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The Implications of Being Pregnant

Wait, wha? Pregnant? Who said anything about being pregnant? Certainly not me. Not here. Until, just now. Oh, right. Pregnant. Knocked up. In the family way. Me. We. Currently. Surprised?

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Apologies for the crappy picture. There’s a humanoid in there. Believe me. Via Ultrasound via cell phone camera, does not make for the best image quality. Plus Ultrasound pictures are always kind of creepy.

I’m not. Or I shouldn’t be. Because it was ‘planned’. At least as much as anything in life can be ‘planned’.
Although, it enhanced the tremendous amount of respect I have for the birth control I’ve always taken for granted. What does surprise me, is the effect it’s had on me. Already. Physically. Mentally. In all the ways. All that time I’ve not been writing, I have been sleeping. Epic sleeps. I’m just coming around from a good solid 12 hours. That’s the new standard. 14-16 hours also pretty effortless. I may take a nap later to up my total. If I’m not sleeping, I’m pursuing other new found past times, like staring off into space, watching past seasons of TV shows I’m not all that interested in. Occasionally, if I’m really with it, I read. It has taken me 2 weeks to write this post. I’m not even kidding. I’m fresh out of giddy-up. This person building, even in it’s earliest stages, turns out to be really, really taxing. And not in a way I can just write a check for.

And that’s it. That’s my big reveal. Big news for me. Average news in the scope of all mankind. I strive to remember that peoples been doing this business for a very.long.time. That doesn’t necessarily make it easier. It does tend to put into less of an earth shattering perspective. Still, like the title says, there are implications to this decision. Implications relevant to the Dogs or Dollars journey.

Corporate Servitude. One way or another it will be coming to an end. Permanently? Temporarily? Yet to be determined. You can probably guess which I’d prefer. In the meantime, my regular Servitude responsibilities are seriously kicking my ass. What’s worse than being woken up at 2am to work on a bunch of shit you don’t care about for the next 3 hours? As it turns out, doing that while fighting waves of nausea, dry heaving, and nursing a hell of a headache, totally, totally worse. Whodathunk. Its providing a lovely reminder that this particular job is not sustainable with a small child at home to take care of. In the mean time I’m doing my best to cope and working diligently on that…

Hope & Fake Budgets Hey, Look! Another post in which I ominously refer to ‘major life changes’ without offering specifics. Frustrating, aren’t I? Hope still exists, but those fake budgets are going to become very real once ‘Maternity Leave’ kicks in. I put that in quotes because it sounds like you would get something. You don’t. Not from my employer. I will be sans income, for quite sometime if I have my druthers. Sacred cows are being re-examined. It might actually be re-re-examined at this point. No Spend Month was quite helpful with this. In my head there’s a post on No Spend Month: Lessons Learned. Will it make it here?

Dogs. Speaking of those sacred cows. I’ve got a pack of ‘em. The implications here are two fold. Kids, especially babies, effect dogs. As do reduced budgets. We’ve actually held off on having kids because of potential impact to the dogs. (Go ahead and laugh). However, I’d like any offspring of mine to know these dogs, and vice versa. I live in fear of the ‘starter kid’ scenario. Dogs that are vanquished to garages, backyards or worse once junior shows up. My determination to not let that happen to my mutts is iron clad. We have to figure out how to make this workable for everyone, dogs included. Expect posts (another one) on sacrifices I’m willing to make, the ones I’m not, and on preparing old dogs for a new human.

Parenting. The new host of concerns on the block. Everything else I’ve already been struggling with. Actually having the baby though, new ball of wax…erm bundle of joy? I’m trying to mentally prepare for the birth, for the sleepless nights, for more vaccination decisions (!!!), and for everything else that comes after. I read books. I get overwhelmed. I stop reading. I go back to this being a normal life function, and not something I’m going to inherently foxtrot up. I do all the small things I can to prepare (like try to sleep) and chip away the big things (refinishing a claw foot bathtub, anyone?). Actually, I don’t do much of anything, other than the sleeping and staring off into space. I’m told that will pass though. Assuming it does, and soon, I’ll actually get some stuff done.

