Posts tagged ‘babies’

Do we need a baby registry?

Yeah, this is not the biggest issue on my mind. In fact it’s completely unimportant. But here are some thoughts about registries anyways.

I’ve never made a registry. It feels like asking for a lot of expensive presents, which it is, and which in most contexts is rude. But on the other hand, a few people (mostly older relatives) want to buy us baby stuff. If we don’t make a registry and everyone gets us the same thing, or gets us stuff we already have or don’t want, then whose fault would that be?

So. Maybe I should make a damn registry. We need to buy ourselves some stuff like bottles and crib sheets anyways, and a registry might be a fine (if seriously overengineered) way to organize that.

Fat orange cats make everything better.

The site is good because it lets you pick stuff from any store, but bad because it makes your guests enter in an email address before they can see your list. (assholes). I’m thinking of trying to use them anyways, then figure out a way to print the damn list to give to non-computer-using older relatives.

Alphamom has a comprehensive list of stuff we will likely need here.

While poking around at registries, here is a hot tip I found for registering for non-toxic stuff. When selecting bedding, avoid anything claiming to be:

Permanent press
Water repellent or water-proofed
California TB 117

Thank heaven for all the awesome friends who have given and lent us their hand-me-downs, otherwise getting baby stuff together could be pretty overwhelming.

Baby Gear

Perhaps because I have an unhealthy obsession with making lists, I’ve started a new page of baby gear “necessities” and recommendations to organize my thoughts.

While the stuff on that list does sound quite useful, I know that very little is actually necessary.

Case in point: When my mom had me, she had a lot of pregnancy complications and it was very uncertain how healthy I would turn out to be, or whether I’d even be viable. Under those circumstances, she felt like buying baby stuff would be a jinx, so she bought NOTHING AT ALL for the new baby. (In those days I guess they let infants leave the hospital without a carseat. Hell, they probably let you chain smoke in Labour and Delivery.) So on the way home from the hospital, mom stopped at the Army and Navy to pick up diapers and a few sleepers. And that was it. I drank breastmilk, slept in a kitchen drawer with a towel in the bottom, was bathed in the sink, and still managed to grow up completely spoiled. Babies don’t need much besides love and attention, although the shops would have us think otherwise.

And, apropos of nothing, here is a link I came upon when researching cosleeping arrangements… Cosleeping systems for pets.

Just when you thought there was nothing surprising left on the Internet.


Internet, you won’t believe this. I can’t believe it either, so I will ramble on some.

I woke up at 7:15 this morning fiercely needing to pee, but forced myself to lay in bed for another 15 minutes because I couldn’t decide whether to take a pregnancy test right away, as I had originally planned, or whether to wait until tomorrow like a sensible person. (For those who are not connoisseurs, pregnancy tests prefer early morning pee so this decision must be made upon arising. Early morning pee is more concentrated. Or something)

Finally, I decided to pee on the damn stick.

It wasn’t even ambiguous. It was a big fat plus sign. In a way I wasn’t surprised, since I had suspected, but nonetheless I was completely bowled over. Holy shit.

Test # 1 - June 9, 7:15AM

Z made it clear early in our relationship that he is to be woken up before his alarm on pain of death, but I braved death anyways and woke him up. I wanted him to know right away. He was calm about it, as about everything. How can he not freak out about shit like this? It’s probably one of the reasons we balance each other well. We had a few cuddles before I went to work. To absolutely not focus on work!

Test #2 - June 9, 6:30pm

I still can’t believe it, even though it now feels like I’ve been pregnant for weeks because today has felt 1,000 hours long. The ages that made up today were punctuated by the following symptoms:

  • weird uterine cramps (which were my main cause for suspicion before the test too)
  • constipation (oh man!)
  • extra saliva (ew!)
  • foggy brain (maybe just due to extreme distraction!)

As the list indicates, pregnancy is already kind of gross and i haven’t even reached the barfing stage yet. (Internet, I am really, really dreading the barfing stage. Really. I feel like I have a big clock sitting on my chest counting down to misery and incapacitation, and I’m staring at a to-do list I won’t be able to get done. Anxiety much? Trying to chill.) All the pregnancy stuff says my boobs should be super sore but they aren’t. Neither does my sense of smell seem off.

On the awesome side, I called up my neighbourhood midwifery clinic, who have helped two of my friends deliver their babies, and signed up. The receptionist laughed at my last menstrual period date: “Is the stick still wet?” I’m really exited to use midwifery care, and Z and I will have our first appointment on Bastille day – when I’ll be 8-9 weeks and probably miserable.

For now, the “baby” is the size of a poppy seed and I’m trying to focus. This happened so fast. We’re delighted and a little overwhelmed. Yay! Eeek!

Here We Go

I’m just at the end of a fertility cycle. The next one, starting in June, was planned to be our first cycle of trying to conceive, but Z convinced me that my reasons for waiting one more cycle weren’t the most logical, so we went ahead with this cycle.

Due to time changes, weird sleep patterns, and other hazards of traveling, I have no fertility chart to speak of this cycle, which means I’m completely in the dark in terms of clues to interpret. Based on my Canadian pregnancy book, chances are about 80% that this cycle isn’t the one, but I’m obsessed anyways.

