You know, I could hardly imagine what it would feel like to be this pregnant. When you’re going through infertility and loss, you stop letting yourself wonder…and you just assume every day will feel like the greatest day of your life because every day of infertility and grief feels like the worst day of your life and duh you’ve achieved pregnancy–and made it to viability!
Well, I can now tell you that it feels…good. But not as celebratory as I expected, since it now occurs to me–having just observed World Preemie Day–that a baby born at 24 weeks has (at best) a 50/50 chance of survival, a loooong stay in the NICU (fraught with peril), and anticipated life-long issues. That’s…not awesome. So I don’t really understand why everybody thinks 24 weeks is a good time to stop and smell the roses. I’ve seen a lot of pictures of preemies lately (they make me cry) and my new magic “hooray” date is 30 weeks (I dunno where I got 30 weeks from, I guess it just sounds ‘safe’). But really, I’m hoping to make it damn near the full 40 weeks, and she’s welcome to stay longer!
I hardly recognize myself in the last couple posts I’ve written–where has my (literary) voice gone? They are so boring. I think I was just apprehensive about writing about the pregnancy. But there’s some stuff I want to share with you…
We made our first big purchase! We bought a stroller and an infant car seat! This is a BIG deal, because other than this we’ve bought a couple of outfits and a few books…and that’s it. We went to Buy Buy Baby (drove 1.5 hours to the city) to “test drive” the strollers, but I had my eye on one–the Britax B Ready stroller. I’m 5’9″ and Mr. MLACS is 6’6″, so I googled ‘best strollers for tall people’ and this (click here) website popped up. When we got to BBB, I was nervous and overwhelmed…I had the same feeling when we popped in there circa 12 weeks along and I was hoping I would *magically* get over the nervousness and feel excited to shop…I was excited…but I was more nervous than excited. There was no sales associate so we just started searching for the Britax we had in-mind, and I found it, and we awkwardly fiddled with it and looked it over, until finally I was like “This is stupid, we came here to test-drive this thing” and I shook off my anxiety and started pushing it from one end of the isle to the other. It was smooth like butter and far superior to other strollers in that the handle extends to 44″ and the seat is much higher off the ground so Mr. MLACS and I don’t have to bend in half to lift baby out of the seat. Eventually the sales guy came to help us and we made him show us how to collapse it and how to change out the seat that it comes with to accommodate the infant car seat–both actions (collapsing the stroller/attaching the infant seat) take 2 seconds. We were sold. And they price-matched with Target so we saved almost $200 off the BBB (inflated) price. Me and Mr. MLACS fist-bumped and congratulated each other on our badassedness. We were so pumped on our stroller that we decided to start a registry on-the-spot…but then my anxiety started to creep up because I was totally unprepared for this–I had no list of essentials and the most I had done was glance at a couple other peoples’ registries. Mr. MLACS just started pointing the gun and shooting at any random thing that caught his eye–like a Britax travel cover for a full-sized car seat that we may or may not ever own…a pacifier holder…I was like “WAIT! WAIT! This is all superfluous crap that we don’t actually need!” But yet, my mind was blanking on what we actually need…I thought of a few random things…
I knew we needed a bath tub, but how could I pick a bath tub without talking to Steph and the other new moms? I didn’t trust myself (or Mr. MLACS) to make a decision about anything–great or small–without consulting somebody/anybody first. As we walked through the store I became more and more frustrated and unsure of myself, until finally I felt light-headed and turned to Mr. MLACS, who mercifully put down the gun and took me to eat at PF Chang’s. So, first attempt at baby registry: FAIL. But, purchase of a stroller and infant car seat: HUZZAH!
There’s a caveat though…my MIL looooooves to shop and keeps herself busy 24/7. Thus, she is not pleased that I have not created a registry because it is impeding her shopping and she is ready to throw down for Black Friday. Most recently I’ve used the excuse that we’re moving, and said I’d make a registry post-haste…but the truth is that I’m intimidated by the process and, while I don’t want her help, I also haven’t been able to force myself to pull the trigger and just do it.
