Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Oh yeah, the other thing I wanted to jot down today:

Today was the first day I've felt him hiccup. Exactly 30 weeks. I had been wondering whether I just didn't know what it felt like and was missing it, but at my 28 week appointment he had the hiccups while we were listening to his heartbeat. The nurse said she couldn't feel them either, but we could definitely hear them on the doppler. She didn't seem to think it was weird, so that reassured me. But today I'm pretty sure I felt them for the first time. Go kid!

Musings at 30 weeks

Today marks 30 weeks, and I have a hard time believing it. The kid is so fun these days, moving around in all different ways. Some of them are uncomfortable as he gets stronger, and the hip pain when he hits the wrong spot is definitely the least pleasant part. But it’s pretty miraculous, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of feeling him move.

We toured the maternity ward of the hospital this weekend, and although I was kind of overwhelmed, it all seems good and I definitely feel reassured that almost all of their policies are ideal for what we want. I’m still trying to figure out whether it’s realistic to have my mom there when I give birth, and also whether there’s a way to make that happen without hurting my mother-in-law’s feelings. We still need to find a pediatrician and get a will written, but I’m feeling on top of those projects.

The baby shower is rolling along, and will be in a few weeks. I’m nervous for that – I’ve never had a shower before, and I’ve only been to one bridal shower in my whole life. Never a baby shower. But I’m trying to ignore the fear and just be happy about getting to celebrate with our family and friends. If anyone has been to a baby shower and has an idea about a good favor, that part is totally up in the air right now. Ideas would be much appreciated!

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned the apple thing here before, but the kid seems to have a definite reaction whenever I eat apples. He goes crazy moving every which way. I’ve never been able to figure out whether that means he loves apples or hates apples. But it’s clearly a strong reaction. It only recently occurred to me that at some point he’ll start eating solid food and we can test out what he thinks of apples. I’m really looking forward to that! And it’s hilarious, because for Passover I made some charoset (which mostly consists of chopped up apples). I don’t think of it as “apple” because it’s all mixed up with other flavors, but half an hour after I ate a whole bunch of it the kid went nuts and it took me a little while to figure out why he was SO energetic : ) It’s one of the few things about his “personality” that we’ve already gotten to see, and I love it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy birthday to me (and only me)

Just a quick note to commemorate this day, my 29th birthday. I will, in the future, have complex feelings about this age and all the things that are going to happen this year. I'm willing to bet that it will be amazing. One for the record books. But this year is going to start right were I am today: pregnant, with my thesis due today, and a bad night's sleep punctuated by a very detailed dream about being in premature labor because the baby doesn't get that it's my birthday and not his.

Luckily that's not the case, and his only problem today is that my blood pressure is unnaturally high due to anxiety. But the quickest fix for that is the best fix for everything else: finish writing my thesis and send it to the printer. So that's the plan, and I think it's going to be great. A PhD is a really nice thing to get myself for my birthday. And then I have the rest of the year to think about all the other components to my world. Including the squirmy baby who had to survive this last week with me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I hate that I am obsessing about this

Prepare yourself for the lamest, first-world, fertile “problem” ever. I want to buy a $1000 chair. The bottom line on it is that although I could buy a used Dutailier glider for basically nothing, I hate how they look and haven’t found one that’s particularly comfortable. Nothing I could imagine choosing over my couch when it comes time to breastfeed my kid(s). I only like the look of the fully upholstered ones, but the swivel bases make me seasick. So the top of the line Dutailier upholstered recliner ones (which are insanely, absurdly comfy) are basically the only thing that’s appealing.

But in general, spending $1000 on a chair is not in line with my financial values. So I have spent ages on Craigslist and ebay trying to find what I want at a reduced price ($1000 is the super sale price for a new one). It just doesn’t exist. These particular chairs haven’t been out for very long, and no one who has one sells it to a stranger. So it’s basically between getting a super cheap used glider that is totally functional, but not as comfortable and not really what I want, to use just until the kid (or the last one assuming we have more) is a little older, or getting the ridiculously spiffy one and keeping it forever as a recliner once it moves out of the baby’s room. Potentially relevant to the time frame is the fact that we plan to have more kids, and that my husband loves the spiffy chair and would totally use it as a reading chair for the rest of our lives.

