Adventures along the journey to parenthood

38 Weeks: Monitor and Adjust

Two thumbs up for Baby Nathanson

Leo and Missy (Pops and Mimi) hosted a wonderful baby shower for us a couple of weeks ago. Missy had the best baby shower game ever: Guests pair up and create the shower couple’s baby. Looking through our potential babies (photos below), I’m not sure whether to be honored or concerned… (just kidding guys!). We’re excited to see what our son looks like and I’m sure he’ll be at least as handsome as any of the babies pictured here. I know I’ve said it before, but being surrounded by so much love and support among our family and friends gives me such a sense of security and peace as we enter this crazy new world.

A post script to my previous blog entry (37 weeks: Testing the baby waters): I ended up staying off work Monday and Tuesday this past week – I felt physically exhausted and emotionally fragile. In hindsight I think I got hit with a big ol’ reality check – between my 24 hours of contractions, babysitting Violet, and feeling my baby drop much lower in my pelvis on Monday, I hit this moment of “Oh wow. This is really going to happen. Yikes.” The whole thing felt quite daunting and I couldn’t bring myself to face the office or much else. But then I dragged myself out to dinner with a friend Tuesday night (thank you Beth Huss!) and I woke up Wednesday morning feeling rested and ready for the world. When I taught high school for a year in Colorado, my mentor shared a piece of advice that has stuck with me: Monitor and adjust, then repeat. Grace and I talked the other day about the Buddhist perspective on suffering: We become attached to our expectations of things. We expect things should be a certain way for as long as we say so – as if we have control over the world around us. Thus we suffer when things change and our expectations are not met. By continually bringing awareness to (monitoring) ourselves and our world and adjusting as necessary, we manage to go on in the most peaceful way we can – a constant process of acceptance and adaptation.

Pancake's awesome grandparents

So I’m monitoring and adjusting. I think my body was telling me to slow down and start conserving some energy and peace of mind — because this whole baby thing is about to get very real!  I’ve adjusted by taking it slower and calmer at work and at home. I’m taking my time as I do everything.

Yesterday I took off work again and had a fantastic day. Ted and I had breakfast with his grandparents, then went shopping for prom attire (attending a Valentines “puppet prom” tonight with friends — I found a great $10 maternity prom dress at the thrift store), then my parents stopped by for a visit, and then we had dinner with Ted’s parents. It was a lovely day with family and with each other, enjoyed at a relaxed pace. I’m savoring these quiet and simple moments Ted and I are getting to share before baby comes along.

Today’s task: Pack the “go bag” for the hospital and start washing all of Pancake’s adorable clothes, blankets and diapers. This morning I read this nice article called The Chemistry of Attachmentabout all the hormones and drugs that come along with a new baby to assist in the bonding process – human evolution is fascinating! The article is also posted on the Resources page of the blog.

Click on photo for larger version
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2 responses

  1. Judith Epley

    This entry reminds me of the parenting advice my dad gave me. He says that babies want you to be uncomfortable and inconvenienced. If you’re sitting, they want you to stand. If you’re standing, they want you to walk. And he’s always insisted that babies and small children love going outside or just seeing something new when they’re upset. He used to show us the top of the refrigerator. I still remember that. He doesn’t say any of this in a complaining way. It’s simply the rules to the game.

    Oh, does Violet know the sounds and smells and rhythm of your house? Pancake will.

    February 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm

  2. kelly

    Enjoy this pre baby pampering phase. Seriously. In the weeks after Violet was born I wished I had taken more naps when I had the chance. I know Erin will say “What? She napped all the time!”, but I think I could have squeezed in a few more. Also, new grandparents and friends love to help out around the house. Take them up on their offers! We can’t wait to meet Pancake!

    February 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

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