Friday, January 13, 2017

Tiny Human: 5 Pregnancy Tips

There is a LOT of baby information on the internet. A lot. A lot a lot a lot. And among that information is about 1000 different answers to every question that you want to ask, and that will just leave you feeling even more confused about things than you were to begin with. So here are 5 things that I would want to know, if I did it all from scratch again. These are my opinions only, obviously, not medical opinions.

A couple of procedures involved in pregnancy specifically filled me with a sense of dread and weren't as bad as I expected:

Is the Glucose test as gross as everyone says it is?
Before I had my Glucose test, I read that the drink would make me want to vomit and that I would feel lightheaded and icky for the rest of the day. I found the drink to be sweet, but nothing I couldn't handle, and while I was a little jittery as I waited the hour, I didn't have lasting effects (I stopped and got Chic-Fil-A on the way home to absorb all that sugar). This is just how it was for me- I know that the experience varies a ton from person to person, but take heart! It may not be so bad for you.

Does the Rhogam shot hurt as much as everyone says?
Everyone kept telling me that my Rhogam shot (its a shot they give you if you are a negative blood type to make sure your future pregnancies don't have rejection issues if your first kid has positive blood) would be absolutely horrid. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't pleasant (a needle in the rear really shouldn't be) but on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being, say, having a bikini wax, the shot was like a 2. This may be because I had a fantastic nurse, and also maybe because I was expecting it to be the end of times in regard to pain.

There were also a couple of things that didn't go quite like I expected:

About Ultrasounds:

I somehow didn't realize that the first ultrasound would be done from the inside rather than the outside. It makes sense, the baby is very small when they first show you the little peanut, but I was a little taken aback by that process. Its totally worth it, but it is a little uncomfortable.

When we first heard the baby's heart beat, the nurse talked over it the whole time, telling us some story about a Dr. she used to work with and how she wished he hadn't retired. She got done and pulled the wand away and we were like... wait. Was that our baby? Shouldn't there have been some pomp and circumstance?

At our gender ultrasound, I expected to want to cry or have really strong emotions when we got to see our little baby looking more like a baby than a peanut. My eyes did water (I have a weird problem with my eyes watering while laying down in dental/medical offices) which made the smartest THINK I was crying... but truthfully my emotions were pretty steady. We were obviously excited and she was beautiful, but it is kind of a weird experience to have someone taking a bunch of photos and measurements of your baby without being able to say reassuring things like 'everything looks good' or 'that may look like she has a three legs, but we're actually looking at her lungs'.

Blood Draws:
There was a lot more blood work in the beginning than I expected. If you have a tendency to struggle with giving blood, I would recommend asking your Dr. or the practitioner at the lab how many vials the order indicates before you show up there, having eaten only 1 piece of bread that day. I had an order for 7 vials, and got so woozy that I thought they were going to have to put it back. Eating, asking to lay down during the draw, and keeping my body temperature cool would all have helped with this, had I been smart enough to ask in advance.

Birthing Class:
We took an 8 week, one night per week for 3 hours course, which was a huge time commitment, but we feel like we learned a ton. I definitely would recommend taking a class, and keeping an open attitude about it. The breathing exercises the first night made me feel like an idiot, but by the 8th night I was all about breathing and relaxing and just embracing the weird.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Who Will I Be Now?

Something about nearing the end of pregnancy is filling my head with increasingly random thoughts. Some of these are what you would expect- wonderments about baby girl's hair color, and whether or not our birthday class instructor actually meant it when she said we should all start toting around puppy pee pads at 34 weeks, to protect whatever vehicle or chair we are sitting in... just in case. Other thoughts, however, are of a more abstract variety.

I recently closed down the Etsy shop in preparation for baby Brown's arrival. I wasn't sure how to feel about it- other than confused. That shop has been my bread and butter, my hobby and my passion for the last 4 years, and stepping back felt completely bizarre. Necessary, but bizarre. Suddenly, I am no longer, "the artist, owner of B is for Brown, purveyor of funky wedding paper goods." I'm just me.

I thought I would be hard pressed to fill my time, but I was quite incorrect about that. There are plenty of last minute things to tackle, lists to make, meals to freeze, a puppy to walk and (ahem) never ending manuscript edits to complete, queries to write and blogs to read, searching for advice for new writers. While these tasks are very distracting and fruitful, they don't leave me with much in the way of a moniker on a personal level. At least, not the way that being a business owner did.

You see, I'm stuck in the land of in-betweens. I'm not a designer (or at least not an active one), but I'm also not fully a mom yet (or at least the kind with a kid on the outside). I'm not a writer (or at least not the published kind), but that's what I want to be. I am... Not at all sure how to decide what I am. Or who I'll be tomorrow. Or in (excuse me while I completely panic) 37 days when this kid is due to come out and change absolutely everything.

Who will I be now?

