Month: October 2014

Random Review #1 “Goodnight Moon”

Kids books. It blows my mind what people will publish, and it’s even more confusing what becomes popular. In this weekly segment, we will randomly review a book Baby 1.0 picks off her bookshelf.

This week we will be taking a closer look at the old classic “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown, pictures by Clement Hurd.

Let’s start with the fact that this book was first published in 1947. 1947! World War II had virtually just ended. People smoked and drank with abandon. The only Spam you ever got from your Grandma was in the form of Sunday dinner. Yet 67 years later, this book is still so popular that we got multiple copies of it when Baby 1.0 was born.

spam-family-of-products

Upon first glance, one may just assume this book is a hodgepodge of random, semi-rhyming prose, with a bland color scheme and an unimaginative story line. And upon digging a little deeper, you will discover it is indeed just that, but in a strangely endearing way that kids apparently really like. Or at least that my kid really likes, as per her request, we read this book several times in a row, many days out of the week.

Some highlights. The book pays homage to many other children’s classics, with pictures on the wall of The Cow Jumping Over The Moon, and The Three Bears. There is also a picture of a bunny fly-fishing for another bunny with a carrot, which I found rather disturbing at face value until I realized it’s just a reference to another book by the same author, The Runaway Bunny. Actually it’s still kind of disturbing, but alas, I digress. The book is simple, and doesn’t have a bunch of flowery non-sense language, which I really like, because you can read it when you are half asleep, and it doesn’t feel like you are trying to solve the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle.

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But the book brings up a lot of questions. Like, who is the quiet old lady and why is she letting the kittens wrestle if the baby bunny is supposed to go to bed? Kittens are loud! She better be saying “hush” to them, or better yet, just kick them out of the room. And take that string away before they swallow it and need surgery, unless you have $3000 extra dollars laying around for emergency veterinary care. Also, what is a bowl full of mush doing on the bedside table? If that sits there overnight, you might as well throw the bowl away because you are NEVER going to get that mush out of there. Even more importantly, why would you say goodnight to nobody? Now you are in my head, and I’m wondering “Oh crap, is someone here? Did I lock the door? Did I lock the other door? I should get up and check. But then I’ll get cold. But if I don’t check, I will lay here all night and worry.”

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All in all, for how much we read the book, I actually like it quite a bit. I was glad when she picked this one for our first Random Review, and I’d happily pass it along to another family someday so they too can wonder what the bunny parents were thinking when the selected a room with a fireplace for their nursery. I give it a 3.62/5.

 

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Cover photo:  en.wikipedia.org

Spam: http://www.hormelfoods.com/~/media/HormelFoods/Images/Brands/Product%20Shots/High%20Res%20Product%20Shots/spam-family-of-products.ashx

Goodnight Moon age 1: juneberry-lane.blogspot.com

Goodnight Moon page 2: exampleschildrensbooks.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/nobody1.jpg

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5.5 True Facts About Newborns

Let’s just get something straight: newborns are weird. Now I’m not trying to take away from the magic that is growing another human in your abdomen for the better part of a year, but if I’m being honest, a fresh newborn is as close to an alien life form as there is out there. With their pointy heads, puffy eyes, spindly limbs and inability to communicate, they are about as mysterious as a Chupacabra, and about as scary, too. So let’s try to clear up some of that mystery. Here are some true facts about newborns.

1. Baby poop is not really poo-like at all, but instead is nearly the exact consistency and color as the liquid that always squirts out of the mustard before the actual mustard makes an appearance. It can travel great distances in short periods of time, and defy the laws of gravity. Much like the “magic bullet” that somehow (tragically) passed through JFK and Governor Connally but remained nearly unscathed, baby poop can escape the confines of both a diaper and a onesie, and make it all the way into your pants, all without soiling either the diaper or the onesie. Your pants, however, will be quite soiled.

I’m more of a dijon kinda girl myself.    

2. Speaking of doodoo, once your newborn achieves Fecal Magician status after getting their poop in your pants, you will discover that much like dogs and bees, wipes can smell fear. And when they smell fear, the all stick together thereby making it impossible to remove just one or two. Without fail, one semi-aggressive tug will yield 15 wipes in a string of unscented, cleanly dampness, further exacerbating the panic as cool poo dribbles down your thigh. So calm yourself before you ravage your wipe container. You are probably going to need an actual shower.

