I Wanna Be a Shopaholic

At first, I was excited to just buy clothes for Davey and items for the nursery.   I went for months without purchasing any clothing for myself and I was perfectly fine with that.   It could have been because I became pregnant during the middle of winter and I could hide myself behind thick clothing and the grays of the season.   My clothing fit my mood and my personality, after all I was referring to my unborn child as a parasite.   Naturally, I had no desire to really do any shopping for myself.   I could feel my body slowly fading away from the toned level I had worked so hard to attain, to an out of shape, slug-worthy shell of a person.  

This week marks my 18th week of pregnancy and now my body has started to actually contort and form into what is beginning to no longer look like someone who just eats and lies around on the sofa.   No, my body is starting to look pregnant, which is making me feel more pregnant.   It’s a great feeling, as I lie in bed and I can see my growing belly.   I’ve actually gotten to the point where I’m anxious and excited to purchase maternity clothes.   But herein lies my problem…….there are not a lot of choices in the maternity clothes department!

Last Friday, at lunch, I hightailed it across the street to the mall.   Spring has arrived after all and I’m a sucker for dresses, anything that’s fun, flirty, and feminine.   I walked into Dillard’s and the first thing I saw was this beautiful orange chiffon dress.   It was cinched at the waist, flared out at the hips, sleeveless, with ruffles around the collar and down the neck line.   It was an awesome dress and it was on sale, a double bonus.    The problem with this dress is that it wasn’t a maternity dress nor did they make it in a maternity size.   And here’s what’s even more annoying and disappointing is that Dillard’s doesn’t carry maternity clothes.  As a matter of fact, NONE OF THE DEPARTMENT STORES CARRY MATERNITY CLOTHES!   What is this travesty?   Why can’t a department store the size of Dillard’s or Macy’s or even Belk cater to all the women in this world who are becoming mothers?   They carry petites, talls, plus size, and even juniors, but no maternity section?!?!?!? 

Instead, I’m forced to go a small shop within the mall that carries overpriced clothing because they know they can charge the amounts they do thanks to the law of supply and demand.  I wouldn’t be so upset with the price of the clothing if the selection were just a bit better.   Just because you’re a mom, does that mean you lose your sense of style as well?   Not for me.   I made two purchases before leaving the store extremely disappointed.

As I made my walk back to my car, I was forced to walk back through Dillard’s and endure the barrage of bright and beautiful spring dresses that I won’t be able to wear.   Yeah, I guess I wasn’t exactly forced to walk back through Dillard’s.   I could have walked out of the mall’s entrance into the flower bed with overgrown juniper and decomposing trash and through the parking lot just to avoid the abashing pain of looking at clothing I can’t wear anymore, but I didn’t.   When I made it back into the confines of my car, I silently sat and wept.   I suppose it was from anger, or maybe from pity, but more than likely it was from my heightened emotional state thanks to my raging hormones that comes with pregnancy. 

My poor husband has offered to take me to stores all throughout Greenville in my quest to find maternity clothing.  I’m sure I’ll eventually take him up on that offer, but for now I think I wanna just stay in my pouty state of mind.

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From Maggie to Eloise With Much Trepidation

Every mother makes a sacrifice for her child.   Usually these sacrifices start immediately, once a woman finds out she is pregnant, and in most cases these sacrifices are for the physical health of the mother and her unborn child.   A good example of this is a woman who stops smoking or quits drinking.  Obviously, these vices are not only bad for the mother’s health, but also that for their little one deep within their womb.   Some women even change their eating habits in the hopes that a more nutritious diet will help enrich their baby.  And so like many other women, I have already made sacrifices, mine just haven’t been your typical ones and have even been painful. 