It is essential to mention here that we don’t really buy furniture, and we certainly don’t buy nice furniture. We don’t own a home, and may not be in this area long term, so having to move nice furniture is just silly for us, and since it’s hard to imagine what we will need in the future it never feels like a good investment to me. However, those arguments don’t really apply to this chair, so it’s not like I couldn’t make an exception to my self-imposed cheap/free furniture rule. Everything in our house at the moment is a hand-me-down (good stuff) or from the lower end of Ikea, with the exception of our mattress. I have never thought twice about spending $1200 on our mattress because it brings us so much joy. I know this approach to furniture is slightly bizarre, but it works for us on the whole.

I had been intending to buy a new (high quality) twin mattress for the baby’s room that I could sleep on when he’s really little and needs a lot during the night, and then it would become a guest bed when we move into a bigger place. I had expected to spend around $750 on this, or maybe a little bit more. This is instead of buying a bassinet for our room, which won’t necessarily fit, and will allow us instead to have one person sleep through the night and the other be up with the baby. But I figured that if it was hard to find a used glider I want but easy to find a good used mattress, maybe that was the better way to go. Yesterday we picked up a totally fine mattress from a woman on freecycle (no bedbugs – don’t worry). And on Friday we’re hoping to get another one and a box spring and frame. So we can choose the better of the two mattresses, and then we’ll be all set for that major piece of “nursery” furniture.

So on the whole we’re really not spending much on baby stuff (again, depending on your perspective). We’re incredibly lucky to have lots of family who want to give us the things we need, and we just don’t need that much. So far the plan is Ikea crib, ikea or craigslist dresser, and a chicco carseat. We won a stroller in an online contest, so although I anticipate that we may eventually need to buy a cheap, light one to complete our stroller needs, we should be covered for as long as we want to be.

All of this is to justify that most of the bigger purchases aren’t going to cost us a lot of money. Enter the emotional component of this story, which is why it’s an obsession at all.

We saw the glider and wanted it, but couldn’t really feel like we could justify spending that much money on a chair rather than on the nanny or a college fund or retirement, etc. For the record, my husband is willing to go either way on this, and I’m sure would be happy with either choice. I was leaning towards the “cheap short-term used” route when I went to visit my parents a few weeks ago. I mentioned the conundrum, and they were definitely shocked that I would consider spending that much money on a chair. I’m usually the cheap one, and they had never even heard of these kinds of gliders and couldn’t believe anyone would spend money like that on baby furniture. But last weekend my mom came to visit and we took her baby shopping to get her advice on a bunch of other stuff. While there, we had her check out the chair, and she was immediately convinced that the chair was worth it. She talked me into buying it by pointing out how much we were economizing on everything else, and even helped us pick a color and stuff. Since my parents had offered to buy us a stroller before we won the contest one, she said they would chip in for this instead, and my father-in-law had already given us $200 for a stroller that we could put toward this too. We didn’t buy the chair on the spot because I’m cautious like that, but it made me feel much more comfortable doing what I wanted to.

I’ve been feeling really good for a couple of days about this decision and got to work finding the mattress on craigslist to make myself feel even better about the choice. But this morning my mom called to tell me that my cousin has a glider I can have for free (but have to transport from New York), and that my aunt thinks it’s stupid to buy a new one when we’re only going to use it for a few months. I see that perspective (I’ve HAD that perspective), but it threw me that suddenly the roles were reversed and now I was talking my mom into the idea that I should buy it. It’s worth mentioning here that for the last 4-5 days I’ve been crazy hormonal (like, clomid bad!) so anything approaching other people disapproving of me has the ability to send me into a tailspin. I just can’t handle the idea that my mom, or my aunt, or my cousin would think I’m doing the wrong thing about this “big” decision. I know that sounds absurd, but I’m a lot better at standing my ground when the decision actually matters than in stupid stuff like this. My aunt is pretty judgmental, and definitely has no compunctions about saying what’s on her mind, so in my current hormonal state I just can’t handle a conversation about how she thinks I’m doing the wrong thing. Hopefully it won’t come up, but I’m just overwhelmed thinking about how I can possibly defend my decision to spend so much money just because I want to. So at the moment the emotional parts of my brain are at war with each other over a very childish “but I really want it” and a similarly childish “but I don’t want anyone to yell at me.” Neither of which should really be the basis for the decision.

Ok, rant over. What do you think I should do? On the one hand, splurging on something that’s going to make me happy seems like a reasonable thing to do in the context of good overall financial decisions. On the other hand, I can’t tell if this is just too much of a splurge and goes beyond the bounds of a reasonable financial decision.