Alakazam! Check your pants!

3. Baby heads have a Go-Go-Gadget like ability to stick out a few inches more at a moments notice, like when you are walking through a door frame. Even when you think you have your perfect sleeping newborn all tucked safe and secure in your arms, somehow they find a way at the exact moment of crossing the threshold to secretly stretch their head out just in time to smack it on the edge of the door frame.  They then retract it, equally as secretly, leaving you to believe it was actually your fault for carelessly slamming their delicate skull into a solid piece of pine. Amid the shrieks of your discontented baby, you stop and look down to see how it just happened, and by all accounts, it shouldn’t have. But thanks to Go-Go-Gadget Concussion Spring, it did. So don’t feel too bad. It happens to all of us.

Babies are just like this, except the trench coat, top hat, and gun.

4. The amount of milk in, is not directly proportional to the amount of milk out. In a mathematical equation that rivals the classic “If a train leaves Provo at 2:00 pm going 56 miles per hour…” it is somehow true and factual that 2 ounces of milk in, is the equivalent of roughly 15 ounces of milk product out. It doesn’t matter what end it is coming out of, the ratio remains the same. And when you start solids, the equation is doubled. 2 ounces of pureed sweet potato in equals no less than 30 ounces of putrid sweet potato even a short time later. Don’t ask me how. It’s obviously science.

This little lady was given exactly 1/4 cup of milk, but with the help of science it becomes a full gallon. 

5. Newborns have a sixth sense that allows them to determine when you are hungry, thirsty, or have to pee. It is then, and only then, that they will fall asleep in your arms after refusing to sleep anywhere else. This sixth sense also allows them to know when you are planning on taking their picture, and gives them enough time to stop whatever they were doing, and instead make a face that looks like they just took a shot of Fireball.

Just enough antifreeze to keep it interesting.

5.5 Babies can possess you. Somehow, with all the barf, and poo, and peeling skin, and constant needs, you will still find yourself absolutely transfixed by this little being. Over a year later we still find ourselves staring at Baby 1.0, and reveling in even the most mundane of details with the enthusiasm of someone who just won the Mega-Millions jackpot. “Oh my God, baby, just look at her eyebrows! She’s getting eyebrows! Oh and the way her little elbow is just like ‘I’m a little elbow!’ I can’t take it!” If this seems unlikely, I will tell you that girl scouts honor, I was obsessed with watching her eyebrow hairs grow in. Why? Because she possessed me. Which will make it all that much harder in 16 years when she plucks 2/3s of them out, and inevitably spends a few years looking perpetually surprised.

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Cover image source: http://midatlanticgardening.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/et.jpg

Colic – Less Fun Than A John Tesh Concert, More Fun Than A Lobotomy

Pretty soon after bringing little Baby 1.0 home from the hospital, it was clear she was what these days is tastefully called, a “spirited child.” She was incredibly alert, with a light in her eyes that conveyed an intensity we weren’t expecting. An intensity that, unfortunately, was expressed by shrill crying for seemingly no reason, for several hours a day, every single day, for three months. After ruling out there was a physical cause for this crying, it was determined she had colic, which is essentially a catch-all term to describe cruel and unusual punishment of caregivers through the art of inconsolable, unrelenting crying spells.

Before having her, we had been lulled into a false sense of security by other people’s newborns who spent most of their days sleeping, and who, when they cried, sounded like kittens mewwing. Baby 1.0 barely slept, comparatively, and spent many of her awake hours announcing her displeasure with us in a volume that would put a flock of 747s to shame. So we did what any set of new parents would do: We totally panicked.

This kitten is totally panicking, but in a really quiet, cute way.

This panic turned into a game show called “What If?” where we made up reasons for why she was crying, then used the internet to support our reasoning. It went a little like this: What if the reason she is crying is because she is hungry, even though I just fed her for 45 minutes? Internet survey says you have clearly overfed her, and she is crying because she has horrible stomach pains. Or she is still hungry, in which case you should feed her again, because a baby should never be denied the breast. Unless of course she is full, in which case by offering her another meal where she will only eat for a few minutes, you will be giving her too much foremilk which will make her gassy, and will destroy your foremilk/hindmilk ratio. So you should not feed her. But if you deny her request for food, you will damage the fragile mother/daughter bond irreparably. But if you give in, and feed her again, she will never get on a good schedule, and everybody knows a happy baby is a baby on a good schedule!

