Reality Check

“You’ve certainly been making up for that whole bedrest thing from last pregnancy,” my friend told me over the phone last night. And indeed I have.

I’ve spent the last 8 months or so raising a toddler, working a job, starting a business, running to doctor’s appointments, toting the crew to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s and Grammy’s and Uncle Jeff’s, seeing friends, carousing with the menfolk, writing a blog post or two, giving interviews, trying (but failing somewhat) to stay up to date on Lost, reading the news, washing the occasional dish in the sink, attending conferences, shuttling between New York and LA, and trying to secure future writing opportunities that evidently I will have endless free time to accomplish the coming months.

In other words: Total denial.

Because what have I not done? Named the baby. Researched double strollers. Looked at one “your baby at week X” page on Babycenter. Dug up the newborn clothes. Done one kegel exercise. Taken a prenatal vitamin in oh…like a million years.

It’s as if my swelling belly is the result of some sort of bizarre medical condition that requires me to avoid sushi and up my bra size every four minutes or so, and not a sign that there’s a critter in there with my DNA and one day soon, she’s going to want out.

And a place to sleep.

Maybe some love and affection.

The occasional breast milk.

But this week, my body forced me to start confronting the change ahead. Nothing like a rabid posse of Braxton-Hicks contractions taking over your uterus in an angry coup to smack your baby-denying self back to reality. For three straight days I’ve hardly been able to kneel down to extract a dust bunny-coated sippy cup out from under the couch, let alone attack my normally ambitious schedule.

So I’m guessing that means that…yep. A baby is definitely coming whether she has a name or not.

(Answer: Not. Definitely still not.)

And now I’m supposed to slow down.

Boy, am I not good at slowing down. Not good at all.


37 thoughts on “Reality Check”

  1. That slow down thing is a slap in the face. Like “OK, if you need to slow down, that’s fine, I understand, but why would I need to slow down?” Yeah, that was me.When she was born, I got up that night to make dinner, which was going to be jar spaghetti sauce or something equally difficult. I almost fainted. That was my message to SLOW DOWN.Good luck. 🙂

  2. Thanks again for the fun interview Liz! I love this post…sounds like you have a new daily mantra, Slow Down! But then again, we all know that’s much easier said than done. Good luck, and I can’t wait to hear what you name that little one…

  3. The <>occasional<> breastmilk?Bwahahaha!As the mom of a 10 week old, may I remind you that nursing in the early weeks can take up to 10 hours a DAY? Particularly if they’re pokey. Budget your time accordingly — and practice typing with one hand!Good luck to you — can’t wait to hear all about the little one and how or <>if<> you do slow down for a bit after birth!

  4. Maybe you could let her decide on her own name when she learns to talk. I find the naming process so much pressure. There is the finality of living with it for a lifetime and the idea that it sets the path to success and happiness. Sorry, that’s exactly what you don’t need to hear right now. Really, it’s no biggie!

  5. Ha ha. Don’t let Whymommy fool you. She just went to a conference with 10 week old in tow. Or in sling.She did slow down all throughout the pregnancy though. But now? I don’t think so 🙂

  6. Slow down? You mean we’re supposed to slow down?Kidding. I’ve been forced to slow down thanks to lots of braxton-hicks contractions and the feeling that my pubic bone might shatter in two. I’m digging up newborn clothes this weekend. Hopefully.

  7. Well if she keeps up all this trouble… Clinton Portis is always an option :O)

  8. That last comment was me… I accidently put anonymous and I just realized it. I wasn’t sure how you felt about anon. comments so just letting you know!

  9. You’ve been a busy windstorm. As a good friend from work put it, “No worries though, there’s no way you’ll be so busy that you’ll miss when labor starts!” So says the lady who was sewing curtains for the nursery while her timing her contractions.

  10. Slow down? What’s that? I was still running for the crosstown bus at 41 weeks.I’m a big fan of the jam-packed agenda. If your health (and Little Miss No-Name) can handle it, carry on!

