Shopping for baby stuff is a blast; shopping for maternity clothes BLOWS


WTF? It's like a denim potato sack.

Grumble. I ordered a few things from Old Navy Maternity several weeks back and it all fit just fine. But I stuck with stuff that looked like it was sized a little smaller. I got a larger shipment of things I’m going to need for work and winter today and it SUCKED. This stuff hangs down to my knees! And my belly is already good and big, so I can be sure that it’s all not going to magically fit in a month. Plus I need stuff NOW. My work outfits are getting scary looking and I don’t want to scare my clients, thanks. Being petite, round, and pregnant sucks. There’s no such thing as a petite maternity top. I end getting stuff that’s cut loose around the hips and sizing down as much as I can to keep things as short as I can.

Pants and jeans have been relatively easy to find, it’s the tops that are so challenging. So I’m sending back most of what I ordered and this afternoon I dragged my ass to the mall (how I loathe thee). Why is it that maternity designers think that getting pregnant makes you age 20 years? Some of this crap is so matronly my grandmother wouldn’t wear it. Harumph.

Anyway, I found a couple of blouses, a cardigan, and a good pair of essentially yoga pants masquerading as slacks. I still need some kind of sweater coat that doesn’t brush the floor so TMQ and I don’t freeze to death during the 3 days of really cold weather here.

I’m starting to feel the pull of gravity more acutely. The round ligament pain makes it harder to get around, and especially to get up from a low seated position. My lower back is just plain pissed. But we persevere with the walking, and I think it helps more than it hurts. I think I’m starting to feel some movement, but it’s hard to tell at first. I keep feeling like she’s bopping me in the same part of my low abdomen. We get to peek at her next week when we go for the anatomy ultrasound.

Trundling onward.

Nothing particularly funny or sad to report. My belly is kind of funny feeling, especially my lower abdominal muscles. I assume this is because of stretching. I finally ventured back to yoga yesterday with my favorite teacher and it was good. She gave me modifications for my injury and did a special stretch for it. Very nice.

I’ve had a lot of headaches, I think mostly from eye strain. I’m having to be religious about wearing my glasses and about trying not to squint. Pregnancy can apparently cause temporary vision changes. The nausea still comes and goes, but as long as I eat pretty frequently it’s only really annoying in the evenings. Eating is no joke. I start to feel a little sick, and then I start to feel, well, just freaky. This is the sign that I need to eat NOW or suffer unspeakable yuck. So my purse is a repository of granola bars, breakfast bars, and other easily packaged snacks. I’m still not hot on cooking. I’m sick to death of food as it is, the idea of preparing it, eating it, and then cleaning it up is singularly unappealing. But if anyone would like to come over and cook for me….

I’ve been thinking about why I have an aversion to the hysteria that is pregnancy and birth “culture”, such as it is. There’s so much dogma about how to be, how to feel and how to prepare for every aspect of the process. The amount of stuff you’re supposed to accumulate is insane. All of this seems to leave out one essential fact. From the doll-like clothing and decorations, to the cultish schools of breastfeeding and child-rearing, where is there room for the fact that this being you’re bringing into the world is an actual individual person? Not a doll, and not living play-doh to be molded and shaped into something that fulfills your own needs. It’s a person. And my awesome and intimidating responsibility is to get to know this person as fully as possible (while bringing as little of my own baggage into it as I can), so I can help them figure out who they are and who they want to be. I’m pretty sure this process starts at birth, and I need to be prepared to jettison any expectations I have as things unfold.

I’m not saying I don’t love cute kid clothes, or I’m not going to show off or brag on my child (or take TWELVE THOUSAND photos with my fancy camera). But the big message here is IT’S NOT ABOUT ME. And that’s why it’s so scary, and so intimidating, and so important that I don’t start putting my own expectations on this child before he or she is ever born. And all the crazy ideas and stuff that go with this process in our culture seem to be about helping us ignore the scary and intimidating bits and focus on the stuff we think we can control. And it’s not about the stuff.

I’m not a fan of ambiguity, but it seems insane to expect anything less when I haven’t actually met this kid yet. So I’m all about not knowing how birth and feeding and sleeping and development is going to go. I’m reading some stuff, and learning about child mental and physical development so I have a general idea –  not a course of action that doesn’t allow for deviation. Is not knowing what is going to happen stressful? Yes. Is it realistic? Very yes. Because there’s no way to know if this kid is going to like to be swaddled, or is going to take to breastfeeding, or is going to sleep easily or not. We’re just going to try to take it as it comes, and try and maintain our sanity as much as we can.

Grammar-Related Health Issues

I know that I do not always spell perfectly. I know that I really don’t have a high horse on which to stand. But I can’t help it, crazy bad use of punctuation, really crappy grammar, and lame spelling makes me nuts.

I used to be especially fixated on misuse of punctuation marks. It’s rampant in Texas, but it happens everywhere, including our hotel in Belize:

What? Why emphasize “book activities” (<–see, right there it's correct because I'm quoting, see?) This makes my brain hurt. My favorite of all time was Rosie's Tamales on Oltorf St. in Austin. They had a big sign (for a couple of years) that said "NOW" Open. Even thinking about it gives me a headache. My latest obsession is apostrophes. People use them so artistically! For emphasis, just cause it looks cool, for anything except what they're intended for which is:

  1. To indicate the possessive:
    This is Shaun’s tea towel. (The tea towel belongs to Shaun)
  2. To create a contraction:
    That’s my tea towel. (That is my tea towel)

There is a tricky rule about using “it’s” that I often screw up. You must not the apostrophe for the possessive, but you do it for the contraction: “It’s a brand new day” (It is a brand new day).

So I know, lots of room to screw up, and as my editors (hi, Mom!) can tell you, I don’t always get it right either. But I’m not talking about your run of the mill its/it’s screw ups. It’s the artistic license with which people use those little marks that really grinds me down. My favorite local taco joint recently revamped their website, and while it was much improved, there were frequent references to “chili’s” on the menu. So I sent them an email:

Your new website is very nice, but you need to fix a spelling error on your menu. “chilies” (also can be spelled chiles or chilis) is plural, not possessive, so it’s incorrect to use an apostrophe (“chili’s” would mean “that which belongs to chili”).


They didn’t respond.
I fear that I’m fighting a losing battle here. But I have run across a couple of sympathetic people on the web:

I am so glad that there are other people out there like me. Let me know if you have any grammatical pet peeves, and feel free to correct mine.