How We Told My Parents I'm Pregnant

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A year ago today we shared our news with my parents.  I thought I'd take some time and post the story of how I told them that I was expecting our first child--and their first grandchild.

My parents live quite far away, and Skype wasn't an option (their Internet connection can't support it unfortunately).  So I decided to send my parents a "Valentine's day" e-card and call them on the phone so I could hear them open it.  

I emailed it to my parents and wrote on the outside "Happy Valentine's Day, Mom & Dad!" 
Then on the inside, I wrote the following in Finnish:
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  (I'll translate below, don't worry)

My mom doesn't speak Finnish.  My dad does.  I fall somewhere in between, so I'm often getting my dad to help me out with translations.  

When I called my parents my mom answered.  I put it on speaker phone so Husband could listen and I asked where my dad was.  She said he was outside on the porch, so I hit send on the e-card.  I heard her tablet "ding" in the background and she said, "Oh, this is from you!"  I explained to her that I sent them a simple Valentine's card, and I was really proud of the Finnish on the inside.  I told her that when Dad comes in she should ask him to look at it and translate it and tell me if it makes sense.  (oooo I'm so sneaky!!)

Then we talked (while my heart pounded) for a good hour.  He finally came inside and got a yoghurt.  I waited while he ate it.  My mother asked him to come look at the card, and he got annoyed.  Then he was going to go get a hot pepperoni stick or something, and I almost lost it, "MUM just go get Dad, and ask him.  I'm tired and want to go to bed!"

I looked at the clock.  It was 8PM.  She still didn't catch on thankfully.

Finally my dad came into the living room where my mum was.  He was clearly angry that she'd nagged him, and he got on the phone and said in a gruff tone, "I don't even understand what this is all about!  What am I doing?!"

Me, "I just wanted to hear you guys open my Valentine's card".

I heard him calm down.  He replied sheepishly, "Oh, OK. I see it (clicks the email). Does it have sound?"

Me, "No, I don't think there's any sound.."

Him, "OK it's loading." 

Then Husband and I wait the longest 2 min of our lives with my dad on the other end in silence.  Remember how I mentioned their terrible Internet connection? 

Then I heard both my parents say, "Ooohhhh isn't that nice......"  Clearly they had just read the front, since, again, my mum can't speak Finnish.

Now my throat was getting tight and my heart was pounding. Then I listened to my mom walk off to the kitchen.  (Seriously?  NOW?)  But I didn't say anything.  I was too choked up.

My dad opened the card and was quiet.  Then he finally said, "Wow.  Is ... is this true?"  And I could hear the huge grin on his face.

Me, "Yes, it's true!"

Him, "When did this happen?"  (what kind of question is that?  How do you even answer that?)

Me, "Umm... well.. (stuttering)... I think you'd better tell mom first"

Him, yelling to my mom in the kitchen, "Do you know what this says?!"

Her, "No..." (she walked back into the living room)

Him, (clearing his throat, he's clearly choked up). "It says, You both will be, in seven months passing, the world's greatest grandparents".

My mom started SCREAMING, "OMG, OMG!  OMG really?  NO!  Hahaha!  OMG!!"  Then she grabbed the phone, "OMG REALLY?"

And I said, "Really!"  Then my mom and dad started laughing and my mom got all the details.  My dad demanded to talk to Husband and congratulated him.  He said it was bitter sweet because he's not ready to feel old like he's a grandpa but he's so happy too.

It was wonderful.  I wish I'd been able to see it in person, but it was wonderful to hear!
I recorded it all.   It's so funny to listen to how annoyed my dad was at first, and then end up in a ball of shock and happiness. And my mom was completely hysterical. 
My dad kept congratulating us.  My mom told me later that this is normal for him.  She said that with each of HER pregnancies, he kept congratulating HER too.  haha

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If anyone is wondering how we told Husband's parents, it's not a story at all.  Our cool plans got screwed up.  Basically my husband was visiting them and I was home.  We were hoping to tell them over Skype and I was going to record it from my end.  Husband became so utterly obsessed with getting Skype to work, that they eventually worked out what was up, and the surprise was entirely ruined.  I kept trying to tell him to 'abort mission!' and just tell them on his own, but he was way too worked up.  Oh well.  We'll get them next time!

24 Hours with a 5 Month Old




This represents an average day of mine as a stay at home mom with Little Poppet.  Some days are much much worse than this, and other days are much better (like I get to leave the house to run errands, or be social with mummy groups)

8:00AM - Day starts!  I was an asshole and stayed awake until 1am last night, and Little Poppet knows it.  She's been 'snuffing' quietly in her crib next to me for twenty minutes.

