Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pretty dresses are pretty; and stepping back a little

So, even though I dress like a slob ordinarily, I love '50s-style vintagey dresses. I think they look fantastic and, as an added bonus, they actually flatter my figure (unlike some of the other styles I like *sniff*). After a couple of hours looking at what's currently mainstream-fashionable, I feel like a complete freak because I am totally the wrong shape to wear any of it. I'm not particularly large, just... not a fashionable shape. It's a battle just finding jeans to fit. Time spent trying on retro clothes, on the other hand, makes me feel great, because they suit me. Even if I don't end up buying anything, it's still fun.

Today I had to go into town to buy some things, and I ended up in one of my favourite shops, which sells lots of goth and vintage-style clothes. I was NOT in town to buy clothes for myself, but one of the dresses (from this company) just called out to me. Eventually I struggled free, though, and my wallet and I are now safely at home. I can't really spare the money right now, and it's not like I even go out much, so I wouldn't get a lot of wear out of another glam dress. Le sigh.

More than that, though, there's the whole possible future pregnancy thing. I could be pregnant just a few months from now... or not. If I do get pregnant, I could start getting bigger right away... or not. It's one thing trying to shop for the size and shape I am now, but it's completely surreal not knowing if/when I'm going to start gaining large amounts of weight. I mean, don't get me wrong; I'm hoping I will be getting pretty huge in a year's time. It's just that I'm used to staying basically the same shape over time; and it's very odd having no idea how long your body is going to keep looking the way it does, and when it's suddenly going to start growing in new and interesting directions.


I've also been hanging around the bookshops. I already have one book about pre-conception planning, which is a pretty good one, but I'd been feeling like I should cover my bases and buy some more in case I was missing out on anything. I've ordered What To Expect Before You're Expecting from Amazon, although it won't arrive for a good while, and I was going to get Taking Charge of Your Fertility, because I've had it recommended to me about ten billion times.

I'm now starting to feel like maybe this isn't the best idea. I'm as broody as I ever was, and Project Baby is still on track -- but I want to change my approach. I'm a worrier, and I have a bit of a tendency to obsess over things, and I could probably drive myself quite crazy researching every angle of this whole fertility thing. And if there are problems, I probably will. But I know the basics, and I think it's best if I try not to overthink it for now. I'm still going to try and be healthy, and I'll still be updating here and following other people's blogs, but I'm maybe going to cut back on the obsessive reading of fertility websites and forums, and I'm not getting any more books for now. For the first few months of trying, at least, I don't want to be too rigid and scientific about the whole thing, because I don't think that will be psychologically healthy for me. No more research, no thermometers, no charting beyond what I do normally, no OPKs. There will be lots of time for all of that if it turns out to be necessary, but for now, I just want to ease up a bit and try to enjoy this journey more.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Nifty Idea

Someone on another forum recently brought up the subject of baby sign language. I heard about this back in college, thought, "Oh, that's interesting, I should think about that when I have kids," and then promptly forgot about it.

Baby signing is a simplified form of sign language that can be taught to babies from round the age of seven months. Babies at that age are obviously not able to produce speech. However, they are able to learn symbolic gestures and attach meanings to those gestures. What this means is that they can learn a sign for "milk", say, and then when they want some milk they can make that sign instead of just crying until you figure out what they want. How cool is that?

Some people don't like this idea, as they feel it's too pushy to consciously teach a baby anything at this age. But it's not about hothousing; you don't teach baby signing so you can boast about how educated your child is, or so you can get them into private school in a couple of years. Basically it's a way to communicate with your baby, and it's intended to make life less stressful for parents and children. People have claimed various long-term benefits for baby signing (enhanced cognitive development, stronger parent-child bonds, etc.), but to be honest, I think the short-term benefits are more than enough to make this an idea worth exploring.

I'm so glad I got reminded about this, because now I'm really excited to try it with my future kids! I will definitely be coming back to this idea when the time is right.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tick tock

I went for lunch with my brother earlier this week. He and his wife are expecting a baby in a couple of weeks. So we talked about that, about all the stuff they're doing to get ready, and whether he's nervous, and what the baby will be like. "What about you?' he asked. "When are you going to start popping them out?" I laughed and mumbled something along the lines of "We'll see."

The fact is, I'm getting so impatient. I'm being careful about what I eat (probably not careful enough, but I'm not doing badly), and I'm trying to read up on the subject, but I feel like I'm not really doing a lot, and it's getting on my nerves a bit. There's only so much research you can do, because it basically boils down to "Eat well, exercise in moderation, and go easy on the toxic chemicals."

Wanting a baby has been a strong, almost physical longing in me my whole adult life. I'm finally in a position to do something about it. I just want to hurry up and get started already.

Four months to go.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Drink, drink, drink

As Betty has already mentioned, we decided that it would be a good idea if she let her best friend in on the whole not-drinking thing. I decided to do the same. My best mate - let's call him Ron - tends to notice if someone isn't drinking and will immediately offer to get them one. If you say no he will then proceed to nag you about it until you give in. This, of course, attracts attention...

He was a tad shocked. Not that we were planning on having children, but that I was willing to give up drinking for 6 months in advance. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I wasn't going to be drinking during the pregnancy either (wouldn't be fair on Betty). Still, he was pleased and excited for us and has promised to make sure that I always have a (non-alcoholic) drink in my hand when I'm out with the guys, so I can refuse offers of a pint without raising too many questions.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Holidays, and the year ahead

So, we spent Christmas and New Year abroad with Don's family. It was nice to get away, and it was good to get to know my future in-laws a bit better. They're very nice, though the fact that we're all shy people means that we're taking the bonding process nice and slow -- although I'd imagine we'll get a good deal closer once the babies come along.

We did a lot of walking while we were away, though we also did a lot of eating, so not sure if either of us gained/lost any weight. But we kept the drinking and caffeine to a bare minimum, and didn't get any awkward questions, so that was good. :)

It did strike us that things are going to be very different once we have children. We were in a very busy, very hilly city -- as we toiled up and down the uneven, winding pavements, we talked about how impossible it would be to get a pram around. (The locals seemed to manage prams but I have no earthly idea how. Possibly they have superpowers.) I thought about how the unpredictable habits we kept, sleeping till 12 and eating wherever looked interesting, will not be practical with young children. Flying will be less fun than it is now, ha ha. Visiting historic buildings with a six-year-old? That'll be an interesting challenge. Steering a toddler through the crowds in a busy bazaar packed with delicate, shiny objects... total nightmare.
That said: I know enjoyable, interesting travel with a family is possible. These people totally give me hope! I'm just aware it'll be a hell of a learning curve, and we should enjoy our independence while we have it. Actually, our honeymoon is going to be our first foreign holiday alone, and could be our last for a very long time, and I want us to get as much out of it as possible for that very reason. We're going to Italy: anyone got any tips?


Which leads me nicely to the outlook for 2010. We'll get married in a few months' time, we'll start trying to conceive pretty much immediately, and all going well, I will be several months pregnant this time next year. This is... somewhat incredible.

Finishing school, getting my degree, a year spent living on the other side of the world: the major milestones in my life so far pale into insignificance next to this. Everything is going to change, from my name to my body to the basics of how I live my life.

This is the year when it all begins.