Three Physical Ailments New Moms Suffer From that No One Warned You About

new momI’m a reader and a studier. If there is something that I don’t know about that interests me or effects me, I look into it. I love how-to books, business books and true stories about humans conquering new things. So when I found out I was pregnant, it will come as no surprise when I tell you that I read up on it – What to Expect, Bringing up Bebe, Eat, Sleep, Poop, Girlfriend’s Guide, Happiest Baby on the Block etc.

Some were good and some were awful but none of them prepared me for three physical ailments that I am suffering from. I thought I would help other new moms and moms-to-be so they can be prepared and know that they are not alone…

  1. Inability to stop rocking – Whether I am holding the baby or not, I cannot stop rocking back and forth. The rocking can be mild to severe and many times you won’t even notice you are doing it. A few ways to see if you are inadvertently rocking is to stand near a mirror, if your reflection is rocking… you probably are too. Keep an ear out for your floor creaking, the audio cue could alert you that you are rocking and be causing the creaking noise. You can also ask for help and tell a friend or loved one about your concern that you are rocking uncontrollably and ask them to point out if they notice your rhythmic swaying.
  2. Constant need to sing about daily mundane activities – I call this Snow White’s Disease. You will feel like a weird-animated princess when you notice that you have been taking your daily tasks and making them into stupid songs. I have made up songs about unloading the dishwasher, folding laundry and of course about changing diapers. My poor child will know the lyrics to ‘Please Don’t Pee on Me While a Change Your Diaper’ while other kids are listening to classical music and lullabies. Poor kid.
  3. Can’t wipe this stupid smile off my face – Maybe the most concerning of all is the muscle spasms in my face that make it so I can’t stop smiling. You body is ripped to shreds, you never sleep, you are still a little tubby from the pregnancy but for some reason you can’t stop smiling. Smiling at absolutely nothing. Concerning right?! This could be a phase.

There you have it – the three physical ailments no one warned me about. I hope this helps more of you out there who feel like you are alone! I have my follow up doctor’s appointment this week and I will be asking them about these. I will update this post if there is a prescription or steps to take to reverse these conditions.

What I Didn’t Expect with Passing My Due Date – Guilt

Late for a very important dateAs I mentioned yesterday, we are about as ready as we can be for this baby to join us… The problem? He missed his due date. As much as you know you can go over your due date and it is just a guess, it is still disheartening when you count down to a specific date and then watch it come and go with no baby.

One thing I didn’t expect with going over my due date is the guilt I feel. Starting about two weeks before the date friends, family, friends of family, friends of friends of friends, people online, are checking in regularly – ‘any news?’ and ‘did you have the baby yet?’

Then as the date gets closer, it amplifies to people telling you when you should have the baby. ‘You should have the baby Wednesday, that is my mom’s birthday’, ‘you should have the baby before the 23rd and then it will be a Libra’, ‘You should have the baby today because I put money in on the pool that you would go today… you don’t want me to lose money do you?!’

So for every morning for the last few weeks, I have a number of people I need to check in with and reply to that I still do not have a baby. Frustrating? Sure but I know it is just because people care and are so excited for us.

The part that is weighing me down is, oddly, guilt. I feel like I am letting all these people down. I am a bit of a control freak and I work really hard to make people happy. This is one situation where there is really nothing I can do to give people what they want. I just have to sit and wait… like everyone else to meet this little baby (who already seems to take after his father more than his mother).

Apparently Raising a Kid is Like Training a Puppy

Otto in the babys roomThe room is ready, the clothes are washed, the baby showers have been had, the baby books have been read, the hospital bags are packed… now we just wait. So we don’t exactly have a baby yet but all signs seem to be pointing to this – raising a baby is very similar to raising a puppy.

We got Otto at the end of May and I am so glad that we did. Trust me plenty of people told me their opinions about getting a puppy while pregnant. I heard I am crazy, I heard I am a glutton for punishment and one nice person who is in my life almost every day, even told me after the baby I would have to give both my dogs away because I wouldn’t be able to handle all of it… people are neat.

I am so, so glad we got Otto. He has been a reason to laugh, a reason to get out an exercise multiple times a day, an exercise in patience and he has been a surprising gateway to some great conversations with my husband about how our life is going to change.

As we prepare for baby and train the puppy – I can’t help but laugh at how similar one sounds to the other.

First, Adam and I were strongly urged to take baby classes at our hospital to prepare for parenthood. We opted to take two of the classes offered. One class I have renamed ‘How not to Kill the Baby’ class. It covered CPR, first-aid, child proofing your home etc. It started with a quiz about how safe your home was. It was a tough quiz, lots of stumpers and trick questions… we aced it! Our secret? Baby proofing is just like puppy proofing. All the way down to wires, crawling around on your floor to see what they see and even storing and cooking things on the back burners of your stove. Man we are going to be so good at this 🙂

Next, a father I know was telling me about the joys of parenthood and then got into the heartache of it too. He said there was no greater pain that when your child is sick or hurting and they can’t tell you how to fix it.

One life lesson I have learned over the years is parents do not like it when you compare their baby stories to your dog stories so I kept my mouth shut but… I think I have some experience with that pain too. A sick puppy is horrible but going through cancer, amputation, chemo and eventually passing with Brody this year… I think I have some experience in heartbreak when your baby can’t tell you what is wrong.

