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Baby Steps Toward Acceptance

01/14/2013

Belle

I’m working on developing a more positive attitude towards this pregnancy. It seems that every time a new week clicks by, I promise myself that NEXT week I’ll start embracing my pregnancy. “After the NT scan I’ll embrace this… After 13 weeks 3 days I’ll embrace this… After a good 16 week appointment I’ll embrace this…”

This “tomorrow” mentality is doing nothing more than denying me the opportunity to feel joy and celebrate the amazing moments that made up week 6, week 9, week 12, etc. My first trimester was spent in, what I feel to be, justifiable fear. Now I’m in the second trimester and while that fear still lingers, it seems less justifiable. I’m ready to start preparing for and discussing my baby like a normal woman would.

In honor of this decision, this weekend I made my first actual baby purchase. I bought a diaper bag. I know, most people’s’ first purchase for their new baby is some cutey outfit or toy. I’m just not that kind of person and am relying on others to cutey up my kid, I guess!

I have also been reading Baby Bargains with great enthusiasm and taking meticulous notes on what we’ll need. From all of this I have drawn one major conclusion – babies require a lot of stuff and all that stuff can come with staggering price tags. I always thought the expensive part of this journey would be using science to make the baby. Oh, how wrong I was.

So I’ve made a list of everything we need for a baby. On this list are only genuine needs for our lifestyle – no fluffy things like a wipe warmer (no offense to mom’s who swear by their wipe warmers!). Things like a crib, stroller, baby carrier, bottles, etc are all neatly listed along with the highest rated product and then the highest rated AFFORDABLE product and a link to that. It’s given me the organization necessary to begin strategically shopping for used items and things on deep clearance.

When I saw that the highly rated and gender-neutral Ju-Ju-Be “Be Hip” diaper bag was on sale for half-off I could not resist and snapped it up. This morning I saw a Kelty Pathfinder backpack on Craigslist for a song and, after a pep-talk from a very patient friend*, actually emailed the seller saying I’d buy it. I’m still waiting to hear back on that, but am proud of the step I took.

At what point did you find yourself ready to accept your pregnancy? What was your first purchase for your baby? To those still in the trenches, what steps do you plan to take to accept your future pregnancy sooner rather than later?

*Friend, thank you yet again for helping me be more rational and less… I don’t know what you would call me. Irrational does not seem nearly crazy enough 🙂 xoxo

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35 Comments

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  1. January 14, 2013

    It was sometime after 16 weeks that it really started to sink in. I was still spotting at 14w2d, and I know that I was expecting to have another bleed at 16w, so it was certainly sometime after that. It’s hard to have complete faith in the future after all we’ve been through.

    I don’t know what our first purchase was, but I do know that we didn’t end up buying very much. We received A LOT of hand-me-downs, which was wonderful, and we waited until after our shower to make any real purchases. I’ve seen so many outfits that I love, but I’ve been trying very hard to resist making purchases that we don’t really need, knowing that I’ll have a lifetime to buy things for this baby and other people won’t be gifting us things forever 🙂

    I also tried to be very selective in determining what we needed (we live in a teeny tiny apt)…I mean to write a post about what ends up being useful and not, but I can share now that the first changing pad we purchased was very quickly adopted as the cats new favorite place to sleep, which is gross, and we ended up having to replace it with one that isn’t fabric. Just something to keep in mind 🙂

    • January 14, 2013

      I’d love a post on what you found beneficial! The Proff and I will possibly be moving right before or after birth, meaning we only need to accumulate the necessities, too. We also might end up in a much smaller space depending on where we end up on our salaries. Your minimalist list would be refreshing from a lot of other things I’ve read in parenting and pregnancy magazines!

      Oh, cats. We wanted a Moses basket but quickly realized that this would just end up being a REALLY costly cat bed. We also vetoed a fancy modern cradle for the same reason. I want things for baby to be safe for him/her and NOT comfy for felines 🙂

  2. Shelley #
    January 14, 2013

    I’m still struggling with it. I go in and out. One day I’m talking to the baby, the next I’m staring in the mirror thinking, “Holy shit, I’m really pregnant. There’s an actual baby growing in my belly.” The bigger I get, the easier it gets to accept but I still feel a strong need to prepare myself for the worst.

