Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Learning to Let Go

When I was 10, our family was planning to go on a multi-week road trip which covered roughly 7500km, hitting 6 provinces. In preparation, I demanded a detailed itinerary.

And I mean detailed.

In the end, I settled for a general schedule of where we were going to spend each night. I came across that sheet of paper a few weeks ago, and still felt a little cheated that I didn't have more details, like where we would stop for lunch, and where we'd need to fill up the car with gas.

Some people may say control freak, I say "invested in expectation and surprise management".

Ok, control freak.

It's never bothered me. I've been constantly mocked by my family for this (though my parents are both compulsive list makers and spreadsheet-ers, so I'm not falling that far from the family tree), ridiculed by my friends for this, and it may even cause the occasional rift between Scott and I. It's just never been a characteristic about myself I've wanted, and, therefore, needed to change.

But I should have known the need for change was coming.

It started in the first trimester when I sheepishly corrected my boss that my due date wasn't in October, when the workflow in my office slows, but rather right in the middle of September when all hell breaks loose in our department. She smiled weakly and said: "it looks like you've learned your first lesson as a parent: babies tend to set their own schedules"

Then in my second trimester, I furiously scribbled notes in our prenatal class when our instructor was explaining how to maintain a sense of control throughout the labour process, when you may feel that everything is out of your control. And as I scribbled down her list, I found myself already taking her advice: controlling my focus, controlling my movement and controlling my breath.

Finally, in my third trimester, I found myself in a modified seated fold position at prenatal yoga, being told to visualize the supports I would need to be flexible and accommodating of all the events of labour that I could not control. I may have envisioned the only way for me to be that flexible and accommodating was to have the Road Runner drop an anvil on my head.

It was starting to become fairly obvious that this control freak was going to have to learn to let go.

Sometimes letting go means letting someone else be in control. Sometimes letting go means bracing yourself for what's to come, without trying to influence it. Sometimes letting go means surrendering the perfect vision in your head of what you want your life to be.

In my case, letting go means saying goodbye to this blog.

Cara's Closet has carefully moderated a public view of my life when in reality there was much spinning out of control. It's been my safe haven for nearly 5 years. I have grown a lot in those 5 years, and attempted to have the blog grow and change along with me, to varying degrees of success. I'm not necessarily done with blogging: I'm likely to carve out a little spot somewhere else on the internet. As scary as change is for this control freak blogger, I'm looking forward to having a chance to start fresh and see where this new adventure takes me.

This time, I'm going to try to leave my detailed itinerary behind.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week One

Welcome to the world, Charlotte!

You were born on Tuesday, September 16th.

I could tell you the trauma of 25 hours of labour after having only 2 hours of sleep, ending up with synthetic hormones being pumped into my body as I lay bedridden (the opposite of what I had wanted for my labour), followed by some physical trauma in delivery that ended up leaving me bedridden once again a few days after getting home. I could tell you the frustration and confusion over your inability to eat for a number of days, keeping us stuck in the hospital for an extra day, being constantly told what the previous nurse or consultant had said was wrong and we were wrong for listening to them, and then having constant contact with the local public health department once we were discharged all because you were a "lazy eater" who then became insatiably hungry within 48 hours of getting home. I could tell you the terrible things I uttered about you as I waited for labour to start, fought through contractions, and struggled to get you to wake up enough to eat... and to get you back to sleep at night.

But if there is only so much space in my brain for memories at this time, I would much rather remember the way you look like a baby monkey when you get burped, how excited your cousins were to first meet you, how you'd cuddle with your head on my shoulder, and how Scott has completely taken to his role as "dad" (making me wonder if maybe he should be the one getting the year off to be with you).

There will be plenty of moments of frustration in your future, and lots of pain. That's just part of life on this planet. But there will also be moments of joy and love. And together, let's agree to remember those.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Week 40

How far along: 40 weeks. Yes, I'm still here. Yes, I will hit everyone that makes some sort of comment about when the baby will get here. Kid will get here when the kid gets here. My to-do list is getting done, and that's all I care about right now.