That thought is either terrifying or completely liberating. Probably both.

 Who will I be now?

Ps- You made it through a very wordy post. Here's a belly photo for your trouble:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Tiny Human Blog 2

Things are rolling right along around here- can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week? NEXT WEEK PEOPLE. If that doesn't make your heart skip a beat, then you are probably a more prepared person than I am. Lucky you.

In recent activities regarding that tiny human I'm growing, we've been making some progress on our to-do list.

We had an amazing shower where we were way too blessed and spoiled. Our family and friends are pretty darn awesome.

We painted the nursery, including a mountain mural for one wall.

I have been hitting the local thrift store for half-off Wednesdays and coming home with adorable clothes... some of which are frilly and pink, and some of which have big green monsters on them.

Baby experienced her first voting experience. Because I am a moron, I didn't manage to vote early, and had to wait in line for 2 hours. But we did manage to do it!

The kiddo found her kicking mojo, which is just the funnest thing ever. And the puppy has spent some time wondering what on earth is going on in there.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tiny Human Blog 1

In roughly 19 weeks or so, the Brown family will be growing by one tiny human. That's right, folks, we are all finally going to get to see what a  kid that is half the smartest and half the artist will be like. My guess is that it'll be 1 part ornery, 1 part snarky and 2 parts surprise, just in case you want to quote me on that. 

Let's see. Questions that you might have. 

1). Geez. Did you wait long enough to mention it?
Yeah... I wasn't sure if I wanted to blog about it. I had been focusing the blog on writing and business a little bit more, and I wasn't sure if this was a good forum to discuss my offspring. But then I decided that this is a huge, life changing event which I am pretty darn excited about, and that's worth sharing. I'll tag these posts with 'Tiny Human' so they are easy to avoid for those who don't so much love baby lit. 

2). Will baby Brown be a boy or a girl?
A girl! We are both still in shock, we thought we were heading for bugs and trucks (which we still might be- our little girl may love both spiders and v8 engines, wouldn't that be fun?)

3). Do you have a name?
We've got a couple we are thinking about. We are trying them out in general conversation with each other to see how they sound and if they make any embarrassing words when combined with 'banana-fanna-bo-whatever-that-saying-is.' 

4). Started on your nursery?
I have some ideas. The smartest is in the process of clearing out his office so we can use it as a nursery, so in the meantime I am sorting and cleaning the rest of the cabinets and closets in the house.  It will likely involve plaid. And moose. I only say this because I bought a moose wearing plaid and claimed it was for the nursery, when really I just thought it was adorable and wanted him to come home with me.  

5). How's that book of yours?
I am currently sending out queries for draft 'G' of my latest book. I finished the draft a couple of weeks ago and started querying at the end of last week, from the Denver airport. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

OOOOOOOOOKlahoma Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the...

Its August. Its windy. Actually, most recently, its been rainy. But its August. Which means that fall scented candles are slowing elbowing their way to the front of shelves, and my email box is starting to fill with photos of sweater dresses and boots that it won't be cool enough to wear for another three months. But still- it does make me excited.

I've been letting the manuscript rest. I had a meeting with the last of my beta readers last weekend and finished compiling my list of things to tweak, edit, and downright change, so at last I am ready to move forward (if I actually remember how). Draft "F" here I come!

We've taken to roaming on the weekends, which is both fun and supremely exhausting. But worth it, I think, to take a look at all the cool places that dot the red dirt as far as the eye can see.

We've also had some puppy friends hanging out with us on and off. No such thing as too many puppy snuggles, or so says I.

I tried Pokemon go. I'm not very good (I know- that doesn't seem like the sort of thing one can be bad at, but I am) but I've tried regardless. The smartest is much better at it than I am, which I suppose is as things should be. The best thing about this game, however, is that it encourages us to get out and go places regardless of the heat, the red dirt, and the wind. We dropped by the memorial the other night between our hunting and just enjoyed the stillness.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Three Things

One. It is a summer goal of mine to learn more about the great red state of Oklahoma. Seeing as I've been here for nearly 10 years, it seems high time I explore what kind of pretty things it has to offer. We are planning on hiking and camping and dashing all over the place this summer, which I am pretty excited about. We went to our second state park over the weekend. The puppy hiked like 4 miles without being carried. It rained. It was magic.

Two. I'm on draft "E" of the latest manuscript. As soon as I (ahem, finally) finish this draft up, I will distribute to (ahem, force it upon) a couple beta readers for help working out the kinks. Yay and also eek.

Three. In case you were wondering why I've been so abysmal at keeping up with the blog (but you weren't, because you know me and my scatter brained ways) here's a little of what's been going down around here in the last couple months:

- 2 fantastic cousins graduating from high school
- 1 delightful cousin getting married
- I've set foot in 6 states in the
- 3 camp/bon fires with s'mores
- 1 camper purchased
- Visits to 1 lake and 1 state park