People keep asking me “Aren’t you excited?!”. It takes all my restraint not to answer with a resounding “Duh”. New people are exciting business. It’s the most I’ve anticipated meeting a new person. That’s quickly chased with a heaping spoonful of worry and concern. It doesn’t mean I’m all googly eyes and nursery plans. Or that I’m not. Implications, a good word in and of itself, new and old abound. I’ve only scratched the surface here. And so the Dogs or Dollars journey takes (another) left turn. Its an evolution.

Asking how children changed your life seems really, really trite so I’m not asking. But if anyone is telling, be my guest. Just try not scare me. How do you prepare for major life changes, children or otherwise?

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Comments

Tracy Warren
Reply

Wow!!! Way to come back. Congratulations!
I am applauding you for your decsion to not make the dogs take a backseat. I was guilty in the past of such things – they were cared for but didn’t get the attention they deserved.
I have one piece of parenting advice. Every decision you make do it because you love them and you will never go wrong.

Jenny
Reply

Yay!!! I would be doing a happy dance, but I’m sitting at my desk at work, and that might clue people in to the fact that I’m not actually working at the moment. And the fact that I am also expecting makes it twice as fun, and though this is my second rodeo, it turns out that all rodeos are not created equal.

Our son was “unplanned” and we were not in the best spot to have a child when we found out – but don’t worry too much about all of that. You and your husband will figure out the best path for you… and read that as “don’t try to take everyone else’s advice because they’re not your child’s parents.” This is really a time in your life where you’ll have to learn how to be comfortable with your decisions even when they’re not the same decisions your parents/best friends/other loved ones would have made. Tracy is absolutely correct, if every parenting decision you make is because you love your child, you’re doing it right. It doesn’t alwasy stop parenting-associated guilt, but it helps you sleep at night.

So far as the dogs – from what I can tell all dogs react differently to new children. But, also, from what I can tell, well-loved and cared for dogs will love their new little brother/sister. My dog was certainly my crying newborn’s biggest advocate. As in “why is he crying? can’t you make it stop?” In fact, much of the time, Riley sticking his nose in baby’s face was enough to stop his crying.

P.S. – I notice you didn’t mention a due date???

cassedega
Reply

well, well, well.

welcome to ‘the motherhood’! and i see that you approach these things pretty much the same way i do (should i be surprised?) and i can tell you from experience, you will ALWAYS be tired, you will ALWAYS be worried, you will ALWAYS have that little pang of “what the fuck was I thinking”…but in the end, you will hold that tiny slimy ball of screaming person, and everything you have ever done in your life before that moment will seem completely meaningless. everyone will tell you that you will never feel love like that until you’re there, and it’s true….like the grinch, your heart will expand ten times what you think it can.

and dogs…well, you’ve seen the struggles i went through with just two of them. i know that you are as committed as we were to making the ‘family unit’ to include the furry beasts….with trainers, gates, and lots of treats in tow. in the end, your mutts have been around babies before, and this one will be just another puppy to add to the group. i have approached both babies like i was getting a new puppy (because that’s all i know) and you know what? they are pretty much the same. you still have to do management, you still have to integrate, you still have to do separate ‘training’, and the slower you can make the transition for the mutts…the better. we had our nursery set up at least three months prior to the infant coming home, so the ‘stuff’ being there was the least of our problems. seriously, the baby swing (if you get one) will BLOW Rocco and Hannah’s minds.

i am so incredibly happy for you and you will make it through this shitty part…just in time to have like 2 months of awesome, and plunge right back into miserable again…and then boom. if you learned anything from watching me sit on bags of dog food in the back, eating crackers, and turning various shades of green with the slightest whiff of merrick dog bones, is that you will be just fine. you can have your cake and eat it too. you can work and still be a mom, you can still do all the things you liked to do before, it just comes with a little bonus. you are the strongest person i know, and i know that you will plow through this like the little engine you are. just PLEASE take some time and enjoy the little things that happen along the way. bask in the glow of knowing that you created something amazing, and something that will ultimately make your life so incredible. regardless of budgets, housing, or jobs….this little creature will LOVE LOVE LOVE you. and some days, only you.

we love you, and we are so happy for you!

prapc
Reply

Love Cassedega’s post :o)

It’s hard for me to write this, since I have a “no parenting advice” rule, so here’s a big fat Disclaimer: Your life will change in completely different ways than mine.

