Posts Tagged ‘gender’

My Pregnancy: Week 27

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

My Pregnancy: Week 27Whether I believe it or not another trimester is in the books! It’s both a quick blur and mesmerizing that so much has happened in the last three or so months. The second trimester brought us through the tail-end of summer and the entirety of autumn. And as the highs of summer heat leave and the lows of winter arrive, I offer mostly highs and a few lows of this second trimester.

Goodbye early symptoms! Rejoice! This pregnancy the nausea stuck around an extra week or two. I was a little more tearful than usual during the first half of the second trimester, but that went away by week 20. I also recall being more tired than usual a few days here and a week there during this second trimester. I chalk that up to a bout of sickness that struck our house over a couple of weeks, raising two littles while being pregnant, and—you know—being pregnant. It takes effort to grow the babe and sometimes extra sleep is required. Overall though, nagging symptoms were relatively few and short-lived. I feel heartburn, aching back, and sleepless nights quickly approaching.

The comfort of the bump! The phase of “pregnant or too much lunch” ushered away by week 20, but the comfort of a small belly still existed through the second trimester. Hello maternity clothes and comfortable living. I know the third trimester will soon give me that beached whale feeling, unable to easily roll over or get off the couch.

It’s a girl! It’s a girl! The excitement of finding out the baby’s sex was the ultimate high of this trimester. I appreciate people who wait until birth to find out baby’s sex. I personally fall in the camp that thinks a surprise is a surprise and joy no matter when you find out. Again I exclaim it’s a girl! We were excited to know and fill in our family picture a little more and finally got to go through all those old baby clothes that filled totes in the corner of our bedroom.

In honesty I struggle to think of lows. The lingering symptoms for a few extra weeks, responding to people’s random comments about the sex of my child, and the awareness that this is our last time to have a second trimester come to mind when I consider lows. I must admit my body takes to pregnancy pretty easily and I try to just go with the flow when it doesn’t. I know not everyone experiences pregnancy this way.

Fears are the other thing that lingered but mostly dissipated with this trimester. In early weeks and months of pregnancy I lived well aware of miscarriage risks further accentuated given my previous work in hospitals around grief and loss. Those fears mostly went away. As each twenty-something week ticks away, the risks associated with premature birth also lower, day by day. In a few more weeks I’m sure those fears will mostly fall away to be replaced by common mild concerns around making it full-term, with the successful birth of both healthy mom and baby. None of these keep me up at night though. For all of this I am thankful.

Annie is a mom of two boys, ages two and three. She enjoys the finer things in life, like compression socks and a full night’s rest.

Tags: week 27, second trimester, pregnancy, sex, gender, pregnancy symptoms, birth fears

My Pregnancy: Week 23

Friday, January 29th, 2016

week 23Hubby is a fantastic dad to our boys. Pregnancy looks different for him though. This has been the case for all three pregnancies. Baby’s kicks are consistent and somewhat predictable but still soft and not predictable enough. We’ve talked about some of the struggles he’s faced in bonding with the kids and what has helped.

Feeling the baby move is “really cool,” says hubby, but it became something special in the final two months when kicks were strong enough to leave bruising on my internal organs (at least it felt that way). We’d lie down to sleep with my belly to his back which helped him, without effort, feel more of my belly until babe would eventually kick hubby. Cuddle time for us as we drifted to sleep and closeness with baby. Two birds with one stone.

Hubby went to very few appointments in our previous pregnancies and that continues with this one.  Taking off work for such routine visits seems unnecessary when we need to save those days for after baby arrives. He did have one day off though, and going to the appointment was special for him. Seeing the doctor and our routine, which is the same old routine to me, was special for him. Dads also have a relationship with the doctor or midwife that is unique and can be nurtured more or less depending on everyone’s willingness to participate. Hubby still recounts the moments before our previous babe’s birth where he and our doctor “psyched themselves up,” as hubby gowned up right outside of the operating room.

He’s taking note of the bonding he gets to do with our boys as I become more pregnant and continuing on after the birth of #3. I’ll breastfeed, just as with the other two, so his opportunities to bond while feeding are less often. With our first babe I attended a university class one night a week, so he always had that one night to one-man the evening. He still recounts it as a special time for he and our oldest. With babe #2 I took the effort to sometimes get up and pump in the night while hubby fed the babe a bottle. To me this appeared very inefficient as one of us could be asleep, but I recognized the importance of this effort to my hubby and babe. It was their time, in the quiet of a night or two a week, to get to know each other.