    • January 14, 2013

      I guess I should confess that purchases thus far have been for things with extended return periods or things that I know we can resell easily and recoup our money. Sad, but true – I don’t think I’ll stop doing this in some form until my baby is safely home. Also, kudos for you talking to the baby. I still have not been able to muster up more then a “Hey, there’s a baby in my belly. Hi baby!” 🙂

  3. January 14, 2013

    Aw, congrats on your first purchase! And what a practical purchase, too, hehe. Sure you don’t want a “Worth the Wait” terrycloth bib? 😉 As someone still in the trenches, I truly feel that I will not accept the pregnancy until the second trimester. I haven’t purchased anything yet, but for years I’ve had this dorky onesie bookmarked on my Firefox browser and I have a feeling that might be the first thing I buy. Something tells me my mother will be on board ASAP, though, so I may have to restrain her!

    • January 14, 2013

      Love it! I have a few dorky baby things with cats on them that have been tucked away in bookmarks for years too. You are not alone there 🙂

  4. Rosie #
    January 14, 2013

    I have just found out today that our second ivf treatment failed. My first ivf was successful but then I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks. I would have been 35 weeks pregnant this week had it continued. My step towards accepting a new pregnancy would be cultivating gratitude for every day that I was pregnant and not to live in fear- as I live with ia fear daily that I will never give birth to my own children. I would try and appreciate every day what I have and how lucky I would be to have it. I know this is easier said than done but I would give it my best shot, and try not to beat myself up and forgive myself I stray.

    Belle j love reading your blog you are a great writer. I believe this will be a successful pregnancy and wish you all the best to enjoy the wonderful miracle going on in your body right now!

    • January 14, 2013

      Oh Rosie, I am so sorry for your failed cycle. My second IVF also failed after a loss from my first. I KNOW how much this hurts and my thoughts are with you. Yes, cultivating gratitude for what we have today and not looking to what doom and gloom tomorrow might bring is important in pregnancy after IF and loss. It’s also pregnant during treatments. Hang in there, I’m keeping you in my thoughts.

  5. January 14, 2013

    For me, acceptance has been an ongoing process. I thought I was there at 8 weeks, then 12, but have had several other fears I’ve had to address and process along the way. It’s occurred to me, too, that this might just be a part of motherhood–worrying, processing, and releasing it to God. Anyway, the best we can do is enjoy the journey, and I’m so very glad you are finding ways to do that now. 🙂

    • January 14, 2013

      I like this thought. Maybe it is all a part of parenting. Thanks for sharing that!

  6. Amy #
    January 14, 2013

    I still felt a little weird about going to my showers, which were when I was probably six and sevenish-plus months along, honestly. But people were so very generous, to the point that other than the next sizes up in cloth diapers (prefolds), I think the first thing that I actually purchased for Ike is a pair of Christmas PJs for NEXT YEAR that I found on clearance at Cracker Barrel – last weekend! It’s crazy, but I try to be really thrifty, and in reality babies don’t need that much stuff – especially if you’re breastfeeding and if you want to cloth diaper, you can really minimize the expenses. Look for a local freecycle group (ours is via yahoo groups) – I was stupidly lucky to fall into a metric fuckton of baby clothes, so we have really hardly purchased anything ourselves, and we’re almost seven months in! Granted, I did have to buy a breastpump a few months ago when the one I’d borrowed started to fail, but other than that…very, very few major purchases came out of our own pockets.

    Sorry for that cheapskate tangent. Your real question – I am not sure I truly, wholly, accepted my pregnancy until it was damn near over with. When I went into labor I also went into denial more than just a little bit. Both because I’d really hoped to go two weeks late (he came ten days early, but I was also stupidly lucky to not be physically miserable even at the very end), because we still had so much stuff to deal with in the house organization-wise, and because I think my brain was STILL not completely willing to accept that I was actually going to have. a. baby.

