Just Us Girls

Just Us Girls

...one SMC's adventures in single motherhood.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pregnancy ain't easy

Not that I ever thought it would be.

First, there's this perpetual in-limbo state I find myself in. Waiting...waiting...and waiting some more. Waiting until my twenty-week ultrasound. Waiting to find out the gender. Waiting until I'm *really* showing. Waiting to buy the baby gear I want to purchase NOW. Waiting until I can afford the bigger-ticket items! Waiting to set up a baby room until I know the gender. Waiting for the holidays to get here. You get the idea. I remarked to someone today how I seem to be wishing my life away, at least for the next five or so months. I'm finding it difficult to enjoy the now, rather than constantly trying to look down the road. And I don't quite know how to stop.

Physically, it's hard to feel not at 100 percent for an extended period of time. I frequently catch myself wishing I felt more like my "old" self. But would I wish to not ever be pregnant? Not in a million years. I'm really sick and tired of always feeling exhausted all the time, even though I KNOW it's only gonna get worse. As a middle school teacher of 120-plus students, I'm finding it really challenging to keep up with everything, especially the ever-present grading of papers. (Perfect example: today my students generated four pages-worth of work during a 45 minute class period, making a grand total of yet another 480 pages for me to grade. It creates quite the stack. And there will always be more the next day.) Not that I'm *ever* in the mood to do it. It's one of those comes-with-the-territory evils, and one that's not ever going to go away for the next fifteen-or-so years. It's just harder to accept it when one is pregnant. And whatever happened to the so-called increased energy I'm supposed to feel during my second trimester, huh?! Haven't seen it yet. All I feel is more tired, a lot more hungry all the time, and even my boobs feel more sore, which is *definitely* not supposed to be happening right now. I'm chalking it up to a growth spurt or three on the part of this tiny little human sharing space in my body. *sigh*

I am also finding it somewhat hard to be pregnant by myself. I did anticipate that this would be challenging, and I was right. It's still a ton of fun to dream and imagine what it's going to be like, especially this newfound mission of shopping online for all things baby. But there are also a lot of times when it's downright lonely. The people around me don't want to hear about all the pregnancy-related thoughts spinning around in my head, and for the most part I don't talk about it except to answer random questions now and then. (The most annoying one by far is constantly being asked, "So how are you FEELING?" Um, fine, thanks.) When it comes down to it, women have been going through this for eons, and there is DEFINITELY more to life than being pregnant. Even though right now it's foremost in my brain.

I hope this post doesn't come across as being too complain-y, because I don't mean it to be. I still wouldn't trade this opportunity for anything in the world. But this blog was intended to be a safe place for me to process some of these thoughts flying through my head, and these are all thoughts that I've found myself burying (and not really talking about) until now. It feels great to put them into words and nail them down to this computer screen. It'll be interesting to reread them after the baby is born. :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Seeking advice...

Just a question to any and all veteran moms out there--

I am pondering the myriad of stroller options, and I can't quite figure out the desirability of a "travel system" (car seat plus stroller). When would I need to keep the baby in his/her car seat, then snap it into its accompanying stroller? I mean, I can't wait to go on walks using a stroller, but I'm leaning more towards a jogging stroller-type thing rather than a travel system. I can definitely see the advantage of not waking up a sleeping infant in a car seat in order to put him/her into a stroller, but as far as I can see, the only time I'd do that is if I were going shopping at a mall etc., something I so rarely do. And even then, wouldn't I just use a regular stroller?! More often than not, I envision a travel system-type stroller just getting in the way and taking up space, when it's just easier to carry a car seat for short distances.

Any thoughts?? I'd love to hear from other experienced moms out in the blogosphere...
Thanks in advance!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My favorite time of year

Ahh, fall...I'm so glad you're back! I LOVE fall for so many reasons. Among them:

  • that delicious smell of woodsmoke in the air, especially at night
  • a slight nip in the air, which, right now, feels downright refreshing
  • fleece--enough said!
  • pumpkins and fall decorations for sale in the stores
  • yummy-smelling candles around the house
  • cozy socks
  • seeing the leaves in the neighborhoods just begin to change
  • the chance (not quite yet, though) to drive up into the mountains and check out the aspens turning all shades of gold
  • my birthday--October's always been my favorite month
  • coming home and changing into cozy clothes, curling up on the sofa to watch TV or whatnot
  • snuggling under warm blankets
  • the first snow of the season!
  • all my favorite sweaters and corduroys, even though I can't wear them till next fall
  • sunny fall days are the BEST!
I'm sure there are more...just can't think of 'em at the moment. This is enough to pique my excitement for now! Right now, the best part is that the arrival of fall is yet another step closer to March sixth! Fall, then winter, then early spring when my little one will arrive! Woohoo!

