Let’s Play Uterus!

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Beckett LOVES it when we play uterus. It’s like his new thing.

It all started when he FINALLY let me read him the book called What to Expect When Mommy’s Having a Baby, by Heidi Murkoff, the co-author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

For some reason, Becks didn’t want anything to do with the book — perhaps it’s jealousy? I don’t know. He just didn’t want me to read a book about the baby.

But yesterday he let me!

And when we got to the part about the baby being inside the uterus — he got all wide-eyed and intrigued. I showed him other illustrations on google images of the baby inside the uterus, and he kept exclaiming, “Baby inside uterus!

For the rest of the day, Becks would climb inside the empty laundry basket with a red blanket wrapped around himself and say, “I’m in a uterus!”

Fer realz.

All day yesterday he was asking everybody to play uterus with him.

“Kiera! Let’s play uterus!”

“Mommy, can we play uterus now?”

Yeah, he may be a little weird (he likes to lick the couch), but he’s a cool kinda weird. And he may not be excited about the baby yet — but at least he’s excited about my uterus!

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Welcome (And Now A Few Words)

I have had a significant increase in traffic to my blog over the past 24 hours, and I just wanted to address a few things.

First of all — Hi! I’m glad you’re stopping by and I hope you find the site interesting enough to continue reading — if it’s not for you — then, well — carry on! If you’re interested in learning more about me and the blog, then click here. I try to keep things simple and just post thoughts, links, things that piss me off, and occasionally things that make me happy. If you like the site enough, please don’t hesitate to like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter!

If you’re here because of the miscarriage post — I truly hope that you didn’t take offense. I’ve had positive responses to the post as well as a few negative — and understandably so. But since this is my blog, I tend to write from my point of view and my own life experiences. I don’t want to dismiss anyone’s struggle to conceive or anyone’s painful experience with miscarriage.

Here are a few additional links to my more popular posts:

An oldie but goodie — To Have And Be Pretty

How To Leave Your Husband: A Quick How-To Guide — For those who want to get out.

How To Know Your Husband Is A Jerk — Because being in a dependent relationship/marriage can blind you

How To Give Up Breastfeeding And Not Feel Guilty About It: Part 1

How To Give Up Breastfeeding And Not Feel Guilty About It: Part 2

My Husband Is Awesome. Is Yours? — Because everyone deserves a good partner

Formula Isn’t Poison: Breastfeeding Propaganda Is — This became a featured post on BlogHer

And then the miscarriage post — The Other Taboo Of Miscarriage

Whatever you find on this blog, I hope you find some enjoyment. I understand some may disagree with my opinions, and if you would like to post a comment — please be respectful! I don’t mind having disagreements as long as they’re civil.

Thanks for stopping by!

Why Nameberry Will Eat Your Soul

baby-names

My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in February.

We are very excited about having another little cocktail of our DNA to raise. We DO enjoy this parenting thing — even though I dream of the day when the kids have flown the nest, and Ernesto and I can move into DC, and get this super way cool apartment in like — I don’t know — fucking Dupont or something (because we’d be rich — because we wouldn’t have extra mouths to feed. shit, never mind –we’d have college tuition, but whatevs, right?) So yeah, we’d be living the life in Dupont or something and we could walk to some cute little restaurant and catch a movie every night without a fucking care in the world because WE’D HAVE NO KIDS TO WORRY ABOUT.

No, but really. I DO enjoy this parenting thing.

So. The baby. That’s due in February. Totally excited about that.

And of course, one of the many exciting things of adding a new cocktail of DNA to the gaggle of cocktails we already have, is naming the little guy. And before we found out we were having a boy, I had the cutest girl name picked out OF ALL TIME.

Penelope June. (aka Penny June)

Nickname: P.J. or just Penny

I mean, doesn’t that name fucking kill you? Kill you with total twee? But an awesome kind of twee?

But alas.

We were reassured by the sonogram technician that we were having a boy. Which I’m thrilled about, of course. But then we really had to focus on finding a boy name. And nothing seemed to click.

At first we thought we’d go classic — like Henry. Yeah. We totally were digging Henry at first. Henry James was gonna be his name. I mean, it’s such a smooth, classic name. A nice name. Not trying too hard. The name of a true gentleman.

Cool. Okay. Done.

Well… not quite. I woke up one morning and was like — this kid is soooo not gonna be a Henry. I don’t know, it was just a vibe that I got. Not that he wouldn’t be a gentleman or anything. Because he totally will.

