36. A Whole New World


July 11th this little bundle of joy finally arrived. We had scheduled an induction because, as my OB put it, baby girl wasn’t getting any smaller but Miss Beatle Butt decided that she would choose her own arrival time and I went into labor as we were leaving for the pre-admission appointment. I had just pulled into our driveway and was walking toward Mister’s car and WHOOSH a whole bunch of liquid appeared in a previously dry place. I went to the bathroom to make sure I hadn’t just peed myself in a big way but no. There is a large difference between the sensation of your water breaking and the sensation of peeing yourself. Life has been an absolute whirlwind ever since that moment, as if it hadn’t already been that way.

There was a time in my life that I believed that I would never be married, never have kids, and never have a home of my own. They were things that seemed so random and unable to be planned that I tucked my hope away and decided to just wait it out. Eventually, I took the stance that I didn’t even WANT those things because it was easier to pretend to not want them instead of worrying about the where and when and hows. Then I met Mister and I realized that if I was going to be married to anyone it would be someone like him. So, I followed him to Texas and starting building a life with him. A year and a quarter later we were married and had found and purchased a house that we loved. Two months later, the week of Thanksgiving, we found out about Beatle.

For the most part, I like moving at a fast pace. Things get done quicker and there’s less chance that you get stuck in a limbo situation (one of my least favorite situations to be stuck in). Now that Beatle is here though I can already see how much faster time flies when you want to slow it down. I’m hoping to eventually master some of the tricks from The Matrix or Professor X so I can freeze time every once in a while.

I’m looking forward to the next few years of nothing (compared to the last couple of years of moving and school and wedding and baby and school and holidays and trips home and school and homemaking.. etc). I have about three semesters left in my Master’s program and until that’s done and I have breathing room in my schedule I’m just going to use every ounce of free time to take everything in. I want to absorb every single little look, giggle, and movement our little one makes and keep it locked in my heart forever. In the past year, Mister and I’s marriage has only gotten sweeter and I can’t wait to see how we continue to grow together to form a cohesive team. Our little house becomes more of a home every day and I can’t wait until the holidays come and everything is warm and sparkly and full of love. Things feel like they’re on the right path and I couldn’t be more thankful. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself how well things work out in the future so that I could stop internalizing my worry. Hopefully, I can prevent Beatle from ever putting that amount of weight on her shoulders. I guess that’s how life works: one generation tries to prevent the next from making the same mistakes.

34. The One Where I Forget About Mother’s Day

So, I had set up those previous posts days ahead of time and it never occurred to me that Mother’s Day was just around the bend. Time just seems to be flying by! Is it really May?! Yesterday we hit 32 weeks so there are approximately two more months separating Beatle and the world. You know that infamous scene in Alien where you can see the alien wriggling around under Sigourney Weaver’s skin? Yeah, that’s pretty much what my stomach has been looking like lately. It is exciting and unnerving all at once. (Sidenote: did anyone else know that Sigourney is not her real name? I just learned that when I Googled to make sure I spelled it right. Huh. Learn something new every day.)

This was my last Mother’s Day before I become an actual mommy. The weight of that responsibility has been weighing on me lately. I’ve been devouring every piece of parenting advice that I can find because I’m hoping that I’ll internalize the patience and strength they espouse and it will just come naturally. Last night, I was talking to Mister about the articles I’ve read and about how I want our daughter to be a strong young woman who is secure in herself. While she’ll always be our baby, eventually she’s going to be out in the world having a real impact on the lives of others and I want to prepare her with the skills necessary to make that impact positive.

The exhausting part is that there is no 100% guaranteed method to raising a healthy, wealthy, and wise child. Parenting is a lot like dieting: there are about one million different ways to get relatively the same outcome and everyone will tell you that their method is the best and absolutely reliable. My instinct says that the most effective methods are ones that teach the child to value and respect themselves and others and so those are the tips and tricks I’ve been trying to absorb.

I really like the DERA (Describe, Empathize, state the Rule, and discuss Alternatives) method (described in this article on Everyday Feminism) because it harkens back to a lot of the tools I was taught when I worked on mental health crisis lines. I like that it recognizes the kiddo’s emotions but still insists on adherence to a rule structure. I’m sure I’ll have a whole new set of feelings about it when I have an unruly 2 year old in front of me, but for now I’m just hoping to create within me a naturally patient response. This probably will not be my last post about parents tips and tricks so if you have any suggestions leave them in the comments!

33. The Story of Beatle

I’ve been asked a handful of times about the fetal nickname we have for our little girl. There’s not much of a story to it but it’s become a term of endearment and I’m sure its a nickname she’ll carry for her entire life.

I’m blessed to have a world full of amazingly talented people who have harnessed their passion for a particular subject and pursued that path with aplomb. Lucky for me (since I was still waiting for my new job’s health care to kick in) I have a bff who is at the tail end of her journey to be a doctor (Heather of It’s My Life)  that let me ask every stupid questions that popped into my head (“Do I hurt the baby when I sneeze too hard?”).  One day she and I were texting about the baby and she was using the talk-to-text technology on her phone. Every time she would say “fetal” the phone would type “beetle” and hence, the nickname was born. I decided to change “Beetle” to “Beatle”, though, because I didn’t like the idea of a gross bug growing in my uterus; I’d prefer to host an epic rockstar.

The nickname Beatle has other personal significance because of that legendary rock group. I grew up listening to the Beatles and their contemporaries and my mom would regularly wake all of us up for school by singing “Here Comes the Sun”. I have only fond memories attached to their music. My love for the Beatles only intensified in high school when I became part of a group of friends who shared my love for the group. Since then, the Beatles have always been a comfort to me and are always, always some of the best sing-a-long choices for long car trips.

So, that is the story of how Beatle got her name. Granted, we starting using it before we knew she was a she, but I think it still works. 🙂