My Texas Life is Changing

Not the blog, my actual life.
Let’s back track a little bit shall we? The last entry was a farewell to my precious Dez. While I didn’t intend to take a hiatus as long as I did, I ended up needing a little extra time. I still have trouble understanding that she’s gone and late at night when I stumble towards the washroom for a middle of the night pregnancy pee, I still think I see her strolling about the house. I miss our cuddles and her purrs and get teary when I stop for even a moment to think about her (like now).
For better or worse though, life propels me forward and I have a wonderful distraction in this pregnancy. I have wavered on how much pregnancy and parenting I would like to actually discuss on my blog, after all there are a million and five ‘mommy bloggers’ out there. Who really needs another swimmer in that pond? But truth be told there is likely little avoidance of some discussion. This is a documentation of “My Texas Life” and well, life is changing.Bluebonnets

I’m now seven months pregnant with an expected early arrival; time is flying by. I’ve had some challenges but for the most part a smooth pregnancy. My travel was restricted at 28 weeks and so slightly before that my husband and I flew back to Ontario to visit with my family before the baby’s arrival.  It was a refreshing and much needed visit with friends and family, albeit quick. It was also very challenging to leave them behind when the visit was over.

At 28 weeks a couple of the gals from my office held a ‘shower’ for me which was extremely thoughtful and very lovely. My work duties keep me very isolated and as an independent contractor who works within the office environment, I often feel the outsider. This is partly why I was so moved that the office mates who came to the shower were so caring and generous with what i would consider to be “shy Sharon”. As my work shifts out of the office I hope to maintain some of these relationships.

At 30 weeks my CT family (in laws) will be hosting a ‘virtual shower’ for me. Also a lovely and thoughtful gesture. A few gifts have been trickling in with instructions of “do not open” until the virtual shower next weekend. To be honest I am most excited to get some face time/skype time with that side of the family. I miss them all and during such a strange and wonderful time in our lives it would be really great if they all lived closer. I know what you’re thinking: “who actually wants their parents and in-laws to live close to them?” Well my friends, that would be me. I have a wonderfully supportive and generous family and I really did win the in-law jackpot. I would have no qualms with a closer proximity.

Baby Boy Ross 28 weeksThere are a lot of things that I am learning about the process of becoming a parent. The most reiterated lesson I have learned so far is that other people have an opinion about your pregnancy, your parenting, and your choices and they aren’t afraid to tell you about it. The key, I’ve discovered, to dealing with these well intentioned comments is to smile, nod (of course genuinely listen to their experiences), and then just make your own decisions.  In the long run we are all just doing the best we can with the information we have. I decided after an afternoon of terribly judgey and aggressive ‘advice’ that I will not be shamed by my personal journey. This is a journey I walk with my husband and my son and we will do what is best for our family. If that means hospital birth, cloth diapers, waiting until the very last minute to choose a name, then that is what we will do. We plan to share this journey with those closest to us, and seek help when we need it but we will not feel like we are making the wrong choices based on what may or may not have worked for someone else’s family.  BB24weeks

With that rant out of my system I must admit that one of the things I find myself doing a lot of these days is paying attention to the details. A cousin or friend posts a photo of their little one and I can’t help but look at the type of sleeper they have, the particular carrier they are using, what milestones are being celebrated at what ages, and so on.  I’m going to assume that this type of observation is normal. I think part of it comes from wanting to ensure that my path does not veer too far from the typical journey, and part of it comes from not having a network of friends or family physically close by. Social media, emails, skype calls, and texts are my connection to moms I know including my own. Most people are so unguarded with their online sharing that I’ve been able to extrapolate a lot of tips and information just by being observant. I’ve put into place a number of steps to connect with a group of local moms and I am confident that in time I will once again have a network of people to talk to, visit with, and learn from.

Meanwhile my son is doing well. The scans above are from 28 and 24 weeks and he is already starting to look like daddy. I have continued to manage my gestational diabetes and I am happy to report that, aside from a bit of metformin at night to help my fasting number, it has been controlled by diet and exercise. This is another aspect of my pregnancy that I refuse to be ashamed of. I see many women in the pregnancy forums I visit who are just now starting to discover they have GDM in the third trimester and are just as sad and self blaming as I was when I first posted about it here.  But for me, now in my 13th week of pricking my finger 5 times a day and not giving in to my extreme pregnancy cravings, I want the stigma to end. I don’t want to be embarrassed by something that is completely outside of my control and not at all an indicator of my health or worth as a mother. A diagnosis feels like a big failure. It feels like you are being told you are making IMG_20160419_120102poor choices and not providing adequate care for your child, but in reality it’s just a side effect of pancreas and placenta communicating incorrectly and is nothing to be embarrassed about. Is GDM a pain in the ass? Oh for sure. You have to take the time to experiment with foods and food portions to figure out what spikes your BS, you have to temporarily give up foods you otherwise wouldn’t think twice about (i do miss bananas), and you have to work with your doctor to monitor things more closely -which means more appointments, but gestational diabetes is not a reflection of how much you love your child or that you are making a poor choice. I wish there was no stigma associated with this diagnosis but anytime someone says diabetes it is associated with overweight, over indulgent, and under-active. The fact is GDM does not discriminate. IMG_20160503_160358

Here’s a great gestational diabetes friendly treat my mom had created for our visit home.
Who needs cupcakes and blue smarties when fruits and nuts and cheeses can be a crowd pleaser too.

Okay, a couple of cupcakes wouldn’t stand a chance against me right now but for my son I can wait a few more months. 

And take a look at this “Diaper Cake” made my a coworker in lieu of a real cake. It was very thoughtful for everyone to keep in mind my diet restrictions during get-togethers and I am extremely appreciative of that. . Because of these kinds of sacrifices my blood pressure has been normal, my baby is in the 55 percentile (2lbs 9oz at 28 weeks), and my keytones are continuing to improve.
There’s a lot of prep work happening right now, and lots of research. I’m excited to be connecting with mom groups online and chat with real life mom friends over the phone about their birth stories, expectations, and transitions to parenthood. I’ve been very slowly working on the nursery and prewashing clothes both new and gently used.

IMG_20160502_201344  I’m also knee deep in research about my possible career path. Daycare will be out of our financial reach and with no family to help us with childcare I have no option but to look into work from home opportunities.

I am very comfortable freelancing, as that is where a lot of my experience lies but I am not quite sure what type of work that would entail. Will it be drawing on my skills in graphics, illustration, and content creation? Will I continue to work as a real estate assistant from my home office, or will I be able to derive a steady income from a hodge podge of creative and organizational skills? Maybe it will be something else entirely that will help me earn from home, I’m not sure but I am trying to find out.

Unfortunately most of what I encounter is direct sales consultants who are inviting me into the world of cosmetics, wraps, candles and kitchen products, or something similar. Although I appreciate the invites, direct sales is not something I am interested in so I continue to look and try to devise a long term from-home career plan. There’s bound to be something for me to flourish at while checking my mommy card, but right now it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.

I have a number of exciting things that I want to talk to you about in the coming weeks including the status of our gardens this year -our first spring in this house, a review of the Maytex Piped Suede 2-Piece Sofa Slipcover, Red , some amazing low carb recipes that I have tried and tested, a review of some Windsor & Newton watercolour Markers,  as well as my DIY Nursery tutorials including the argyle wall I painted and the mobile I am currently making. For now though, here’s all that I can see of my toes.  (And I promise to keep future posts less long winded.)

 

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