So back to square one, we consulted a baby name book that we purchased at a used bookstore.

Let me say one thing about baby name books — they’re fucking awesome. Why? Because all those damn baby-naming websites are so overwhelming. Nameberry was starting to get on my nerves — and it was eating my baby-naming soul.

I was eating, sleeping and peeing baby names. I was getting Nameberry emails daily to notify me of the latest indie, hipster, vintage, twee baby names. It was like a black hole of fucking cuteness. I was obsessed, okay? Obsessed.

As an example, here is the list of boy names that I had saved on Nameberry. You’ll see that I was going slightly insane.

Mateo, Finn, Lucian, Paolo, Blue (yes, Blue), Vittorio, Rowan, Milos, Milo, Beau, Tennyson (fer serious), Luca (love), Soren (my brother’s name), Otis (ultimate hipster), Ives, Otto (love again), Etienne, and Mikko.

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Most of these names (and I say most — not all) I would never bestow upon a child in real life — only in my insane imaginary Nameberry universe would I ever name one of my beloved cocktails Paolo Blue. I came to the conclusion that Nameberry wants to kill your spirit and replace it with manic pixie dream girl-like craziness.

Anyhow. Baby name books. They’re a bit saner. You open it. Browse. Doggy ear a few pages. Underline. Discuss. Put back on shelf. Repeat that a few times and you’re usually set. Ernesto and I found this process so much more pleasant. It was just nice to sit on the cozy couch, next to the warm table lamp, reading off names, smiling, laughing, and taking a serious moment to ponder. You know. It was like sharing a moment and shit.

After a few rounds of this, we came up with a name combination that — well ok — comes straight from my Nameberry list. I know. I KNOW. But the book really helped us relax and narrow it down. Our boy is gonna have an Italian name. Like an INSANELY Italian name. It’s so Italian that when we mention the name to people, their eyes grow big and they take a step back — that’s how fucking Italian it is.

But whatever. My husband’s Italian so it’s a total winner.

So there you have it. In the end Nameberry ate my soul, but ended up giving me a name — in a roundabout sorta way.

The Other Taboo Of Miscarriage

bleeding_during_early_pregnancyAbout a year and a half ago, I had a miscarriage.

It was an early miscarriage — but a miscarriage nonetheless. There is often a taboo linked to miscarriage — one that shouldn’t be there.  Women don’t want to talk about their miscarriage experience for many reasons. Usually because it’s a personal and painful experience — and there is often self-blame involved (plus other people can be insensitive.) The woman questions what she did wrong. Was it that glass of wine and cigarette she had the day before she found out she was pregnant? Was it that smoked salmon she ate? And then there’s always the question, “What’s wrong with me?” More often than not, there were chromosomal abnormalities that caused the miscarriage.

However, there is another reaction that is even less talked about. It’s the reaction I had to my miscarriage.

It’s the realization that you’re not sad.

It’s the reaction of relief — and yes, I’ll say it — even of gratefulness.

It’s sounds like an awful thing to say — especially when there are so many women who are desperately trying to get pregnant. But I’m not one of those women, so I suppose my outlook and opinion are different. And I can’t deny how I felt.

But maybe I was indifferent about my miscarriage because I didn’t even know I was pregnant. Or at least — I was in denial about it. Or maybe I was indifferent because — well — I had three kids already and I honestly have no clue what infertility is like. Which makes me look like a jerk. (I’m fully aware that if I had no children and desperately wanted a child — a miscarriage would be devastating.)

I was six days late. My boobs hurt. I could see the blue highway of veins appearing on my chest. I felt bloated, tired, and crampy. But I refused to take a pregnancy test. I didn’t want to see those double lines searing into my retinas. I wasn’t ready to see it. I wasn’t ready to deal with having to make a choice I didn’t want to make.

My youngest child was not quite 18 months. I had refused a tubal ligation during my third baby’s c-section. My husband and I wanted to “keep our options open.” We weren’t ready to close the door yet. Beckett (my third child) was Ernesto’s first biological child. My first two kids are his step-children. I wanted to give him (and myself) the possibility of mixing our DNA again and bringing forth another wonderful human being.

But not yet. The thought of it was almost too much.

So instead I waited for my period. And waited.

And waited a few more days.

And then…

I bled.

I bled a lot. My cramps had me doubled over in pain — it was as if two searing hot knives were being jabbed into my uterus. I was passing clots. But mainly it was the pain.

