FLASHBACK: Introducing #overitpregnantedition

My partner, known to the interwebs as mancakes, is a tech nerd. No, he doesn’t work in the technology field he just loves technology so much that he follows tech blogs, tells me about the latest gadgets and budgets out his paychecks so that he can get the coolest new toy. Our friends dubbed our home “best buy”. There are many perks to having such a passionate tech lover for a partner like looking so cool with my sweet new iPad or finding out how to get Facebook Timeline before everyone else (don’t ask me how I actually did it, he walked me through the whole thing…). And I’m not trying to brag about having timeline it’s just really dang handy when I want to look back on my life according to social media.

And look back I did. I found the post in which we officially announced to the “world” (i.e. Facebook) that we were pregnant. Here’s the original fb status:

husband face took a pregnancy test and failed. fortunately, i’m a much better test taker than him, i passed with flying colors.

Clever huh? Yeah, totally. The date was January 7th, and at this point we were about 5 months pregnant. Yes, I know, you’re probably thinking whoa, that took a while. Well it wasn’t by choice, I was up for a new position where I used to work and I was waiting to learn my fate before telling everyone I was pregnant. Yes, I know it’s illegal to be passed up for a job because of pregnancy but we all know that it wouldn’t necessarily be easy to prove if that was or wasn’t the case. Anywho, I didn’t get the job so needless to say the Facebook announcement was a go.

It was a long road leading up to the fb announcement. I felt like I was living two lives, my life at home and my public life everywhere else, including the internet. We officially told our families at 8 weeks, once we got our first ultrasound done. At 10 weeks, I told my boss just so she could be aware of my sudden increase in bathroom trips and doctor’s visits. At 13 weeks we officially told all of our friends via an emailed birth announcement but we had to tell everyone to keep it off of Facebook because of my work situation. At this point, I was starting to lose track of who knew, who didn’t know and as my hips started to get wider and my belly started poking over my pants, I didn’t know how much longer I could go to work without people noticing my obvious changes.

It was around this time that #overitpregnantedition started to emerge. This hashtag not only came to embody my feelings of being over the physical strain of pregnancy but the social and political strains as well. As soon as we were able to be open about our pregnancy, the floodgates opened to other things as well. Suddenly, people were giving unsolicited advice, telling me exactly what they thought about giving birth or simply making statements about my appearance. For example, while walking down the street one woman yelled out, “you sure there’s only one baby in there!?” You sure there’s a whole brain your head lady?? Dang, that would have been a good comeback had I thought of it then…

Anyway, my plan with #myhashtaglife and #overitpregnantedition is to look back and explore the many moments that really made me feel like I was over it. Of course, pregnancy is no walk in the park so naturally the physical strain was what made me feel over it on many occasions. But more often than not, it was the overwhelming feeling as though I somehow became public property once I began to show. It was about the days when I literally would have rather stayed home than be stared at, smirked at, talked at, bumped into or potentially groped. It was about my desire to still be seen as me, not just as a mom-to-be or a working mother. And when babycakes dropped into my nether regions and started practicing her exit plan, it was about literally wanting my body back to myself so that I could feel some sense of control over it once again.

But don’t worry, not all #overitpregnantedition flashbacks will be this emotionally charged. For instance, here’s another fb status from March 26th:

my 5 year old great niece Aryanna: is having to carry the baby making you tired? Me: yeah. Aryanna: me too.

And I’ll leave you with this little nugget too:

it’s official: I’ve reached the full time waddling stage. don’t laugh, just get outta my way. – April 15th

Stay tuned!

when type a’s strike, or perhaps when type a’s are stricken #adventuresinparenting

Earlier this week I attended a lunch with my department to celebrate the end of my practicum and the beginning of my internship. All of the other interns were there along with our supervisors and the good food and conversations began to flow. Suddenly, one of the supervisors began asking myself and another intern, who is also a first time mom, (we are the only two interns with kids) what it’s like to have a child. She asked us what it’s like to always be tired, what it felt like to be constantly woken up, to have our homes turned upside down, and to be “dealing with so much”. I was shell-shocked. Work-wise, I had only interacted with this woman, let’s just call her Mz. Type A or Mz. A for short, three times in my life. She seemed very nice, professionally focused, and her office was always impeccable so I wasn’t entirely surprised about the kind of questions she was asking. But goodness, the assumptions! What did she mean by dealing with so much? And why were all of these questions so negative? As we (other intern mama and I) stared at her in utter confusion, she began to explain that what she meant was that it just seemed to her that having a child in your life spells unpredictability and chaos and that as a newlywed, she couldn’t imagine giving up so much control in her life and in her relationship.

