Vallette Family

Vallette Family

Sunday, May 19, 2013

So Ready

I'm now at the "I'm VERY ready" point of pregnancy.  Every morning when I wake up still pregnant it's like waking up and realizing Santa Claus hasn't passed.  It's a bummer.  

I haven't gotten many "anything yet?" text messages from friends.  (I guess they read the blog after all?  Either that or they don't care. Ha!)  The few I have received have come with the "I know this is annoying, but I gotta know" disclaimer, and for some reason, that actually makes it not annoying.  My mom texts me everyday with "How are you?".  I know this REALLY means "are you in labor?".  

I'm starting to get irrational.  I look back at pictures a few days before Elaina was born and I was really, really swollen.  So, I've been taking selfies and examining them to see if I'm swollen (because the naked eye lies to you-- self preservation).  I'm not swollen.  In my irrational brain this means I will be pregnant until July. 

Dane isn't low.  He's hanging out high and he seems content.  I'm 2cm dilated and about 70% effaced.  This means nothing (I know), but I like to pretend like it does so I don't go completely insane.  

I'm in that annoying just-waiting period where there's nothing left to prep or do.  Nothing left to buy.  Nothing left to wait for.  Except the baby.  It's driving me bananas.  I'm ready to meet this little boy.  I'm ready to see if he has his sister's where-did-this-come-from hair or if he'll come out with black hair.  I'm ready to see if he'll be petite like his 6lbs 1oz sister was.  I'm ready to tackle labor drug free.  I'm ready to go through the challenge!! I'm ready to bring him home and nurse him and love on him and introduce him to his sister.  I'm even ready for the hard parts.  I'm READY!  

I had a dream way back that he was born on the 23rd.  That would be a really nice early birthday present.  I'm ready, Dane. This week sometime, please.



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Unmarried and (gasp) Pregnant

Elaina was a surprise.  I think it's safe to say she is the best surprise Marvin or I ever received.  I won't go into the events that led up to the surprise pregnancy because that's a whole story in itself.  When I found out I was pregnant I was shocked!  I called Marvin at work.  I was flabbergasted.  He seemed cool as a cucumber.  I'm sure he wasn't, but it's how he seemed.  I really couldn't believe that I was pregnant.  I just kept staring at the test and repeating "I'm pregnant" over and over again.  I'm not sure that my reaction had anything to do with my marital status; I think any time a woman is pregnant (planned or surprise) for the very first time it takes some..... time to wrap her head around the idea of it all.  The idea that there is really a BABY in there is hard to adjust to.   

What surprised me most about being pregnant in the beginning?  The reactions.  I was pregnant and not married and apparently that's taboo?  Marvin and I were pretty ecstatic right away.  Other people (whose lives would not be affected whatsoever by this news): not so much.  I didn't get it.  I mean, I was 23 years old and had graduated from college, I had a full time job and was independent in every way (specifically financially).  Anyone who knew me would've definitely said I was responsible.  I was dating a 26 year old guy who was quite fabulous.  We lived together.  He had a full time job and was extremely responsible as well.  We had a very healthy and happy relationship.  And yet, people reacted like I was 15 years old, alone, irresponsible and pregnant.  It was weird. 

The people you'd expect to have a hard time adjusting to the news (parents) really kind of just rolled with the punches.  My parents were living in Florida at the time so I had to tell them over the phone. I can remember that phone conversation like the back of my hand.

I called my Mom's cell and she answered and I asked her if she was busy.  She said she wasn't and I asked her if she could go into a room because I needed to talk to her about something privately.  "Sure," she said. 

Me: I'm pregnant
Mom: You arrrrrrrrrrre?
Me: Yes
Mom: Are you freaking out?
Me: YES!
(at this point she begins to cry and hands the phone to my Dad)
Dad: Baby, you're PREGNANT?
Me: Yes!
Dad: That's so awesome! I'm going to be a grandpa? Wow, man!!  Your mom is so happy she's crying.  