The fucking pain.

I kept thinking, “Huh. This is weird. My periods aren’t usually this bad. Perhaps I should go to the emergency room.”

But for some reason I waited it out.

After two days the bleeding waned and stopped. Throughout the remainder of the week, I had occasional spotting. And that was it.

And I knew.

Having such an early miscarriage (or another term for it would be chemical pregnancy) was probably a major factor in my reaction. Not a tear was shed. Not an ounce of regret was felt. I was relieved. I understand that my feelings may have been different if it were a later pregnancy or if I struggled with infertility.

But the bottom line was this: I didn’t want it.

Not at that time. Not then.

And I was grateful.

This is kind of strange for me to write about. I’m currently 26 weeks pregnant with my fourth baby. A child that we had planned — that we had tried for because the time was right. And I’m happy. I want this now.

And I know I’m not the only one who has felt this way about a miscarriage. I know there are others. But most people don’t talk about it — except for maybe Penelope Trunk who had a severe backlash over her miscarriage tweet. And the other stories I read were of women who were devastated, but dealing with husbands who weren’t so empathic.

Twitter-_-Penelope-Trunk_-I_m-in-a-board-meeting.-Ha-...-2

As a matter of fact, when I was googling this whole issue, I kinda felt like a jerk. A jerk for even being relieved and grateful about a miscarriage.

But you know what? It was MY miscarriage — MY experience. And what I feel about it is MINE. And I’m going to own it and embrace it.

I guess I’m putting this out there because I want to reassure some women that there isn’t just one way to feel about a miscarriage. That if you felt relief, indifference or gratefulness — you’re not alone.

And even though I feel like a jerk — I’m not. And you’re not a jerk either.

Update: This is now a featured post on BlogHer! Go check it out!

 

Postpartum Bellies Unite!

What does your postpartum belly look like?

No, really. I’m curious.

I’ve seen lots of lovely postpartum bellies — perfect, supple, flawless postpartum bellies. But most of those bellies of perfection are on movie stars or royalty. I’ve known maybe two women whose bellies bounced back to pre-pregnancy status. And yes, I was jealous.

So I’m curious. Go to the The Honeybee blog and tell me — does your tummy look as good as her picture?

Because holy shit. Mine doesn’t.

Not. Even. Close.

If yours looks fabulous, then more power to you! But a nice tight postpartum belly with smooth skin is just luck of the draw. It’s genetics, my friends. Yes, staying healthy and working out prior, during and after pregnancy definitely helps. But all of those things don’t really help the skin — the puckered, stretch marked skin. So you can see that the woman pictured in the blog  really hit the genetic lottery (she looks pretty stunning) — although she claims that she got her body back by clean eating, it would be nice if she admitted that a lot of this is genetics.

I know that Babble did a piece in 2012 about postpartum bellies with pictures galore of real postpartum pooches. A few of them were nice looking, but many were puckered, lined, and indented with scars and stretch marks.

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Postpartum belly from twins

I’m currently 25 weeks pregnant, so my belly is perfectly round and beautiful. This is the only time when you can’t see the stretch marks — the only time when you can’t see the puckered, sagging skin around my belly button and c-section scar.

It’s been a source of great insecurity for me. And it’s good to know I’m not alone.  Because apparently many women end up with the same battle scars. It’s just that women don’t like to talk about it. It’s embarrassing. Especially when women are praised for having perfect bodies soon after birth — take Kate Middleton for example. She was severely scrutinized for having a belly pooch ONE DAY after giving birth and is now praised for having a flawless belly four months postpartum.

I’m happy for her and all. But the media praise for her perfect body sure doesn’t help us “normal” women. It just makes us scrutinize ourselves more. It makes us wonder what’s wrong with us — what we did wrong to have this thing. This sagging, sad, droopy thing. 

It’s no wonder many women run out and get tummy tucks.

But that’s not something I want to do. Ever. I’ve actually grown to appreciate my belly with all its flaws. Because when it comes down to it, I EARNED those stretch marks. I earned the puckers and the squishiness. And no amount of sit-ups and working out will make that go away.

Here are a few more pictures of postpartum bellies.

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The above picture is from the blog Birth Without Fear which has a great post on postpartum bodies.

1 week postpartum belly front

So, my fellow women. I think it’s time that we embrace our bellies. After all, we’ve earned it. Have you learned to accept and even embrace your post-baby body? Or do you still struggle with insecurities?