8:10AM - Attempt to ignore Little Poppet.  The snuffing gets louder.  

8:11AM - Little Poppet begins vocalizing.  I stare at her from under the covers and we lock eyes between the bars of her crib.  

8:12AM - Eye contact with Little Poppet is like crack cocaine to an addict.  The vocalization turns into angry yelling.  No, not crying.  YELLING.  She knows I'm there and there are boobs attached to me.  Argue with Husband about whether or not to get her.

8:13AM - Get up and greet Little Poppet with big smiles.  She smiles back.  Take her to the change table.   She is so so happy!

8:14AM - Little Poppet smiles turn into big sad baby tears as she realizes she's getting changed instead of having breakfast. 

8:16 - 8:23 AM - Breastfeed Little Poppet in bed.

8:23 - 8:30 AM - Little Poppet now needs to be vertical unless I want to wear regurgitated breastmilk until at least noon. Walk aimlessly around apartment with bleary eyes tripping on baby toys, and trying to convince cat that the rocking chair is not her personal scratching post.

8:30 AM - Hand Little Poppet to Husband.  Use washroom, brush teeth.

8:33 AM - Start baby laundry and/or diaper laundry.  

8:40 AM - Sit with Little Poppet and read stories while Husband makes breakfast

8:50 AM - Attempt to place Little Poppet in her rocker while we both eat.  Nope.  Big sad baby tears.  OK, eat breakfast over Little Poppets head.  Stare longingly at coffee on table just in front of you that will now go cold. :(  

9:00 - 9:30 AM - Dance to Pandora Radio Raffi channel with Little Poppet. 

9:30 - 10:00 AM - More laundry. Tummy time.  Jolly jumper.  Tickling.  Raspberries.  Deep intellectual existential debates with Little Poppet.

10:00 AM - Little Poppet is angry and tired and is demanding her nap.

10:00-10:15 AM - Diaper change.  Breastfeed.  Rock Little Poppet to sleep on scratching post rocking chair. 

10:15 AM - Put Little Poppet into crib and quietly close the door.

10:16 AM -


10:18 AM - Little Poppet wakes up from nap, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  Ready to take on the day anew!

10:18 - 10:30 AM - Attempt without success to get Little Poppet back to sleep.  Apparently this is a game, or I'm some sort of stand-up comedian.

10:30 - 10:40 AM - Say goodbye to Husband as he leaves for work.  Put Little Poppet in the Ergo carrier.  Hang up wash to dry, and throw in another load.

10:40 - 10:50 AM - Feed cat. Take Little Poppet to window to stare at snow outside.

10:50 - 11:30 AM - Rock Little Poppet to sleep again and just let her sleep on me.

11:30 - 11:45 AM - Breastfeed Little Poppet

11:50 - 12:15 PM - What time is it?
Change diaper and put Little Poppet into something cute for the day.  And then clean up milk spew from the carpet.  

12:15 - 12:40 PM - With Little Poppet in the Ergo, make lunch.  Greet Husband who comes home fom lunch and hand him Baby.  Glower at Husband who won't take Baby.

1:00 PM - Say goodbye to Husband.  

1:00 - 1:30 PM - Change diaper.  Change drooly outfit of Little Poppet.  Change diaper because she poo'd. Watch as Little Poppet thrashes her feet into her poo diaper and smears it up her leg, getting the tiniest bit on her onesie.  Give Little Poppet bath.  Put Little Poppet third outfit of the day.  Vow to remember to put a bib on Little Poppet this time to control the drool and spit up.

1:30 - 2:10 PM - Rock Little Poppet and put her down for another nap.  

2:11 PM - Mother phones.  Curse as you realise you left the phone next to the crib.  Little Poppet is awake.

2:12 PM - put soother back into her mouth

2:13 PM - put soother back into her mouth.  Ignore phone ringing again.

2:15 PM - put soother back into her mouth

2:16 - 2:26 PM - Give up on nap since she's clearly hungry.  Breastfeed Little Poppet and burp her.

2:26 - 2:30 PM - The liquid lunch has her up and giggling again.  Sing silly songs to Little Poppet.  Feel guilty you're not teaching her something educational like the ABCs.

2:30 - 3:00 PM - Stoop lower and play on Internet while Little Poppet stairs at screen saver on television.  Feel guilty.  Look at dirty dishes in sink.  Feel more guilty.  Notice workout video on desktop of computer.  Feel worse.

3:00 PM - Notice Little Poppet is dozing off.  Whisk her away to the crib.  

3:10 - 3:14 PM - Shower!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3:15 PM - Pick up crying Little Poppet from her crib.  Change diaper.

