Baby Growing Up

June 9th, 2016 - 

The longest shortest time is right.

A photo posted by Sarah Hansen (@smorean) on

Six months ago my baby fit in the crook of my arm and now I can barely contain her on my lap.

She can crawl and laugh (a big, joyous laugh, sometimes for no reason) and she loves to eat. Sweet potatoes, strawberries, peas with mint, and carrots so far.

She has stood for three minutes with barely any help from me.

She loves going out places and staring at whatever is in the room. IKEA, Target, and the Mall of America mostly. Also, SO MANY restaurants. (We have about as much time and energy for cooking now as we did before she was born, unfortunately.)

She’s very alert and interested in her surroundings. She falls asleep by 8pm and starts waking up at 6:30am.

I think she’s really smart.

She doesn’t like pacifiers. Instead she sucks her tongue. She keeps it between her lips. Sometimes she moves it around so I know she’s hungry.

On Tuesday morning this week she woke up blowing raspberries for the first time. On Monday, she woke up knowing how to crawl.

I think she must dream about growing up, and she’s excited to get to it first thing in the morning, like it’s her job.

She’s six months now, wearing 9 month clothes. She is generally in the 80th percentile for her size among babies nationwide. I think she is the perfect size all the time.

She’s teething now and has one tooth, at the bottom in the front.

She is a very sweet person and I love her very much!

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Babies on TV

March 3rd, 2016 - 

They say when you’re pregnant, suddenly everyone in the world is pregnant too. Meaning, you don’t really notice pregnant women until you are one. I certainly found that to be true — I was noticing pregnant women almost for the first time — and it felt nice to be part of such a large group of women all experiencing mostly the same thing.

Then, once my daughter was born, babies seemed to appear as if from every direction. Celebrity babies, family babies, and Facebook friend babies were born by the dozens. The baby boom of Winter 2015/16 has been endless.

Even more improbable, every TV show I binged on my maternity leave seemed to feature a baby storyline as well. Weird, right? Let’s examine (P.S. spoilers!).

The Leftovers

Dynamic cult leader impregnates dozens of girls. After one birth mother commits suicide, her multiracial child finds its way into the life of a white woman whose entire family (husband, daughter, son) were lost in “The Sudden Disappearing.”

Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Kourtney gets pregnant, gives birth with lots of people in the room. Kourtney gets pregnant again, considers water birth. Khloe can’t seem to get pregnant (doesn’t ovulate). Kim gets pregnant, suffers from pre-eclampsia. Kourtney gets pregnant again. Kim struggles to get pregnant a second time, tries in vitro (doesn’t work), gets pregnant naturally (learns it will be the last pregnancy she can carry).

Jane the Virgin

Jane waits for sex until marriage, meanwhile is accidentally inseminated, gives birth to beautiful child, has incredibly realistic modern mothering experience (pressure to breastfeed, etc.).

The Mindy Project

Mindy gets pregnant by accident with boyfriend Danny. Disagrees with Danny over having more children, possibly leading to single motherhood.

Mr. Robot

Joanna uses her pregnancy to manipulate her husband, reveals she gave up her first child for adoption at age 15.

Halt and Catch Fire

Donna finds herself in an unstable relationship and an exciting new career, has an abortion.

Deadwood

Alma (a widow) is impregnated by the love of her life (who is married to someone else) but is sadly unable to carry her child to term.

Six Feet Under

Nate impregnates his ex, marries her, then she’s murdered–leaving him a single dad. Re-marries with a different ex, impregnates her, then he dies. Meanwhile, David and Keith (a gay couple) struggle to adopt their first child until they are suddenly blessed with two children.

Exceptions that didn’t feature babies still featured interesting mother-child relationships.

The Gilmore Girls

Lorelei gets pregnant at 16, raises the child as a best friend away from her overly-precious family.

Making a Murderer

A highly impressionable boy is manipulated to confess a crime he didn’t commit while his mother struggles to understand the truth of his involvement.

The Jinx

Son cozies up to a family friend only to uncover the truth that this person is his mother’s murderer.

I guess it’s not weird in any way that something so core to human experience — birth and motherhood — is such a major part of storytelling. Just that, I never would have noticed it before. And if I was looking for clues in any of this, in terms of how my experience related to others or ways I should be raising my baby, I’m not sure I “learned” anything except that no person’s experience will ever be the same as anyone else’s. There are many ways to make a family!

babies are fun

November 16th, 2015 - 

Things I have read in my pregnancy app…

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I wonder how many times, as a fetus, I licked a placenta or gnawed on my umbilical cord? Was there a twin I absorbed? So many questions I’ll never have answered.

I wonder what my baby will look like?

A photo posted by Sarah Hansen (@smorean) on

The last time I saw her, she was pretty cute, I think. First she was a little duck the size of a gummy bear and then she was a smiley person with a button nose. They tend to limit ultrasounds though, for everyone’s health, so I just have to assume she’s been progressing normally for the last 15 weeks.

I hope all of her works. I am mostly afraid that she might be deaf, because I don’t notice her responding to noise. Of course, I’m not around a lot of sudden weird noises either, and actually like things pretty quiet, so hopefully I’m just worrying for nothing. I just want her to have a good life with all possibilities before her. And is it too much to ask that I really want her to have the lead in a musical someday? Because I love musicals, I’m sure she’ll have a beautiful voice, and it would warm my heart.

