Sunday, February 24, 2013

When to spill the beans and the fear of miscarriage

Currently, I know a dozen or so pregnant women. I have never known so many pregnant women. I have only known about 4 or 5 pregnant woman at any given time.  But now that I am a mom, I am hanging out with more moms than ever before. Some of these expecting ladies will be first time moms and some are having their second child. Some ladies announced their pregnancy as early as 6 weeks and some waited till 14 weeks.  I remember when I was pregnant Goggling, “when can I tell people that I am pregnant?”.  As if there was some law or hardline rule about when to share happy news with the people you love.

We told my father as soon as we knew I was pregnant because that was my father’s request. He had been excited for a while to have a grandbaby finally living on U.S. soil.  I am pretty sure we told a few other close family and friends but I really cannot remember. Thanks to Facebook, I found this wall post from October 20th 2010:

“Yesterday I got to hear the heartbeat of my baby. And it is starting to look like a baby instead of a squiggle. It was too cool! So it is really official, I am 12 1/2 weeks pregnant, we expect our bundle of joy May 1st. Can't wait to find out if it will be a boy or girl.”  

So why did I wait to announce my news? Part of me wanted to keep the news to a very select few people so it would just be us sharing an exciting secret. Another part of me was afraid that I might lose the baby so I wanted to wait until the first trimester was over. This is an extremely common fear and one of the main reasons people wait to announce their pregnancy.

According to , the likelihood of a miscarriage is 70% in the first week, then drops to 30% in the 2nd week, 10% in weeks 3-6 and 5% in weeks 7-12, 3% during the 2nd trimester and 1% during the 3rd trimester. says that “Approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage; some estimates are as high as 1 in 3. If you include loss that occurs before a positive pregnancy test, some estimate that 40% of all conceptions result in loss.” I know of women who have had miscarriages and my heart goes out to them. I am sure we all know someone who has had a miscarriage even if we are unaware of the miscarriage.  It is something people do not talk about even though it is fairly common.

I have not been through that experience and hope I never do so I can only speculate how I would handle such a loss. I am a person who is very open and honest. I think I would talk about it and I am sure I would write about here to help me work through my feelings. I always feel better after talking and writing about issues. I think it would be helpful for women who experience this type of loss to talk openly about it in a safe environment. That might not be your Facebook wall but maybe it is if that will help you deal with your emotions. I find it can be easier to write something that is too say to say out loud.

If you have never been pregnant, you might not understand that as soon as you know there is a life growing inside of you, you begin to bond with that life and think about your future together. If you lose that baby before you even knew it was there, you will still think about what could have been. It is hard to grieve and morn any death. I can imagine it is more difficult to deal with the loss of someone who never lived outside of your own body because people might not understand and won’t know what to say.  People might not understand how you can be so upset over someone who never saw the light of day and people in general don’t know what to do when a person is dealing with death.

I try to never let fear hold me back from doing something.  Announce your pregnancy when you want to, in a way you feel comfortable whether that be phone, text, email, or Facebook. If you just got a positive pregnancy test and want to tell someone, go ahead.  If your pregnancy ends in loss, I really hope you will tell someone and talk with supportive people. You may find that you know other women who have been through miscarriage and can support each other

Did you know that October 15th is National Miscarriage and Infant Loss Remembrance Day?  It was started by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Here is a great site to learn more about it

While writing this post I found many websites dedicated to breaking the silence surrounding miscarriage.  I thought it was very well put on when she wrote: 

"I was angry because I am expected to carry a triple burden: the burden of fertility; the burden of pregnancy itself; and perhaps most of all, the burden of silence if a pregnancy is lost."

Let's try to make our burdens as light as possible.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mom’s Day Out

I recently enjoyed my very first day away from my 21 month old son. Last summer I had hoped to get a weekend away but I also did not expect him to still be nursing. In the fall of 2011 I did spend about 5 hours away but that was the longest we had ever been apart until this past weekend. When I left him for that 5 hour stretch I was worried about him and how my husband would cope, this time I was all “Peace out suckers!”
That morning I woke up before the baby, excited as if it were Christmas morning.  Once he got up, I changed his diaper (my husband usually handles the first diaper change if he is home) and nursed him for as long as he wanted. That turned out to be about 15 minutes which is half as long as our normal first feed.   He had breakfast and I got ready. Then I offered him some boob and he nursed for a really short period of time much to my surprise.  Yo Gabba Gabba was on, Orion was mesmerized in his little chair, and I ran out of the house around 8:45 as if I was on fire.

I jumped into our cute little impractical Fiat 500, turned the seat warmers on, scraped the frost from my window and got my CD selection together.  I was ready for the 2 hour drive to Richmond to meet up with a girlfriend (who has a 10 month old) and see the Chihuly exhibit (awesome!), enjoy a leisurely lunch, and some shopping.  If you saw anyone bombing down 95 south in the left land on Saturday with a huge shit eating grin on their face, it was probably me.  It just felt good to be driving the fun car and not the mom car (Scion XB which I do love) and listen to my music (not children’s music) as loudly as I wanted.   

As we walked around Carytown, I noticed some stroller parking signs and was so happy that it was not currently applicable.  I was able to go into a vintage shop without fear of grubby little hands destroying lovely expensive things. I could stop in every store if I wanted without worrying about a small man’s behavior or needs. Yes, I did have a milk box, peanut butter sandwich, and veggie chips in the car but they were in case I got hungry.