It was so awkward to respond to this, but I did want to share how my life changed for the better, because it was terribly debasing and painful at first :o)

The major way parenting changed me was in the ego arena. There’s a reason “I was a great parent before I had kids” is a ubiquitous term among most real life parents.

I, personally, had everything figured out by the time I gave birth to #1. All of that, slowly, painfully, over way-too-long of time went straight out the window along with what “sanity” I had left.

My life majorly changed – nearly every “I’ll never” I have done, and nearly every judgment I made of other parents came to bite me back with ferocity.

I’ve become less judgmental and way less “all or nothing”. I went from having a handful to having bazillions more friends. I feel more myself now than I have ever. The destruction of ego, for me (which does NOT happen to everybody) was an earth shattering, painful, life changing experience that has made my life so much richer and happier.

It’s much easier for me to *not* know it all, and it makes my relationship with my kids (and my husband) so much better for it.

Speaking of letting stuff go, after experiencing horrible PPD with #1 (exacerbated by isolation [no friends with kids] & unreasonable expectations of myself) we spared no expense for making our lives easier after #2 was born.

We upped our dog walker, hired a temp biweekly housecleaner, used disposable diapers and wipes (#1 was all-or-nothing, solely cloth – yes, even the wipes – handwashed & hung dry)

**I’m not saying that’s what you should do*** or that cloth is a bad idea *or* that it’s difficult. I loved cloth diapers – they’re adorable and I have countless friends who use them (and countless friends who don’t). For me, however, postpartum – it was way too much.

My life changed for the better because I am ok making decisions that make my life easier, making me a better parent and allowing me to love my kids, husband and dogs much more.

Sending you lots of love – your life will change in very good ways! Life will be completely different, but life will be completely different anyway!

Surround yourself with wonderful people, and give yourself lots of love, and by that I mean lots and lots of slack :o)

xoxo

nicoleandmaggie
Reply

Congratulations!

The advice I always give is to trust yourself and your instincts. Where ever you live people will be pressuring you to do one thing or another (and completely opposite things depending on where you live!). If it feels wrong, don’t do it and do what you want instead. Human beings have been around a long time and there’s a lot of good research showing that moms and babies are pretty in tune with each other, especially in the beginning.

The other advice: http://www.kellymom.com if you plan to breastfeed. BF is a lot harder than it should be at first. (It gets easier though!) Additionally, those first two weeks you shouldn’t be doing anything other than eating, drinking water (or non-alcoholic beverage of your choice), sleeping, and feeding the baby. Someone else needs to be taking care of chores. Not you.

Laura
Reply

Congratulations! I read the other posts and they all provide great insights.

Here are the things I took away from having kids: 1) There is no specific “right way” to do something that works for each and every kid. It’s a learning experience. Example: Kid #1 was stubborn & hard-headed as hell & kid #2 would cry if you looked at her funny. Different methods work for different kids, so while many people mean well with advice, it may or may not work for your child.

I personally think that having a child knocks off a person’s square edges. It’s very hard not to be flexible when you have a child, and this is a GOOD thing. I think it makes you a better person overall.

I, too, slept a huge amount of time when I was pregnant with my first child. I also learned (I’m a grandma) from my daughter who was pregnant that there is science that shows pregnancy affects the brain such that you may be more forgetful. I certainly have seen that with the pregnant women I work with.–All very lovely & extremely intelligent people, but who were a lot more forgetful when they were pregnant.

Blessings to you!

dogsordollars
Reply

Thanks to everyone! I love the advice about not taking advice! :) And knocking off square edges, not knowing it all, and your experiences with dogs and kids. I anticipate this will be a much talked about topic in the future. I was a little scared to see these huge comments rolling in, but they left me warm and fuzzy. Thank you. I waited what felt like a really long time to bring this here (3 months!!!) and thought about it long and hard. I’m glad I did.

Anne
Reply

Congrats to you. I don’t have kids yet, but we’ve got a dog with plans for another dog in the next year and kids sometime down the line, if it works out that is. I’ve got nieces and a nephew though and the only advice I would give from having watched my SIL’s go through the kid-having process is to not be hard on yourself if something doesn’t work out or go the way you think it should. From a selfish point of view, I’d love to read about your plans and experiences with integrating a human into your dog pack :)

Diedra B
Reply

congratulations!
No kids here, but cats.
I’ll be coming back for tips.

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