This time around we may build in a time when I get some special time with our boys out of the house while he gets to bond and one-man the afternoon with baby. Hubby will be bonding plenty with the older two, especially in those early weeks after my c-section and living with a newborn. The boys will get plenty of his attention while our baby girl gets mine. Me getting away from baby from time to time is important for our other children too though. Even if it’s just to the playground down the road or a trip to get an ice cream cone and laugh at silly conversation.

Last, I have spoken numerous times on the topic of sex and gender as related to this pregnancy and our baby. Now that we know she’s a girl, we both are processing the information in different ways. I’m trying to give him space to do that however he needs to. He’s nervous about having a baby “different” than him but also excited to have a little girl. For me, she seems so familiar but I am conflicted sometimes about the world I’m bringing her into (a sexist, misogynistic one) in a way that did not hit home when I was pregnant with our boys. We talk about these thoughts, fears, and excitement we both hold in different ways. The end result in almost all of these situations is more bonding with the babe, our boys, and each other.

Annie is a mom of a toddler and preschooler who like to give baby a hug and kiss each day. Meanwhile mommy is bidding goodbye to seeing her feet while standing up.

Tags: week 23, second trimester, pregnancy, baby bonding, dads, family, sex, gender 

My Pregnancy: Week 15

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

My Pregnancy: Week 15I wrote on the topic of comments people make when one is pregnant. I try to see the comments as opportunities to understand that person better. For example, people talking about how much they hope I have a girl may be indicative of how much they enjoyed having a daughter of their own or wished they had.  Sometime I can see that, hear their interest in my life and hopes that they have for me.

But it’s mostly really starting to annoy me. Someone close told me they were “praying for a girl.” So aside the fact that the baby already either has ovaries and eggs or not by now, I’m most frustrated that they never even thought to ask me what I want. And it’s really hard to say anything but “thank you” without coming off as a jerk or having to explain myself thoroughly. I tried with one person, who used their experience as wisdom. It was sort of like the, “once you have kids you’ll understand” adage. It was more of a “you don’t know what you’ll be missing if you have all boys.”

I don’t think I’m angry about people’s opinions being other than my own. I am very content in my knowing that our family life has meaning no matter what my child’s reproductive anatomy. A penis or vagina is not indicative of whether our family is “complete.” I’m angry that people aren’t seeing me, aren’t trying to connect with me. And now I’m left in a struggle of how to relate and connect to them as I harbor more and more feelings of annoyance, isolation, even resentment.

It sounds a little dramatic, I know. Maybe I could just let these comments on my pregnancy roll off one by one, but they have become a large puddle on the floor that I slosh into the next conversation with. If there is something else I’m battling internally, I’d like to figure it out.

Maybe I really do want a girl and I’m afraid I won’t have one. This seems doubtful. I’m very happy to have a girl, but I also get very excited about having all boys. Just me and my guys! I’m girly and am not afraid of having a girl like I have heard some friends express.

As I’ve studied gender and am a feminist, part of the anger may be the underlying sexist tones that some comments take. They are these slight comments that encourage silent sexism. They aren’t clear-cut like, “boys are more important that girls,” but there is something annoying about the way a “sweet little girl” sounds like more of a trinket than an equal to my boys. It’s not in the best interest of my relationship with someone to assume the thing that angers me, but again, that puddle sloshes at my feet.

Annie is a mom of two toddlers finding comfort in breakfast foods and the excitement of one little baby on the way. She’s less tired than the last three months but more tired than 5 years ago.

I am a Boy Mom

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

I am a Boy MomI will be honest, when I was pregnant with my first Little, I wildly wanted a girl. I am the only girl amongst brothers; and I desperately wanted a sister as a child.  As soon as the Clear Blue stick showed two lines, I had girly visions of dance recitals and prom dress shopping. Despite my penchant for all things female, I couldn’t help but feel like I was carrying a boy. So, it came as no surprise when then ultrasound tech pointed out the “goods” and enthusiastically declared, “It’s a BOY!”  I experienced the same exclamation two years later when pregnant with my second son.  Suddenly, I was a boy mom.

My job of mothering these little men is loud and chaotic and sweaty. But boys are also sweet and incredibly nurturing. They are torn jeans and scraped knees and a hungry thirst for life. And dirt. There is so much dirt.

