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Friday Update: Week 25

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Mr. Handsome and I have been using the tools a lot this week with all the projects we’ve been working on. This hammer is about 13-1/2 inches long which is now comparable to baby’s length. Apparently she went through a good growth spurt!

This week I have been crazy busy working on the projects I wanted to accomplish and having fun with Kiddo1. I’ll post an update on Sunday about everything that got done, all the fun and what’s left on the table (because you know I couldn’t get through that whole list in a week).

While I was working on my projects, I had a lot of time to think. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing! Every once and awhile I’ll have a mini freak-out in my head about the fact that we’re having a girl. Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly excited to have a girl and couldn’t be happier, but still, it’s a brand new experience (since our only other child is a boy) and new experiences can be unnerving sometimes. I think Mr. Handsome has had these in-the-head-freak-outs as well because every now and then he says, “So it’s a girl, huh…” We don’t really talk about it but I’m pretty sure we’re on the same level here.

My mini freak outs are probably for different reasons than Mr. Handsome’s. I mean, with our son, I never worried too much about being a role model. Of course I’ve tried to be a good example of what kind of human I want him to grow up to be, but not necessarily the man I want him to be – I tend to leave that up to Mr. Handsome (who, by the way, does a fantastic job and I couldn’t ask for anything more). A gender role model, I am not. I don’t do much of the bathroom stuff, I will take part in the “birds and bees” conversations but I won’t get into as much detail as Mr. Handsome will, I don’t do too much sports stuff (I play catch, kick the soccer ball, all of that, but Mr. Handsome does way more), and I’m generally not a male role model in any way. And I’m totally, completely okay with this.

With a girl, though, it’s like a bit of a role reversal for Mr. Handsome and me. I’m the one that will teach her to sit on the toilet and wipe herself. I’m the one that will help her with her ballet moves (or gymnastics or softball or whatever she wants to do). I’m the one that will talk about menstrual cycles and STDs and teen pregnancy. Of course Mr. Handsome will participate, I can count on him as he counts on me, but she will look to ME for those things just like Kiddo1 looks to Mr. Handsome for the guy counterparts.

She will look to ME to learn how to be a woman, and that scares the crap out of me! Am I a good example of a woman? Am I a good example of what women should be?! I have no freaking clue!

But just when my freak-out-in-my-head gets to this point, I take a step back and remind myself that I’ve been a competent mother with a competent child up until this point at least, so I know I can continue as not only a competent mother but a competent, good example of a woman and proper gender role model for my daughter. I think I can, I think I can.

I’m currently reading Choosing Waterbirth by Lakshmi Kertram (which I will review in a few weeks) and she has a paragraph from the birth story of her first daughter that captures some of my thoughts on the subject of having a girl:

I take the baby into my arms and snuggle her close to me. … So many thoughts run through my head as I look down at her. I know what she may go through as a woman in this world. I know what pain and happiness await her as she grows. My heart already aches in anticipation of the challenges she will face, and warms with the knowledge of the joy she will have. It is such a different feeling from what I felt when the boys were born. I recognize the difference and realize I have become a new mother once again.

Powerful stuff! I am working on channeling my freak outs into excitement – we’ll see how that goes.

Here’s a few more things to freak out about:

  • Total weight gain: 20 pounds. The official weigh-in at our latest midwife appointment  was 19 pounds, but I do go by my household scale and I cannot lie to myself for two weeks in a row. So 20 pounds gained with 15 weeks left to go. Deep breaths (and fewer carbs).
  • Cravings: Ice cream. Damn you ice cream!
  • Coolest symptom: Random strangers have started noticing my bump and will do nice things for me like hold the door open and point out hazards (at the ice cream shop a worker made sure that I specifically knew that the floor near the register was wet and could be slippery). People can be nice.
  • Lamest symptom: I had a bunch of Braxton Hicks last Friday night. It was really annoying and poor Kiddo1 was stuck entertaining himself because I confined myself to the couch with my water bottle for several hours. I haven’t felt any more contractions since then but I have noticed myself getting physically worn out more quickly this week. My body is saying slooooooow dooooown, the person-making is taking priority.
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes): Well I’m throwing out this week altogether because I pretty much did nothing. I was too focused on my projects to get any real exercise in. Kiddo1 and I went on a couple bike rides, I took Max (dog) to the park a couple times (Mr. Handsome takes on the bulk of that task – sorry lover!), I did a lot of shopping and spent several hours walking around the zoo and science center, but no yoga time, no elliptical, no arms. Bad me, super bad.

Baby2 got a lot done this week. Here’s what’s new with her, courtesy babycenter.com:

Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. His or her weight – a pound and a half – isn’t much more than an average rutabaga, but your baby is beginning to exchange that long, lean look for some baby fat. As this happens, wrinkled skin will smooth out and your baby will start to look more and more like a newborn. Your baby is also growing more hair – and if you could see it, you’d now be able to discern its color and texture!

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