  11. I’m just throwing this out there, but “Ramona” means strong protector. Just a thought. 😉

  12. It’s all good. Promise. I know this is night and day from a first pregnancy, but it’s pretty common for a second pregnancy…If you’re stressed about it, slow down. If you aren’t, don’t. Either way, she’ll make her appearance when she’s good and ready, not when you are, and that lesson is only the first of many that she’ll teach you about control. “What control?,” she’d say if she could talk.

  13. Do your Kegels!!!! For the love of all things dry, you do not want to go through what I did/do. Other than that, what else do you really need to know? You know the baby will get here one way or another, a stroller can be bought on a moment’s notice and Nate already has lots of names picked out (ok, scratch that last one). I’m just happy that you feel great this time around and are able to get so much done! Geesh, your list of accomplishments would be impressive for a singleton in her 20’s!

  14. I’m with slouching mom, slow down is not necessary unless your spotting or cramping or the baby’s head is poking out down there. Just keep at it. Your body will tell you when it needs a break. Nothing makes the time fly like keeping it up until the last gasp, I mean push…

  15. Woman, I know you are not good at slowing down, but, my advice is: SLOW DOWN. I lived a run-around lifestyle, working at a stressful, physically taxing job during my pregnancy, and, likely as a result, wound up with seriously painful contractions two to several times an hour from seven months through the end of my pregnancy, which made me utterly miserable, and sent me in for pre-term labor evaluations more than once. My doctor made me limit my activities, but my son was still born two weeks early. Two weeks early isn’t bad (I know a lot of people actually wish for that), but if I hadn’t slowed down, I really think it might have been three weeks, or four, or five.I see that many posters above have managed a hectic lifestyle right up until the 42nd week, and of course that’s wonderful if it worked for them, but, every pregnancy is different, and I say, if your body is telling you what you are doing is too much, I think you should listen. As for the name, eh, don’t worry. It’ll come to you. I’ve never met anyone named “Nameless Becausemymommycouldn’tchoose Jones.” And, hey, why don’t you just toss a catalog on the floor and let Thalia pick the double stroller? I’m sure she’ll be more adept at that than the name thing 😉

  16. Is it me or have you been pregnant forever? Just kidding, Liz! Looks like the newbie’s ready to come out soon. Remember…when in doubt, you can always go with Clinton Portis!

  17. Agreeing on a baby name with your partner is slightly more difficult than performing your own appendectomy. Bossy never realized she associated so many hideous things with ninety percent of the names in her Baby Name book while Bossy’s husband rejected any names that had to do with his stay at Penn State and isn’t that like one of the largest colleges in the universe?

  18. You know Liz, I read your lovely posts on pregnancy and I would just like to thank you for reaffirming my decision to adopt instead of trying another kick at the pregnancy can. (Not that it was really an option, but still.)I’m really glad some other woman out there is suffering the swollen cankles and hemorrhoids, all so that I can bring home my bundle of love.Which still has no name either.Shiiiit.

  19. to me, an a-type night means that i did the dishes and kept track of the hockey score while simultaneously watching survivor. take care of yourself and get that double stroller – it’s gonna be hard to shlep two kids and post-partum boobs around by yourself.

  20. I can totally relate. After being on bedrest with my last two, I’ve been taking weekly injections to prevent preterm labor with this one and boy has it made me cocky. At almost 32 weeks I’ve been doing whatever I please until yesterday, and a rousing bout of Braxton Hicks for 6 hours made me realize that I’m still vulnerable and no matter how much denial is involved, I don’t have a super uterus. They say it is actually irritable. The nerve. So now I have to take it easy… and still run the household and office. Of course! Too easy. LOL

  21. Amen. The reason you can’t/won’t slow down? Now you know what it’s like after the baby comes… how very little time you have to work/sleep/eat/shower/poop in those first few weeks. I have been in uber-speed painting rooms, ordering carpet, rearranging toy bins, etc., in the hopes that I will get it all done and feel “ready” before the real contractions hit. But all this running around will probably send me into early labor, which is NOT PART OF THE PLAN, so hang in there, baby. Plus, my mother-in-law keeps saying how she “hopes I will go into labor early” since she is flying to Rome on my due date. Um. Thanks for the jinx, woman.After chasing this speed-demon toddler around all day, I panic when I try to imagine nursing this baby. Using both hands. While sitting down. Ugh. I read this and thought: Damn. I’m only two weeks behind you. *PANIC!*

  22. Your burst of energy is sure to come any day now and it will be really hard to slow down. You know, the one that has you doing all those things obsessively. As for a name–how bout Dahlia? I just recently heard it and fell in love with it.