My original plan was to test tomorrow morning (my cycles do fluctuate, but an average cycle would have ended today), but a sensible person would wait at least one more day. Pregnancy tests cost 15 bucks each!  We’ll see how patient I feel tomorrow morning.

In anticipation of the big fat negative I mostly expect tomorrow or Friday, I’ve been proactively combatting disappointment by thinking of what we still want to do before kids:

– Visit my extended family in the town I grew up in

– Start weight training with kettlebells

– Get back to running at least 5km

– Focus on work and professional development

– Move to a new apartment with room for a kid or two

– Go camping

Nina Planck observes that the experience of parenthood laughs at perceived control. If parenting is letting go, then waiting to conceive (or being blessed or cursed with a “surprise”) is just the beginning.

I wish I could be easy-going, casually and wisely waiting to let things happen. I don’t want to be type A about this, but we’ve been waiting for so long.

Next cycle. Next cycle I will chart, and try to focus on those non-kids list of things to do!


As we are heading into our last cycle of not trying (and off on our honeymoon!) I am pleased to find myself far less angst-ridden about babies than a few years ago.

Back then, it seemed like our time would never come. All our friends were having babies, and we were dismayed that our kids would be too different in age to play together. But it’s turned out OK so far. I’ve gotten lots of wonderful babysitting experience and we have a little goddaughter who is the cutest thing ever and a dozen honourary nieces and nephews. One day our child can join this great community of people and have lots of older companions to beat him up get her in trouble look up to.

One thing (well, other than the ideas of morning sickness, labour and raising toddlers) that does give us a little bit of angst is our apartment. On the one hand, we’re such spoiled brats. If I gave up my office and got rid of my books, we could fit a kid quite nicely into our current place. But, on the other hand, if we could afford it, it would be nice to have one more room and, in a perfect world, access to the outdoors for a kiddo to play in the dirt.

When we get back from the honeymoon, we’ll start looking around seriously to see if we could find a slightly bigger and more kid-friendly place. We probably can’t afford a house, but one distant possibility is to find a little old house with a basement suite, and install some friends in there to help pay the mortgage. This morning we visited a married couple who also want kids, and are looking for a place to rent long-term. It’s just an idea at this point, but I miss communal living and absolutely love the idea of living in a house with multiple parents and kids in it. My childhood was pretty great, but I think it would have been amazing to have other kids around.

I confess that I’ve been so preoccupied with trying to conceive next month that I’ve completely neglected to research our honeymoon adventure. In 10 days, we’ll wandering around Asia with a guidebook and next to no clue about where we are or how to communicate. That should take our minds off things for awhile!

Coutdown to Baybeez, Part 45

The giant paper is going to the school office this Tuesday, and I will be presenting the esoteric business to an apathetic audience of professors and fellow students the week after next. THE END IS NEAR!

The job situation is another fucked-up ball of wax entirely – I have zero job security or prospects for a stable permanent job, or even a longish contract. I wouldn’t care so much if I were 23 and just out of school, but it sucks donkey balls at 30. That’s what I get for undertaking a career change at 27 I guess, but I don’t regret a thing, except maybe not going back to school a few years earlier.

The consensus at home is that we are not going to wait to TTC until I have a job I can take mat leave from. Not waiting for that kind of job might mean giving up a lot more than mat leave – the chance to go part-time while kids are young, for example. All the good stuff you get if you are actually a permanent employee and in the union. On the one hand it seems stupid not to hold out for that situation, which I bet I could get if I waited long enough. Babies benefit from parental leave. I don’t want to put a 12-week-old in daycare. On the other hand, it could be years and years from now when I finally get made permanent, and maybe we wouldn’t even be able to have kids then, and those kids would never know their grandparents.

So fuck it. I think we’re just going to go for it. We are pretty lucky in the sense that Z pulls in pretty good money at his job, and if I need to be unemployed for awhile, or even if he needs to work part time for awhile, we could manage it. And if I really can’t stand to go back to contract work a few weeks or months post-partum, we’ll just figure something else out, like moving to a town where there would be a job for me.

The one thing I do still think we should wait for is a wedding, or at least having a wedding date set and soon approaching. (Why didn’t we have a wedding last spring? Oh yeah, grad school + starting a new job took up all my brain cells.) A few folks have mentioned to me that this smacks of caring too much what others think – who am I trying to impress? – but I still kind of think it’s important for me. I don’t want anyone, least of all my kids suspecting that they weren’t wanted, and that we only got married as a shotgun wedding. Is that an insane thing to worry about? Maybe.

So we’ll get hitched in the spring, and start TTC – god I don’t know, sometime around then. Z is not feeling so patient, and is just waiting for the word from me, which makes me feel like a bit of a meanie. Sometime after the wedding date is announced, anyways, and such that there’s no chance of being visibly pregnant in wedding pictures. Because I am shallow and care what people think.

But first, finding some damn lawyers for a prenup. Which makes me feel dirty, but that’s another story.