3:16 - 3:20 PM - roam naked around apartment with sad Little Poppet, patting her back.

3:20 - 3:21 PM - Put Little Poppet in crib and get dressed at the speed of light to answer door.  UPS parcel!  Yay!

4:00 - 4:40 PM - Skype with friends/family with Little Poppet.

4:40 - 5:00 PM - Hand Little Poppet to Husband who is home from work for a break again.  Dink around on Internet.  Make lists of life aspirations.  Take pictures of Little Poppet.  Post pictures online of Little Poppet for relatives.  

5:00 PM - Change Little Poppet's diaper.

5:05 - 5:12 PM - Breastfeed Little Poppet.

5:15 - 5:45 PM - Burp Little Poppet and then rock to sleep again.  

5:45 - 6:35 PM - ????????? Netflix ???????

6:36 - 7:15 PM - Take Little Poppet to kitchen to make dinner.  Put her in her chair.  Watch her cry and feel guilty.  Scrap making dinner and go for a walk around the apartment building.  Feel guilty that she doesn't get enough fresh air.

7:20 - 7:30 PM - Change diaper and get Little Poppet into her PJs

7:36 PM - Husband is home for the day!  

7:40 - 7:50 PM - Breastfeed Little Poppet 

7:50 - 8:00 PM - Hand Little Poppet to Husband. 

8:00 - 8:07 PM - Wash Little Poppet's toys, play gym mat, hands, face, the rug, etc because Husband decided an impromptu tummy time session was a good idea for a baby with a full tummy.
 
8:08-8:10 PM - Change diaper. Change PJs again. Read bedtime stories to Little Poppet.  Sing lullabyes.  Put her down for the night. 

8:10 PM - put the soother back in her mouth

8:15 PM - put the soother back in her mouth

8:20 PM - put the soother back in her mouth

8:25-9:00 PM - Wash dishes. Fold laundry. Vacuum. Chase jerk cat away from Little Poppet's room. Drink red wine. Feel guilty about wine drinking and wonder when Little Poppet will need to eat. Chase jerk cat away from Little Poppet's room into bathroom.  Turn cold shower on cat.  Drink another glass of wine and watch quiet cat dry herself.

 9:00 - 10:10 PM - Internet

10:10 - 11:00 PM - Snuggle with cat who feels neglected.

11:00 - 11:30 PM - SHIT!  DINNER!  Make dinner and eat it.

11:30 PM - Breastfeed Little Poppet who was awakened by the jerk cat.

11:40 PM - Change Little Poppet

11:50 PM - Put Little Poppet back down to sleep

11:54 PM - Hear Little Poppet gurgle or gasp.  Bust into room ready to perform CPR.  Hover over quiet baby in the dark trying to see/hear signs of breathing.  Hover closer.  Closer.  How can anyone breathe so quietly?!

11:55 PM - Touch Little Poppet's hand.  Sneak back out as quietly as possible after feeling Little Poppet's hand move and hearing her sigh.

11:56 PM - 1:00 AM - Netflix coma with Husband.

5:00 AM - Change Little Poppet and breastfeed her in bed.

7:50 AM - Listen to gentle snuffs in the crib as she awakens for another day. 

A Whole New Ute




"Why is my belly so big still?  I look 5 months pregnant!"

"Why is my period so heavy?  It was never heavy before!"

"My period stopped and then started again two days later!  WHAT'S HAPPENING?!!!!"

"ZOMG, could I totes be preggo?  My period was always every 28 days!  I'm three days L8 now, I'm totes preggo!!"

"I'm tired all the time and I'm craving fried chicken and chocolate, and I just want to cry.  I must be pregnant again!"

If you find yourself saying any of these things within the first year after you give birth, this post is for you.  This is about you and your new uterus.

First of all, 

You're probably not pregnant unless you've been having wild unprotected monkey sex since you got the 6 week green light by your primary caregiver.  

You need to start looking at your uterus in a whole new light.  

Let's start with the basics:

Forget everything you once knew about your uterus and menstral cycle.  Seriously.  Read that again. Let that soak in......  OK?  

Your uterus has been through hell and back.  It ballooned to 20 times its weight, 1000 times its capacity and then deflated slowly like a sad little balloon after you gave birth.  And, by the way, how did you give birth?  Did you ask your poor uterus to use its muscles (and by the way, they are the strongest muscles in the human body) to contract and force a human body the size of a basketball through the eye of a needle?  Or did someone cut it open and stitch it back up?  You're right though, you need to tell that bitch to get her shit together and start giving you regular periods!  WTF is her problem?


