall, it might even fit both years.  You never know.  There isn’t a huge difference in the size of shirts between 2T and 3T and 3T and 4T I’ve found.  Some difference for sure, but it is really the length of the pants where I see the crucial difference in size.  At this point E still fits in most of his 2T stuff, but 3T is what I’m buying now because it is fitting better, or with at least a little more room to grow.  The baby sweater will definitely not fit this fall, so I’ll give myself a little more time to get that one done.  At least I hope my 3 month old won’t be wearing 12-month sizes yet!

 

 

Speaking of having a break…

Just got home from meeting with some friends for a Girls’ Night.  These were some of “mommy friends” and it was great to be able to sit and chat without attending to 2 year olds!  I have been able to get out in the evening by myself before for the now defunct knitting group or for LLL (which only kind of counts because there are babies there, even if my toddler stays at home) but this was the first time I’ve made it out with friends for…a long time.

It was also nice to sit down for awhile!  I’ve been busy all day.  I work from home for a few hours on Fridays, plus I’ve been making Friday laundry day since I’m trying to reclaim that particular chore.  M, who is very capable with laundry, kind of took over during my first pregnancy since going up and down the stairs in our apartment with laundry baskets wasn’t so easy.  Our house has laundry shoots (which are totally awesome and as silly as it sounds one of the pluses of the house to me) so I never have to carry baskets of clothes down to the basement now.  I can handle carrying baskets up the stairs, but down makes me nervous.  Plus the stairs in our house all have landings  2/3 the way up, so it isn’t one long steep set of stairs.    Anyway, all this to say that M has kind of been the main launderer in our home and while he is still doing some of the laundry I’m working it into my routine now.

We put up a new clothesline this spring and I was able to use it again today.  It is one of the inexplicable joys, but I love hanging things out to dry on the clothesline!  There is something about the sunshine and the warm breeze and the smell of clean laundry that just makes me happy.

Oh and for the record, E did not have a nap today and was asleep by 8 p.m.  Much Better.  I hate to deny him a nap that he needs, but at the same time, if he isn’t getting the nighttime sleep he needs is a nap really that beneficial?

Bedtime Frustrations

Why oh why is it suddenly taking my son 2+ hours to fall asleep at night???

I seriously don’t know what is going on, but I’m about ready to ban naps if having a nap means it is going to be after 10 p.m. when he finally goes down.

Knitting News

I’ve got a bit of an ambitious project in my head.  I’ve decided to knit the Soledad sweater from the Spring 2012 issue of Petite Purls- not just for E, but for the baby too.    I bought enough yarn to knit a size 1 and size 4 sweater.  That should give me enough cushion that they will fit next fall still!  If I get E’s done it might fit him this fall too, but I think the baby’s sweater will almost certainly be too big.

I ordered Valley Yarns DK Superwash in Copper and am currently swatching.  I’m on my second swatch now, I had to go up a needle size.  We’ll see how this works out.  I got smart this time and am swatching in the round since the sweater is knit in the round too.  Apparently gauge, especially row gauge, is really crucial in this design so I want to get it right!  Although I do typically swatch for sweaters.  Well I definitely swatch for adult sweater, baby sweaters are more of a toss-up.

I am really loving the yarn.  It is nice and smooth.  So much of the yarn I’ve been using lately is either a little more rustic or just loosely spun.

24/7 Devotion vs. The Need for Breaks

As I was catching up on my internet reading just now I saw it again.

The accusation that any mother who wants some time off is a bad mother who doesn’t enjoy her children. Why did she even have them?

This time it came from the comments (I know, I know) on a poll about what we really want for Mother’s Day.  One of the options was “a day off to spend however I wish.”

This strikes a nerve for me because of all the things on the list, that sounded like the best option to me.  I have plenty of days I get to spend with my family.  I am grateful for those days.  I don’t get so many days that I can just go where I want to do and do whatever I want to do.  I get times here and there, but hours at a time that I could just do whatever I wanted?  That sound luxurious.  I probably wouldn’t want that day on Mother’s Day, especially since a lot of stuff is closed on Sundays, but it does sound nice.

This is obviously not the first time I’ve encountered this.  I recently ran into this attitude on an AP board I read.  I’ve seen it here and there.  Sometimes it is an attitude about mothers who work outside the home, but often it is extended to any mother who wants to do something without here child/children.  I even saw that attitude expresses about women wanting “date nights” with their husbands.  For some of these women making comments like this, it is as if anything less that 100% of waking hours (and probably sleeping hours too!) devoted to your child is an indication you don’t really love them.

I’m calling BS on this.

There are times in motherhood where you really do have to put your needs and desires on hold.  Sometimes there is a little person who needs something from you and it cannot wait.  Sometimes that means giving up something you want to do or something you need temporarily.  I don’t think that means you need to spend 18+ years denying you have any of your own interests, needs, desires, or relationships outside your children.

I guess the other thing that bothers me about these comments is the implication that whether or not you do have time away from your children, there is something unnatural about wanting any time alone or not wanting to be with your child 24/7.

I’ve tried to figure out where these women are coming from because apparently they really earnestly feel that they want to be with their children constantly.  My theory I’ve come up with is that they are extroverts.  They need other people’s company to feel energized and happy.  If that is the case, I guess it makes sense that being around their children constantly keeps them happy.  I’m an introvert though.  So while I love my son and enjoy his company and have fun playing and reading and snuggling, I also need some time to myself.  I need that alone time to clear my head and re-energize.  I usually end up missing him and am always glad to be back with him again.  That time alone (or not so alone and with my husband) allows me to refocus and keep it together.  It allows me to have the patience I need for life with a toddler.  It keeps me happy and pleasant instead of short-tempered and cranky.

So if you are a mother who desires to be with your children 24/7 and can’t understand the need to take breaks, I will try to remember that it is your personality and personal needs.  In exchange, please try and understand that those of use who desire some breaks and some occasional time away do love our children and enjoy them, but those times away help fulfill some of our personal needs too.

A Fresh Start

I’ve decided it is time for a new blog.  Sometimes a fresh start is what we need.  For me it wasn’t just a new blog, it was hosting it somewhere new too.  I’m hoping this will be a little friendlier feeling than my last blog and it won’t feel like such a chore to write!

I’ve decided that with the transition to stay-at-home mom that is coming up I need to do some writing to keep that part of my mind active.  I’m not sure that makes any sense, but I know what I mean.

I intend to post some knitting, cooking, gardening, kid stuff, and who know what other random stuff.  No hard and fast rules here.