As awesome-fellow-intern-mama tried answering some of her questions I pondered what my response to all of this might be. Did I even feel this way about having my daughter? I mean sure, having my daughter has certainly changed my life dramatically and there have been many things that have happened and will continue to happen that are out of my control. And yes, there are times when oh lord I could use more sleep. I knew this going in and I just roll with it because what else is there to do? I am a parent now. My mother and father stayed up with me as my teeth came in or until my fevers broke. They took off of work to nurse me back to health or to take me to the doctor. They left their classes and jobs early to take me to practice or performances. And they happily let me go when they were done with that part of their jobs as my parents. It came second nature to them and it comes second nature to me now.

But. Many folks already know this about being a parent. Mz. A was raised by caring adults and she is educated enough to know all of these things but that’s not what she was getting at. She was asking us what it was like to have everything about our very beings challenged 24/7. When I finally figured out what to say, all I could think of was “well, yes my kid still wakes up at night and I am constantly dropping everything for her but my experience so far has been you either let it get to you or you don’t.” Her response? “yeah but it just seems like it’s a lot of change and I don’t think I’m ready for that”. As I was processing this later with my partner, I was being very judgmental as I told him that because she has a Type A personality (definition here), she of course can’t imagine having such little control over something so small as a child. But upon further reflection, I feel as though I might have misjudged the situation.

Of course it’s easy for me to say, hey, if you let it get to you, that’s your problem. I have always been the kind of person that just goes with it. I never had a choice in the matter, I’m the youngest of three children in a unique way. My parents had me at 35 years old in the mid-80’s which was considered old at the time. I was born to an 11 year old sister and a 9 year old brother with already established lives. No one was ready for a NEWBORN. So, I have always had to just roll with it. I hung out on the laps of family friends or in a play pen while my parents kept going to their tennis matches or cheered on my brother at baseball games. I played on the floor while my mother fitted my sister’s bomba skirts for her dance performances. So naturally, I have learned to just go with the flow since the beginning of my awesome existence <–Youngest child much?

Mz. A wasn't saying no to motherhood, she was just asking us to please help her understand so that she too can someday be able to have the courage to give up so much control. I can make assumptions about how she thinks or how she operates but I will never fully know. All I know is that the thought of becoming a mom is rocking this woman's boat right now. I know what it's like to be in her shoes. I was once there, when I fell head over heels for a man 10 years my elder. It was then that I realized that if I stuck with him, I could potentially become a wife and mother much sooner than I ever imagined. I was only 22 years old at the time and I felt like I might be giving everything up much in the same way that Mz. A was implying. But eventually something just clicked and my fear of having a child turned to excitement, then anticipation and lastly, impatience over meeting our little booger but that's another story (i.e. #overitpregnantedition).

My only hope is that if Mz. A and her partner ever decide to have children, or perhaps are, ahem, somewhat thrown into having a child (hey, I was a happy accident. you're welcome.), that she finds peace with the unknown. If not well then g'luck lady, I have my own #adventuresinparenting to worry about.

no vampires for me #thisismylifenow

I’m only 26 years old but sometimes I feel like I’m 46. A mere year ago I could hang. Well, I was pregnant a year ago so more like 18 months ago. Back then, a midnight movie was a goal in life, especially one featuring the conception of a vampi-human and the werewolves that are pissed about it. But alas, as I sit on my couch watching prime suspect in my jammy jams (I have a baby, I can call them jammy jams.) the mere thought of being out of my home past midnight makes me shudder. And the possibility of a baby who still nurses once in the middle of the night getting up while I’m out makes me feel guilty. And I didn’t even do anything!