So, when she texted me only minutes after we loaded our new stroller into our truck, I was quick to reply that we had finally made a purchase! I was careful not to tell her what kind of stroller we got though, because I knew she would probably proceed to buy EVERY accessory that Britax makes (most of which we won’t use) because that’s how she rolls. I know I shouldn’t complain about someone being generous but I don’t like clutter and I don’t like wasting money on dumb sh*t–and she’s a teacher and I wish she’d just save her money for retirement instead of wasting it on some of the ridiculous things she sends our way. My family does cash and gift cards, and I now realize how wonderful and special that is–to not have a pile of unwanted crap to contend with. I know, I know, I sound like a scrooge but shopping is just not my thing. And accumulation of stuff is something I try to avoid, and my MIL just keeps sending boxes of crap. I truly fear that she’s planning to send an avalanche of stuff our way for the baby, and that it will bury and suffocate us. Am I being dramatic? Yes. But you have no idea how much anxiety this causes me–I don’t want this stuff, she won’t take no for an answer, then I feel guilty for not appreciating it, and then I resent her for cluttering my house with crap *and* making me feel guilty.
I shouldn’t have been surprised when she called the next day and pumped Mr. MLACS for information–which he cracked and told her what stroller we got as I threw a silent temper tantrum sitting next to him on the couch. Then she got to the point…she called to figure out what is up with our BBB registry….
I froze. We didn’t even tell her that we had started a registry there. She just looked it up after we told her we got the stroller there.
A sick feeling came over me, like I got caught with my pants down. Everything on the registry was nonsensical and there were only like 10 items–no one was supposed to see it! Mr. MLACS and I gave each other crazy looks and I mouthed to him “Tell her it’s not ready yet”! Like in the Wizard of Oz when the Wizard says “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” Good grief.
And then she proceeded to go over the items and commented that she was perplexed when she saw it because “Why would we have a blue baby on board sign?!” and “Why would we choose that car seat cover?!” Which…actually that was downright offensive–why does she feel the need to criticize our registry?? When we didn’t even tell her about it yet?!
Which justifies my suspicion that she thinks we are completely unprepared and would like to just take over everything and probably wants to take my baby away from me because…if I can’t even make a registry…surely, I’m not fit to parent. I mean, who buys a blue baby on board sign for a baby girl??!
**Note, I think baby on board signs are dumb and can alert potential predators of your child, so we are not getting one in any color.
Yeah, and I tried to go to bed but I couldn’t sleep because I was so anxious and having irrational fears of my MIL trying to move in with us and parent MY child. Mr. MLACS had tucked me in but I actually had to get back out of bed and come talk to him because I was freaking out. He reassured me that it’s ME and HIM and that his mother will be kept at arms length. Of course, I feel horribly guilty for rejecting her, because she means well, but I am fiercely independent and I do things in my own way–and if I want an opinion, I’ll ask for it.
Mr. MLACS then talked to his sister, who was already provoked at their mother, so she said she was going to tell her to back off (since I’m not comfortable being stern with her, and my polite attempts and subtle hints–I stopped sending ‘thank you’ notes for the junk she sends–have been ignored). I still have a lot of anxiety about the situation though, as I do prefer to just be honest and avoid tension, and I don’t know what to expect from my MIL from this point on–I worry that she will be hurt and pissed off. But then again, what about my feelings??
Mr. MLACS did ask me to buckle down and make a registry to keep his mother occupied, so I obliged and spent the whole day Monday trying to figure this out. It sucked. Is this stuff supposed to be fun? I hated it–how do I know which bottles my baby will take? How do I know which swaddle she’ll like? How many bath towels do I need to register for? Do the towels need to match the washcloths?
I love the color pink. But since my MIL thinks the nursery should look like a Laura Ashley advertisement, I find that I have backlashed and I chose very few pink items. Because I’m a punk like that. And because I hate to be cliché. And just…because.