I was in the mood for big sloppy burgers so we walked down to Carytown burgers and fries. I would have been impossible to order a burger there while navigating a stroller, the place was super packed when we got there around 12:15. My girlfriend and I both ordered the Kojack with guacamole, fires, and a beer. I rarely ever drink while the sun is out but this was a celebration and I enjoyed 2 beers without worry of getting my baby drunk on my boob juice. How nice to not have to rush through a meal and to be able to eat my food while it’s still hot instead of feeding Orion.

Someday I look forward to taking Orion to all sorts of museums but he is at the age now where if he can’t touch it and run around he is not interested.  The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was crowed which usually drives me insane but I was in such a good mood and just happy to see people out supporting art and enjoying Chihuly’s wonderful glasswork.  We were able to take our time meandering through the museum and exhibit up to a point as I did have a 2 hour drive home and one could spend all day in that museum. At 4, we chatted over a hot cup of coffee without fear of it burning fresh baby flesh. Then it was time to go even though we did not get to talk as much as we wanted or see everything there was to see.

For the first time all day, I began to get nervous while driving home. How are my boys doing? What if I get a speeding ticket, or get into an accident or the car breaks down.  I played out each of these scenarios in my head. When I got near Fredericksburg, a light flurry of snow began to fall and most drivers in Virginia are clueless about driving in snow so there was always a slow down if we were driving downhill.  I was running a bit late so I called Patrick when I was about 30 minutes from home to let him know where I was.  I got home around 7pm and was very surprised to find that everything was perfectly fine

I walked in the house and Orion came running over to the babygate with a small toy mouse in each hand. He really wanted to show me his mice but the TV was on so he soon returned to his chair to finish watching his program. I was able to have a civilized conversation with my husband, tell him about my day, and show him the cute things I purchased. Then I asked Orion if he wanted to nurse. There was no reply until I turned off the TV and he was all “when did those boobs get here?”.   I nursed him and he was asleep in no time and slept through the night.

I was expecting to walk in the door to an upset crying baby and a husband at the end of his rope. Orion would run over to me, claw at my shirt and nurse for hours and be up a few times in the night. I was so happy to be wrong. That day we had 3 nursing sessions and nursed for just over an hour.  Since then he has nursed 7 times a day for 3-4 hours per day. This supports my theory that if I want to wean him I will need to leave him.  Working full time is starting to look pretty good. Now I just need to find a job that will pay me enough to cover the cost of daycare or even better has daycare available. Meh, I would rather be with my baby even if he loves my boobs more than me.

I made Patrick tell me all about their day together repeatedly so I could imagine it all in my head.  Patrick was also surprised by how well Orion did without me all day long. Orion napped in the car, then they went to the indoor playground. Keeping busy and having snacks is important to keep Orion happy.  But if there are boobs, he will want them and I have a hard time saying no but we are working on it.  Maybe in another 21 months I will be able to have a night away.  I hope it doesn't take that long but maybe once a month I can have a day away. I came back refreshed and excited to see my baby, I recommend it highly for every mom!          

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Getting Grumpy over Costco Gas

Since we have been living in the Northern Virginia suburbs for 5 years and have a toddler, it was only a matter of time before we joined Costco.  We joined about 4 months ago after a friend took me on a Costco trip so I could check it out.  If we used formula and disposable diapers we probably would have joined sooner because you can save big money on those expensive items.  After asking some friends and Facebook groups what they like about Costco and their products, it seemed the savings on gas would make the membership worthwhile.

Costco Gas isn't really out of the way for me to stop and fill the tank but I never seem to be heading that way when I need gas.  Sometimes the gas is 10 cents cheaper and sometimes it is 4 cents cheaper. Sometimes the lines are crazy long and that parking lot is always an insane death trap.  I have seen things at the Costco pumps that I have not witnessed at other gas stations.  Why do people always get in their car and wait for their tank to fill up, how big is your tank? I know it is cold but I have seen this on hot, cold, and mild days. If there are 5 cars in front of me and everyone is getting in and out of their cars, that wastes at least 5 minutes of my time.  That can be a big deal if I have an unhappy baby in the car.

People also do not like to pull around if the second pump in the lane opens up but there is someone at the first pump. The place was designed so you can pull around to the pump that is free in your lane.  Don’t run anyone over, be safe and all but don’t be a wimp.  People, you should know how big your car is and how to drive your car. I saw a minivan today try to pull away from the first pump but the guy at the second pump the next lane over was in the way so the van honked at him. Dude moved over and the van still could not get around every though they had 5 feet of clearance to begin with. So that minivan had to wait for the car at the second pump in his lane to drive away.  If you can’t handle the Costco pump, I would hate to see you parallel park on the tiny streets of Philadelphia, or anywhere. Know how to operate your vehicle!    

Also, the pumps are designed so you can use the pump to fill your tank regardless of what side your gas cap is on. The nozzle will stretch around to the other side of your car which means that you never pull up on the wrong side. Why isn't every pump like this? We own two cars and the tanks are on different sides and I always forget which side the gas tank is on when I drive the fun car instead of the mom car.

So please, when pumping gas at Costco, stay at the pump while you fill up your car, pull forward when space is available, pull out when you are done, know how big your car is and how to maneuver.  Pick whatever lane you want, I will always go for the shortest line and not which side my tank is located.