Second, telling my parents we have a date. Before they go on vacation in November. Don’t wanna stir up shit with them.

This being-a-grown-up business is fucking complicated.

Officially Springtime

It’s officially springtime.

Z came back to town after two weeks away and we had a little honeymoon for a day on Saturday, which was lovely. Life is back to a fragile sort of normal.

My job interview last week seemed to go tolerably well and I am waiting uneasily for the decision while procrastinating mightily.

I made a pan of kind of gross fruit brownies. I guess they’ll get eaten but they don’t taste like being held down and beaten with a 100-lb bag of chocolate, which is more like what I’d been hoping for.


Holy shitballs. Angst angst. Need to get buried in school work, or something. Right now I am buried in a pile of weird music recording gigs which are keeping me plenty busy but not preoccupied enough.

I had a really hard time keeping my shit together today at a rehearsal with a pregnant friend. Blah blah, same old song and dance. Wept hysterically in a restaurant all through lunch. I’m so tired of feeling this way, and disturbed at my own capacity for darkness and self-absorption.

Next thing you know I am going to be staying up all night writing bad poetry and listening to Sarah McLaughlin.

Fast Away the Old Year Passes

Meditations on the close of 2009. Lengthy, wordy meditations.

Let go of what was bad about the past year.
– The frustrations of summer renovations with my mom, with attendant insecurities about her control over my finances/apartment/life and her scowling disapproval of my relationship.

– Angst and lack of sleep thanks to my procrastination and crappy time management.

– Anxiety about my job prospects after school.

– Actually, plain old anxiety. I had some terrible panic attacks this year, which left me almost unable to continue my job playing music, and affected my ability to attend class.

– Wistfulness, obsession, sadness over (voluntary) childlessness

– Missing friends who moved out of town in 2008.

– Z and I have not done as well as we could have about getting in shape. He is in worse shape than me and I have worried about his health every day.

Celebrate what was good about the past year.
– School has been overall pretty awesome, and I’m pulling in good grades.

– By the end of the year, I arrived at a general topic to narrow down for my final project, which means that the end of my masters is in sight!

– I have become friends with some really fantastic classmates

– The planning community has been completely awesome to me, and I made a few professional connections.

– Some really fantastic babies were born to my friends and family, and I got some great time with my little “nephew” I. The last few days of 2009 will be spent in my home prairie town getting to know my new second cousin. That will be the best way to end the year.

– My relationship with Z has continued to be my rock, my foundation. Whenever I am fraught about something, he helps me to sort it out. We care for each other in small ways on a daily basis which make life at home warm and wonderful.

Set a direction for the new year ahead.

– Doing a good, inspired but sensibly scoped job on my final project.

– Graduating! Ideally before September!

– Getting ready to tackle a beginners’ triathlon this summer, and coaxing, cajoling, pleading, inspiring and motivating Z to fulfill his own desire to do the same. This needs to involve a day-by-day commitment to make time, schedule workouts, communicate with Z.

– Getting a fricking job. Holy shit, becoming a two-income household in which I actually contribute to our living expenses in a meaningful way. Pulling this one off –in such a shitty economy right now for local government – is going to involve patience, dedication and flexibility. If I can find nothing but temporary work, which is totally possible, it might involve selling the apartment (Nonononono!) and moving around a bunch. Here’s hoping that’s not how it goes, but I hope I can pull off the serenity to handle that transition period and make sensible decisions. Also, if I get a total miracle job (local, permanent) then I need to be patient with whatever happens with Z’s work. I can be the gracious breadwinner if that’s what needs to happen in terms of him getting more training or whatever.

– Coming to terms with how I feel about marriage. If we want to get married before having kids, 2010 would be a great time. I still have all kinds of doubts and anxieties about the formal institution of marriage (perfectly expressed here) which are compounded with my dread of dealing with my mom’s disapproval and all the awful things she is going to say, and her dragging me to lawyers and making me feel like an idiot, and how old am I again? Yeah, marriage. I’m going to do some reading.

– Trying for a baby in 2011 is our goal, but in an amazing, perfect world, we could start next year this time. My employment situation is the critical deciding factor.

Thoughts on the eve of Solstice

Z and I are holed up at his parents’ extremely peaceful house in a small town by the Pacific ocean. As we left home this morning, our dear friends and neighbours S&D are getting ready to have their first baby. This has not been an easy road for them, and I am so excited for them. D is a fucking goddess and, coming on a week “overdue” I haven’t heard a word of complaint pass her lips. She’s going to be a spectacular mama. They were taking bets on when the baby would come, and my bet has been that it’s a girl who is coming today (by the clock… it’s after midnight), on the Winter Solstice. In any case, I’m excited to meet this new little addition to the extended family that is our circle of friends. I hope this little one arrives in thriving good health, and inherits her/his dad’s amazing intelligence with his/her mom’s serene optimism. I hope D has a short and “easy” labour. I hope we get to be involved in this little one’s life, and feel blessed to have the parenting examples of such wise people and good friends.

Meditation topics for the solstice:
– Let go of what was bad about the past year.
– Celebrate what was good about the past year.
– Set a direction for the new year ahead.