Thursday, May 27, 2010

As requested...

This is my most recent belly picture, at 24 weeks (which was also Mother's Day). I have only been taking photos every four weeks (and I didn't start until 16 weeks) this pregnancy, so I don't have very many right now. And if I decide to put more pregnancy pictures up here on my blog, you all will have to wait until sometime after the four week marks! By the way, I was comparing my size to how big I was when I was pregnant with Bug, and I wasn't this big (as I am here in this picture of 24 weeks) until I was 32 weeks with Bug!!! Enjoy!

PS- I always seem to have this "come on and take the picture already" look on my face. Can't seem to take a belly shot without it! Maybe it's the "I'm expecting a baby" look...hmmmm?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stereotyping Myself

Recently, my hubby casually mentioned that it seems I have a need to stereotype myself. He wasn't trying to be mean, it was just an observation. It definitely made me stop and think. It's true, I do stereotype myself. And I kind of like it. But, why?

I took some time to really mull over in my brain why I am always categorizing myself into certain groups. I think I figured out why.

"It is a sociological fact that women need women. We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with each other." -Marjorie Hinckley
"...women have the same basic needs—no matter in what era they live. We have the same needs of food, clothing, warmth, protection. We have the same emotional and psychological needs of wanting to love and be loved, to give understanding, to be accepted, to find self-fulfillment, to express ourselves." -Barbara B. Smith
“As women we are becoming so concerned about having perfect figures, or straight A’s, or professional status, or even absolute motherly success that we are being torn from our true selves. We often worry so much about pleasing and performing for others that we lose our own uniqueness, that full and relaxed acceptance of ourselves as a person of worth and individuality.” -Patricia Holland
[italics are mine]

My stereotyping includes calling myself "crunchy" or "a modern day hippie, minus the drugs and free love". I find myself trying to connect and identify with other women who: breastfeed longer than a year, don't remove body hair frequently, share sleep with their kids, don't vaccinate their kids, don't use shampoo, don't circumcise their sons, use reusable/cloth menstrual products, have homebirths, have unassisted homebirths, rarely wear makeup, wear their babies in soft carriers, wash their face with honey, prefer alternative medicine, don't watch TV, don't paint their nails, want to have large families (quiverfull), don't use products in their hair, are skeptical of the excuses for high c-section rates and low breastfeeding rates, prefer wearing long skirts/modest clothing/minimal jewelry, have a desire to homestead/garden, put their babies in cloth diapers, are artistic and crafty (painting, crocheting/knitting, sewing), want to eat healthy/locally grown food, cherish and know about their bodies and fertility cycles, think natural/drug free childbirth is the best option, want to homeschool/unschool their kids, are anti-hormonal birth control.

I don't know if I can really come up with a comprehensive list of things that set me apart from the average modern woman, but all these things are ME. These things are me, but at the same time, I am still insecure. These are the things that I WANT to be. I am still a young adult. I am still trying to figure myself out and be confident in myself. Sure, I may be married and be working on my second child, but I haven't made it to the "I don't give a darn" phase of my life. Of course, all women want to have good friends. And I know my good friends don't have to be all those things that make me who I am, but it is nice to have friends that agree with me on some things! It's especially hard when I am often looked at as being "radical", "different" and "controversial". It's ok if I have a friend who thinks I'm crazy for not wanting an epidural to birth my kids, but it's hard to have a friend who wants to call CPS on me because I want to have an unassisted homebirth. Women need other women to support them. That is why I stereotype myself. I give myself a label, so I can go find other women who are like me, and who will support me in that particular aspect of my life.

Stereotyping often has a negative connotation to it. However, this is the kind of stereotyping that I don't think is negative. It helps me see who I am, who I am proud of being (even if I am still a little insecure). It helps me find other women who I can identify with, and it helps other women find me. It helps me to express myself. So, if you are also a "modern day hippie, minus the drugs and free love", label yourself as such, and we can find acceptance with each other!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh, my achin' pelvis!

How horrible is it that I didn't write anything about Mother's Day, on this blog that is all about being a mother?? So, a whole week later, I did want to mention a little bit about my Mother's Day. The Saturday before, the Hubs took me out on a date. We walked around a large mall, and ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant (where I actually tried to speak confidently in Spanish, and made myself look like an idiot...and the hubby wonders why I rarely try...) The dawn of Mother's Day came peeking through our bedroom blinds. I kept my eyes closed and laid on the bed in a drowsy half sleep. I heard Bug squirming beside me. Then, I felt two little fingers grasp my old mascara and sleep encrusted eyelashes and pull one eye open. "Boo!" said Bug, once my eye was open enough that he could see me in there. There really is little better than a "good morning" from a two year old!