Last week I made what I felt to be the ultimate sacrifice for Davey.   I spent weeks praying over it, going back and forth with my emotions and fighting my pride.  And that was my biggest obstacle……my pride.   So, after a Sunday at church I decided that I was placing too much emphasis on materialistic possessions and told my husband I was ready to let go of Maggie.   Maggie is my car, was my car.   She is a 2009 Mercedes C300, a car I never thought I would own.   A car I worked very hard to keep, but a car that was draining our money.   The car payment alone was atrocious, but mix that with the fact that she only got 29 mpg and required premium gas, and Maggie was a serious money pit.   And I must say, with her palladium grey paint job, Maggie was a beauty.   She was awesome to drive, her smooth leather interior seemed to custom fit the natural curves and flow of a body.   She could even be dropped into manual drive, for those of us who wish to have more of a connection with her.   I can’t even begin to say enough wonderful things about her, in spite of all of her monetary downfalls. 

Maggie was officially sold last week and Eloise, the Equinox, has taken her place.   I cried when letting go of Maggie, but I reminded myself it was the best for Davey.   Eloise is roomier, cheaper by way of car payment, gets 34 mpg, and takes unleaded gas.  I won’t break my back trying to get Davey in and out of his car seat, and of course now my insurance has also dropped.   Eloise was and is the smarter choice, but I still miss my beautiful Maggie.   I almost felt like that Nissan commercial, when the man finds out his wife is expecting and he looks at his Nissan 350Z.   He reminisces about the days of pure enjoyment he had with her and how much he’s going to miss her ride.  But then he thinks of all the new memories he’s going to have with his child and he pulls at the rear bumper of the Z and converts it into a 4 door Maxima.  

I’ve adopted the same personality because no more do I think about Maggie and the days of what could have been.   Now I find myself sitting at a stop light and turning to face the back seat.   I can even see Davey sitting in his car seat, happily laughing along the ride.  I imagine him getting older and singing along to the radio as we go to pick up my husband for lunch.   They’re all happy visions, ones that I hope and look forward to.  So, I suppose, my original trepidation with selling Maggie has pretty much dissipated and my sacrifice wasn’t much of one in the long run.   I wonder what my true sacrifice will end up being for Davey and how many more I will make.   It doesn’t really  matter, though, because what I’m finding is no sacrifice is too big or too small for my child.

Icky Pregnancy Side Effects

*****warning******what you may read below may disgust many of you, proceed with caution and please forgive my bluntness

I subscribe to BabyCenter, a website for people who are expecting a child, have a child, or working towards becoming a parent at some point.    At least once a week, I receive an email with fun facts, crazy myths, and juicy little tidbits about the latest and greatest in baby trends.   This week I found a headline that grabbed my attention, so I obviously had to read it.   The link to the article is right here:

http://www.babycenter.com/0_10-icky-pregnancy-side-effects_10312447.bc?scid=preg_2_20110421:2&pe=MlV6VEF6UHwyMDExMDQyMQ..

I don’t want to really address each individual icky factor, but I must say after reading this article I do feel a lot better about myself.    For months, I thought I was an anomaly.  Although I’ve been reading books about what to expect during pregnancy, I have still thought a few of the thingsI’ve experienced as of late a bit to the extreme.   The first of which is the gas factor.   Mother of all things baby-making, I’ve never had so much gas in my life!   It’s insane.   I’ve always been proud of my capabilities to belch with the best of the beer guzzling males around, but farting?   Give me a break!   I hate it when my husband does it and I’m constantly asking him to suppress it.   He tells me that it’s not possible and for the longest time I always thought that was an excuse he had.  Boy, was I wrong!   He wasn’t joking!    It’s freaking hard to suppress a fart especially in public!   I’m starting to feel like my grandmother.    I can remember when I was a kid and we would walk to the beauty parlor, she would fart with every foot step.   She used to tell me it was barking frogs.  Ha!  I always told myself I would never be like that.  I was naive.   It’s even so bad, that apparently I fart in my sleep!   How embarrassing and apparently my farts are silent, but deadly almost like carbon monoxide…..except you don’t smell carbon monoxide.  