This is nothing but lies. Lies, I tell you!

We played this awful game everyday, for every round of crying that started up, and never got anywhere. In hindsight, this seems like grounds for admitting both my husband and I into an institution, but extreme sleep deprivation, coupled with living with an unpredictable tornado siren in our house drove us absolutely mad. And in our defense, at least playing the “google and panic game,” made us feel like we were doing something. Because otherwise, after trying the antacids and gas drops per our pediatrician’s recommendations, our only option was to wait it out, which felt about as helpful as telling someone dying of dehydration to try drinking their tears.

So we continued googling, and changing things here and there. I cut certain things out of my diet, we swaddled and shushed our way through most summer sunsets well into the night. My bedtime routine looked like a combination of Tae Bo and somebody being electrocuted, as I swayed, jiggled and bounced Baby 1.0 until she would finally peter out hours later. Then, I would carefully, oh so carefully, creep over to her bassinet, and then slowly, oh so slowly, lay her down on her back. Half the time she would wake up immediately, and the cycle would start over. The other half of the time, I would make it into bed myself, lay my weary head on my pillow, whisper “see you in 10 minutes to my husband,” and then she would wake up and we would start the whole cycle over again. It was hell.

Billy Blanks. Putting babies to sleep and toning your thighs since 1976.

And her crying wasn’t just at night. It would start-up at unpredictable times, or if I did something she didn’t approve of. Like, for example, put her in her car seat or stroller to leave the house (gasp!). So I didn’t. I locked myself up in our apartment, sat down on my couch, and nursed her for hours on end because it was the only way to keep her quiet. But in the process, it absolutely destroyed me. Mentally I was a wreck, living in fear of upsetting her, scared it was something I was doing that was causing this, afraid I was already a failure of a mother, depressed without knowing to call it that. Physically, I was in so much pain I would cry every time she latched on. We finally broke down and got a lactation consultant who at least helped the physical aspects of our problematic relationship. And I connected with a fellow colic sufferer who could at least offer a shoulder to cry on via a series of very thoughtful emails (thoughtful on her behalf, as my emails pretty just consisted of “but whyyyyyyy?”).

Those three months were the longest three months of my life. I came out on the other side with some buff buns, and a new appreciation for the saying “It takes a village.” I am so thankful for the friend who opened up and shared with me how hard it was for her too, and I can only hope that I can repay the favor by reaching out and making a difference in the same way. I guess my only piece of advice would be if you are struggling, say something. It doesn’t have to be so hard.

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The Big Bang: Thoughts On How I Became A Mother

For however different the birth of Baby 1.0 was compared to how I thought the birth was going to be, actually holding her tiny body and gazing down upon her perfect face induced a feeling I couldn’t have imagined I was capable of. While she was technically my first human child, she was hardly my first mammalian infant responsibility, as I’ve fostered enough baby animals to claim dual-citizenship with the animal kingdom. When they look up at you, their little paws clutching your fingers while you bottle-feed them, your heart swells. Or at least mine did. But when cradling our little babe for the first time, my heart didn’t just swell; it did the human equivalent of the Big Bang (the cosmological event, not the T.V. show, or the South Korean pop band). And from that explosion, a new state of being was formed: A giant emotional gas cloud composed of sticky, intoxicating love, a hefty smattering of fear, a few black holes of depression, and countless little glimmers of pure joy. This new feeling, which will henceforth be referred to as “Motherhood,” was completely and utterly life changing from the very first second she was set in my arms.

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thewestsidestory.net

This is my heart, exploding all over, making a big ol’ mess out of motherhood.

Speaking of which, from the very first second she was set in my arms, Baby 1.0 started crying. It was to be expected, in those first few seconds, or minutes I suppose. But it continued. For a long time, which is a story for a later post, but I’m mentioning it now  for the 15 people who read this regularly, so they won’t say “but you didn’t mention the crying after she was born!” She cried, y’all. From the get-go. Aside from the monsoon of baby tears, there were a few other unexpected discoveries right from the beginning. Perhaps one of the most shocking, our baby was born with what could only be described as troll toenails. They were tiny, or at least they had the capacity to be tiny once trimmed, but they were long and pointy, and caught me by surprise, literally. They would snag my very chic hospital gown when I was awkwardly maneuvering her about to give her the proper amount of “skin-to-skin”, or nurse her. Even with my new galaxy-sized mother heart, the feeling of them scraping across my abdomen was enough to gag me a little. “Learn how to trim toenails” was quickly bumped up to the top of the extensive list of ‘Things To Learn How To Do.’

