Here we are. 17 weeks pregnant and doing fine. We are quickly approaching the halfway mark, and in just 18 days we will know what the gender of this lil bean is. Dylan’s mom wanted to have some sort of gender reveal again this time, but I turned that down. We did one when we had Della, but so much is different this time around. I now know that most of my family doesn’t actually care to make the effort to see my daughter. Her grandparents don’t come around, ask to see her, check in often… It’s disgusting. I never imagined I’d have virtually NO help in raising my children, but I’ve already proven that I’m capable of doing things on my own, so this time around I’m just going to save the time, energy, and disappointment and just not go all-out. I already know that friends are hard to come by – especially “friends” that stick by your side once you have children. So what? Throw a gender reveal party for who? No one. I’m not doin’ it.
I don’t mean to sound totally pessimistic. I’m actually really excited to have this babe, even if family doesn’t come around to share that excitement. Dylan and I just can’t wait to know the gender – we want a boy so bad it hurts. Our daughter already has a really special family name, so I really hope we don’t have a girl just so I don’t have to TRY and think up a new baby girl name that can stand against a family heirloom. Once we know I can begin planning a nursery, buying clothes, and put together future names. All of the fun stuff really begins once you get that ultrasound. I can’t wait.
At 17 weeks, the baby is about 5 inches long from head to butt, and weighs about 5 ounces. The baby’s cartilage skeleton is now hardening into bone. There is still so much left to develop, but as you watch each week, it’s truly remarkable how fast things progress in womb. And to think that my body is sustaining this wonderful, new life.
I’ve noticed that my belly is finally sticking out. It seemed one week it wasn’t, and the next it was. I wore a dress to work yesterday and once I put it on my jaw dropped because I couldn’t believe the size of my gut! I’m truly showing now!
So much excitement and so much to look forward to. I’m continuously losing weight and each appointment, so my doctor told me to watch it. I’ve been feeling faint here recently, so much that I had to lay down on the dining room floor in a hurry as I walked through the house the other night, just so I didn’t fall to the ground. My vision gets narrowed and I catch a chill and I immediately know that I have to lay down or I’m going to pass out. I told doc yesterday and he ordered labs. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious. Overall, doc thinks I’m still healthy, there are just a few things I need to keep an eye on.
Getting closer to halfway. I can do this.
I feel like I was taking these little moments for granted. Of course I’ve always loved your snuggles, giggles, and kisses, but these moments are different.
You were my first baby.
The baby that made me realize that I was going to be make it as a mom. Because, ya know, becoming a parent is simultaneously the hardest thing and the easiest thing that I have ever done.
Everyone has doubt. Every soon-to-be parent wonders if they have what it takes to provide their child with what a child truly deserves. We asked ourselves, ‘Can I really do this?’ and told ourselves, ‘I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.’
But then you came.
And you single-handedly made all of the doubt cease to exist.
You taught me that being a good mom isn’t about making sure you have the newest toys or the fanciest clothes.
You taught me that there is only one love that will ever be this deep and everlasting.
You gave me the courage to face the unknown.
You gave me confidence in who I am as a mom.
But now the days of it being just me and you are limited. The life as we’ve known it is about to change in a beautiful, yet significant way.
It’s not gonna be just us.
You’ll no longer be the baby of the house. You’re gonna be the example-setter. The teacher. The helper.
Your infancy is becoming just a memory.
You’ve grown before my very eyes. Through these eyes, I watched creation come to life for the very first time.
So now I’m paying deeper attention into the moments we have left to be us.
Me and you.
I get it. I’m only 24. I’m not supposed to have it all planned out. I’m still a work in progress. I’m still trying to figure sh*t out.
But I’m not too young to be determined and know what I want from my job and understand what I deserve from my managers. I’m allowed to be driven and passionate and expect no less from others than what is expected from me.
It’s not taboo for me to be frustrated when I’m let down. It’s okay for me to be emotional when I don’t perform the way I want to. I promise you, you cannot critique me harder than I already critique myself.
I am a hard worker. I am a passionate employee. I care about the work I do and I try to do it the best I can. I already know that I don’t get the salary I’m owed and I know that there are plenty of other aspects of my job that could be improved, but I’m still giving 110% knowing that all of these things aren’t going to be solved over night.
So yes, I’m frustrated. Because I’m over-worked. And under-paid. And on top of the eight hours of stress I endure five days a week, every week, I come home and run a family and look back on a past that was meant to break me. So yes, I lack confidence. And I get defensive. But there is so much more to me than what is perceived as reality at work. I have overcome every obstacle in my life thus far, so I’m sure this is just another thing meant to teach me for the next trial.
But right now I feel beaten down and broken and unheard and disappointed.
It feels like along time when you’ve got to work that long each day to make a living.
But today has gone so fast, and all I’ve done is lie on the couch.
I woke up this morning feeling fine. I showered, got Della ready for daycare, and as I was standing at the mirror doing my makeup I felt something come over me. I became light-headed and felt faint. I immediately went to my bed and called Dylan. He is so good at talking to me and calming me. He walked me through some slow breathing and I started to feel a bit better.
I took Della to daycare and as I was getting her out of the car I realized that I had forgotten her diaper bag. Mom fail. I had to drive back home, grab her bag, and take it back to daycare. My hands were shaky and I was feeling so weak, so I decided it best to take a sick day and stay home and relax.
So here I’ve been. Sitting on the couch because I feel too weak to even walk across the house. Not sure what it is, but I’m playing it safe.
Crazy to think that a work day’s length is much shorter when you aren’t at work.
These two-day weekends just aren’t cutting it. Time goes by too fast.