The next icky side effect goes hand in hand with the gas…..constipation.    I can totally sympathize with Juno Macguff from the movie Juno when she tells her parents she’s pregnant and said if it’s any consolation, she hasn’t had a dump in a week.   It’s so true.   I can’t ever recall this level of not being able to have a decent bowel movenment.   I’ve tried drinking more water, eating more fiber rich foods and nothing seems to work until I bought some over-the-counter little miracle worker which I’m super embarrassed to even share that I actually purchased!   Ok, ok (gasp) I actually bought a stool softener.   Ok, trigger my heave reflexes and the cold chills at the fact that I shared this with you all.   What is it with these kids we carry and what they’re doing to our bodies!?!?!   I’m actually shocked that my body can withstand this level of torture, and yeah constipation is torture!   Those of you who’ve experienced it, know I’m right!

The other two side effects I’ve had the fortunate luxury to experience have been minor compared to the two listed above.   I have been prone to nose bleeds lately, which is another disgust factor in my book, and then there’s the itchy skin.   I don’t think my skin has ever been so starved for moisture in my entire life and it itches all the time as if I have a thousand bugs crawling all over me.    I have literally gotten to the point where I want to cry because my skin itches so much and I’m afraid if I scratch too much, I’ll literally take layers of skin off!  

I’m almost 18 weeks along, so I have approximately 22 weeks to go and I’m really beginning to worry about my resolve.   I’ve been fortunate in that I haven’t had the nausea that so many other women have experienced, but my levels of gas and constipation have been more than overwhelming.   And in spite of all of this, I’ve never been so happy or excited in my entire life.

Am I Losing Myself

I try not to be judgemental.   I really do and I think the older I’ve become the less quick to judge I am.   As a matter of fact, I know my perception of the world has changed, but at times that scares me.

Tonight I was perusing through Facebook, looking at pictures of some friends from college, getting caught up on their lives.   There were a few, whose names I won’t mention, but ones that caught my eye.   More specifically, these are female friends who’ve fought and worked hard for themselves in life.   They’ve set their goals on what they want to achieve and have managed to achieve those goals and on top of all of that they’ve managed to integrate motherhood into the fold.   I look at a lot of these women and I admire them.   They’re smart, kind-hearted, brave, hard-working and some of the most loving souls you’ll ever meet.   And they’ve passed all of those traits onto their child, while not losing who they were or what they wanted to be in life.

There was a time when all I wanted was to climb that corporate ladder.   I voraciously went through school books, took classes, managed to have three degrees and fought hard to be recognized for my abilities.   I used to make fun of women who would spend years and thousands of dollars getting all this wonderful education and then letting it go to waste because they chose the age-old motherhood route.    I know an extremely smart woman who has a Master’s Degree in chemical engineering!   I mean let’s be serious here, chemical engineering!  I can’t even compete with that magnitude of brain power, but she gave it all up to become a mother and not just once, but four times!   I would scoff at women who would say that they wanted to be stay-at-home moms and housewives.   After all, didn’t Betty Friedan and Danielle Crittenden work so hard to get women out of the home and into the office?   So, why would we ever want to back track to a way of thinking where women were only good for one thing?   These were the thoughts that constantly swirled through my head every day that I would see another friend give up her career and her identity to be a mother.   Their actions terrified me because it was something that I didn’t understand.

Now I’m in the same boat with all of these women, before me and alongside me, who are becoming mothers, choosing the path of nurture as opposed to corporate America.   Unfortunately, I would be lying if I said it still didn’t terrify me, but the problem is I’m not terrified in the aspect of will I be a good mother.   I know I’ll be an awesome mom.   What terrifies me the most is am I losing myself, and if I am losing myself is it such a bad thing if you’re doing it for the sake of your child, a precious gift, something that is a part of you?   I mean, I suppose you can look at it as not losing yourself, but giving yourself, and that’s how I’m trying to perceive it.  

These days all I can think about is all the wonderful memories I want to create with my child when it’s born.   I want to be around when it takes its first step, bakes its first cookie, creates its first play-dough man, reads its first book, says its first word.   I want to be around to teach it so many things, to encourage it and help it grow, but at what sacrifice to me?   I’ve never been able to imagine not working in my life, it’s just not something that’s thought about, at least not until now.  I feel like I’m torn.  I feel like I’m going to be missing out on so much in the corporate world, but by the same token I’m going to be gaining a lot that some women won’t ever experience.