To my favorite mover and shaker

Hey kid,

You are so much fun right now. Moving all over the place, and poking out various appendages in dramatic and amusing ways. It’s kind of distracting, since you’ve been so active in the last few days and all I want to do is sit and marvel. But we have also accomplished a lot, so that’s good too.

Hip pain, heartburn and exhaustion are all fun tokens of this time, but luckily the hip pain hasn’t continued to increase. That was a scary night when I couldn’t roll over or walk! We do a lot better when you stay higher up and out of my pelvis, so please try to keep it up.

We bought you a bunch of stuff this weekend at a rummage sale. You have quite the pile going now! A bunch of clothes (to add to the ones your grandfather and step-grandmother got you) and a play mat and a crib set. Added to the hats and rattle and blanket and other things they bought you for “Christmas” you have a ton of loot now. It’s pretty cool. Although we’re going to hold off on buying the crib until you’re close to full term, to avoid the worst of the superstitious fear. But we’re making pretty good progress for non-shoppers.

I’m sorry about the baby shower drama, although my guess is that you’re responsible for the hormones that made me cry so much this weekend. I think the plan we’ve got going now where your grandmothers and aunt are going to host it and it will be at our house is a good one. It certainly satisfies the control freak part of me and especially the “not putting anyone out” part. Should be a fun time, although we still have to work out the guest list. So many people already love you : )

And we REALLY love you. It’s miraculous and marvelous and amazing all at the same time. Your dad’s Fatherhood 101 class said he needed to work at bonding with you, but I think he’s pretty much a goner already. He hasn’t gotten to bond with you over baseball yet, but the day will come soon enough. And you’re going to get to attend your first Red Sox game before you’re even born when we go on my birthday. I’ll still be holding a grudge that that’s what we’re doing for MY birthday by your 3rd one : )

We can’t wait to meet you! But please take seriously the pep talks we’ve been giving you and hold out until you’re full term and 8ish pounds, ok?


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Just some notes so I can remember this period in my life:

Trying to be productive but not psycho so that the baby can have a PhD-wielding mommy but limited intrauterine adrenaline. It's looking like my thesis defense will be a videoconference!

Headed to the Pacific Northwest for 2 weeks (work and vacation). Nervous about comfort while traveling, but hoping it's a good time.

We got life insurance, which makes me insanely happy, but I'm still worried about the guardianship decision.

Had dinner with the couple we'll be sharing a nanny with. Nervous, but kind of psyched too.

Totally overwhelmed by the registry process, but feeling like I have a better handle on it. Just keep reminding myself that we can buy anything we need later. There's nothing that we will ever need that we can't afford to buy the kid ourselves.

Trying to figure out whether I can handle paying $1000 for a glider. Our mattress is the only piece of furniture we've ever spent that much on (or even close to that much) and I was pretty sure I was going to use the mattress forever. On the one hand it's pretty, comfy, and everyone says it's something worth spending money on. On the other hand, I can't figure out if it's in line with my values to spend $1000 on a chair when I could use that money to pay for college or travel. Or retirement.

Still can't handle vegetables at all. This is by far the most painful GI situation I've ever had.

Have been having trouble sleeping well for the first time since my husband started using breathe right strips. I may need to add a third pillow to my system.

The kid has been kicking a lot in the last few days. He never kicks hard when my husband is trying to feel him, but it's really fun being reminded that I have a companion in everything I do. Especially when I'm up at 4am.

I'm worried about being out of shape, since I've been feeling mediocre, the weather has been very cold, I've had terrible round ligament pain, and I feel like I'm supposed to be working all the time. Sometimes when I lie on my side my heart feels funny - like it's beating too hard. I worry about blood pressure, but it's usually in a fine range when I go to the doctor. Trying to figure out whether it's worth the money to join the gym for the pool just until our apartment's pool opens in May. I'm leaning towards yes. Walking sucks right now because of the round ligament pain, and I can't stand feeling so fragile.

Overall I'm pretty happy. We are so, so blessed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's (going to be) a boy!

Isn't he cute?

Also, he's awesome because he refused (like the contrary kid I know he is) to get in the right position for them to do one of the heart flow measurements. No need to be worried about it, but for completeness they want to do that when we go back next. So we get another ultrasound! Yay! Go kid!

Naming ideas have begun in earnest now, and we have a short list, but I wonder how we'll choose among the top 3-4.

I can't wait to meet him. But I really need him to stay inside for another 18 weeks so that he can be healthy and strong, and so I can get all my work done before he arrives!