Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I'm with you, Bessie

I just found this article about a pregnant cow who terrorized Hanover, Germany, after escaping from her farm.

I have to say, I really sympathize with that poor cow. Being pregnant definitely makes me tired and crabby, and if I were being followed around by emergency workers, camera crews and gawkers, I’d probably get a little destructive, myself.

The poor thing.

Monday, April 23, 2007


One of the questions I often hear nowadays is this: Do I plan to have an epidural, or do I want to do this childbirth thing as naturally as possible?

I’ve always thought that maybe, just maybe, I’m tough enough to get through childbirth without pain medication. I mean, women have been having babies for thousands of years. Surely I can do it, too, without the need for pharmaceutical assistance.

Then, sometime over the weekend, I slept in an awkward position, and I’ve had some highly uncomfortable back and hip pain ever since.

If it were allowed, I would have an epidural right now.

I guess I’m not as tough as I thought.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

2 million seconds

I had a doctor’s appointment this morning, and found out that the baby is starting to turn around in her little cocoon. According to the doctor, this means she’s getting ready for delivery.

How scary.

And exciting.

And scary.

I’m about 26 days away from my due date now, so it’s close enough that if I were to go into labor, my doctor wouldn’t stop it from happening.

Obviously, we’ve been preparing for a baby for months now. But somehow having my doctor say “the baby’s turning” and “we won’t stop labor” makes this impending arrival seem so much more real … and close.

Twenty-six days is just 624 hours. Or 37,440 minutes. Or 2,246,400 seconds.

Oh my goodness. I only have about 2 million seconds to finish getting ready for the baby. And that’s only if she waits until her due date.

And I’ve already wasted a good 900 seconds writing this blog!

Excuse me, I have to go buy some diapers.

Monday, April 9, 2007

You will be missed

I’ve always been told that once you have kids, you never stop being a parent. Whether your children are 2 years old or 42, you’ll always worry about them.

I think it’s also true that kids never stop needing their parents. It’s easy to take for granted that they’ll always be there; after all, they’ve been around since you were born. So when a parent dies unexpectedly, you feel suddenly adrift, left to navigate these choppy waters alone.

My husband’s father died on Thursday, taking away a person Rob could always turn to for advice. Possibly the hardest part for Rob was that his father always had words of wisdom to help him through hard times, and now he’s not here to guide him through his hardest time yet.

When I met my in-laws for the first time, my hair was disheveled, I was wearing a T-shirt that read, “Can’t sleep, clowns will eat me,” and I probably smelled bad after a 15-hour road trip to Texas. Despite these things, Bob and Sherry immediately welcomed me into their home and made me feel like the daughter they never had. They’ve continued to do so ever since, never becoming those legendary evil in-laws that newlyweds always fear.

I only knew Bob for a little more than five years, so I don’t quite feel entitled to the kind of sympathy that his wife and sons deserve. Yet I’m grieving anyway, for lots of reasons – the biggest one being that he’ll never get to hold his first grandchild, hear her laugh, and listen to her say “Grandpa” for the first time. And our daughter will never know what a kind, generous, loving person her grandfather was.

I guess that’s something Rob and I will have to add to our “to-do” list as parents. We’ll have to be the ones to tell her how much she was loved, even before she got here. And we’ll have to help her know her grandfather through our photos and funny little stories. It’s all we can do, and we’ll do our best.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Ow, my brain.

Like most women, I started my pregnancy wanting to do my best to ensure that my entire gestational experience would be 100% healthy. I vowed to follow all of the rules so my baby would have the most nurturing environment possible.

What nobody tells you is that the rules keep changing. You can’t follow all of them, because many of the rules contradict each other.

This morning, a friend sent me a link to an article about a study on pregnancy weight gain. According to the article, researches have found that women who gain more weight during pregnancy – even if they stay within recommended guidelines – run the risk of having overweight toddlers later on.

So, does this mean pregnant women should strive to gain less weight? Well, um, no. The article also mentions that women who gain too little weight risk having low-birth-weight babies. And if you live in El Paso County, you may have seen the health department’s recent campaign, called “A Healthy Baby is Worth the Weight,” encouraging local women to gain more weight during pregnancy to combat a low-birth-weight epidemic in our area.

Is this making anyone else’s brain hurt?

There also are contradictory studies about caffeine consumption, eating fish and every other recommendation out there. For women who are just trying to do the best they can for their unborn children, it’s enough to make you crazy.

This leads me to a suggestion for another scientific study: Which is more harmful to your baby, gaining a few too many pounds or spending your pregnancy stressed out about all the ways you could already be failing as a mother?

I suspect I already know the answer, at least within my own not-so-scientific study, in which I am the only participant.

According to the results of that study, I should toss all of those articles in my fireplace, relax on the couch and have another cookie.