Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Well, now, I am not sure what to say...

I have woefully ignored my blog the past few months. All I can say is that this Fall has been intense. I feel as if I just got off a crazy rollercoaster and can finally sleep. On the plus side, finally having time to slow down has given us a chance to revel in some baby joy. A friend recently asked me what pregnancy felt like, I told her I felt gassy. Not the most poetic of answers, but honest and true.

It also feels a bit as if I don't control my body and everyday is a little adventure. Oh, I never liked spicy food before, those pants don't fit, dark chocolate is suddenly gross,  I woke up with a new body shape, why am I crying at this picture of my neice and on and on. It is pretty wonderful and scary and thrilling all in one.

I have noticed that people will say anything to you once they know you are pregnant. "I miscarried three times before I had my child". "My labor involved me ripping open". "All your baby needs is your breast and your love". The last statement was uttered by a woman patting me down at PDX. She used the time that she was feeling me up for bombs, to explain the glory of her home birthing expirences and to challenge me not to "genderfy" my child. This is why Oregon is awesome people, you can't get that kind of airport security conversation just anywhere.

I am amazed at how freely people share their opinions about childbirth (home or hospital) drugs (evil or wonderful) finding out the gender (destroying nature or practical) and life post baby (a term spent in hell or a glorious awakening of womanhood).  I just wouldn't tell another person what to do with their body and their child. It isn't any of my business.

People I barely know have asked me about what type of birth I am going to have. I don't really want to discuss my birthing expierence with everyone. That seems private. The other day, a woman explained to me that if I didn't stay  home, my child would resent me for life. This seemed appalling. My Mom didn't stay home, my sisters and I are fine. Another person told me not to lose my career in being a Mom as "so many woman your age seem to"

Really? Wasn't the point of fighting for woman to have choices about just that? Choices! Whether or not someone stays home or goes to work seems to be a highly personal choice that each couple must consider. If my husband stays home and I work, or if we both work, or if I stay home. It is all up to us, and I am thankful to have so many options.

Don't get me wrong, I am happy to have people excited for me and interested in our lives, but sometimes that interest can cross a line. Is it because we live in such an open age? Or because people aren't taught basic manners? The expierence is teaching me to think before speaking and ask if it really is any of my business?


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  3. My step sister recently had a baby. Cutie pie Cate. Cried and cried though... Never stopped crying long enough to eat or sleep or breath. It was really stressful. So here's the thing: EIGHT of Jackie's friends had babies at about the same time. You'd think that would be so fun and helpful, right? I'm sure it is, to some extent, but I think all the clucking about made Jackie a little paralyzed. She had this baby who only cried and she didn't know how to help it.

    Everyone had an opinion... wholesome-mom opinions... don't do this, do that, not this, try that. For every solution proposed, there was some kind of reason to reject it. Meanwhile Cate is still crying and mom and dad want to put her back. They can't sleep or work or enjoy their baby! So they left Cate with my mom and Grandpa Wayne one night and Wayne decides to give the baby what amounts to baby-bean-o. Cate stopped crying! But Jackie didn't want to keep giving Cate medicine (even though the doctor said it was fine) so she was reluctant to keep giving Cate the Baby Bean-o and she continued to pull her hair out and think she was a bad mom.

    Then my mom stepped in and said, "Jackie, stop listening to what everyone is telling you and do what is right for your baby! You're forgetting that the most important thing is for Cate to be calm and comfortable." Now, Jackie is normally a very capable, practical person, but it's like she was drowning in the opinions of everyone else (and massively sleep deprived) and she forgot to listen her own intuition on something so basic. Jackie needed that perspective and now Cate has her baby beano and is feeling much better.

    It must be really hard to be a parent when there are so many people (and publications) offering their two-cents. Good post.