Two of my friends, Beth and Erin, have been the ones to make me think a lot, and they don’t even know they’re doing this.  Beth just got married and she told me this awesome story about an interview she had.   I was so happy for her, but by the same token I was jealous.   Then there’s Erin, who posted on her Facebook account that she was one promotion away from that new Mulberry handbag.   I read that post and all I could think was I’ll have no more promotions if I choose to stay home with my child.  I’m worried about my mentality over this.   Is this normal to be so conflicted over becoming a mother versus continuing my career?   Am I the only one that experiences these pains and if not, will I continue to go down this road, revisiting Losing My Identity Lane at the cross-section of Motherhood and Career Avenues?

Research & Note Taking

This is unbelievable!   I mean who knew that there was so much involved in buying baby furniture?   My mind was inundated and overloaded with so much information this weekend, that I think I had a mild anxiety attack.  

Saturday my husband and I went on a quest to buy a crib.   I consider ourselves to be pretty fortunate in that the only furniture we really need to purchase is the crib and a glider or rocker of sorts I can use while nursing.   I thought it was actually going to be a piece of cake when it came time to shop for the crib.   After all, let’s be realistic, it’s a crib that your child is only going to be in for a few years.   How hard can this be?    Boy, was I completely naive and stupid to think that I could go into a store see a couple of cribs and pick one out.    First off, the number of styles available is more plentiful than the number of children Brad and Angelina want to adopt in this world!   Secondly, there is everything from wood, to vinyl, to steel and even iron available, not to mention the fact that the wood itself can range from cypress to maple to oak and really I can’t even imagine what else.   Next, you have the ones that will convert into a toddler bed, then into a normal twin size bed.  There are the ones that have huge head boards, ones that look like sleigh beds and ones that are so ornately carved they look like they need to be in the castle of Ludwig the II!  It’s insanity and I literally felt my head start to pound and my heart beat began to increase.   And then there’s the price of these bad boys!   Mother of God, some of these beds cost more than my car!  Ok, so I exaggerate a bit, but still mine and my husband’s king size bed didn’t cost as much as some of these cribs.  

After looking and price shopping, we settled on an absolutely beautiful off white crib, with minimal design, but a firm frame that will hold together.   The bed can change into 5 positions, a lot more positions than I change when having sex.   Kidding!   So, crib has been purchased, but wanna know something absurd, but not really absurd when you think about it?   The crib doesn’t come with a mattress!  Well, duh!   I don’t know why I ever thought otherwise, especially since any bed I’ve bought in my life never included a mattress.   I blame my pregnancy brain and my child sucking my neurons from me on that little lapse in thinking.   Before we closed the deal on the crib, the salesman took us over to the mattress.  There was a wall of 15 mattresses!   What the heck was this all about?   There are firm mattresses, fiber mattresses, double firm, double padded, eco-friendly, coil mattresses and even textured ones!   I looked at my husband as the salesman continued to talk.  Periodically, I made eye contact with the salesman only to notice that I was the only one he was speaking to.  He was completely ignoring my husband.   I wanted to scream at him to direct his selling to my husband as my brain was on such overload I couldn’t possibly decide on a mattress at this point.  After all, I like a firm mattress and I know my child needs a firm one, but maybe Butterbean won’t like extra firm, or maybe Butterbean will be green and resent me for not getting an eco-friendly one.    I looked at my husband and told him to just buy the crib and we’ll work on the mattress later.   I do have 5 & 1/2 months after all.

So, I’ve spent a good portion of my weekend reading reviews on crib mattresses, comparing designs and even asking my unborn child what it would like (as if it could really answer).   I was afraid this was going to happen with me at some point when I became pregnant and my fear has come to fruition.  I have purchased a notebook and I am currently researching everything a child needs, what’s good and what’s bad and taking my notes.   Have I gone over the edge yet?   I think I jumped off the edge a long time ago, but I will survive and my brain will go into overload from time to time.  It’s a part of life and a part of my personality.  God help my child.