How big is baby: The size of a squirmy rock.

Best moment of the week: Honestly? I told Scott that it was playing video games with him Saturday night, but it was Sunday when I went into Babies'R'Us to see if I could get a price adjustment on one item I bought the other week that went on sale this last weekend, and they not only adjusted the price of it, but found a few other price adjustments as well. I don't know whether I'm more pumped about the $60 I saved, or the fact they definitely went above and beyond!

Food cravings: Ketchup chips. Olives. Not together.

Symptoms: Insomnia, joint pain and swelling, oh my! My body suuuucked this week. All I can say is thank goodness I wasn't working. I can't go a day without a nap and my exercise ball.

Gender: Female

What I’m looking forward to: Just being done with this whole pregnancy thing. I know, cliché. Plus, I'm barely past my due date, I'm still carrying on a fairly normal daily life, and I haven't had any major complications over the last 9 months,  what right do I have to complain? On the other hand, I really only settled into this whole pregnancy thing around week 29 and that didn't last long. I think I've been ready to be done being pregnant since the day I found out.


What I miss: Being able to maneuver this body. Organizing the kitchen turned into discovering a leak in our sink, which turned into discovering wood rot in our counter, which unveiled a second leak, all of which are repairable, but we need to install shut-off valves under our sink before we can do anything else. Based on all the "How To" videos, it's something I can easily do... if I could fit under there. I'm also officially not "organizing" anything else because sometimes, ignorance truly is bliss.

Husband perspective: (poking at my stomach impatiently, prodding the kid out...) Wait, why is the butt on that side of the stomach, and the feet on the other? Are you telling me the kid has, like, human parts?



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Week 39

How far along: 39 weeks

How big is baby: Apparently we're at watermelon stage. Either a small watermelon or a mini watermelon in terms of weight. But the amount of space this kid takes up? No one is saying anything. 

Best moment of the week: The weekend was pretty great -- a good balance of social and productive. With the car seat installed, and the major plumbing done in the basement, I'm feeling pretty confident about how life is going.

Food cravings: I allowed myself to eat a little decadently at work, since it was my last week and the last time I'd be eating some of the awesome locally sourced baked goods. Didn't get my cheese croissant though... but I've got my girls on it. 

Symptoms: anxiety-induced insomnia. Every night between 3 and 4 I'm panicking about something. Usually work. Let's hope that being done work stops that (not likely). Simply moving to the couch seems to work, for some reason. 

Gender:  Girl. Though we're working on improving our boy names. 

What I’m looking forward to: I snuck back into work Tuesday morning to meet with my exchange and visiting students (literally "Hi, nice to actually meet you, enjoyed working with you over summer, goodbye!"), so when this goes live, I should be having my first day of actually sleeping in. Here's hoping it's in bed and not the couch. 


What I miss: Sleeping on my back. Sleeping on my stomach. Sleeping in bed. Ya, ya, I know. If I think it's bad now...

Husband perspective: (is too busy being thrown off by the fact I'm not leaving for work in the morning to provide amusing soundbites. Once he has mastered bringing his office keys instead of our shed keys to work, then we will return to weekly soundbites)


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Week 38

How far along: 38 weeks

How big is baby: A pineapple (had it), leak (had it), rhubarb (which varies GREATLY in size) or pumpkin (no! no! no! Pumpkins are big!)

Best moment of the week: Without a doubt Friday's baby shower. It was overwhelming in such a good way. I was expecting maybe a dozen people, a card and a gift card, but there were about 30 people popping in and out, and entire pack-n-play full of gifts. Plus, they had even arranged a ride home for me and all the gifts. I was beyond touched, and truly grateful to work with such great people (and they don't even read this blog, so you know they must be great). Plus, (and these are unrelated), my treadmill and my piano were both delivered this week, so I finally feel like my house is complete. 

Food cravings: Nothing really in particular.

Symptoms: General discomfort and a lot of exhaustion. 