I also got a comment from a friend at church, on Mother's Day, that I was looking "so big"! Apparently, I officially, undeniably, unquestionably look pregnant. Another friend overheard the "so big" comment and later said to me, "I don't think you are getting big." I told her that it was ok if I was getting big...because I'm pregnant, and I'm -supposed- to be getting big! She said, "Yeah, I know. But you don't have to say it that way. It just sounds bad." I asked her if people should instead say, "My, my, you are looking very pregnant today!" And I think that works.

And while we are on the topic of pregnancy (like I ever talk about anything else, right hubby?) I have diagnosed myself with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (much to the hubby's exasperation, right hubby?). Some people think that I [over]diagnose myself with minor annoyances just to get out of doing my squats to prepare for birth. Not true. I honestly have a horrible pain in my pubic ligaments! ESPECIALLY when I roll over in bed. And even when I am just walking around like normal. I probably irritate it by climbing over the gate to get in and out of my kitchen 15 million times a day! This is one thing that I didn't have to deal with during my first pregnancy. A friend of mine assured me that all the real aches and pains show up in the second pregnancy.

My poor husband. He is such a guy. You know how guys are...they want to fix everything. And they think there should be or actually is a solution to everything. This makes voicing pregnancy complaints annoying for both of us (maybe I should just keep my mouth shut, for both of us....but then I wouldn't be a woman!). He says, "Do this and it will probably go away." I say, "No way am I going to do that, because it will make it worse!" I'm telling ya, you can't fight Relaxin!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pregnancy Dreams...or Nightmares

Like most women, when I am pregnant, I have some of the most whacked-out, super-realistic, wake-up-crying-or-in-some-sort-of-distress-or-shock, crazy dreams. When I was pregnant with Bug, I had horrible dreams of hating (and sometimes beating) my wonderful husband for some reason or another. Or I would have dreams of [pick your insects of choice] infesting my skin and bed and everything. Weird. Not good weird. When I finally got tired of waking up in tears, I had the hubs give me a blessing. I was told that my dreams would no longer bother me. And they didn't, but I never really stopped having those strange and disturbing dreams.

This pregnancy is no different. Well, I haven't had a dream where I needed to strangle my husband, but the dreams are just as real. And they are somewhat unsettling. They don't bother me enough that I have woken up bawling, though. And I guess that's a good thing. But there have been some dreams that leave me wondering what the HECK I was dreaming THAT for!? Like...things that would probably have my temple recommend up in flames if I was intentionally thinking them while conscious! Strange and disturbing.

But the dream that DID wake me up with an increased pulse was probably something to laugh about. (Which is why I am putting it on my blog, I guess!) It was a pregnancy dream in the most literal sense. I was largely pregnant. And seeing an OB. (But that isn't what got my pulse up, exactly). What bothered me, was that I told the OB that I didn't want him to use a doppler on me to hear the baby's heartbeat....AND THEN HE STARTED HOOKING STUFF UP TO ME. Of course, dopplers aren't hooked up to you, but it was an intervention that had nothing to do with labor/delivery, that I absolutely didn't want. It took me a minute to realize what he was doing. Then, I freaked out! I ripped all the wires and cords off of my body and I ran away as fast as I could. I yelled and screamed that he couldn't do that to me. But he told me I had no choice.

Talk about disturbing. I feel like it was a subconscious manifestation of my fear of birthing in a hospital. Or maybe giving power to someone else. I'm not really sure. But it bothered me, all the same.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In the Alphabet Book

Several months ago, we bought Bug some alphabet books. I have been wanting some cute books to help me teach him all those things that mothers are supposed to teach their toddlers (ABC's, colors, shapes, etc.) The pack of alphabet books we got contained 26 books. One book for each letter of the alphabet. And in each book, there are three, easy-to-turn-by-toddler-fingers cardboard pages. Each page has a picture of something that begins with the letter that the book is dedicated to. Cute, fun, easy.

Bug will bring me a pile of the books and have me read each one to him several times, while he points and tries to repeat everything I say. Except, Bug doesn't need to repeat everything after me, because already knows some of the words for the pictures. I am always excited when Bug shows some new bit of knowledge, without excessive prompting from mom or dad!

I think Bug's favorite alphabet book is the "F" book. Why? Because he knows all the words for the pictures on his own! The "F" book pictures include a fish, a flower and a foot. Bug brings the book over to me and climbs and wiggles his way onto my steadily vanishing lap. Then he opens the book to the first page. There is a picture of a fish. Bug points and says, "fsh".

"That's right!" I praise my son, as he gazes up at me with a smug little expression on his face. Then, he turns the page. There is a picture of a flower. Bug points and says, "fower".

"Yep, that's a flower!" I confirm that he is correct. Bug is so proud of himself for knowing words without any help from mommy. He turns to the last page, the picture of a foot. He points at the foot and looks toward me, ready to impress me once again. He is sure that he knows this word, too.

Without a single pause of uncertainty, Bug declares the name of the foot, "Ew!"