Dog Update: This morning when Ripley might have gotten mad at Minnie for being under the covers first, I just petted her and told her she was a good girl for not growling and then I moved her into spooning position so she was on the other side of me from Minnie, and she seemed more relaxed. Maybe we can figure out this dog thing with a little coaching. And later they were playing like good girls, so that’s always a comfort.

Lazy AF

November 16th, 2015 - 

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I have entered a new phase of my pregnancy which is Lazy AF. Most of the heavy lifting was done before November, intentionally, to give us ample time before our due date to a) enjoy each other one last time b) enjoy relative peace one last time c) welcome the baby early, if that is what it’s into.

Yet to do:

  • Prepare the guest room (Dad’s coming in a few weeks)
  • Pack the delivery bag
  • Install the car seat
  • Receive the glider and get that in place (it’s been purchased, just no idea when it’s arriving)
  • General clean up of house
  • Open/inspect/clean used baby stuff (pack and play, car seat, baby tub, some toys, stroller)
  • Sanitize baby chew toys (is it okay that I call them this?)
  • Sew the curtains (found some IKEA curtains that work for our track system but they need to be sewn together to work, and hemmed…ANNOYING)
  • Name the baby (THIS IS A WHOLE THING)
  • Remove Halloween decorations from yard
  • Rake (UGH yah right)

Doing instead:

  • Napping with dogs
  • Playing Civilization (board game, and on the iPad)
  • Catching up with favorite sitcoms
  • Driving to Wisconsin for BBQ

Baby is engaged at zero, and has been for a few weeks. Her back is facing my left side and her little legs and arms are facing my right side. When she has the hiccups, it is the worst thing I have ever felt inside of me. When she kicks, it’s kind of cute and I can watch my belly move and that’s cool. I am convinced she is going to be born this week, but that’s just because now is when it would be most convenient for me and I’m sick of watching my stretch marks grow.

A photo posted by Sarah Hansen (@smorean) on

Lately our dogs have been very naughty. It started with Ripley being aggressive during meals and trying to eat Minnie’s food. So we had to watch them. Then Ripley and Minnie both started wolfing down their food too fast, to protect their share, and barfing from it, so we had to buy them special bowls. Ripley still gets into Minnie’s space sometimes, but it’s a lot better.

The worst is that, in the past few weeks, Ripley has been very angry with Minnie if she catches her snuggling with one of us. After breakfast, both dogs hop back into bed with me for a bit and Adam goes to work, but Ripley likes to nose around the house a bit, looking for trouble, whereas Minnie just likes to come straight to bed and start napping. This has started to drive Ripley’s jealousy and she starts fighting with Minnie when she gets to bed, slightly more than play fighting, and with little respect for me. This makes Minnie very defensive and a little uneasy, and it’s making me nervous too. We remembered our puppy play time training recently, and have started to pull them apart and keep Ripley on her side until she calms down. But today on the couch while trying to pull them apart I got a bit of Ripley’s bite on my arm, which left a mark. Kind of concerning, in any case, but particularly concerning when we’re about to bring a baby home.

I read about it and it’s possibly my fault, too, which is annoying. I obviously want to have my baby and I realize I may have been preferring Minnie a bit because of it, since she is adorable and pint-sized. I took her to work with me one day and Ripley’s outbursts really started happening after that. SO. I guess I wasn’t respecting their hierarchy and we’re trying to correct that now. Adam’s going to start taking Ripley on some special walks and we’ve both been trying to engage her more. Still, *kind of* worried about bringing baby home, being exhausted, etc. And we really haven’t really committed to how we’re going to sleep them, either. If we can keep them in the bed or need to find another solution. This is chief among things I totally don’t want to think about right now. :/

I also have laundry the dryer I don’t want to fold, and dishes in the washer I don’t want to put away, and I wanted water for at least an hour but waited for Adam to come home and bring it to me from the kitchen. I am full on Lazy AF.

Perhaps partially impacted by the fact I had a huge itching spell on Friday night and a little bit on Saturday, and my baby is low and all movement is challenging or slightly painful, so I don’t want to push myself too far. Keeping my legs shaved and wearing cotton seems to help the itching, but basically I don’t want to stress myself out over anything right now, just in case, so I am committing to not thinking about things, for better or worse. Surely I did enough worrying and prepping for the last 9 months I can coast a little bit now…?…?…?

I did take the dogs to get their holiday photos taken today, rewarded them with a little dog park time, stopped at Walgreen’s for some delivery bag supplies (which remain unpacked with everything else but at least I have it!) and got some dinner. So, little victories. But mostly I just want to lay around and watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine for infinity.

If it’s true what they say about nesting, I’ll know when the baby’s about to be born because I’ll have a sudden urge to do…anything.

Names

October 26th, 2015 - 

The hardest part of the pregnancy so far has been deciding on a name.

I’m 35 weeks right now and we’re not entirely on the same page when it comes to naming our daughter.

I obsess about it daily. I want her to have a good name!

Today is our two year anniversary. We don’t remember how we spent the day on our first anniversary, but we did take a trip to LA in early October that year to celebrate, and that was totally memorable! Loved that trip. Tonight we’re going to Manny’s for steaks right after our appointment with the midwife, where we’ll get to hear the baby’s heartbeat again. What a difference two years make! Can’t believe how changed our lives already are, and how much they’ll change even more very soon.

This morning we woke up in bed with our two little dogs, in our house. We just celebrated the one year anniversary of adopting Minnie and next year we’ll have a nearly one year old daughter. It’s so amazing. I’m so excited and lucky and happy.