Gender:  Female

What I’m looking forward to: Being done work. I haven't really had a "summer break," so I really just want the opportunity to relax for a day or two. Of course, there is a lot that I have to get done too, but since Little Lima Bean is likely to be late, I think I can likely do both. 


What I miss: Carrying things at waist height. Seriously, I went to help carry a few light things to the car when helping my parents move this past weekend, and I just couldn't figure out how to physically carry it. 

Husband perspective: There's just a lot still to do. (yes, we've hit "exasperated" here)







Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Week 37

How far along: 37 weeks. Apparently, we've met the minimum requirements of being term (depending on who you talk to). 

How big is baby: The length of swiss chard. And again, they use a long but light vegetable, which just makes me grumpy because this belly is HEAVY. 

Best moment of the week: Friday was pretty great. It was the first day off where I set my schedule. I slept in (partially because I barely slept at night), went for a pedicure, did some shopping, and while we had scheduled a date night, it was 40 degrees (104 Fahrenheit), and I couldn't step outside without Braxton-Hicks kicking in, so we ordered in pizza, got a few things done in the house, and then had a Target date once the weather cooled a bit. 

Food cravings: Chicken wings. We may have got some from the pizza place on Friday. They weren't great but that's the nice thing about my cravings... if they last longer than 5 minutes, they're easily satisfied by subpar options. 

Symptoms: Still very itchy. I may or may not be panicking a lot lately. We realized partway through the week that we aren't going to meet our goal of having that bathroom done before the baby is born unless we get some help... but we kind of have to wait for people who are willing to help to, um, figure out their life first. So in other words, the bathroom won't be done before baby is born.

Gender: Still mostly girl. I'm also nearing the point where I've decided on a name. Scott's still keeping options open. 

What I’m looking forward to: I was accidentally sent an email which read: "To everyone except Cara" at work, which leads me to believe I should wear something pretty to work on Friday. I'm assuming it's related to the same person telling me to go out and register for baby stuff already. 


What I miss: Days off. I've officially used up the vacation time I needed to use up, and I've started training my replacement. Going back to working 5 days a week after a month of 3-4 day work weeks is rough. 

Husband perspective: (after reading about what happens in this, the 37th week): "Baby is just boring. How much time should I give the kid to impress me after it's born?"








Wednesday, August 13, 2014

36 weeks

How far along: 36 weeks

How big is baby: Size of romaine lettuce apparently. But heavier. 

Best moment of the week: Last week was the feeling of productivity. This week was the feeling of knowing my limits. Friday night was my dad's retirement party back home, meaning getting up early Saturday to drive back to the city for the two weddings we were invited to. Cinderella's carriage may have turned into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight, but I knew to leave the last reception long before then. Sure, Sunday was still spent on the couch, but it was closer to "relaxing" than "recovering"

Food cravings: Nothing in particular. I've been going more for salty than sweet, but that could be a reaction to the increased water intake I've been forcing on myself, since the days here are getting stupid hot. 

Symptoms: So much itchiness. Stretching skin = itchiness. Stress = itchiness. Spending a busy weekend eating whatever we can grab on the go (meaning usually chemical laden foods) = itchiness. 

Gender: Girl. For the most part. 

What I’m looking forward to: Three years ago, at Scott's bachelor party, the boys all made bets on when we would have our first kid, if it would be a boy or girl, and what it's name would be. a friend mentioned it when we announced we were pregnant, but I forgot about it until we were at that friend's wedding and he brought it up again. I believe it's been safely stored in the safe at my brother-in-law's business, and I'm really interested to see what people thought. 


What I miss: The confidence to dress myself without comparing myself to an animal. The dress for my dad's retirement party made me feel like a hippo. The dress I wore for the weddings made me feel like a snake before digesting a meal. As fewer and fewer articles of clothing fit, it's harder to get dressed. Feeling good about what I'm wearing is likely not going to happen for sometime. 

Husband perspective: C: how are you not stressed? I'm scratching my skin to death I'm so stressed. S: I'm scratching my brain to death?