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3-day Countdown

Well, the baby’s birthday is all picked out. How odd. We will be going to the hospital on Wednesday, October 28, and the next time we return home we will have a baby in the car with us. Today marks the 3-day countdown, and the last of our weekends pre-baby.

When the doctor let me know that we’d be scheduling induction for this Wednesday, my first and most overwhelming feeling was relief. An end-date. No more waiting. The due date always seemed like the fake dream date the doctor gave that wasn’t truly likely. This date is solid. An actual date when I will wake up pregnant, and end the day un-pregnant. I will wake up as a family of 2, and end the day a family of 3. I will wake up a DINK (double-income, no kids) and end the day a mommy on maternity leave. Talk about a productive, life-changing day!

And now it feels like the time for a list. So here goes, things I will miss about being pregnant:

  • This overwhelming hopeful optimism that is always hovering, like the rainclouds that follow cartoon characters, but in this case it’s the opposite, like I’m always walking on the sunny side of the street (everybody with me now, “I used to walk, in the shade. With those blues, on parade. Now I’m not afraid. Red rover, cross over…”). The past 9 months, if something stressful happened, all I had to do was think about the new little ball of love that was headed our way, and nothing else mattered. Even when rolling over at night, in those brief waking moments, the baby would cross my mind (especially if I was huffing and puffing to roll over because of him), and I’d feel a little more peaceful.
  • Never feeling bad about fries on the side, or seconds, or icecream. I take that back. At one point, in the beginning of pregnancy, I did feel guilty when I read an older version of What to Expect and it had a VERY strict diet listed in order to have  a healthy baby. It made pregnant women across the world feel guilty, I’m sure, for every extra glass of juice, even, if it had too much sugar. Then I read a hilarious book, A Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy shortly after. And the author called the What to Expect authors evil, and even said not to worry about exercise because I’d get fat anyway. Needless to say, I sided with the Girlfriends and have enjoyed the remainder of my pregnancy immensely!
  • I will miss the kicking. I already kind of do miss the kicking. For the past several weeks he’s been so crammed in there that I can feel him shifting around, and his little foot sticks out the left side of my belly on occassion, but he doesn’t have room to move, spin, and surprise me with where an appendage would stick out next.
  • I will miss guessing with Wally on occassion what he was going to be like, who he would look like, and how our lives are going to change. The anticipation and wonder of it all.
  • I will miss how easy Small Wal  is to take places now. If we want to leave, we up and go. He’s very polite during meetings, in restaurants, and at the movies. He doesn’t cry, he doesn’t require feedings besides what I’m having, and his clothes never need to be changed. He’s such a good baby!
  • This last one is strange. Since he’s going to be born on the 28th, I’m afraid people won’t associate the date with Halloween as much as they did his due date, October 30. Every time I told people my due date for the entire 9 months, they would inevitably react with the same two words: “Halloween baby!” And they all said it the same way, “Halloween” would rise in pitch, and “Baby” would fall, so it sounded like one of those neon tube pitch whistles you’d get as prizes at fairs when you were a kid. I loved those two words and that reaction. I will, weirdly, miss that.

Pregnancy has been a great adventure, and one I recommend to all women to experience, if you are able and understand that it can often lead to an infant (thanks Juno). And now, time to celebrate. Everyone raise your bowls of icecream. Three days to Wally V!

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An interview with the grandparents

Wally V is blessed with a Fab 4 of grandparents, and both Wally and I are so glad for the support we know we’ll have from them. I asked them a few questions for the record, and below you’ll see their responses! Below I’ll be referring to my parents as Mom and Dad, and Wally’s parents as MomOtt and Coach, as that’s what I call them. Without further ado:

It’s weird to me that at some point you all had your first baby on the way and didn’t know what to expect. What do you remember most as your biggest fears and hopes of that time?

MomOtt: Because Wally was not a planned pregnancy, one of my biggest fears was that I would not be a good or ready mother. I think that is why God gave me a baby that followed all the rules down to sleeping through the night at 1 month, to nursing exactly as the books said he should. I hoped he would “feel the love” of his big family  around him and pass that on to others. I prayed he would know how much Jesus loved him.

Mom: When we found out I was pregnant with Joe, we had just moved into our new house and taken on a huge mortgage payment ($482.78).  We were so worried about our finances since I was going to stay at home.  We were excited about the baby, but worried about money!

Coach: I was afraid I’d have a little boy that would pee on the side of the house with the neighbor girl watching his antics and I was afraid I’d have a little girl that would cry for 6 months straight. I hoped (and prayed) they would be filled with God’s spirit and bloom like two of God’s perfect flowers. (Still blooming but they are beautiful.)

Continue reading ‘An interview with the grandparents’

Childbirth Express Class: 1-day 101 on one crazy day

My iCal reminder came a few days before the class: “Childbirth Express, Sherman Hospital, Saturday, 9a-4:30p. Let’s figure out how to get this baby outta there in a sneeze!” That’s what I wanted to learn. I hadn’t allowed myself to think much about the process of labor, as Saturday was my deadline to hear from the experts and then form an opinion on how I felt about it.

Wally and I showed up for class and took our seats. We had our own table, and it was full of baby swag. I’ve noticed that when you’re pregnant, you get an avalanche of sponsored information overload wherever you go. Magazines about every baby topic, from SIDS to carseats to feeding. My favorite are the brochures that come with free bottles, formula, and pacifiers. And on Saturday we got cute little Children’s Memorial socks. Can’t you picture these little cuties on Wally V’s footies? (I’m already migrating toward itty bitty baby wabie talk-a-doobie-loobie-boobie. I guess this is something I have to practice, since ending with words like “boobie” and “tootie” and “weenie” is a regular occurance so far with my baby talk, and I’m certain it is quite unacceptable.)