Cute baby toes! I googled “Troll Toenails,” which I regretted immediately. Don’t do it. I dare you.

 Our two days in the hospital flew by. The nurses were extremely attentive, and would happily do anything from bring you a juice, to join you in the bathroom once you discovered you had peed and couldn’t get up. They offered a smorgasbord of great pointers, many of which contradicted each other, but at least then you always felt like maybe you weren’t doing it wrong. For two days we ooh’d and aww’d Baby 1.0’s every movement, and diligently recorded her meals and corresponding diaper deposits (turns out there is an app for that). We put up the requisite “Meet Our Baby” Facebook post, and received more well wishes than we knew what to do with. It was an idyllic time, minus of course, the crying. Our comfort level grew from fear on par with handling a dangerous snake, to a place where we could safely determine which end was up, and which end was most likely to spray liquid on us.

And then, just like that, our stay was over. At 11am on the dot, our nurses switched from caring best friend mode, to border patrol guards and booted us with the efficiency of a fast food line cook. It wasn’t until after I’d dressed in actual clothes for the first time that I wished I’d heeded the unsolicited advice of a client a few weeks earlier. “Bring baggy clothes to go home in,” she’d said, with a knowing smile. In my head I’d sneered and thought, “I will be skinny again then, you insufferable clown.” But after wrestling my bread loaf-sized combination ice-pack/pad into my yoga pants, I understood what she meant. We collected our things and waddled our way down the hall towards the car, half expecting a slow-clap, but instead being fully ignored. I’m not sure if maybe everybody there didn’t know I had just birthed a freaking human, or if they just didn’t care, but either way, I think at the very least, I deserved a slow-clap.

Put this in your pants. Or use it to make French Toast, but definitely don’t do both.

We walked out of the hospital into the hot, July, midday sun, and my mind was flooded with a wave of unexpected worry. The sun! Get her out of the sun! The pollution! Oh dear God, why do we live in a city? It’s so loud! WHY ARE YOU HONKING, ASSHOLE?! We got her in the car, and very slowly and very nervously drove away. My husband was at the wheel, admittedly more nervous than when he took -and failed- his first driver’s test (for the record, he is an exceedingly safe driver, and passed his test on the very next try). Fortunately, we lived about 4 minutes from the hospital, so our journey home was very short and uneventful, even when going 15 mph.

And then we were home, and we were three (or six if you count our three pissed-off cats, seven if you also include my mother-in-law who was staying with us for the week. Also we had a fish. Eight. We were eight). Just like the Big Bang, there was no going back now. Life as we knew it was brand new, and hurtling towards an unknown future at an immeasurable speed.

IMG_1015 Little Baby 1.0, pondering the meaning of life. Or pooping.

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I am not a science person, or at least in the sense that I know all the ins and outs of the Big Bang Theory. I’ve done a bit of googling about it over the last week, but I’m sure I made a mess of it when using it as a metaphor. Maybe the speed is actually measurable. Maybe black holes didn’t happen right away. I dunno. But just go with it. Or feel free to tell me about it.

 

Why We Should All Be Village People (And Not Just For Halloween)

Today something crazy happened. Between the laundry, the lasagna, and the toddler vacillating between sheer joy and then rage-planking on the kitchen floor for no identifiable reason, I came across another blogger whose essay “Dear Stay-At-Home Moms, Shut The Eff Up” is currently trending. Rarely do I read things like this, knowing full well they are just inflammatory and will serve no purpose other than raising my blood pressure, but after noticing she has over 300k views on this post, I (jealously) took the bait. I wasn’t surprised to discover it was mostly what I thought it was going to be, though her overall message of being thankful for what you have is right on. But I was surprised to see how well received something so hurtful, judgmental and offensive can be, especially by other women.

