Friday, 23 October 2009

Holy October, Batman!

I didn't really expect so much to be going on this month. I had no idea how busy this month would be (hence the lack of updates, for which I apologize). But October has come along and hit me upside the head with a great big reality check!
For starters, I have gone back to work at a new job. The work itself is nothing completely exciting, mostly general admin stuff. But it pays well, and the people in my office are great and very friendly. My hope is to be able to work there until the baby is born in April (or until I get too uncomfortable to contemplate working), take the spring and summer off to be with the bambino, and then go back to teaching next fall. And being the planner that I am, you can bet I already have feelers out to accomplish this plan, not only the teaching aspect, but a place to keep the little nugget while Gez and I are at work. Yup, I've already been in touch with several daycares. Ideally we would've liked to put the baby in a Welsh-language nursery, but there just don't seem to be any that are located conveniently for us. We did discuss the option of driving out of the way, but I really think I'd be uncomfortable if the baby wasn't near to either home or one of our jobs in the event of an emergency. Luckily though, there seems to be a great one just literally around the corner from our new house, so we have an appointment for a tour in a few weeks on the same day as our big ultrasound! Cross your fingers that the children in this daycare look happy and well-adjusted, and a good proximity away from knives, lead paint, campain posters for the British National Party, hard core porn, and the Teletubbies. If everything looks good, safe, nurturing, and reasonably educational then it sure would make things much easier!
Speaking of the new house, that's another large October project. It's really great to watch it come together. The new carpet was put in a couple of weeks ago and made a huge difference, we were able to get in and paint the living room last weekend, so now all we have to do is paint the accent walls in our bedroom and the dining room. Oh yeah, and pack up our flat and move all of our crap. Crap. We should be packing this weekend, but I'm not sure how much is going to get done, considering as I write this I've been laid up with a nasty bug for the past few days. I'm hoping that I'm feeling well enough to get a little bit done this weekend, but most likely it'll turn into a last-minute job where things are thrown into boxes willy-nilly (I always sort of have this fantasy where all the boxes are beautiful labelled and marked for the right room, while their contents are cross referenced in organizational perfection). Ah well, I suppose as long as it gets there, right?

Monday, 12 October 2009

14 weeks 3 days

How far along? 14 weeks, 3 days
Total weight gain: No earthly idea, and I sort of like it that way!
Maternity clothes? I'm still mostly squeezing into my regular clothes, but beginning to add in more and more maternity pieces
Sleep: Much better lately! I wake up fewer times in the night, I sleep more deeply. I think this probably has to do with the fact that I started working full-time again this week!
Best moment this week: My cousin Clay was visiting from America this week, it was great having family around!
Movement: I'm pretty positive I felt the baby for the first time last night!
Gender: I'm still thinking boy, but we shall see!
Labor Signs: No, thank goodness
Belly Button in or out? In
What I miss: You know, not too much this week.
What I am looking forward to: Moving into our new house in a few weeks, hopefully continuing to feel movement.
Weekly Wisdom: Know your limits. I just don't have the energy to do everything my pre-PG self did, sometimes it's frustrating, but I've found that pushing myself physically just doesn't work these days.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Thankful Thursday- one day late

Okay, okay, but "Thankful Friday" just doesn't have quite the same ring to it! I've been the beneficiary of the some amazing generosity as of late, so I just wanted to properly give thanks where it's due and AW the awesome gifts a bit. Last week I wrote about the awesome morning I had shopping with my friend, Celyn. Above are her first official baby gifts, two articles of clothing that reduced us, highly educated women, to 11-year-old girls at a Hannah Montana concert. I wish you could tell from the picture how soft they are!
I am fortunate to be the member of an amazing online community of pregnant women and new mommies. We've developed into quite the tight-knit group, and just that in itself is enough, but I have to give a shout out to the wonderful Mrs.Bro for this cute little Welsh Dragon sleeper and hat! Gez, of course, loved this but commented that the white might show where the baby spills his Guinness on international match day, to which I gave him a very cutting side eye.

The last is that little treasure trove pictured above. A boxful of American treats sent by lovely Mama, which will satisfy many a craving! Yep, that's Mac & Cheese, a variety of Jell-O flavors, homemade bread & butter pickles, Country Time Lemonade, two (yep, count 'em, two!) jars of Skippy crunchy peanut butter, and a few cute maternity shirts thrown in for good measure! I literally squealed out loud when I opened the box.
Let this be a lesson to all of you- send me awesome presents and get mad props!
Thank you!!!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

What Do We Give Up?

Honestly, I don't only want to write about stroller reviews and mucus plugs (yep, I said it). There are lots of things (besides my bladder) that keep me up at night thinking. Not because I'm scared, guilty, or worried, but simply because I can't wrap my head around it and come to any sort of satisfying conclusion. One thing I've been pondering as of late is how much we, as women choosing to have children, give up. Like most little girls raised in the 80's I am a product of "you can be anything you want to be," and revisited fairy tales in which Cinderella found her own damn shoe, decided she wasn't a big fan of dancing or princes, and moved to Berkeley where she shacks up with a shorn-headed Rapunzel.
I know the debate about whether or not it's possible to "have it all" has been argued to the point where it's beyond cliche, and I'm not trying to revive it here. I'm sure the journey is different for each woman, but I do think every woman is forced to make some pretty important choices on the road to motherhood, and do these choices speak to any sort of a larger picture? For my part, I've certainly put my career on hold- not simply to have this baby but also to move to the UK, and I'm ok with that. But part of me (probably the part of me that came of age watching a young Diane Keaton single handedly raise her adopted daughter, tough out a New England winter, and build an organic baby food company in Baby Boom) feels guilty for not feeling guilty.
It's not only physical aspects of having a child that cause other important life events to take a back seat. For many women, work doesn't fade into the background just because you have to take time off. It's psychological as well. This is something I never really understood before, but pregnancy really is all-consuming. I am always, always, always thinking of this baby- even when I'm talking about something else. Hell, I've devoted a whole blog to it. Emails to friends are basically just disjointed ramblings about baby and pregnancy (sorry guys), and it's something over which I have very, very little control. Other pregnant women I talk to report the same thing, even those who have devoted themselves for years to building a career, always making it the priority, find their minds wandering to Babies 'R Us during important meetings. It's nature, it's natural, so then why do I sometimes feel the Ghosts of Feminists Past breathing down my neck? Is it all those gender theory and history classes (curse you, Laura Lee Downs!!)? I'm not sure, although I suspect it's the deep, deep appreciation I have for the fact that I can make these choices, and a desire to honor the hard work of others that made having both a career and a baby (or just a baby, or just a career) a possibility.