Baby FAQ

Old news: we’re having a baby. Old picture:

April 10: First family picture, 12.5 weeks

Here are some questions that people ask (or that I want to explain) about having a baby. I haven’t been keeping a journal, so this is partially just to record my early-pregnancy thoughts. Maybe I’ll have different late-pregnancy thoughts. You can still ask me these things in person, though…I just try to restrain myself from initiating too many baby conversations :)

  1. Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?
    • Not until June 5, at which time the great name debate can officially begin. James (my brother) says we’re actually obligated to start picking names before we know the sex so that we can someday tell Child who it would have been if it were the opposite sex, thereby enabling it to participate in lunch conversations on the topic. I guess we have two weeks to decide whether we’re being negligent on this front. Also, James didn’t actually mention lunch conversations, but that’s the only practical ramification I can think of.
  2. When is it due?
    • Technically, October 19. Realistically, I have to have a c-section, so October 12. I learned a little too late that I should probably just say October 12 to avoid this whole conversation, but because I’ve told some people the 19th and some people the 12th, I can’t have half of the world thinking I’m a liar. Because obviously I’d have reason to lie about this.
  3. C-section…are you crazy? Do you hate your baby?
    • No, and no, although I accidentally read at least one book that made me feel like that. Several years ago I had surgery to remove uterine fibroids, which, because of my particular kind of surgery, makes labor somewhat dangerous. Sooo, c-section it is, scheduled early to avoid labor, and I’m okay with that.
    • In case you’re curious, laboring after certain kinds of uterine surgery is not equivalent to a VBAC.
  4. Will you both continue to work?
    • I jest; this question is always “Will Sarah continue to work?”
    • Yes, at least part time.
    • Rationale:
      • It turns out that I kind of love being a tech writer; I love my company, my supervisor, my co-workers, and my work. I love going to work every day. Would I be willing to give it up if the baby needs me to? Yes. But if it’s possible to balance the baby and work and maintain some level of sanity, that’s what I will do.
      • I have this illusion that continuing to work in some capacity is actually beneficial for the baby rather than purely selfish for me. (Disclaimer: the following rationale applies to me and me only; I’m not at all suggesting that all stay-at-home moms should actually be working part-time. I would never suggest that. Don’t think I’m suggesting that.)  Jonathan and I read this book about baby brain development that listed marital satisfaction as a super-significant influence on an infant’s feelings of security and well-being. The book also (unsurprisingly) painted a rather grim picture of marital happiness within the first year after the baby is born. Annnd, the book said that one of the four factors that most undermines marital happiness is social isolation of one or both parents. So here’s the “applies to me” part: I’m a super-introvert in certain ways (despite some of you who may argue otherwise), so I’m rather predisposed to suffer from this issue. Although I know that work is work and not happy hour, as I already mentioned, 3/4 of the things I love about my job relate to the people and the environment. It’s a chance to naturally be around people, and that makes me happy. Also, working at the same place as Jonathan has given us an extra “common interest”. I see both of these factors contributing to my/our well-being, which, as the book suggests, will contribute to the baby’s well-being.
  5. What do your cats think?
    • From their recent wave of bad behavior, we can infer at least one of the following mindsets:
      • They’re mad and they’re punishing us, unaware that they’re expressing their concerns 18 weeks too late.
      • They’re preparing us to be parents. Climbing into cabinets? Yes, we need baby locks. Chewing on trash/belts/blankets/anything they can find? We should probably hide all that stuff behind the baby locks. Peeing on everything? Changing diapers is surely preferable to hunting down urine stains. Meowing all night long? Yeah. Thank you, cats…we appreciate your concern.
  6. Will this blog now be only about babies?
    • Maaaaaaybe…unless you would prefer that it be empty for another 6 months…
    • Maybe not…having been rather busy for the past several months, I’ve stored up a few baby-related things to talk about, so it might seem like it’s just about babies for a spell. However, I suspect that Jonathan might have some non-baby stuff to write about. Oh, and I have a cat picture I’ll post sometime, so you have that to look forward to.

About Sarah

10 years ago, I was a computer science student. 5 years ago, I taught kindergarten. 2 years ago, I trained teachers. Now, I'm a technical writer. I have thoughts about most of these things, but most likely I'll just write about neuroses and why I love Mr. Gatti's pizza. Which might be a neurosis.
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7 Responses to Baby FAQ

  1. Laura says:

    Yay! I will read baby-related posts all day long!! Please post more! :)

    It’s interesting that your cats are being bad… our cats recently peed all over the house. We thought it was because we switched to a new brand of litter, but maybe they are freaking out more generally…

    • Sarah says:

      Yeah, I really can’t tell if it’s related or not. Just today Goomba was kind of mean to Patrick and April, and he’s usually so nice. I’m wondering if he’s feeling insecure and territorial for some reason…

  2. Kirstin says:

    I’ve been waiting for a baby post! I didn’t know that about certain kinds of uterine surgeries – interesting. I don’t know what book you read, but don’t feel bad. This is exactly the kind of situation c-sections are great for.