    All that being said, I definitely did have moments of relishing being pregnant, and enjoying feeling movement, etc. It was very cool, overall, and sometimes I even miss it and would like to try to do it again someday, but they didn’t really seem to add up to a true acceptance of the pregnancy, if that makes sense. I was always so in awe of it that I don’t feel like I ever really truly OWNED it, you know what I mean? (Probably not because I am nuts thanks to RPL, haha.)

    In any case, GOOD FOR YOU!!! Any little steps that you can take that allow you to have a deeper enjoyment of this amazing time in your life are so good for you, and I am so happy that you’re able to take these steps now!

    • January 14, 2013

      You know, people have said we’ll get tons of stuff at our showers but I am not so sure. Our friends and family are spread across the country so not a lot of folks can attend the showers. I also think I’m pretty safe to buy things that are over $200. I could, however, eat my words so who knows! I’ll def. check out freecycle, thanks for reminding me. I’ve been watching Craigslist every day waiting for a jogger to pop up and a few other big ticket items that are safe to buy used. And yes to cloth diapers! Any tips on what brand you liked best? This might gross the hell out of you and others, but we are also watching for lightly used diapers to pop up (not like super gross old ones, but the ones people bought, used two months and then got lazy and switched to disposables). If you use a diaper service you are getting used diapers. I don’t see what the difference is if you properly sanitize them. Now… who is more cheapskate? 🙂

      • Amy #
        January 14, 2013

        That’s genius! I don’t think there’s anything at all wrong with pre-owned diapers, especially in the newborn sizes where they don’t get used too long, and especially if the baby(ies) that used them were exclusively breastfed, because breastmilk poo is totally water soluble anyhow! We are doing prefolds + covers for the most part (greenmountaindiapers.com – I follow a lot of the recommendations gleaned from amalah.com and her advice smackdown column at alphamom), and we have a few pocket diapers for overnight now that he’s bigger (3 FuzziBunz perfect sizes, medium right now, plus a Kawaii one-size that I won in a Rafflecopter giveaway deal). I like the Thirsties covers best, probably…I think most of what we have are the Duo Wraps. The Green Mountain prefolds are probably a little pricier than elsewhere, but I trust amalah’s recommendation that they are worth it, and hopefully we’ll get to use them again someday (greedy, greedy thoughts I have) – didn’t do the unbleached or organic, just the regular white cotton. I would love to experiment with wool and fleece soaker covers, too, but I am afraid to start down that etsy road for fear I’ll be overcome with BUY ALL THE DIAPERS-itis, which I definitely cannot afford! So freaking overjoyed to be talking diapers with ya! 🙂 We might need to take this to email when you really get into it. Crazy addiction I still sometimes can’t believe I have a reason to indulge.

        True – no harm in splurging on bigger ticket items when they come up as great deals, but maybe wait and see what comes out of your shower before stocking up on lots of smaller stuff – anything too cute for words, people love to buy! Hell – if you end up with a boy I have TUBS AND TUBS of clothes I could box up and UPS down there! Like I said, a lot were used when I got them, but especially in the newborn size, they don’t wear them long at all. I don’t think that Ike got a chance to wear even half of the tiny stuff. It was just too warm for much beyond a diaper most of the summer!

  7. January 14, 2013

    Long time lurker, first time commenter. I’m about 6 weeks further along than you and find myself continually amazed by how much I identify with your handling of pregnancy after infertility. My first purchase was at about 17 weeks, but it was with much anxiety. I bought a simple set of bath toys for the future babies. I figured that small purchase was my first step towards accepting that the babies were going to stick around, but also morbidly thought, well it’s only a set of bath toys….I could probably get rid of those if necessary. One day, I randomly realized I was more excited for the babies than terrified, which was new to me, and I’m not exactly sure when that switch started. At 21 weeks, I boldly bought a crib, mattress and sheets for one of the babies. Now, at 22 weeks, I still occasionally find myself worrying for the little ones, but not only am I at ease with the 2 cribs, mattresses, sheets, and stroller sitting in boxes at my house, but I’m excitedly waiting to paint the nursery and start setting it up.

    Best wishes for you and your little one!