(photo courtesy of www.hickerphoto.com)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sigh of relief...times three

As I expected! I talked to my landlords today and got the green light for renewing my lease next month. They were definitely taken aback by my news...not at all what they expected I might say. And they seem to be very happy for me--because they both have (grown) kids, they started talking about cribs and changing tables and diapers and daycare and such, which was very cute. I am SO relieved. Not sure whether they'll let me sign a year's lease after this one, but I'll play that one by ear. I was really hoping to NOT have to move while pregnant. *sigh of relief*

In other news, I got a scary call from my OB's office today, and I found myself in that surreal place of wondering, is this when my pregnancy--and my LIFE--changes forever? I am altogether too aware that things can change on a dime when you least expect it, and my life is absolutely no exception. The call referred to my recent AFP bloodwork (for spina bifida and anencephaly) and asked me to call back immediately...my heart absolutely dropped. I called back and the nurse who had called sounded very sheepish--she thought I'd be angry that I'm going to have to re-do the bloodwork because I did it too early through no fault of my own. Turns out it has to be done between sixteen and eighteen weeks, which they didn't tell me, so the earliest I can do it is September twentieth. She has no CLUE that as long as it's not bad news about the wellbeing of my CHILD, I could care less! Sure, it's a tiny inconvenience, but in the grand scheme of things? That ain't nothin', lady. Really.

I got my thimerosal-free flu shot today--no mercury-based preservatives for me, thankyouverymuch. I'm not sure how much of any kind of risk it would be, but hey, if I can do it without mercury, why the heck not? It was easy and relatively painless, and I'm relieved because SO MANY of my students are sick right now. Getting the flu is not an appealing prospect. I haven't gotten a flu shot in several years at least, and I have no recollection as to whether or not I felt sick after getting the last one, whenever that was. Here's hoping I don't feel under the weather over the next few days. I'm so glad it's done and off my to-do list. :)

Counting down to October 8th...happy birthday AND happy gender day!!!

(I recently read about a cute idea for finding out the gender...have the ultrasound tech write the gender down on a piece of paper (and not tell me right away) and seal it in an envelope. Take the envelope to the local cake store, give them specific directions to open it (without telling me) and to make a cake with either a) strawberries or pink icing inside if it's a girl, OR b) blueberry filling or blue icing inside if it's a boy. Either cake would be frosted the same, so the only way to get the answer would be to cut into the cake and see. I love the idea, but a big part of me wants the option of talking with the ultrasound tech at the time to find out how "sure" she is about the gender. If it's questionable at the time, I kinda want to know that, you know? We'll see, I guess. :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Ugh. I have to talk with my landlords sometime this week to fill them in on the "big news"...my lease is up for renewal next month, and it's very specific in terms of only ONE person living here. (It's a small cottage that was built in 1914, and it's really best for a single person, or maybe a single person with a small child.) I don't think they'll tell me I have to move, and I certainly have zero desire to move while I'm pregnant. I've been a good tenant over the past two years, and I recently finished (well, almost) painting the entire porch ceiling, walls, railing and floor, which ended up being free labor for them (they paid for materials). Before they gave me the lease to sign two years ago, they were *about* to rent to a couple with a dog, but they were pretty thrilled to rent to just me (sans pet as well) instead. I suspect they'll be fine with me signing a new lease until next October, since the baby won't arrive until early March or late February, but perhaps not another lease after that. I don't know. But at this point I can't even fathom having to leave this cottage...it's been so perfect for me and I've absolutely loved it.

So where will I put the baby, you ask? Well, there is a small room off of the bedroom that's gonna be perfect. Before I moved in, it was designed to be a *large* walk-in closet, but the interesting thing is that it also has two small-but-very-sunny windows and even an exterior (deadbolted) door! It's light and bright and perfect for a baby's room. There are even grapevines (!) right outside one of the windows, and I love how the sunlight filters in through them. I'd so love to know what the room was intended for way back in 1914--I honestly have no idea. The bathroom is on the other side of the cottage, so I doubt it was for that. Anyway. Wish me luck this week...I so hope my landlords will let me stay. (Is it legal for them to say no? They're lawyers after all...)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Heartbeat City

Love it!!! A "strong" and "very clear" (my fabulous OB's words) heartbeat of 152 bpm. I love that it's getting easier and easier for him to find it each visit. I decided today that I'm going to start a new tradition for the rest of my pregnancy: to celebrate each awesome OB visit, I am going to stop off somewhere and buy something--as inexpensive as I feel like--after the appointment, just to throw a little party in my head and make it all feel a bit more real. So today's purchase (gender-neutral, of course) was a set of white long-sleeved newborn onesies and a set of white short-sleeved organic newborn onesies from Target. SO much fun to browse, but so much of it is oriented to either a boy or a girl, and I still have four more weeks to wait. Which brings me to...