Now, if anyone was going to be upset (and, really, why in the heck SHOULD anyone be upset??) you would imagine it would be my parents, right?  Well, in all fairness my parents are..... different.  I remember in High School I was the President of the Students United for Abstinence Club (pause and allow the irony to sink in) and I came home all proud and excited to tell my parents.  My mom was all "oh, cool" and my Dad launched into a speech about how "that's great if it's what you want to do", but sex is a natural, normal thing that we shouldn't be ashamed of.  It's not scary, he'd say.  It's not shameful.  Not your typical parents.  

So, my parents were ecstatic.  They moved back to Louisiana so they could be close to their grandchild.  I was ecstatic too.  I couldn't believe how lucky we were to be having a baby.  I started reading and learning and researching immediately.  I was already in love with my little bean!  I didn't feel like the pregnancy was anything secretive, so I didn't keep it a secret!  I let all of our friends know.  We told our families and Facebook.  It wasn't a secret by any means.  I was PREGNANT and I was HAPPY and I wanted to shout it from the rooftops!!  

I called a group of women who were close to me (individually), excited to share the news with them and their reactions surprised me and really hurt me. I considered these women role models my entire life and I was always aiming for their acceptance. I heard "what am I going to tell my kids?" (Umm, that I'm pregnant, duh!  What do you mean?), "Well I guess if you're happy then I am" (Gee try to reign in your enthusiasm) and "Are you going to get married?  You need to get married.  You have to put yourself aside and get married now because it's what's right for the baby. Raising a child out of wedlock isn't stable.  The baby needs stability." (whaaaaa?).  I got really mad.  How dare they make this extremely HAPPY time for me negative.  I got super defensive and that was that.  I kind of closed myself off from them.  I didn't have room for anyone's negativity.  A BABY was going to be born and Marvin and I were beyond-words happy.

After those negative conversations, I realized something: you set the tone for how people react to you.  Had I kept my pregnancy a secret, people would've slowly found out and whispered and gossiped about it.  Had I acted like it was something depressing or sad, people would've felt bad for me.  But, if I was open and happy (the way I truly felt inside) about it publicly people could either get on board or look dumb.  Do you know how dumb you look when someone is all "We're expecting, we're so excited!!" and then YOU (the person who this does not affect) are upset by the news?  You look dumb.  I decided I'd set the tone for this.  I wouldn't allow others to treat this as anything but HAPPY and AWESOME news, and if they did, they'd be alone in their sorrow; I wasn't going to entertain it.

My grandma (my mother's mom) was so happy.  This woman was the most Catholic person in my family.  She had such a pure heart.  She was extremely religious and yet, she was happy!  I've never been as close to my mom's family as I've been to my dad's (purely a proximity thing, my mom's family lives in Puerto Rico), but they all seemed to be so happy for me!  My aunt (my mom's sister) sent me care packages of baby books that she found helpful.  She sent a little note in the package that I kept in Elaina's baby book.  She called me and had excitement in her voice.  She was so happy for me, she said.  It's such a wonderful gift and she couldn't wait for me to experience it.  Call her if I want any advice  or have any questions.  It's awesome, she said.  (She has no idea what that conversation and note meant to me.  It came just when I needed it.) Wow.  The people who I personally called to tell (because they meant so much to me-- I thought they'd be SO happy) reacted terribly (and continued to be less than supportive throughout my entire pregnancy), and the people who got the news via my mom were my biggest supporters.  It was crazy to me.  

I had some pretty infuriating conversations during the pregnancy.  Certain people kept trying to get Marvin and I to get married before Elaina was born.  We were good, but thanks.  They said that it would cause problems logistically if Elaina and I had different last names.  (All those divorced moms out there seem to be handling it just fine.) They said I would regret this one day when Elaina started asking questions.  I would have a hard time explaining to Elaina that we weren't married before we had her, they said.  These people didn't get it.  Had they met me before?  I had (and to this day I still have) zero anxieties or worry about Elaina asking questions about this topic.  She was 4.5 months old when we got married.  She's in the wedding pictures.  It's not a secret.  It didn't feel wrong at the time and I wasn't about to "hurry" and get married in an effort to cover up the fact that we got pregnant before we got married.  I didn't even feel like this needed covering up.  It happened how it happened.  The order was of no concern to Marvin or I.