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In the class, we went around the room and said our names and when we were due. I’ve noticed since about a month ago, I’ve felt like the further I’ve gotten into pregnancy, the better I am than other pregnant women who aren’t as far along. Okay, I know this is wrong. I’m just being honest though. I have no idea what about a closer due date makes me better than them, but I just am! If my due date is before someone else’s, I’ve won! In our class, with around 15 other couples, I got 3rd place. Not bad! And the two in front of me only beat me by a week or so.

After that exercise, we got down to business. I pictured lots of breathing all day, but the class was more geared toward education, and only about 15% learning a few breathing techniques. We learned about the pre-labor experience, the stages of labor, signs to go to the hospital, drugs, and what happens post labor. A few major takeaways I have from the class: Continue reading ‘Childbirth Express Class: 1-day 101 on one crazy day’

Bringing Wally Back

I just looked up the top baby names of 2008. We’ve got Aiden, Jayden, Ethan, Jacob, Caden, Jackson, Noah, Jack, Logan, and Matthew coming in 1-10. Walter comes in at a whopping rank of 393.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. 393? That actually seems low for a name that sounds like a little old man’s. A name that all teeny bopper TV shows designate for the nerdy friend (think Stephanie’s thick-glasses-clad chubby classmate with his pants pulled up just a little too high). A name that was most popular in the late 1800s. In fact, check out this graph that shows the number of names per million babies over time. Seems like Walter was the Aiden of the 1880s.

WallyName

I love the name Walter. The 2 Walter Ben Ottenhoffs I’ve met are stellar human beings. And based on knowing those two Wals, Small Wal could turn out any number of ways.

We’ve said before that it’s no wonder 4 is even, and 3 is odd. Walter Ottenhoff III is a huge goofball, with a very odd, very funny sense of humor. On Facebook, when we described it the even/odd way, Walter III commented, “Hold on a minute while I take these arrows out of my huge, muscly back.” He’s the one who comments on my blog, when I show my big growing belly, “Mollie, are you pregnant?” When he shows up at the annual trip to Silver Lake, the kids (and anyone without physical ailments or white hair) know to watch their step! He’s been known to push tuxedoed men off of docks into lakes. To enjoy his share of Rob and Big. To have sand fights with kids we don’t know at their family cottage. He is just a riot.

He also is one of the friendliest, most outgoing people I know. He chats it up with most strangers he meets. And he loves to read. Loves it!

Walter IV is so different. Probably because of his dad’s antics, he does not want to do anything to attract attention to himself. He has a great sense of humor, and appreciates his dad, but would never do anything to cause a ruckus! He’s always getting embarrassed by me.

Walter IV stands out as serious, level-headed, and thoughtful. He’s very other-oriented, funny and entertaining in moments, and he makes sure the people around him are taken care of. (This morning, when I woke up, he had left a note that said he was going out to get himself cereal and a breakfast treat for me. He brought me back donuts. Mmmm.) The kind of guy any girl would want to marry and spend the rest of their lives with. (At least I did!) Oh, and he does not read. We’ll forgive him that flaw. As long as he doesn’t pass it on to Wally V.

So you see, Wally V could turn out any number of ways, but I know he will be a great person. Both his Grandpa Wally and dad Wally are great men. Both fun to be around, full of love, and both give Wally a great name.

I’m here to tell you folks, we’re bringing Wally back. To date, four generations of Walters have been making their mark, slowly working their way to becoming “the” name. You just watch. In 2100 this graph is going to start inclining.

Food…ugh, blah, ick, gag

In normal real life I love food. It’s my favorite. I like to plan out what I’m eating for dinner at least in the morning, if not sooner. And it’s not because I love to plan, but because I love to think about what I will be eating, and look forward to it.

Okay, writing that paragraph made me gag. Because this week, my latest “symptom” is what the wonderful fluffy definition people call “food aversion.” I would call it “food repulsion” or the “mental stomach monster.”

It’s not that I actually get sick. Or that food actually tastes bad when I’m eating it. It’s that the thought of food is disgusting. Thinking about what I might eat for lunch or dinner or breakfast puts a bad taste in my mouth. Especially all the things that are part of my “Best Odds Diet,” which is the healthiest balance of food I can eat for my little guy for the next 9 months. Grapefruit juice…shudder. Tomato juice…blarb.

I have to psych myself up to make a plate of food. Sit down with it, and take bites. And seriously, the taste is fine. I don’t mind the taste. It’s the swallowing. Swallowing is hard.

Since this seems so mental, I’m hoping it will pass. Soon. So I can get back to loving…you know what (gag).

Studying for the test: Big mistake!

I bought a two-pack test, and was determined that I would only use it when I experienced signs or symptoms. So I read up, of course, on the signs. Which was my first big mistake. I read you get fatigued, and I felt tired. I read that the bobbies get soar and tender, and mine felt…you guessed it. And so on. Nautious in the morning. “Feeling pregnant” was even a symptom, and so I “felt pregnant.” Can we say 27 year old drama queen?

So, of course, after the first month, 29 days since my last cycle, I took the test. I felt certain, until I opened the box and read the instructions. Then I started to feel mistaken. Silly. Was I really tired, or was that just too much Rockband over the weekend? Was it extra emotional for me to cry 3 times during the “Biggest Loser,” or am I just a huge sap?

Wally and I waited. 2 minutes. And laughed. And hoped. Survey says? One line. Not pregnant. Boo. Let’s try again!


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