I am very new to the blogging world. I actually have food in my fridge that pre-dates the start to my blogging career (if I can even call it that). But in a very short amount of time, I have been able to see how powerful and far-reaching words can be. I have also seen how someone who seems to be one thing on the surface, can actually be someone very different once you take 20 seconds and hear (or read) what they have to say. I say this after recently coming across a parenting blog so full of flowery, pink, frilly language it nearly made me gag, until I read her blog and saw it was about her baby who died. Her blog was a way for people like her to speak about their experience and help each other heal. Even writing this gives me goosebumps as I think about all she’s been through, and how quickly I judged her based on her name alone.

This is exactly what bothers me so much about this other woman’s blog. She is making broad, judgmental assumptions about what these weary woman have gone through. And even worse, she’s doing it on a very public platform.

When I started this blog I was very firm in sticking to one rule: I will not preach. And while I wrestle with whether or not this is indeed just that, I think it bares mentioning that sometimes we need someone to remind us, by preaching or not, to be human. There is a good chance that many of the greasy haired, yoga pant wearing whiners knocking on her door have been through some shit. Maybe she had (or has) postpartum depression. Maybe her colicky baby has drained the life out of her, and she is just barely hanging on by a thread. Maybe her friend died or her dad is sick. Or maybe she’s just having a bad day. But instead of tooting your horn, and preaching about how “you should be thankful for your blessings,” maybe consider just listening to her? Or bringing her a coffee? Or sitting with her colicky baby while she takes a shower to deal with that greasy hair you seem to have found so offensive? There is a good chance that even though she’s blaming the toilets she has to clean, there is actually a deeper issue brewing.

In a world where we are connected by emails, texts, Facebook and twitter, having up to date information on our 500 closest friends at our fingertips has done nothing to really bring us closer. Instead it has created a false sense of community, and tricked us into thinking we actually know what is going on with our friends, which, spoiler alert: we don’t. Having our baby has been an absolutely incredible experience, with moments so bright and beautiful I actually say in my head “If I died right now, I would be content,” and I mean it. But it has also been achingly difficult at times, and isolating in a way I wasn’t prepared for – something I would never feel comfortable sharing publicly in a way that would reveal just how dark and down I was really feeling. It wasn’t until I started opening up on this blog that I discovered how similar my feelings and experiences really are with woman across the world. Once, when I was really struggling, one of my friends came by with a latte and a crepe. She didn’t judge me for my greasy hair, or my yoga pants. She just fed me, gave me a hug, and squeezed my colicky baby. That kind of kindness, the humanity of that small action, makes all the difference.

I think in today’s pseudo-connected society, it’s time to bring back the old adage “It takes a village to raise a child.” We would all benefit from putting the village to use, rather than using it to publicly shame those who are struggling, or using it to flaunt your temporary victories. So let’s all be village people, or at least let’s try to be. From what I hear, the village has this club, the YMCA? They say it’s fun to stay there.

“Give Me All The Drugs” And Even More Things I Thought I’d Never Say

Forty weeks and four days, at 98.6 degrees or so, was how long we had to cook our little turkey before she decided she’d had enough. After watching nearly every person in the world, have their baby, including Kate Middleton who was very obviously taunting me, I finally went into labor four days after our due date.  Baby 1.0’s birth is a tale of two stories: Act One is a story of bravery and courage, of one woman digging deep down into her prehistoric roots to birth a child au natural. Act Two is a story of when that same woman said “fuck it,” drove to the hospital and demanded “all of the drugs.”

Act One:

 I finally went into labor at 1am on a Friday. I woke my husband up and we laid in bed timing my contractions, steady at about 10 minutes apart. We waited, and timed, and waited, and wondered. By 7am the next morning, they were down to about 8 minutes, and we were down about 8 hours of sleep. We called people, brought our bags to the door, settled down on the couch and binge-watched season one of Arrested Development, which in hindsight is ironic because it was exactly the state I was in: 12 hours into it, and I had made virtually no progress. We called the midwife who cautioned this could be false labor, effectively crushing my spirits like a beer can on the forehead of a drunken NASCAR patron. While the contractions weren’t exactly curse-your-husband painful, they were uncomfortable enough to keep me from sleeping, which was quickly turning me into a curse-your-husband kind of person.

beer hat

This guy knows how I feel.