These same people who were outraged that I was pregnant with Elaina were ecstatic when they heard we were pregnant with Dane.  Hypocrites.  What's the difference?  A piece of paper?  It's no longer "a sin"?  Really, I don't get it.   

Anyway, I don't really know what the point of this blog post is.  I guess it's just to share my experience.  It really surprised me how insensitive and ignorant people are.  And, I guess my advice is if you're going through something that OTHER people may find taboo, but you're feeling wonderfully about it.... SCREW THEM!! Hold your head up high and be excited.  It's your life.  They can either follow your lead or look stupid.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pity Party Central

Pregnancy, in general, is pretty amazing.  I mean, it's amazing if you stop and think that women are walking around growing humans and stuff.  When you're going through it, it's hard to remember (during the nausea, weight gain, acne and general aches and pain) how cool it is.  The end of pregnancy is specifically mind boggling to me.  

When my friends have asked me how I feel lately, I've answered "I actually feel good!  Like, I'm not having trouble sleeping or moving around or anything."  Well, that ship has sailed.  Sleep is a rare delicacy now, and just standing up supporting my 160 lb (!!!!!) body is a high intensity workout.  

I find the end-of-pregnancy (and it's accompanying "shoot me now" mentality) both amazing and terrible.  Terrible because.... I'm TIRED and I can't sleep.  Amazing because I really believe it's God's way of preparing you for the sleepless nights you are in for with a newborn to take care of.  It's God's way of gearing you up for labor.  If pregnancy was all butterflies and rainbows you wouldn't look forward to hours upon hours of horrible pain and squeezing a baby out of your hooha.  I mean, it's annoying, but cool nonetheless. 

Towards the end you have this incredible nesting instinct also.  You want to prepare everything you can and have everything as clean as possible because your baby could come any minute.  I tend to be a 9 month nester.  I go through spurts (beginning early in the first trimester) of getting the house "baby ready".  A few hours before I went into labor with Elaina, I had an overwhelming urge to scrub the bathtub.  

I haven't had the nesting instinct lately with this pregnancy, and honestly I can't even imagine getting in the mood to clean right now.  I am SO TIRED.  Insomnia is such a weird thing.  You're exhausted and you can't sleep (or stay asleep).  Why?  It doesn't make sense.  Like, I'm tired!  Let me sleep, body!  The last few nights I've thought to myself "I really hope I don't go into labor tonight because I will be begging for the epidural immediately.  There's no way I can handle labor THIS tired."  

Some of the pregnant moms (in the secret Facebook group we have) recommended I try Epsom Salt Baths.  They say it helps you sleep when  pregnancy is getting in your way.  I was pumped to try it last night.  I thought MAYBE it would be magical and I'd get to sleep.  

Marvin texted me when he got off of work and asked if I needed him to pick up anything on his way home.  He said he was stopping at Lowe's to get something we needed for the house.  "This is really random, but if they have Epsom Salt can you get me some, please?".  Marvin came home without Epsom Salt.  He said they didn't have it a Lowe's.  Apparently he read into what I said too literally.  What I MEANT for the text to say was "Do not come home without Epsom Salt."  He should know how to mind read by now!

Apparently my sob story text messages to my mother have her feeling sorry for me because she asked for Elaina to spend the night at her house tonight.  I'm planning on soaking in an Epsom Salt bath for hours tonight and having my husband rub my feet until I get tired of it (read: never).  I'm falling apart.  I know Dane will be worth it, but right now I just feel so darn sorry for myself.  By the way, I have a post nasal drip that's causing a redonk sore throat.  Ok, I'll put my violin down.  

In happy news, things are starting to "happen" down below.  At my last appointment I was starting to dilate and efface.  This means absolutely nothing (just ask all the women who felt the need to rain on my parade and tell me about how they walked around at 6 cms for two months), but it made me feel like the end is near.

Marvin's money is on May 22nd.  Mine is on May 25th (but, I'm torn between that date and the 23rd since I had a dream about the 23rd early in pregnancy).  What does that all mean?? It means Dane will stay cooped up in here until June and I'll be trying to perform an at-home c-section.