    I have worked part-time, full-time, and not at all since I became a mom, and it’s all stressful. I started out part-time which was awesome because it gave me a chance to see what working with a baby was like. The whole pumping, finding time to pump, pumping enough milk every day thing was the worst part for me. However, I did enjoy being at work when I was there and part-time meant that I was home more than at work which was nice. But I still decided I’d rather stay home, mostly because my (new) boss was a pain to deal with. Then right when I was going to quit, Camilo got laid-off, so I ended up working full-time for a year. Part-time was way better than full-time, but full-time wasn’t as bad as it could have been because Lucia was already 12 months old and not nursing as much. And now I’m not working at all and it’s wonderful, but the constant-ness of being a mom, cleaning kids, feeding kids, and napping kids can get old some days. However, now that Lucia is older she’s more fun and I’m enjoying exploring new places with her. Really, there are pros and cons to every option and it’s great that it sounds like you’ll have some choice in the matter. The best thing is you can work and if it doesn’t seem worth it to you, you can quit. Also, if you do end up not working, there may be some good moms groups out there that can get you out and social during the day. The groups I’m in here in California are actually really great. (But the cool thing is I can go or not go to playdates depending on how the day is going, unlike if I had work obligations!)

    Regarding marriage and issues that arise upon becoming parents, it is tough. But I think being aware that it will be is going to help you guys. Also, in my experience every few months the kid gets easier (sleeps longer, more interactive, etc.), so that helps. But I hate the newborn phase, and others love it, so maybe it doesn’t get easier for them.

    Okay, I’m ending this insanely long comment now. :)

    • Sarah says:

      I always love your perspective on things :) I don’t know a ton of mothers, but it’s been helpful to hear whatever random (or non-random) anecdotes they feel like sharing…they make me think of things I’d have never thought to ask. I’m glad to hear that part-time was a nice balance.

      I’m kind of skiddish about the newborn phase just because I’ve never really done anything with a newborn before. I’m more excited about when the baby can communicate more coherently and play with toys that are more interesting than cat toys, but I think I’ll have to wait a bit for that. Which makes me worry for the first time that the cats will try to steal the baby’s toys…

  3. Jessica says:

    On my way into the OR to get my scheduled c-section, at 39 weeks, not in labor, the male nurse starts yabbering about how too many c-sections are done and blah blah… I wanted to punch him in the crotch. People have so many opinions and it’s like, dude, are YOU my doctor? No? Then SHUT UP. I couldn’t believe that I had to justify to so many people that my DOCTOR said I needed one and well, I don’t have a medical degree, so I said “ok.” (The recovery was not terrible, seriously.)

    Also, I went back to work at 8 weeks – not because I wanted to, but because I had to. Yes, I wanted to go back full-time but no… I didn’t really want to go back until about 12 weeks. Now, having said that, I was SO HAPPY to be at work all day… where there was order. Where I could take 5 minutes to make a phone call without a small creature harassing me. To this day, I still get “stuff” done on my work breaks rather than try to do it at home.

    Our cats freaked out too. They also wanted to sleep in any baby-related-item that came into the house. Sigh. And the pee. Oh, the PEE. I recommend Nature’s Miracle, now with the new “Urine Destroyer” variety.

    So I didn’t get to properly say congrats, but I found your blog now (haha) so CONGRATS, and holler if you want to talk about c-sections or whatever.

    • Sarah says:

      Hey Jessi(ca)! It’s lovely to hear from you! I may indeed have some c-section questions once I let myself think about it a little more; for now, it kind of weirds me out, so I’m avoiding much thought. Your story about the nurse reminds me of an (unrelated) story from our wedding in which the coordinator intern who was assigned to keep me company for the five minutes before I walked down the aisle lamented about all her boy issues. Fragile moments aren’t the best time for advice.

      I’m somewhat “glad” your cats acted weird, too…it’s comforting to know that there might be a legitimate reason for their behavior. Otherwise, it would be easy to drive ourselves crazy looking for phantom causes. Did they start acting normal again once the baby arrived? Or were they permanently traumatized? We haven’t started accumulating too much baby stuff yet, so we’ll be sure to hide it when it comes :)

      • Jessica says:

        The cats were interrupted in their evilness by us moving houses. It’s hard to tell whether they got over what was bugging them or just loved the new place (that had no residual pee smells from their previous evil ways). Well one of them loved the new place (the prime pee culprit). The other (the lying-on-baby-items culprit) hid under the couch for 2 days.

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