18 or so hours into it, we called off the parents and settled in for another long night. My contractions were still 8 minutes apart, but increasing in intensity which left me unable to relax. I wandered from the bath, to the couch to the air conditioning unit, feeling more and more hopeless and confused. So much pain! So little baby! Oddly enough, the only thing that brought some semblance of peace was listening to a Songza playlist composed entirely of whale songs. To be clear, these weren’t songs about whales, but rather the actual songs of whales, which makes perfect sense if you are tripping on Peyote in the desert, or, you know, having a baby.

24 sleepless hours into it, I called my midwife in tears. There was still no progress, but the pain was becoming more and more intense, and I was feeling very sorry for myself. She cheerfully suggested to just keep waiting, and said to call if the contractions got any closer. I hung up the phone, and angrily rolled around on a yoga ball while incoherently cursing at my bewildered husband.

30 hours into it, I gave up. My contractions were a measly 7 minutes apart, 2 full minutes away from where they recommend you come in, but after not sleeping for a full day and feeling like Chuck Norris was round-house kicking me in the uterus every few minutes, I insisted we go to the hospital and see what exactly was going on.

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Chuck Norris doing what he does best.

Act Two:

Well this is where things got good. I was ushered into a room where a magical, beautiful, kind midwife whom I’d never met, gave me two options: 1. She could give me some medicine to make me sleepy, then send me home to wallow in confusion, doubt and self-pity for even longer allowing me to follow my “birth plan,” or 2. She could give me drugs, admit me into a room to take a nap, give me an epidural, and then shoot for about an 8pm arrival of our baby. Before she even finished her sentence, I was demanding drugs. All of the drugs, to be exact, and after receiving some drugs, I quickly requested even more, like some kind of Hollywood starlet on a post-Disney career bender. IMG_0954

Me and my chins, just waiting for our next turkey sammich.

Drugs were given, and I was wheeled I up to my lovely, spacious, air-conditioned room overlooking the bay. Someone brought me lunch, fluffed my pillows, and I was finally able to lay back and relax… for about 4 minutes (or a few hours if you ask my husband), because then my water broke. One epidural, and a handful of pushes later, Baby 1.0 was born. She was beautiful, with a head covered in thick black hair, and blue eyes that sparkled. But because I have the maturity of a 13-year-old boy, even in the most important of situations, the first two things I said after the midwife alerted me to our daughter’s arrival were: 1. So it isn’t a kitten? (A lame inside joke used to deflect attention at work) and 2. Did I have the baby out of my butthole? (An even worse inside joke that started when an OB friend of mine drunkenly claimed she “knew my type”, and proclaimed confidently I would “have a baby out of my butthole” years before I became pregnant.) Having mentally prepared myself for living the rest of my life with the human equivalent of a cloaca, I was delighted to hear my friend’s prediction didn’t come true, leaving me to hope she never decides to ditch her current job for career in fortune-telling.

40 hours after it all started, my husband and I stared down at the newest member of our family. “She is absolutely perfect,” I thought as a cocktail of new hormones overtook my system. “Hang on here, there has been a mistake! These guys? These guys are amateurs! This should be interesting.” thought Baby 1.0. And away we went….

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The Third Trimester: The Three Months I Spent Trying Not to Commit Murder, All While Being Very, Very Hot

I’ve never really liked people who make things seem effortless. Not much is effortless for me, and I often feel as though I expend more energy than the average bear trying to accomplish something made to look very simple by somebody else. Like College Algebra 101, for example. True story, I failed that class 4 times. It took a hideous amount of energy, multiple tutors, and a good stroke of luck for me to finally pass it on my 5th try. Even now, I would have more success levitating, than ever figuring out what the crap “X” equals in a basic math problem. If it’s so important, maybe give it a value? Take the mystery out of the whole thing? It’s just an idea.

Similarly, women who appeared to breeze through pregnancy effortlessly really burnt my muffins. Oh, you still fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes? That’s really fantastic, but I’d rather spend a week’s wages on unflattering teal stretch pants that, fingers crossed, make people think maybe I’m a court jester. Oh, your pregnancy hormones actually make you look like a glowing, golden angel, sent down from heaven? I can see how that is alluring, but the skin around my nose is pealing off in sheets, and I think I heard leprosy is in this year. Oh, you are actually craving kale and broccoli veggie wraps, on organic whole wheat tortillas? You know, I’d eat that, but… actually no, no I would never eat that compost heap of crap you are calling food, because pizza.