I think I have moments of both — empowerment punctuated with insecurity. I think the more we talk about it, the less ashamed we’ll feel.

Postpartum bellies unite!

Goat Cheese

So as I try to make this blog all encompassing — as in talking about things other than motherhood — the truth is, I AM a mother.

And I’m pregnant.

Pregnancy is consuming my mind right now. Therefore, I have surrendered to the fact that I’ll be one of those super boring mommy/pregnancy bloggers. At least until February.

I DO apologize. Oh so sincerely. I’ll try to add a few intelligent sentences in every now and then.

I could add these posts to my other blog, but even though that blog is dedicated to parenting, it’s just much easier to stick to one blog. Like a one-stop shop, ya know what I’m sayin’?

So now that I’ve told you that boring piece of news, it’s time to move on to how I feel.

I feel like shit, okay? 

I’m still in my first trimester and I’m fucking hungry. But I can’t eat. Cuz that makes me feel sick. And then I get even hungrier. Then I eat. Then I feel even more like shit cuz food be fuckin’ everything up in the digestives.

Not that I’m complaining. Cuz some assholes would be happy to point out that I got myself into this situation after all.

I mean — we DID get pregnant on purpose. We thought a fourth child would kind of — you know — round things out in the sibs department.

But damnit. Pregnancy is hard. Especially when you feel like shit.

So I guess I have a right to complain — to spew these words out of my brain organ into this blog and out into the universe to whoever the hell reads my captivating words.

So I feel like shit. And I’m tired. But my amazing husband is putting up with me and encouraging me to get as much rest as possible.

I fucking love him.

So to end this post, I just want to say that —

Orange Is The New Black is my new favorite show and I watched the entire season within two days.

All thanks to my husband. Who encourages me to lie in bed and rest. With the laptop.

I guess this pregnancy thing ain’t so bad after all.

And just to add — the title of this blog post is entitled Goat Cheese simply because I couldn’t come up with a title — and I’m really craving goat cheese.

Bitch Wants To Be Nice n’Shit

Nothing will make you feel more like a self-entitled schmuck than being a pregnant lady who feels sorry for herself.

It’s all stupid shit. Like, being pissed off at your husband because he can drink wine and you can’t (not that I’m against drinking wine in the third trimester — because I assure you — I WILL enjoy my wine in the third trimester.) Or getting angry at your husband for taking that one rare night to go hang out with a friend. Selfish? Yes. Irrational? Most definitely. Is pregnancy an excuse for my schmuckness? I really want to say yes — but — no. No, it’s not an excuse.

I got angry at my husband earlier this afternoon for something fucking stupid. Something dumb. And he looked at me with this sweet, incredulous look.

And I felt like a bitch.

So I looked at him out of the corner of my eyes and confessed.

I said, “I know I’m being irrational. I’m sorry. I’m angry and I don’t know why.”

And he rubbed my back and said, “I know, babe.”

I really need to work on being nice.

Nice.

Especially because I have a husband who’ll rub my back and look at me with his sympathetic brown eyes…

And still call me babe. No matter how horrible I’ve been.

Sprinklers And Other Things

My little artist seems to have found a sport he enjoys.
We’ll see how long that lasts. A few days ago he was into soccer, and he’s already given that up. Will he let me sign him up for basketball?
Stay tuned to find out.




Yesterday was the first day this summer (even though it’s technically not summer yet) that we got the sprinkler out for the kids. It was baking hot and there was a heaviness in the air… that damn humidity. And it’s only gonna get worse. I’m not looking forward to being hugely pregnant during a hot, muggy DC summer. So anyway… the kids had fun despite the fact that they would stand there frozen in the sprinkler, shoulders hunched and eyes squinting in the shower of cold water. Next on the list of things to do: get a pool. For me.

Sensational Sonograms!

Beckett Arturo Essen-Yermoli
16 weeks 4 days

A 3-D Beckett

I can already tell he’s a thinker.

This is where the tech said that she thought that we’re having a boy.
Can you find the evidence?
 
She said that sometimes the “penis” disappears and turns into a vagina — therefore a girl. But this is pretty obvious because the scrotum is quite visible. However, if for some odd reason the penis disappears then Beckett Arturo will be named Penelope Isabel. We’ll find out at the next sonogram.

13 weeks 3 days

12 weeks 6 days
Our little genius is already waving

11 weeks

7 weeks 5 days
What the hell IS that?