Posts Tagged ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’

  1. Pregnancy: The Sequel

    March 12, 2012 by Jennifer Carsen

    Being pregnant is very different the second time around. It doesn’t feel all that different, physically (that hasn’t been my experience, at least), but there are some key differences:

    1. You’re huger faster. I was nowhere near this big this early on in the pregnancy last time. It’s like my belly was just waiting for a fresh opportunity – other than Thanksgiving dinner – to really bust out and show its stuff again.

    2. You don’t think about it as much.┬áNot that I’m absentmindedly doing tequila shooters every night, or signing up for sushi-eating contests, but whole days go by where the pregnancy just isn’t at the forefront of my mind (until I realize I can no longer button my jeans; see #1).

    3. You are already dealing with another little person in the here and now. The future baby somehow seems much more theoretical when you have an actual toddler running around your life on a daily basis (though the worlds do tend to collide when child #1 attempts to sit on your belly and bounce up and down on child #2).

    4. You no longer pay any mind to that “best bite” crap the What To Expect When You’re Expecting people try to lay on you. Okay, full disclosure: I really didn’t give this one any credence the first time around, either. The best bite is the one I currently have in my mouth (it’s probably something tasty, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered), followed closely by the one I’m about to swallow. If I’m not eating my meals out of dented, rusty cans, or drinking Cloroxtinis, I figure baby and I will be just fine.


  2. Baby Under Construction

    August 5, 2010 by Jennifer Carsen

    Well, baby amidst construction might be a better way of putting it.

    Our building permits finally came through at the beginning of June, about two weeks before Lorelei was born, and she arrived home to a revolving cast of tool-wielding men trooping through the house five days a week. It’s been interesting, to say the least – as with the puppy argument, I’ve never had a newborn and not had a home renovation in progress, so I don’t really have anything to compare it to.

    I do imagine that most new moms aren’t dealing with a carpenter’s foot busting through the bathroom ceiling, leaving a hole that rains debris with each new hammer strike (What To Expect When You’re Expecting didn’t mention anything about the best way to remove sawdust from the baby’s hair – then again, maybe we’ve discovered a powerful new weapon against cradle cap). I also had a boobs-out close call with the breast pump one Sunday afternoon when our contractor dropped by unexpectedly with a cabinetry specialist.

    The past week, featuring the arrival of the sheetrock team, has been particularly entertaining. The guy who brought the materials over (we’ll call him The Lifter) was not, shall we say, the most cerebral sort.

    He arrived just as I was putting Lorelei in her bouncy seat on the kitchen counter so I could scarf down a quick bit of lunch – a piece of defrosted wedding cake left over from our one-year anniversary a few days prior (and no, the irony was not lost on me) – before feeding her.

    Lorelei was giving me a decidedly dirty look – I may not be eating solid food yet, but I know you’re eating right now and I’m not, bad mommy – that quickly devolved into full-blown screaming. Over the din, I heard a noise at the front door. A large man was enthusiastically and repeatedly tugging on our old doorbell handle, having mistaken it for the doorknob. It’s a common mistake, but one that most people rectify fairly quickly. This man was not most people.

    “Can I help you?” I asked, pushing the door open from the inside. He looked surprised and gave the doorbell handle one final, vigorous tug before letting it go.

    “Uh, can you move this silver car here so that we can back into the driveway?”

    I figured Lorelei wasn’t going anywhere, strapped into her bouncy seat and screaming bloody murder, so I wiped the cake crumbs from my mouth, grabbed my car keys, and moved the car across the street. As I was hustling back up the front steps, The Lifter turned to me with a knowing look and said, “Um, I’m not sure, but I think your baby may be crying in there.” Supernanny, clearly, has nothing on The Lifter.

    We didn’t see The Lifter again after that afternoon. He was replaced by the pair lined up to actually install the sheetrock. One had a portable radio and a passion for country music. Loud country music.

    The other was highly anxious to know the whereabouts of our bathroom. I’m a little worried about him, actually. He availed himself of the facilities several times during his work here and blew through both a nearly-new roll of toilet paper and several facial tissues. I’ve started thinking of this crackerjack team as Tex and The Pooper (there’s Matt LeBlanc buddy-movie potential there, I’m sure of it).

    It will be nice when the renovation is done.


  3. What’s In the Bag?

    April 29, 2010 by Jennifer Carsen

    All of the pregnancy books recommend packing the bag for the hospital well in advance. We’ve all heard about this bag – it’s the one that sitcom husbands routinely forget to grab as they’re frantically rushing to the hospital with their laboring wives (alternately, it’s the one they remember to bring at the expense of the laboring wife herself, who is comically left behind at the house – oh, those zany sitcom husbands!).

    However, nobody’s offering much in the way of guidance of what goes in the bag – with the exception of the anal-retentive-to-a-fault What To Expect When You’re Expecting, which recommends among other myriad things that you pack, natch, your copy of What To Expect When You’re Expecting. It seems to me that by the time you’re clocking your contractions, that ship has sailed, but kudos to the authors for their shameless efforts at self-promotion right up to the very end. (They’re not the #1 best-selling pregnancy book for nothing.)

    Some things are obvious essentials: Car seat, going-home clothes for baby, going-home clothes for mommy (not her snuggest pre-pregnancy jeans, certainly, unless mommy is a masochist seeking a real blow to her self-esteem). Other things should clearly be left at home: Ski boots, power tools, and anything easily ruined by contact with various bodily fluids.

    The rest is sort of a crap shoot. I for one am bringing snacks – I have a great fear of waking up ravenous and bedbound in the middle of the night. Eric has already made me promise that I’m not going to eat during labor without the express knowledge and permission of my ob-gyn. He is worried about losing me to a complication that would be relatively routine, but for the fact that they cannot anesthetize me as I have just snarfed down a huge meatball sub. I would be indignant that this scenario has even occurred to him, if I didn’t know me well enough to know that it could plausibly play out exactly as he’s described.


  4. The Hidden Perils of Pregnancy

    December 16, 2009 by Jennifer Carsen

    Despite several warnings that it’s unnecessarily alarmist and will freak me out about all kinds of dire consequences that never before entered my head, I am perusing the modern-day preggo classic What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

    It’s not really freaking me out, though some of it seems to be written as if we’re a little dim as well as pregnant (e.g., p. 90: Instead of fried chicken, try grilled chicken…Instead of sugar cookies, try whole-grain Fig Newtons.) I read this as: Instead of eating what you really want, try eating something indisputably healthier that will ultimately leave you snarfing down massive quantities of the thing you originally wanted three hours earlier…

    But it’s the comments on exercise that really got to me. On p. 219, she tells us to avoid “risky moves” like “pointing, or extending, your toes…[doing this] at any time in pregnancy could lead to cramping in your calves. Flex your feet instead, turning them up toward your face.”

    That’s a risk she’s concerned about? Calf cramps? Really? Clearly we’d all be much safer camped out on the couch, feet firmly flexed, a bucket of KFC close at hand.


  5. Transgressions

    November 21, 2009 by Jennifer Carsen

    Last night I deliberately chose to consume, in the privacy of my own home, half a beer. It’s the first booze of any sort I’ve had (or wanted, really) since learning of the pregnancy. It was sooooooo good. And today I had an entire can of diet Pepsi. Caffeine, aspartame, a zillion unpronounceable chemicals. The pregnancy police are sure to hunt me down. If The Olive emerges 7 months from now with flippers, I have only myself to blame.

    Don’t even get me started on what I’ve been eating lately…as soon as I discovered there was no Crab Rangoon chapter in What To Eat When You’re Expecting, I quickly lost interest.