  23. How do you feel about “Anonymous”? Perhaps that can be her name. On the double stroller, I advise going with the long version not the double wide. So freakin’ hard getting around anyplace with a regular width stroller. The double-wide was impossible to maneuver. I found the front seat/back seat one much easier. But then I’m likely quite inept all around. Perhaps you should look to someone else for good advice.

  24. i completely agree with the comment you left over in my ‘hood, mom101… cringe-inducingly painful, infuriating, and also strange in the way that it seemed to mock what i feel can be a very legitimate art form (i know that sounded totally sanctimonious, but still).btw, as an ex-DC girl, i have to throw my hat in the ring for clinton portis. i’m just sayin’. the advertising whore in me also says that maybe you could go the modern-branding route and have the redskins pay you some usage fees? i’m no parent, but i hear those diaper costs add up…heh.

  25. Oh how exciting! I just found you, so I have just now bookmarked you and I look forward to hearing more about miss/mister as yet unnammed.

  26. I can’t help with names, BUT! The double stroller? Phil & Ted. Holy crappin’ rabbits I love that thing. Infant and a toddler? No problem! Single infant? Coolio! Two toddlers? Peachy. Single toddler? Cool & breezy baby. I wish I’d known about this when I had Perp so I could have avoided the pig of a Graco I ended up getting. What a beast.Hear the siren call … Philllll and Tedddddd.

  27. I’ll just echo northwoods baby, don’t get a Graco double stroller! They weigh like 386 pounds, are big and bulky when folded and mine doesn’t even have a cup holder for me!

  28. Yeah. Seriously slow down. You can’t recoup in the same way right now. And by slow down, I mean sit on your ass, eat bon bons and catch up on Lost. Oh. And Get yourself the Battlestar Galactica miniseries, and then start working through the show. You will not regret it.

  29. My vote is for the name Somerset. I think it’s both odd and classic all at the same time. Reminds me of summertime and sunsets. But anyway. Slowing down is tough. Especially with a toddler. You could make a game out of it, though. “I’m going to sit down now with my pretend martini (or other off-limits beverage) and rest my feet for a little bit because I have nothing better to do. Oh, look at the beautiful clouds in the sky. I think I shall name them and blog about that next.”

  30. I thought you both had your hearts set on ‘Madysynne’, no?P.S. I know there are many exceptions, but the second birth is generally sooooo much easier to handle, especially if within a few years of the first.My first labor lasted 18 Lamaze-hee-hee-hooing hours, my second one less than 2. He was born ten minutes after hospital arrival. It was great. Hope things are that easy for you; makes recovery infinitely more palatable.

  31. Wanted to add that I had SEISMIC Braxton-Hicks contractions for the last two months of both pregnancies-one which ended two weeks late, the other right on time. Also, the ‘nesting’ thing hit -very uncharacteristic of me – at about three weeks prior to both arrivals.Having interpreted for many francophone African women during pregnancies/births, I can assure you that the BH contractions are no predictor at all of due date…but that painful cramping, significant cervical dilation as verified by a doc or midwife, BP spikes, or urine protein are major ‘COME TO A SCREECHING HALT!!!!’ red flags.As long as those are all stable, I think you are and will be fine.Also: I’ve learned through my experiences that 34 weeks is considered a perfectly safe delivery time in the vast majority of singleton pregnancies. Saw it in numerous doctors’ notes, and some told me. They don’t often disclose this to patients.

  32. I hear ya. Thank god I haven’t been experiencing that whole pregnancy exhaustion thing. I’ve got no time for that between unpacking, working four days a week and making sure the floors are clean enough to eat off of. Strangely the one thing I’ve neglected thus far is putting together the baby’s room, but I figure I’ve still got a few weeks…

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