I love having all boys and here are my top 5 reasons why:

1) Raising Good Men

Having boys, I get a front row seat to watching my little guys grow into gentleman. I am raising them to be sensitive and manly, gentle and strong. I get to teach them to grow up to be good husbands who are respectful of others’ feelings. I also have the opportunity to teach them to appreciate women who are independent, smart, and equally good leaders. Although I may never understand them completely, I can give them the tools to recognize and appreciate a women’s perspective.

2) The Mother-Son Bond

The mother and son relationship is unique; our relationship will set the parameters for all their future love relationships. Being loving and affectionate will teach them to do the same in their own lives. My boys, ages 6 and 3, have no trouble climbing into mom’s lap to snuggle, read, or have quiet time. Although they typically go to dad for all things manly and aggressive, I am their first pick for a good hug. Being their mom, we share a bond that will never waiver. They are unafraid of showing me their sensitive sides because they know that I have arms that will always be wide enough to catch them when they fall.

3) The Sports

I never thought that I would love sports as much as I do, but it’s not really an option when the rest of the people in your home are obsessed. I love watching my sons play soccer and go swimming. I love how excited they get over football and basketball. From the time they were small, I don’t think either of my boys have ever seen a ball they didn’t like. My trunk is regularly full of soccer cleats, balls, water bottles, helmets, scooters, and bikes. There are dirty, smelly little things, but their enthusiasm is contagious.

4) Less Drama

I had a hard time including “less drama” in this post considering that today alone my boys were fighting over a broken crayon, who could sit next to me at a restaurant, and how many cookies the other was allowed to have three days from now. They are loud and competitive. My “moms of teenager” friends assure me, however, that there is much less drama as they grow older. It seems that with boys, they fight loud and quickly and then they move on. The transgression is quickly and forever forgotten. For that, I am infinitely grateful.

5) The Bond between Brothers

There is something distinctive about having kids of the same gender. They will go through similar life events, hopefully experiencing a closeness that will last a lifetime. They can learn from one another and will likely support one another, despite their differences in personality. As much as my boys fight, they are also fiercely protective of one another. They are quick to stick up for each another if they feel one is suffering even the slightest of injustice. I love the bond that they’ve forged and the comfortable relationship that they share with one another.

There are tiny fleeting moments when I feel sad that I will never see my own daughter walk down the aisle, but I know that I was given the children I was meant to love and mother. I am often asked if I will try to have a girl, and I could, but these boys complete our family. And truthfully, trying to keep up with them has left us totally and utterly worn out!

Tessa Wesnitzer is a health and wellness coach who lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves her husband, two boys, green tea, long runs, and snowy winters.

Pregnancy Week 20: Gender Reveal

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Pregnancy Week 20: Gender RevealI am so excited to be writing this blog this week–the week we find out the gender of our baby. I go for my level 2 ultrasound or anatomy scan on Friday. While most women wait anxiously for this appointment, many have fears and worries going into the ultrasound.

What is an anatomy scan?

An anatomy scan is a thorough ultrasound usually done between 18 to 22 weeks of pregnancy. During this ultrasound, the technician takes several important measurements. The four chambers of the heart, kidney, bladder, stomach, brain, spinal cord, and sex organs are all examined. Organs are surveyed along with amniotic fluid levels and the placenta’s location. This ultrasound allows the technician and your provider to verify that baby is growing at the correct rate and you are still on track for your due date.

Questions to Ask During the Appointment

Many women go into their appointments nervous. It may have been awhile since they have seen the baby, or they may have not felt much movement yet. Here are some good questions to ask your technician:

  • Does the baby’s heart have 4 chambers and are the valves working properly?
  • Do you see any congenital malformations?
  • How is the amniotic fluid level?
  • How is the location of the placenta?
  • Is the umbilical cord in a safe place?
  • Is baby’s head/brain growing normally?
  • How sure are you of the sex of the baby?

I’m sure you can think of more, but these are some good ones to start with.

Old Wives’ Tales

There are many old wives’ tales involving gender–nearly every pregnant woman has been accosted by a complete stranger claiming to know the gender of her baby. If you’re carrying high, it may be a girl. Carrying low? Time to buy some blue! Breaking out? Could be a girl. Experiencing dry hands or cold feet? Maybe it’s a boy? They also say if your spouse is enjoying your cravings too, then it’s most likely a girl. If you’re feeling super queasy, then it may be a little girl in there.

I can’t wait to find out what our little miracle is! Whatever he or she is, that is just perfect to me. What did you have? Find out next week what I’m having!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of one and one on the way. She loves being a mom and lives in Northeast Indiana with her little family and two cats.