    • January 14, 2013

      Thanks for delurking, Brenda! Just scanned your blog and I’m relieved that your cat also protests the pregnancy pillow 🙂 Yum Yum and I are still struggling to find compromise 🙂

      I’m guilty of similar thoughts with my purchases. I figure I can sell each for more on ebay then I paid for them should things go south. Same with the quilt. Hand made baby quilts fetch a good price. I’ll buy a case or two of Pinot Noir with the profit. Shame on us. Best wishes for you, and your little crew as well!

  8. mylifeisaboutthejourney #
    January 14, 2013

    I am glad that you are starting to feel more comfortable! I really wish I could do the same. I am still still struggling to be honest. I had to go to the baby store yesterday to buy a crib mattress and honestly, I still feel like I don’t belong there, even at 27 weeks. I feel like I am going to be in shock when they put this baby on my chest because that is the only thing that I think is going to make this feel real. Even though I can feel him now, I still don’t believe that I am really pregnant. How messed up is that? I see a therapist, too!

    • January 14, 2013

      Lol! I see a therapist, too, and I gotta say, fat lotta good it does with accepting pregnancy 🙂 What HAS helped tremendously was joining a weekly mindfulness group and learning how to process my fearful thoughts and sift through the ones that are genuine and the ones that is just my brain filling negative space with buzz. I should write about this… Also, I have some other low-carb recommendations for you that I thought of over the weekend. I’ll email you shortly!

      • mylifeisaboutthejourney #
        January 14, 2013

        Oooh yay! Thanks! I need them, badly!! 🙂

  9. SM #
    January 14, 2013

    I’m glad you’re finally starting to accept and embrace Chicken! This is real, girl! You’re having a baby! 🙂

    I’ve been thinking about accepting a pregnancy a lot. If I am lucky enough to get pregnant again, it will be the last time whether it survives or not. I want to embrace it from the beginning. I want to enjoy the time I have with the baby even if it’s only for a few weeks. That time is so precious to me and I do regret not doing it with my last three pregnancies. This next time will be different.

    • January 14, 2013

      I feel very much the same.It’s hard to embrace after all these years and all this drama, but it is so important to relish our moments together. You’ll get there, too. I have faith for you.

      • SM #
        January 14, 2013

        It will definitely be hard to embrace after everything but I really want to at least try. We’ll see how it goes if I’m faced with it for real. Thanks for the faith, friend!

  10. heatherwallen #
    January 14, 2013

    Belle, 16w2d here and struggling with acceptance. When we received a gift big of amazing things for the babies at Christmas from my brother- and sister-in-law (who have two older kids of their own) I was speechless and almost afraid to bring that bag home with me (although those Dwell Studio swaddle thingies are rocking my world). We have not bought a thing yet for the twins, but we have managed to begin making a “to do this month” list from now until my due date in June — to choose/buy, to attend (classes), to decide, to read, etc. This is helping me make baby steps — I can’t pull the trigger on actually BUYING much yet, but even making choices and sticking them on Pinterest feels like an accomplishment 🙂

    • January 14, 2013

      Oh, I had a friend ask if she was allowed to give the baby a gift over the weekend. I asked her to wait till 20 weeks. My warped reasoning? I’d rather lose the money if something goes wrong then friends lose the money. I think that list making is a great place to start. We are needing to start meeting with doulas and book classes in the next few weeks (we have a pending move complicating things and forcing us to do things about 8 weeks earlier then many) and I’m having a hard time with that. I can’t resell classes and doulas on eBay, you know?

      • heatherwallen #
        January 14, 2013

        Oh, I know! I’m finding myself saying ‘Well, the class is also offered in March / in April / in Mary” knowing full well that it is ridiculous to wait until I am 8 months pregnant with twins to get on some of these tasks … We also want to wrap things up 8 weeks early just b/c of the very real possibility of early delivery with two.

  11. January 14, 2013

    I hear you. I don’t think I really felt great about it until 18 weeks when I started feeling the baby every day. And I didn’t buy anything until 24 weeks! At which point I ordered my rocker and change table (being ridiculous I had bought a crib 2.5 years earlier when we started trying, because obviously it would happen right away….ha). Congrats on taking the first step, I’ve heard great things about those bags!

