Friday, November 21, 2014

Dear Baby: You're Beautiful!

Dear Baby,

You are just over two weeks old now and already I'm worried about your self esteem when you are older. You see, your grandmother has been so persistent about what I should do to help mold your physical features. Every single conversation I have with her, either via Skype, texts, or phone calls involve a lengthy discussion about your "flat nose" or "big face." There is absolutely nothing wrong with you (other than the fact that you refuse to stay asleep right now).

You, my beautiful daughter, are absolutely perfect in every way.

My mom is an amazing woman and I hate to sound like I'm bashing on her. She did so many things right when raising us as a single parent.  I know that she means well, but I am beginning to see that she is the reason why I have such low self esteem.

Your grandma is very concerned with how wrinkly your hands are, the fact that you furrow your brows like Dad, that you have double eyelids, your ears being squished by the hats we put on your tiny head to keep you warm, the way we swaddle you and how it binds your limbs, the nose you inherited from me, and most importantly the shape of your face.

How can there possibly be so many things "wrong" with such a little person who is so new to the world?

I've been told to start pinching your nose so that it's pointier. I refused.

I specifically remember sitting in the backseat of the car when I was in elementary school and being told that everything about me is wonderful, except for my flat nose. "Whenever you can, pinch your nose." What a terrible thing to say to a young girl.

I've been told to have you sleep on your stomach and to alternate the side of your face you sleep on as your face will just "get larger and larger" if you remain on your back. I refused.

My mom claims that my sister's head "has a good shape" but mine is "not good"as I slept on my back when I was a baby. I tried to explain to her that infants who sleep on their stomachs are more likely to die from SIDS. And then I went on to tell her that I have a large face because she has a large face and her own mom has a large face as well. But try explaining genetics to a woman who is set in her ways.

I grew up being so self conscious about my appearance and it has unfortunately followed me through life.

When I went bra shopping with my mother the first time she insisted on getting me pushup bras because I lacked in that department at the ripe age of twelve. One time I gained a little extra weight and my mom very seriously said to me, "Min, if you're pregnant you can tell me."

I have been struggling with hormonal acne and terrible scarring for years now and absolutely nothing has helped it. It's something that I am very emotional about, but what makes it worse is that I dread showing my bare face to my grandmother and mom when I visit home because I know they'll make remarks. I remember my mom telling me she was sending me a birthday gift and it ended up being acne cream. They're visiting us next week and I am hoping my face clears up before they see me.

Right now, as I sit with you drifting away on my arm, I feel remarkably unattractive: My long hair is knotted and has not been brushed in days, I'm wearing the same milk stained top I've been wearing for days as I wait for the laundry to be finished, I have heavy bags under my eyes, and the right side of my face has exactly five large pimples taunting me.

But I promise you, Amelia, you will never hear me say any of these things in front of you. I will do my very best to raise you to love everything about yourself. The first step is for me to love myself.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Dear Baby: It's 2am and I'm Hungry

This post was written on May 3rd, 2014.

I now wake up at 12 am, 2am, and 5am for potty breaks every single night. Then, my alarm goes off at 6am so that I can be ready for work. I was finally adapting to this schedule. Your dad makes fun of me because I literally roll out of bed so that I can do this.

But for the past two days I've been waking up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep because of starvation. Last night, I was craving more Taco Bell. I even woke up Dad to tell him. He offered to pick some up for me, but I couldn't do that to him even though I really needed Taco Bell.

Instead, I went downstairs and devoured everything I could find in the kitchen. A hardboiled egg, three tangerines, some honeydew melon, and a few rolls of Hawaiian bread did the trick.

I'm someone who requires at least nine hours of sleep to function well. I'm so thankful that this is a long weekend where I can hopefully catch up on some rest.

Faithful Bella follows me downstairs and sits with me. I have a feeling she'll be up with me for all the 2am feedings for you when you're finally here.


Dear Baby: You're Kicking My Butt

This post was written on May 2nd, 2014.

Dear Baby,

Please know that these are not complaints. I am probably the happiest pregnant lady on the planet. Anytime I experience any of these symptoms, I smile for a moment because it just means that I am finally pregnant.

I am listing these for you so that you know that your mother loved you so early on and had already dealt with a lot way before you even tore up her crotch. At this very moment I'm hoping that you are a girl, just so that you aren't completely traumatized by the thought of your mother's crotch, but that's a totally different issue.