But the biggest thing I feel right now is ok. Cuz so what? Sure, I’m a fan of glittery vampires and shirtless native wolf-men, who isn’t ?! Don’t answer that. But mystical creatures hiding out in the pacific northwest do not delight me as much as a half awake and snarling 5 month old finding an equally half-awake (and only sometimes snarling) mama in the dark for the liquid gold (aka breast milk, k?). I know that the days of middle of the night nursings will someday pass and I’ll be free to do big things once more! Like getting 8 consecutive hours of sleep in a row. Until then, vampires on blu-ray and chunked up sleep times it is! Happy Twi-harding to those who can and will! #thisismylifenow

#helloworld!

It has finally happened. I have created my own teeny tiny universe in which I can do two very opposite things: write long elaborate narratives about what is supposed to be summed up in a hash tag line. You see, I’m a big fan of the hash tag concept. What better way to sum up thoughts and/or situations than a bunch of smushed up words that take a good minute to seperate by reading them aloud a few times? Stop it, you know you do that.

I love the hash tag idea but I’m a bit backwards in how I’ve been using it. I’m what you would call that annoying chick on Facebook who uses hash tags like she’s on twitter. If she actually logs into, twitter she gets so overwhelmed by all the tweets in her feed that she shuts down and/or only retweets stuff instead of coming up with anything original on her own. Yeah, uh, that girl.

Sidenote: here’s a brief and very official (i.e. wikipedia) explanation of what a “hash tag” is:

Hashtags

Short messages on services such as Twitter or identi.ca may be tagged by including one or more hashtags: words or phrases prefixed with the symbol#,[9][10] with multiple words concatenated, such as those in:

#Wikipedia is my favorite kind of #encyclopedia

Then, a person can search for the string #Wikipedia and this tagged word will appear in the search engine results. These hashtags also show up in a number of trending topics websites, including Twitter’s own front page. Such tags are case-insensitive, with CamelCase often used for readability.

Definitions for some hashtags are available at hashtag.org. Hashtags were invented on Twitter by Chris Messina.[11]

One phenomenon specific to the Twitter ecosystem are micro-memes, which are emergent topics for which a hashtag is created, used widely for a few days, then disappears.[12]

Other sites, such as Hashable, have adopted the hashtag to use for other reasons.

The feature has been added to other, non-short-message-oriented services, such as the user comment systems on YouTube and Gawker Media; in the case of the latter, hashtags for blog comments and directly-submitted comments are used to maintain a more constant rate of user activity even when paid employees are not logged into the website.[13][14] Real-time search aggregators such as Google Real-Time Search also support hashtags in syndicated posts, meaning that hashtags inserted into Twitter posts can be hyperlinked to incoming posts falling under that same hashtag; this has further enabled a view of the “river” of Twitter posts which can result from search terms or hashtags.

Anyway. It is my personal belief that the concept of using smushed-up-words-preceded-by-a-hash tag is really great and it should pretty much just be adopted by the English language as a whole (This is my way of getting out of the fact that I’m Twitter-lazy). But in all sincerity, what better way to categorize the happenings of life? I mean, my life in particular needs quite a bit of categorizing if I’m even going to get by. I’m a new mom (#mamifail, #mamiwin, #adventuresinparenting, #overitpregnantedition (easy kids, this will be written about as FLASHBACKS, I’m not knocked up currently. I repeat, NOT currently bakin’ baby buns.)), a full-time graduate student and (unpaid) intern (#gradintern), and an all around snarky, witty, sarcastic, ENTP (MBTI, holla! #gradintern joke…) woman who always has a lot to say (#icanhas(blank)?, #imjustsayin, #getchusome).

Oh and to go along with #myhashtaglife I have dutifully created a Twitter account just for this little gem in the blogosphere. Don’t say I’m not willing to change! Oh and uh, like, totally follow me @myhashtaglife. Yeah. That felt weird.

#wordtoyomotha