We didn’t do a whole lot today, but that is just the glory of Sundays. We played around the house in the morning and by 10 o’clock we headed outside to get some air before the rain came. The day turned out to be nicer than I had anticipated, which was a sweet surprise. At about eleven, I decided that burgers on the grill would really hit the spot. So I ran to town to grab some lettuce, a tomato, an onion, and some potato salad. Dylan grilled the burgers and we had an incredible lunch. We ate so much, we didn’t really eat too much the rest of the day.
The rain was supposed to come around 4, so we soaked up as much time outside as we could. When we came back in, it was naptime for Della… Dylan and I couldn’t resist either, so we all ended up taking about a two hour nap. When we all woke, we spent the evening not doing a whole lot at home.
It’s days like these that make me so thankful for the family that I have. We have moments where we’re all playing together and chasing each other around the house, and then there are other moments where Della is playing alone and contently with her toys, and Dylan and I are both off doing our own things as well. We mesh so well in our home to where we really do get the best of both worlds. I wouldn’t trade our lazy day Sundays for anything.
Della was sitting in my lap earlier today and I was thinking about how much I’m going to miss this someday. Someday she will be too big to fit on my lap, and our lazy day Sundays will change to days spent at home wondering if our teenage daughter is okay while she runs around with her friends. We won’t always be blessed with a full house, so I’m consciously trying to enjoy what I’ve got while I’ve got it.
Tonight’s Reflection Quote:
I just put Della to bed. What a great day we had. It was a rainy day, but it was garage sale day in a town about a half hour from us. So we put on our boots and went out. Didn’t find a whole lot, but the experience was fun. I’m a sucker for a good garage sale.
I’m now laying on the couch relaxing. I just started the movie called ‘Dinosaur 13,’ which is based on the true story about the T-Rex named Sue. I’ve actually seen Sue one time at the museum in Chicago. I remember the awe and amazement I felt looking up at the huge, amazing creature. Can’t wait to hear the story behind her. I’ll make sure to write on this later.
Have a good night, everyone.
Today is different for everyone.
I’m thinking about those of you feeling conflicted today.
I’m thinking about those of you feeling mournful today.
I’m thinking about those of you still holding onto hope today.
I see you. I’m rooting for you. I’ve been you.
Some days I feel like I’m on cloud nine.
All of the scenarios I planned in my head
go through just as they should.
I’m flying through the air,
too high to care about the fall.
Smiling and laughing and playing
and hoping and forgetting and dreaming.
And then I get back home and
I realize that nothing had really changed.
The pain hadn’t gone away,
it had just been masked.
My cup was still so very close
to being empty,
even though it was just so full.
I’m still tired and I’m still angry.
I was happy a moment ago,
but now I’m questioning if
happiness is something I’ve ever really felt;
or rather, something I’ve made up in my head
in order to give myself the strength to keep going.
Was that laugh that overcame me
really as pure as I believed it to be?
Was that tug on my heart
really love pulsing through me?
Or was it just my imagination?
How can I have one cup so FULL,
yet so empty at the same time?
Am I allowed to appreciate the happiness,
even though I have so much indignation inside?
How can this be so?
Life is so amazing and bright
and marvelous and alluring,
yet so daunting and fearful
and jealous and painful.
Here I am.
Holding one cup,
yet I can’t decide
if it’s full or empty.
The contradictory cups.
Just another puzzle to solve.
The US birthrate has dropped again, for the sixth straight year to be exact. But is that really a shocker? We all know that the economic climate in the United States has been volatile for quite some time, so I don’t find this information to be all that staggering. What is interesting, though, is that there were actually more deaths in 2020 than there were births. When you consider the toll of the pandemic, this information also doesn’t seem like it’s all that surprising. But get this: There were just over 3.6 million babies born in 2020 – which is the lowest it’s been since 1979. A decrease in immigration and a higher number of deaths in the last decade has resulted in the country’s population to have expanded at the second-slowest rate since the government started keeping track in the 18th century.
A total of twenty-five states had more deaths than births last year, up from just five states at the end of 2019.https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/05/us/us-birthrate-falls-covid.html
There are a few reasons why the birthrate has decreased. Many women are choosing to wait longer in life before having kids. Studies find that there are less jobs available to younger people that are able to provide a wage that can support a family. Lots of people are pursuing education and careers instead of children – which makes sense. People want to be able to financially support their families, and the age of being able to do that is now much older than it has been in the past.
Another reason the birthrate is going down is because many women are deciding that they don’t want to have kids. Children are expensive and women are more independent than ever before. It’s becoming more socially acceptable for women to not become mothers.
In all, I don’t find this to be really all that surprising. I think it just shows how fragile people find the economy and how much they value different things than they did just years ago. I’m currently pregnant with my second, and to tell you the truth, I don’t know what we are going to do once this new baby arrives. We already pay $500 a month on daycare, which is honestly on the low end for childcare expenses. Add another child to that and it turns to $1,000 a month just for daycare. I make less than $800 every paycheck after taxes and insurance fees come out. Not to mention, my insurance will go up after adding another child to it. How am I supposed to afford $1,000 in childcare, a mortgage, a phone, an electricity bill, internet, groceries, gas, and more on less than $600 a month? It may just end up where I have to put aside my career for a bit and stay home with the kids. I’ve been considering my options, but it all seems very bleak. In a time that should be very happy and exciting, there are so many obstacles that I’m trying to figure out how to overcome. No wonder people don’t want to have kids. There just isn’t enough help out there for us.
The decrease in the birthrate is going to affect the economy, and we don’t yet know how that will impact our taxes and programs. There are going to be less workers in the workforce, so I’d assume we will get hit with more money coming out of our pockets. The US seems to be a very uncertain place these days. This is a big social change, so who knows how it’s going to be dealt with. Only the future can tell.