Sunday, July 6, 2008

Prepared? Yeah, right!

NOTE: This post is more than a bit outdated, as I wrote most of it two weeks ago, and then -- silly me! -- never wrapped it up and "published" it here on the blog... But just thought I would do so now, before moving on to my latest thoughts...

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Boy, I'm so tired of that question already, and I guess I've been getting it for weeks: "Are you ready?" "Are you prepared? Have you done everything?" And I never know whether people mean physically, mentally, emotionally or just materialistically prepared... I guess it's a combination of all of these, of course. And I know that it's meant with the best of intentions. But how can one ever be really and truly prepared for such an experience, and is there really ONE tried-and-true, specific way of preparing yourself?! Who knows...

Okay, so the past few days I have been spending a lot of my time preparing the baby clothes for the maternité and just trying to take my time washing them, folding them, and putting away as much as possible in the one piece of furniture I have for the baby so far -- the mint-green dresser! I quite like it, although the quality is obviously not fabulous -- it's pretty-much the same as Ikea-quality, but I guess I couldn't expect much more than that for the price I paid. Still, I'm hesitating about the matching bed, and I have a feeling the decision won't be made before the Little Bean arrives. In the meantime, I'm bound and determined to get us either a couffin or a landau, barring an actual combination stroller. My boyfriend did finally make it up to his sister's place in Lille this past weekend and drove back in her car, that he will be buying from her used -- so we officially have wheels again, and therefore a way to get to the clinic on the Big Day! But apparently her baby's stroller was in pretty bad condition and didn't seem to be working very well, so my boyfriend said to forget about it... Which leads us back to square one in that department. I think we may very well end up buying our own stroller; I may bite the bullet and convince him to go with me at the end of this week, when he finally has a couple of days off and we can go to a shop or two. But managing to convince him to go to some shops with me will be quite the challenge, to say the least...

So no, my life is not very exciting right now, but that's OK (and of course that will change any time now!). I'm feeling the constant need for rest anyway, and I'm also feeling excessively lazy -- it's insane! I keep telling myself I need to be doing more housecleaning (story of my life -- how many times have I mentioned this before?!) but all I want to do is kick back, relax and read, get my mind off my worries and just not think too much at this point. I put off going to bed at night, though, and I'm becoming more and more nocturnal; I'm really going to have to kick this habit soon, as I will regret it later on... But I think it's psychological, because now when I go to bed at night, I either wake up really early in the morning, or whenever I do wake up, I'm aching all over, mainly in my back, my feet and my hands, strangely enough. I get that my feet are swelling and I may be retaining some water (mental note: really need to watch my salt intake a bit better, I guess!), and also that no matter what I do, I can't seem to stay asleep in the right position at night, but what's with the achey hands?! Is the swelling thing meant to apply to ALL extremities, and not just my feet? In any case, I find myself occasionally cracking my knuckles during the day -- which I know is far from pretty, much less healthy, and not exactly a recommended little habit to be acquiring. But it seems to temporarily ease the pain, so...

Yes, there you have it, my blog has officially transformed into one of the expat expectant mommy blogs -- I guess this has been coming for a while! I try to alternate posts and talk about other things, but obviously this is what my life is revolving around right now, so what can I do? No matter what I read, the subject is always there in the back of my mind. For example, when I read last week's French Elle horoscope, I almost fell off my seat in the RER -- you see, my birthday falls on August 22, so I'm right "on the cusp", as they say, of both Leo and Virgo. I often jokingly like to say in French that I'm "Lion, presque Vierge" -- not too many out there who can say that, right?! In any case, these days I don't even know which sign to read, because Elle has stopped Leo at August 21st, whereas all my life I've pretty much considered myself more of a Leo than a Virgo. But I guess my personality is a mix of both... Then again, it's not as if I take all that much stock in horoscope predictions, trust me! It's just that on occasion I find them uncannily accurate... For example, in the week from June 30th to July 6th, Lion says: "... si vous ne partez pas encore en vacances, relâcher la pression, celle que vous mettez sur les autres... et sur vous. De votre capacité à vous détendre et à accepter les choses telles qu'elles sont dépendent vos succès futurs [!!!!]. Nés autour du 21 août [!!], agissez pour le changement."

Um, sorta kinda makes you stop and think, non ? I mean, trust me, with getting out to spend time with friends, I've definitely been making time to relax, but admittedly I'm the worst about "accepting things the way they are" -- I'm always wanting to somehow "fix" things at the last minute, and I'm definitely not a planner. I know this is kindof the stars' way of telling me that I'm going to have to learn to live with things being less-than-perfect for a while!

And if that one wasn't uncanny enough, read Virgo's from the same week (keeping in mind that I have usually considered myself more of a Leo up until now, but again, this was freaky nonetheless...): "... ne cherchez pas à tout résoudre, procédez par étapes. Nés autour du 24 août, préparez-vous, la semaine prochaine peut être importante [!!!!]." Of course, since then, that week has come and gone, and the "big event" hasn't happened yet -- but STILL, at the time it surprised me to read that!