  12. January 14, 2013

    Ive been going through some serious commitment issues when it comes to buying things for the baby. Last week we ended up buying a cot bed,it was on sale (a ridiculous steal in fact) and exactly what we had discussed and wanted and still, I have a moment of pure panic when it came time to pay. I just have these moments where I still cant believe that I am pregnant and the thought of buying something for a baby that isnt here yet or “real” to me seems to be wrong. I am getting better and it is getting easier and I am getting to the point where I cant wait to start doing the big shops for all the essentials. I did some researching as well and found some great lists of the essentials that baby will need in the first 6 months and am keeping a copy with me at all times to make sure I dont go overboard.

  13. January 14, 2013

    Just chiming in to say that the JuJuBe diaper bag was my very first purchase for Matthew two years ago! I researched the heck out of diaper bags and got mine on sale too. I now have 2 JJB’s – I just love them (the first one I got was for cloth diapers but then ended up being too big when we went to disposables)! When Chicken gets bigger and you only need a diaper or two, and wipes, I suggest the PPB cross town clutch.

    I’m anxious to see what else you get! We bought one big item every month leading up to baby, which made things easier on the pocketbook. Have fun! This is a REALLY fun time!

  14. January 14, 2013

    If IVF #1 works I don’t know how long it will take for me to realize that I am really, truly pregnant and to not worry. I’ve never been pregnant before so maybe I will have less anxiety? Who knows.

  15. January 14, 2013

    I think the first thing I bought for our baby was some new clothes after we found out she was a girl. I went on a small shopping spree with my mom and picked up some adorable things. After that I joined a Mother’s Club online and got a lot of used clothes and items that way. I bought a co-sleeper bassinet from Walmart.com but my daughter hardly used it, she co-slept with me in our bed which worked out great since she was breastfeeding and I never had to get up! I wore out my baby Bjorn carrier which we also bought used. I never once used our wipe warmer, especially because it was so hot when Elena was born.

  16. January 14, 2013

    Other than the plush tortoise I bought before Nugget’s conception, I haven’t gotten anything for the baby. (Unless you count taking advantage of a free baby sling offer.) Part of it is trepidation and “this just doesn’t feel real yet”, but a lot of it has to do with feeling completely overwhelmed and not knowing where to start.

    But…baby steps, right? You’re off to a good start with the chic diaper bag. 🙂

    • January 14, 2013

      Checkout the baby bargains book! Seriously, I was in no shape to even begin thinking about baby things until I was given it. It’s helped tremendously with the “What the hell do you need for a baby?” conversations my husband and I had prior to. 🙂

  17. Romy #
    January 14, 2013

    We bought a second hand Bugaboo stroller when I was 12 weeks because it was an awesome deal and I was worried I wouldn’t find another like it. Other than that we have just done a lot of walking through baby stores and looking through online stores in the last few weeks and I’ve been too hesitant to buy anything yet. I did just download a baby necessities list and am shocked by the amount of stuff we’ll need, so now I’ll probably start shopping soon just because I don’t like leaving things till the last minute and with finals and block weeks and my thesis (last semester of grad school) all happening right before my due date, I can’t rely on the last 2 months.
    What really helped me these last few days was that my GP told me that in all of his 20 years of having female patients, he’s only seen one instance of a miscarriage after 12 weeks. So this makes me think that those instances must be disproportionally represented in blogs and have scared me more than they should have. I’m going to hold on to that thought and try to embrace my pregnancy from now on.

  18. January 14, 2013

    I think with both pregnancies it was around 17 weeks. I bought something for the twins at 17 weeks I think and with Raz it was maybe a little later…18? I don’t blame you for being cautious. I think now that you have made that step it will become much easier.

  19. January 15, 2013

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be
    waiting for your next post thanks once again.

  20. January 16, 2013

    Yay for your first purchase! I love reading each new post seeing you embrace your beautiful little Chicken more and more! Our first purchase was for 2 bibs that say “Lil Norskie” I have seen them for years at our local Scandinavian festival and always wanted them for our kids. I was 8 weeks and a little scared, but it was finally my turn. We got to the festival early, bought the bibs and hid them in the bottom of my purse so my family didn’t see them. Can’t wait to hear about everything for Chicken!

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