You'll never guess when I get to have my anatomy scan and find out the gender!! Yep, on October 8th, my 40th birthday!!! I couldn't believe it. One of the best birthday presents I could possibly dream up, even if it does have to be my fortieth. The scheduling gal offered to postpone the appointment until October 12th, but I decided, no way. I can't wait to find out! So only one more month to go. Wonder if it'll drag or go by quickly...


I don't know what's been up with this month, but it feels like I've been waiting forever for tomorrow's OB appointment. Yeah, yeah, I know that forever is an extremely relative term. But when it feels that way, how can you really compare? Yesterday I read a devastating post from a woman on the WTE due-in-March message board...I know I shouldn't have, that whole STAY POSITIVE! deal. But it's haunted me ever since, probably because she was as far along as I am now: fourteen and a half weeks.

CAUTION: you might want to skip over this next part...
In a nutshell, she woke up at 3 am and used the bathroom, and according to her account, her fourteen week old baby pretty much just fell out (not sure how that's possible, really), and she bled so much she passed out until they revived her at the hospital and set her up for a D and C. Not that I think I'm "safe" or anything...I know enough to realize that I'm not. Still very hopeful, but NOTHING is guaranteed. I also fully realize that the above account could very easily have been made up for attention, but I typically try to give others the benefit of the doubt. Anyway.

I can't WAIT to hear the heartbeat again tomorrow! Just for a little reassurance. No more ultrasounds until 20 weeks, as far as I know. I also can't wait to start feeling movement, which may happen in as little as two weeks from now. That will be VERY reassuring. I'm caught in that strange place between wanting to live in the now and enjoy every day, every week, every moment, and wanting to fast-forward through the next six months and just GET THERE. And being on the cusp of--gasp!--forty, fast-forwarding through my life is the LAST thing I should be wanting to do. But I seriously cannot wait. I can't wait to start showing (more), I can't wait to find out the gender, I can't wait to start feeling those little kicks. Which will eventually become BIGGER kicks. Because this may well be my only pregnancy, I should be focusing on enjoying every moment of it instead of hurrying it along, but I can't seem to help myself. I just can't. Wait. To. Get. There.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


SOO funny--and surreal--yesterday. Right before my students were about to begin brainstorming and drafting a baseline paragraph assessment, kind of a big deal at our school, two girls came up to me, Alyssa and Tori:

Alyssa: "Ms. Mills, can I ask you a question?"
Me: (completely unsuspecting) "Sure..."
Alyssa: "C'mere," she says, motioning for me to lean down so she can whisper in my ear.
Me: (leaning down)
Alyssa: (in the smallest voice possible for an eleven-year-old) "Are you having a BABY?"
Me: (speechless)
Me: (a beat later) "So you can tell, huh?"

I think Tori came up with Alyssa out of pure curiosity, since they sit next to one another in class. Yeah, I was wearing a dress with an empire waist, and yeah, I admit it--there was a little bump. I so didn't expect it yesterday, and as luck would have it, this class was about an hour before lunch, so the news traveled pretty fast during lunch.

Here are a few more gems from yesterday:

"Ms. Mills, are you really PREGNANT??"

Student: "What are you having?"
Me: "A puppy..."
Student: "No, REALLY!"

"Ms. Mills, they keep saying that you're pregnant. Is it TRUE?"

To my third period class, the class after the one in which I was busted:

Me: "I have a confession to make."
Class: ???
Me: "It's all Alyssa's fault...she busted me during the last class..."
Class: (puzzled looks)
Me: "It turns out that there AREN'T 24 kids in this class. There are actually 25, but you can't see the twenty-fifth one. He or she is very small." (They look around the room.)
Random student: "A gnome?"
Me: "Um, basically..."

Their reaction after I spelled out the news?
Student: "I KNEW it!"
Student: "I almost asked you! A couple times!"
Student: "I was going to ask, but then I saw that commercial where the guy in the elevator says congratulations on your baby to that woman and she hits him, and then I knew I shouldn't..."

"Are you having a girl or a boy?"

"Can we see pictures?"

"Will you tell us if it's a girl or boy after you find out?"

I was relieved that I didn't have to field any questions about my marital status, except for one:
Kaysia: (in a slightly scolding tone) "Ms. Mills..."
Me: ???
Kaysia: "But you're not married, are you?"
Me: "Well, that's personal stuff, so I'm not going to talk about that right now."
(But she still seems to accept it--she's not judgmental, even though it sounds like it here.)

And today:
Molek: "Hey, be quiet, everybody! You have to be NICE to pregnant ladies! They can't take the stress!"

SO funny. You gotta love eleven year olds! But I daresay I dealt with it pretty well. I don't really care to know what the parents are thinking or saying at home. When it comes right down to it, it's not their biznass.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This better be a good one

Next OB appointment?

Next Wednesday.