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People also keep asking us if we're going to be leaving on vacation, and obviously that hinges on the baby's arrival: due date being the end of July, early August, there's just no way of knowing when the Little Bean will officially pop out! I really hope that we will be able to head down to the Atlantic Coast for at least a couple weeks after the birth, but I imagine it all depends on how well the delivery goes, and obviously the baby's and my health afterwards. Although the sage-femme did say last week that normally a week to 10 days after birth was plenty of time to allow before going away, I'm just wondering how I will be handling everything. So no predictions at this point... It would be SO nice to get away from the city and to enjoy the ocean a bit after the baby's birth, but again, I'm obviously going to focus on making sure everything just goes well before thinking about all of that...

Oh, and I looked a bit into both the Bum Genius and Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers -- and OH my WORD, I must have been living on another planet, because I had NO IDEA how expensive they were going to be! Then again, I know a baby goes through a heck of a lot of disposables in one day, so I imagine the cloth diapers are not only the better long-term investment, leading to less spending in the long run, but they are also so much better for the environment. But *gulp* that first order is going to be painful, to say the least! Aimée has given me some good advice in that department as well, so I may plan on putting through an order for a starter kit to give the Bum Genius diapers a try, and have my parents bring them over from the U.S. when they come to visit in September...
In the meantime, I'm busy preparing my valise for the clinic, for both myself and the Little Bean. I've been dragging this out, though, and still need a few things from the pharmacy. I hope to wrap that all up very soon!

14 comments:

screamish said...

I feel terrible about being so bitchy about our guests!..Yeah- he (toddler from hell) was OK I suppose. I guess our house isn't childproof either. And Im a bit tired and vulnerable and maybe too set in my ways happy in my little flat.
Yep- it must be wierd for the boys to see our bodies change! we dont get the full force of it I think. It's been weeks since I've been able to see my..er...private parts....!
With you on the depression thing. I thought it was AFTER the birth, not before. Yeah and digestive issues...nice...all I can say is lots of water and All Bran..has done wonders for me.

Strange- I thought boys names were easier..so much cooler..Jake, Alex, Sam...the one name we have chosen is on your list of girls names!!
Now the other can't end with an « a ». And either French or Celtic/Scottish (my background)..;although I quite like Rose...but everyone thinks its too old fashined. Or Olive. But French people laugh when I suggest it! I love OLIVE!
yes! You need to post NOW! As a last witnessing before you're a mum. It's going to be soo soon!!

Yeah- you know the disposable nappy thing is sooo expensive with two babies, but the PRICE of those reusable nappies....like 10 euros each, although Ive seen them for 17. Given I need perhaps 15 each, say 30 total...I dont know if I can deal with that...maybe in the long term its cheaper...but imagine the NAPPY MOUNTAIN with twins???

aagh!!

Lesley said...

The day before my first baby was born, I had a sudden burst of energy and spent the entire day cleaning and reorganising (I even reorganised the spice rack). Apparently this is quite common, it's something to do with preparing the nest. So watch out for any cleaning sprees!

Vivi said...

I'm going with the Bum Genius 3.0 as well! I know the prices are steep but we're going to order them through the States. I found a "starter kit" for around $400 but if you're using Euros it's really quite reasonable (and much less expensive than buying them here!). I'd be happy to share my source with you if you're interested!

Le Tigre in France said...

Don't be so hard on yourself, enjoy relaxing with a book and leave the house cleaning for another day. It's true that you need to conserve your energy but I can only imagine that house cleaning might be a little bit difficult with the big stomach and all (I'm just imagining what I would be like, I'm so uncoordinated I'm always bumping into things and knocking them over, I would be like godzilla in a china shop if I was pregnant).
Maybe you should consider hiring someone to come and do a big clean once a week? Cleaners aren't so expensive...

avec amy said...

I vote you stay on the Leo side, we're more fun : ) Is the Little Bean going to be a Leo too?!?

The Late Bloomer said...

Thanks for your comment, Screamish! I know we can relate to a lot of things together right now, but you're experiencing things even more intensely as you're expecting TWINS!

My boyfriend and I settled on a name possibility for girl or boy pretty early on, believe it or not, even though he insisted that we were going to have a hard time -- it was surprising how we agreed on it...

And Vivi, I know we could talk for ages about all this stuff too -- kind of like when we had a chance to do so for a bit at K&K's first summer picnic back in June... I just feel bad that the last time I got together with Sam at Aimée's café, I kind of went overboard on the pregnancy talk without intending to! It just happened... and I would DEFINITELY be interested in finding out your BumGenius source -- although I don't know how J. is going to feel about forking out that much money to start with... I know it's more economical in the long run, but I'm just not sure yet how I'm going to adapt to them, and I want to be sure first! I was thinking I might have my mom & dad bring over the first 3-pack set in September just to try them out, and then take it from there... We'll see! I'll have to drop you an e-mail though. Hope you're feeling good these days!