Think of your uterus as a crazy old lady who's been through a traumatic event.  She's holding up in your attic refusing to speak to anyone.  She doesn't know where she is, who she is, or who you are.  Do not expect anything coherent or regular to come from her for a while.  

You're probably not going to have a period for a few months--especially if you're breastfeeding--and you'd better expect that when it happens that shit is going to be crazy.

You may bleed a lot.  There may be clots.  You may bleed only a tiny bit.  You may bleed a lot one day and nothing the next, then three days later it starts up again.  Roll the dice.  You never know what's going to happen.


So give that little old lady some time to get her shit together before you start expecting her to act like she used to.  Speak to her softly, be gentle to her, and you'll eventually cox that woman down from the attic and you two can resume your relationship.



Little Poppets Poop Paradise




Poop paradise?  Hell yes!  If I had organic bamboo against my bum all day I'd call it a paradise too.  You guessed it, we cloth diaper our little one.  Instead of this blog turning into a giant cloth diaper review (there are plenty out there already), I'm going to show you some of the finer details of cloth diapering.  Maybe you can learn something, or maybe you can teach me something!

Stash

I knew enough not to put all my eggs in one basket, in case one brand didn't work for us.  So I bought as many different brands and types of diapers as I could.  

When Little Poppet was a newborn, we used GMD orange edge and yellow edge prefolds. We used a few different Newborn covers including Sweet Pea, Rumparooz, and LiteWraps. And we thought we'd try out one pocket from Alvababy too.


In total (including taxes, shipping, accessories like Snappies, pale liners, extra inserts, reusable liners, diaper sprayer, etc) we spent less than $700CAD on our entire stash that will get us from birth to potty training for Little Poppet, (plus any other poppets that might come along).


I should add, though, that before I went diaper crazy (it happens...) I had an excellent stash for under $600.  And we bought everything brand new.  Lots of parents (notice I didn't assume it's all mummies?) save a shitload lot more by purchasing their stash in excellent used condition (EUC). But yes, now my stash is worth closer to $700 because I've swallowed the blue pill.  I've fallen down the rabbit hole.  I've decided to buy some fitteds, and swap out some of our solids for some more prints.  That's a whole other story though; one that shame will keep me from publishing.  

Here's our current stash that we have in rotation:
see if you can figure out which is which.  If you could name them all, look for your **prize** at the bottom of the blog!

2 AlvaBaby pocket diapers 
1 AppleCheeks Cover
2 'BabyPoetry' Bamboo (noname China dipes from Ebay)
2 BestBottom covers with 6 hemp inserts
1 CheekyCloth Bamboo Fitted 
1 FunkyFluff Fushion Bamboo 3-in-1
1 GoGreen Champ with 3 bamboo inserts
1 HappyEndings Charcoal Bamboo
7 Kawaii (HD2, April Baby, Ultra soft, etc)
2 LilHelper Charcoal Bamboo
3 Rumparooz G2
2 Sunbaby
2 TeenyTextiles Hemp/Bamboo Fitteds
2 TotsBots Easyfit 
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This stash is good for 35 diaper changes

Set up

We have Little Poppets change area in the corner of our bedroom.  We laid a lovely wool sheepskin on top of a dresser for padding, and laid an Kushies liner over that.  Little Poppets diapers are kept in bins under the dresser, and her clothing is kept in the dresser itself.  

To the right I hung a basket on the wall where I keep the reusable wipes, wipes solution, cloth diaper friendly creams, nail clippers, etc. 

Above the change table is a forest animals felted mobile I made to keep her eyes busy (for fewer change table squirm sessions).  

And finally in the corner by the window is a simple square hamper.  On half the hamper I keep an open wetbag/pail liner clipped for her soiled diapers.  In other other half of the hamper is where I toss her baby laundry.

You sure you want to hang out in there Purrsephone?  Urine for a surprise!

Laundering

We don't need to wash every day, but we do.  It's just easier for me as part of my morning routine.  We have a small portable Haier HLP23E washer, that I can wheel from the closet into the washroom each morning to do laundry.  It can hold up to 14 diapers at a time (newborn stage!) but these days I'm usually washing around 9 at a time. 

I use Nature Clean 3X concentrated laundry detergent.  All my diapers get a cold quickwash followed by a hot regular wash with two rinses.  The entire was takes about an hour all together.

And we line dry out on our patio in the summer:
Prepping 36 GMD prefolds

And in our window in the winter:
baby laundry!
approximately 13 diapers plus inserts and wipes

**prize** You win a trip with me to the funny farm for cloth diaper-obsessed parents