  • I am starving all the time, but only seem to enjoy chicken in battered and fried form. Anything else is repulsive.
  • I take it back. I can eat Taco Bell chalupas and bowls of Pho every day if your Dad would let me. Your poor father sometimes spends so much time grilling meat for us and I can't even force down a bite.
  • I have to pee every two hours, minimum. Sometimes I barely make it to the bathroom and only have to pee a little bit. How is this possible, Baby? I'm scared for my third trimester.
  • I can smell everything. This is a terrible thing when a patient has an especially bad body odor and I'm trapped in a room with them for an hour with the door closed.
  • Chest acne. This is a real thing. 
  • When it gets really cold, my boobs hurt so badly that I can barely function. It was a long winter, Baby.
  • Walking around the neighborhood or up the stairs feels like a six-mile hike in the woods.
  • My permanent bedtime is 9pm. This is also due to the amount of times I have to pee in the middle of night. It's totally ruining my sleep cycle.
  • The bloat. Oh, the bloat! And the gas! At the end of the night, I look at least seven months pregnant, even though I'm barely two months. 
  • Random spouts of nausea. I'm fortunate enough to not have thrown up yet, but when I'm driving to work in the mornings I sometimes have to stuff saltine crackers down my throat from my emergency car stash. I think if I do get sick enough to throw up one day, I may not make it to a trash can or toilet. I sometimes think about what kind of conversation I would have with my boss if I threw up on myself and was late to work.
Ah, the joys of growing you in my tummy. Seriously, though. All of this is worth it if it means you get to be a part of our lives.


Dear Baby: Love at First Sight

This post was written on April 7th, 2014.

Dear Baby,

We found out about your existence on your dad's birthday just over four weeks ago. I had waited until that day to take a test just in case it would be positive because how amazing of a gift would that be? I had nothing else to give to your father on his 27th birthday. He had already bought himself an extremely expensive pair of leather shoes, which I'm sure he will be wearing to your graduation and wedding.

The pink line was so faint that I didn't even want to tell him the news. I spilled the beans anyway and waved the pee stick at him. "See, there's a line. There's definitely a line there!" I took another test the next morning. The line was significantly darker. Dad was still sleeping with Bella. I crawled back to bed and whispered to him, "Honey, you're going to be a dad!" We were overjoyed.

Our first doctor's appointment was this past Friday, April 4th. It was the absolute longest and scariest four weeks we had ever experienced. I was terrified of losing you. Every little cramp or back pain was sure to be a sign of a miscarriage. You see, my past two pregnancies never lasted long enough for us to hear a heartbeat. 

Dr. S. didn't want to do an ultrasound initially, but I begged and begged. I couldn't wait another two weeks to find out if you were okay. Sure enough, we saw you wiggling in my tummy and eventually heard your strong heartbeat. I wanted Dad to record this special moment, but he totally screwed up and recorded the floor instead. I hope he gets his act together before you start walking.

I, of course, was bawling during the entire ultrasound. The kind lady printed out some pictures of you, which I carried around in my purse for days. We shared an elevator with a random man while leaving the office. If your dad hadn't been there I probably would have blurted out, "Hey! Do you want to see a picture of my baby?!"

I can't even describe how happy I am to know that you are healthy and that we will finally get to meet you on November 16th (P.S. November 16th is a Sunday. We would appreciate it if you arrived mid-morning the day before so that it's convenient for everyone. Dad thinks that babies should always arrive on Saturdays).

I am still so incredibly petrified of losing you, but Dr. S. is confident that everything will be just fine. He said that most women miscarry before they see the heartbeat and those who do see a heartbeat are 95% likely to carry to full-term. 95% is a great number, Baby. So great that we decided to tell everyone in the family that very day. 

You are already so loved. I know you are going to be incredibly spoiled, as you should be.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Mommy Minzilla

Hello, Blogger World! We've been busy.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Snow Days

We were hit with two snow storms this winter. It's been wonderfully sunny recently and we are taking in all the warmth with shorts, cute dresses, and flip flops. I think I would be completely okay never seeing snow again in my life. I think Bella enjoyed running around in the snow, which was probably the best part of this brutal weather.

Celebrating Four Years

I'm more than three months behind on my blogging. This year is sure to be a big one for us, so I'm going to attempt to get back on track. We celebrated our four year wedding anniversary last December. Hubby treated us to a spectacular evening at our favorite hotel, The Umstead, including a queen suite, a mani/pedi at their renovated spa, and the most amazing dinner at Herons.

Dinner at Herons was such a special treat for us. We consider us big foodies and we were so excited to have a gourmet meal right downstairs at the hotel. The customer service was outstanding and our three-course meal was the best meal we have ever had. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience having someone brush the crumbs off of our table and having every course described to us.

We returned to our room completely stuffed and popping out of our nice clothes. Someone had come in and sprinkled rose petals all over our room and left fresh champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. We're hoping to return for one last time on our ten-year dating anniversary in June.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bringing in the New Year

P.S. Hubby decided it was smart to toss his lit sparkler in the air. We were scrambling away, similar to the arrow roulette scene from the movie Grown Ups.