Oh, and Lesley, when I got up today I decided I absolutely had to attack the housecleaning seriously for once -- I've been putting it off for so long! But all of a sudden, three hours after getting up, I want to lay back down again! It's pathetic...

Oh man, R., I've given some thought to having someone come in to do a major overhaul cleaning -- God, how I would LOVE to do that, and I just don't know if I can justify it, especially since I'm at home right now. I mean, granted, I am tired and pregnant, but I just feel like I need to pull together some motivation and discipline and go from top to bottom. But that's my biggest problem -- I just don't know where to begin! I just feel like there's so much to be done, so much we've neglected for months -- little things, you know? I'm pretty good about the kitchen, but elsewhere in the apartment I tend to let things "trainer"... Thanks for the encouraging words! I could totally relax with a book pretty much EVERY day at this point! But then nothing would get done... At least my boyfriend is going to be home on vacation starting on Saturday, for a month! :-)

And yep, Amy -- unless the Little Bean shows up in the next few days, of course, he/she should be a Leo! I'm kinda worried about that, because I'M a Leo, my brother is a Leo, one of my sister-in-laws is a Leo -- we're surrounded by them! So much ego, YIKES!

Oh and I owe you an e-mail -- I haven't forgotten, I promise! I've just gotten very bad about my correspondence these days...

Penny said...

Just wanted to pop in and wish you all the best - I'm very bad at leaving comments these days! See you on the other side :-)

Je ne regrette rien said...

Although it has been a long while since mine were babies, my general comment is *less is more* ... I'm amazed at how many contraptions and conveniences now exist for babies and moms ... and wonder how much is in the name of improvement and how much is in the name of industry / consumerism.

So my .02 is to go slow and not break the bank on all the many choices ... but see what feels right and necessary as you go along. babies have been round forever and survived on much, much less than what is considered a *must* these days.

best of luck on your coming birth, it is the most amazing experience ever and I'm sure it will be beautiful and uniquely yours.

ps-I always enjoy catching up on your blog!

joy suzanne said...

Yeah for leo babies! I'm so excited to hear the sex and the name!

Elisabeth said...

Thanks for the very nice comment you left on my blog today. I also seem to remember having visited your blog before. I am rehauling my blogroll, and will add you in a day or two (when I get around to doing it.)

Fascinating to find you at a momentous time in your life. Pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting are amazing moments in a woman's life (and I'm glad I did not pass on them, even though it took me years to decide to become a parent.) I wish you the very very best with the birth of your new baby and with deciding what kind of diaper to use (damn, that's one aspect of parenting that I don't miss one bit!).

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

Don't worry about worrying. You never worry about the right things beforehand, anyway. *grin*

I felt the same way about so many things -- am I prepared? Did I buy the right stuff? Why am I so lethargic? Just be gentle with yourself and try to ignore the stress as much as possible (I know, easier said than done!)

I've only used disposables so I don't know anything about cloth -- there's enough laundry around here as it is -- but I wonder if it doesn't make sense to start the cloth a bit after the newborn period. 'Cause it seemed to me that le Petit stayed in the number one size diapers for about five minutes, and then number two for a week, and the number three for maybe a month. We've been in number four for a long time now!

So if it is really that much of an investment, you might want to wait. And once the babe's started solids at six months or so, the poop will be so much easier to clean!

Moxie's blog, which I love, has a lot of good cloth diapering info:

http://moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie/2006/03/qa_cloth_diaper.html

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

We all waiting!!! Yes I think Le tigre is right, don;t be too hard on yourself...find time to relax.

I love the little basket and bear in the photo, so cute..I have been looking at some french comforters for my daughter-in-law, due their first baby in November..

Hope everything goes well, an little bean makes their appearence soon. :-)

afoos said...

I feel SO bad for not getting back with you before leaving. Things ended up being really hectic and the day before we left, I had a really bad case of nausea and really had to try and motivate myself to do anything, so it ended up taking twice as long to get things done. Paradoxically, my husband was at Aimee's café to buy some tea and could have dropped the couffin off for you to pick up later that day!!!!
Anyway, I hope, hope, hope you find a couffin in time for little bean to arrive and please forgive me for all of this chaos!

As far as the Bum Genius, if you just buy what you need (around 15 to 20) diapers and don't do like me and try every cloth diaper on the planet, it really is economical in the end. The bum genius can be used until potty training and we are planning on using Louise's diapers for the newborn. We even brought the cloth with us to the US and it's working out perfectly. Disposables are hugely expensive and you'll find after awhile that you'll hate throwing away diapers. It's so much more fun to put cute colors on baby rather than dreary paper. Anyway, I know the price seems scary but we sat down and did the calculation and it came out cheaper for cloth in the end.

I'm sending good vibes your way for the birth of little bean!

joy suzanne said...

Hi Alice! Happy Thursday!