These feelings of mild to moderate annoyance towards the pregnancy goddesses around me were particularly heightened in my third trimester. While I was very fortunate to have an easy pregnancy in the sense that both my baby and I were healthy, come the third trimester, one of us (that would be me), wasn’t exactly happy. After returning from our idyllic Ireland vacation, I slowly transformed into a mopey, pouty, eye-rolly, sneery version of myself. But in my scrunched up, hate-filled, eyes, it wasn’t entirely my fault. The deeper I got into my third trimester, the more people thought it appropriate to say things like: “Emily! You got so fat!” (It should be noted this is an actual, honest-to-God quote, delivered in all seriousness, by a dear client who if I didn’t love like my own grandma, I would have slapped.) They also felt it a good time to share stories of their own 192 hour labor, where they didn’t take pain medication and successfully delivered a 35 pound baby vaginally in a jungle hut, and then fully recovered at home in 2 days by listening to Enya and taking placenta pills. High-five, sister!

Emily is angryHere I am, days before the birth of Baby 1.0, looking particularly sneery, standing in front of my best friend, our window unit. 

As mentioned above, the other factor pushing me towards man-slaughter was being, to put it simply, hotter than the asshole of a volcano, at all times. The only time I wasn’t sweating profusely, was when I was in a cold shower. I found it cruel and confusing that Giselle never looked sweaty when she was strolling around Boston in her non-maternity wear, vintage Rolling Stones shirt, her baby bump poking out just saying “Hey, Girl!” The Duchess, who I nearly shared a delivery date with, always looked like you could use her as a human air freshener. Even the every day women in my birthing class would show up with their hair in a cute pony-tail, their little bellies zipped into cute little hoodies. Hoodies, I say! I looked like Dennis in Jurassic Park as he is frantically trying to cut the power before stealing the dinosaur embryos, sweat beading off his oily forehead and rolling down his double-chin. Now I know, things could have been infinitely worse, and I mean that whole-heartedly. But I can only say that now, as in the moment, I felt like I was dying.

jurassic-park-dennis-nedry

For those of you not familiar with Jurassic Park, meet Dennis, my third trimester doppelganger. This will not be the last time I compare my life to Jurassic Park, the greatest movie of all-time. 

Being this hot lead me to make poor decisions. Like, for example, breaking down and stuffing my giant, fleshy lady lumps into my extra small honeymoon bikini, and joining my drunk, 100 pound undergrad neighbors in the dodgy kiddie pool they had put in our shared backyard. It wasn’t the age difference, or the weight difference that made me uncomfortable, but rather the plethora of mosquito larvae wriggling about the tepid water, and the fear of exposing my unborn child to any number of STDs potentially seeping from my pool-mate’s nether regions. Days later I discovered they’d been “treating” the pool with pure bleach, a fun fact that lead me to wonder if I’d soon be giving birth to the female version of “Powder”.

Powder

For those of you not familiar with “Powder,” meet Jeremy, an albino who derived mental super-powers after his pregnant mother was struck by lightning, which admittedly is different from taking a bleach bath, but concerning none the less. This will be the only time I quote this movie, because it was awful.

There was, however, an unexpected fountain of joy I feel must be mentioned, something that caught me by surprise and still makes me smile. While moms would often use my bulbous belly as an invite for some quip about how hard life was after having kids (which I now have a painful understanding of), dads would use it as a time to talk about the birth of their children. Almost daily, I would get the pleasure of listening to men open up and melt while they reminisced about the day their baby was born. They would beam with pride as they described the enviable strength of their wives, their faces lighting up as they recalled the first time they laid eyes on their wee one. They were so sincerely grateful and joyful, something that isn’t well portrayed in today’s media and society. It was truly touching, and hands down one of my favorite pregnancy memories. I hope that as my kid gets older and starts making me want to rip my hair out in public, I remember NOT to try to scare the exceptionally pregnant woman into thinking this was a giant mistake. Unless of course it’s hot outside, in which case all bets are off. I’m going to be an asshole.

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Did someone try to scare you with a story of their own 192 hour delivery of a 35 baby in a jungle hut? I want to hear it!