Diaper Bag DispensersLastly, when this raising a kid is like training a puppy theory really solidified for me was when I saw these ‘Diaper Bag Dispensers‘ – Dude… those are dog poop bags! But in more colors and more expensive! What a sham! And yes, my diaper bag will be filled with dog poop bags and not diaper bags dispensers.

So I think we are pretty good down owners… so I expect we are going to ace this baby thing too! As long as Adam doesn’t come home one day and I have the baby in the dog crate and the puppy in the crib… I think we will be ok!

I may eat my words, I may have more proof when the baby decides to come but for now, it is giving me a false sense of hope that we can do this… and that is enough for me! We will keep you posted.

Me and Snooki

Me and SnookiAs you may know, I recently ‘came out’ that I was pregnant. Since then, everyone has been so sweet and supportive.

Today though, I had to take this host body and drag it up on a stage to present at the Agents of Change Conference. Eek!

To address the ‘issue’ I began my session with a slide called ‘Me and Snooki’.

It went something like this:

  • She has really let herself go!
  • Yes, I am 34 1/2 weeks pregnant (37 days to go)!
  • I feel fine
  • It’s a boy
  • No, we don’t have a name yet
  • Please don’t touch me
  • If something happens:
    • Someone get some hot water and clean towels
    • Please tweet my husband, @tweettweetone

Me and Snooki go to SXSW

That slide really helped me feel more comfortable with my news but there is actually more to the me and Snooki story. I found out I was pregnant right before heading to SXSW this Spring. SXSW is like nerd Spring Break. There are amazing companies, amazing sessions, and lots of sponsored and launch parties. I am not a huge partier but figuring out how I was going to mix and mingle at all these events and not have a drink was making me very anxious.

Fresh off the news that my whole life was going to change – I was packing my bags to leave the 5 people in this word that knew my news… to go to nerd Spring Break. To ease my nerves, I downloaded a few ‘How to Have a Baby’ books on my Kindle and planned to read them on the plane and when I was all alone in my hotel room while everyone else was toasting champagne and drinking margaritas.

The first book I read was awful. It was just not my thing.

As I am on the plane to Austin, this book tells me all about my pregnancy. In the book, it tells me that there will be a celebrity that announces that they are pregnant at the same time as me, that I will be obsessed with their pregnancy and I will completely feel like I connected with them. That week, hitting news stands was the BIG Us Weekly issue announcing that Snooki was pregnant.

So my celebrity pregnancy match was Snooki?!?
That was my first pregnancy/hormonal cry.

So THAT is the full story about me and Snooki! Nothing against her, but I really never felt uber connected to her but she was my first pregnancy cry. So I guess we will always have that.

Lounging with LannaLee – Amanda Pants Style

Oooh I hate attention and interviews and deep thought provoking questions… so when the lovely LannaLee asked to interview me for her weekly podcast, Lounging with Lannalee, I panicked.

I listened to some other people’s interviews with her and they were real, live, interesting people. I am just me. Rob Gould has his colorful past and many adventures in the PR world, Rich Brooks has his cool confidence and a big upcoming event. What the heck would I talk about? I just have my dogs, my job, my med school husband, a human growing inside me and a love for living in Maine… So that is what we talked about – work-life, dogs, Maine etc.

You may have a listen, if you have nothing better to do. If you want to hear from people more interesting than me, you can find more Lounging with LannaLee podcasts on her website.

My Name is Amanda and I am 33 Weeks Pregnant

No, you didn’t miss something, I just haven’t posted it online… anywhere. I have been telling people as I spend time with them, there were a few phone calls and a handful of emails and of course, at this time (or size) I am not exactly able to hide it… but no… this IS the big announcement. Some of us are just a slower on these things than others.

Why the slow announcement? I am not actually sure or I am not sure I can actually explain it – but I will try.

Early on there was the normal worry of miscarriage and complications.

Then there was the uncertainty (can I really do this?!) and I wanted to be more confident and know more before I opened myself up to the billions of snippets of advice that I knew would eventually come. I see mothers everyday and I am in awe of them – their patience, their dedication, their drive, their patience, their pleasant disposition, their ability to carry all the supplies their family needs like an alpaca making a mountain climb and did I mention their patience? Can I really do that, like them?

Then there were the things I wanted to do (after consulting with our doctors) that I didn’t need to hear ‘a pregnant woman shouldn’t do that’. For example did you know people think I shouldn’t go on boat trips, run, travel, work full time, get a puppy, drink coffee, walk into Japanese restaurants, be married to a med student, drive alone… and those are just the ones I have heard about first hand. There are plenty more where those cautionary tails came from.

Then there was the internal debate I had with myself about privacy. I made decisions years ago, when I got into my industry, how much I would be willing to share online. I never thought about growing a mini Adamanda in my stomach and how much they would want you to share online. What will little Adamanda think when they are 15 and see how much I shared or blogged about them without their consent? What even will the world be like in 15 years? Will they even care? Who knows.

So I am slow on the announcement but I am happy about it. We are obviously very excited and we have had a busy summer preparing, or ‘nesting’ as many people call it. We also have had our own time to talk about what we are excited about, what we are scared of, thing we want to do as a family and so much more.

Now that we are more confident, that we are more ready, that I have learned so much more, that we have connected with our friends and family, now that we have built relationships with our doctors, now that we have chatted with many of our friends who have children… we are pretty darn sure we can not only do this but that we can do this pretty well.

So now… now I am ready to talk about it.

Maybe that is why you have 9 months to prepare? Not only do you need to grow your baby, but you need to prepare mentally for so much more too.