WHATEVS…

Sierra's online journal

Dear Rylin April 23, 2013

My husband makes me smile. A lot. Today it was because of an email he sent to me. Which was intended for our daughter. Who is currently receiving mail in my uterus. It made me teary. Admittedly that’s probably just due to the wonky pregnancy hormones coupled with the “is it over yet?!” third trimester crankiness. Even so, I feel the need to share….

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Dear Rylin,
This is your father.  I would like to tell you that I’ve spent the last nine months plus thinking about you.  I have dreamt and imagined what it will be like to hold you, talk to you, and snuggle you.  I have thought about watching you play in the yard with your mom, Bob, Gracie and me.  I think about who you will be when you get older and hope that I can guide you to the best life possible.  I want to teach you to be a good person.  Your mother and I are so excited to finally meet you and complete this family.  No matter where your life takes you we will always be there to support you through it.  The big key to all of this is we need you to arrive to begin this journey together.  So if you will kindly get things moving and come see us that would be great.  I love you with all of my heart and soul and can’t wait to take our first jaunt together with your carrier.
Love,
Daddy
P.S. Tell mommy you like MaryBeth for your middle name and I’ll make sure you get some extra candy on your 1st birthday.
P.P.S. Funfetti is the best cake. I’ll make sure that’s what you get.
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A Bit of Advice December 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — sierrak83 @ 12:18 am
Tags: , ,

Dear retail establishments of Connecticut,

My name is not Nessie and I do not call Loch Ness home. I have neither a horn affixed to the center of my forehead nor wings that propel me through life. I do not reside in or around any pot of gold (near or far from a rainbow). I am not some mythical or imagined creature. I EXIST. I’m just a regular ol’ woman. Who happens to be pregnant. And who happens to need clothes. And who also happens to have some advice for you.

1. OFFER YOUR MATERNITY LINE IN-STORE…NOT JUST ONLINE.

Now, I know me and what I like. I know my body and what looks good on it. I know what colors make my eyes pop and what styles to avoid if I want my thighs to look slimmer. Or, I used to. And then the baby made me start drinking more milkshakes and eating more french fries and pickles. Sometimes all together. And then my body started to change. The baby is growing and, okay, admittedly the milkshakes aren’t helping at all, either. But everything seems to fit differently now. I no longer know what size to grab off a shelf because I’m no longer in my own body. I need to be able to waddle my butt into your store and try things on. I’ve never carried a baby and am not quite sure how to get it to fit into a pair of jeans. So help me out. I don’t want to order items blindly from your website, wait for the clothing to arrive at my home, and hope it fits—even if I do have the option to return unwanted items to your local store.

2. STOCK A DECENT SELECTION OF MATERNITY ITEMS.

A maternity “department” that consists of two racks of clothing is not a department. (I’m talking to you, Target!) I get it. There’s not a large market of maternity shoppers and you don’t want to devote too much floor space to maternity apparel because of that. But if your maternity “department” consists of one color/style pants, two styles of shirts, and one style of a dress, why bother? At that point, you’re not selling a selection—you’re selling a uniform. Pregnant women deserve choices, too!

3. DO NOT ASSUME THAT YOUR EXPECTANT SHOPPERS HAVE AN UNLIMITED BUDGET.

If I walk into your store—even if you are a boutique specializing in maternity apparel—and spot a pair of jeans with a price tag that reads $189 (ON SALE!), I am walking out. And maybe kicking you in the shin on my way. We are saving for hospital copays and ultrasounds and baby furniture and maternity leave from work and daycare and diapers and….pardon me, I have to go practice my deep breathing techniques. My point is, I wouldn’t pay $189 for a pair of regular jeans. That I’d wear for years. I’m sure as hell not going to pay $189 for a pair of maternity jeans. That I’m going to wear for 3, 4 months TOPS. Are you crazy?!

4. KITSCHY IS OKAY SOMETIMES…JUST NOT ALL THE TIME.

Just because I’m pregnant doesn’t mean I want to have a floating neon arrow pointing to my belly at all times. It would be nice to have some options for tops that don’t have exclamations printed across them in block lettering. “Spoil me…I’m pregnant” tshirts and Christmas themed nightgowns that shout “Jingle Bellies!” have their place in every pregnant woman’s wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong. But we also have to go to work sometimes. And might need clothing that aren’t so in-your-face. Just sayin’.

5. MATERIALS THAT BECOME SHEER WHEN STRETCHED HAVE NO PLACE IN YOUR MATERNITY LINE.

Maternity pants are sorta like the centaurs of the apparel world; bottom half pants, top half tube top. That little tube top like thing at the top is amazing. It allows you to buy pants that fit your butt and thighs correctly because the top part—where your belly will continue to expand—can stretch. The problem comes in when that top material becomes sheer when stretched. It leaves everything from the crotch up visible to the world if your shirt lifts at all. Granted, most maternity shirts are long enough to cover those sneaky (not-so-) little front panels. But what if I have to reach something on the top shelf at the grocery store? I raise my arms, my shirt goes up, and suddenly everyone in aisle 10 at Stop & Shop catches a glimpse of my skivs. Not okay. The only solution I can come up with is to switch to solid-colored (read: boring) underwear. Which is also not okay. Sure, they wouldn’t be as noticeable through the sheer material but I should not have to give up my polka dotted, striped, and animal printed undies just because I’m going to be a mom! So the only real solution is you consider this when selecting the items you want to carry in your maternity line.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would get these matters cleared up before I venture back into the harsh world of maternity clothes shopping again. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Sincerely yours,

A Disgruntled Shopper

 

Some Pretty Huge News October 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — sierrak83 @ 5:20 pm
Tags: , , ,

A few people have pointed out to me that I haven’t written in a while. “I’ve had a hard time getting back on track after vacation,” I claim. In fact, the same could be said about not only my blogging but also my diet…. Sure, Chris and I took a trip to Las Vegas in mid-September along with our friend Jen, her parents, and my mother-in-law. But that’s not really the reason why I’ve been hesitant to post a new blog entry. The truth is, I’ve been a bit distracted. By some pretty huge news. News that I wasn’t ready to share until now. If I may be honest…it’s because Chris and I are getting a roommate.

Our new roommate will be moving in with us on or around May 1. And the crazy part is that so far, that’s all we know. Not whether it’s going to be male or female and certainly not its name. We’re not real picky, though…we’re just psyched that the roommate is coming. Psyched but scared, too. We’re not sure what to expect. How will this affect our social life? Our budget? Ah, yes. I didn’t mention. This roommate will not only be living with us rent-free but we’re also obligated to provide him or her with all sorts of stuff…clothing, food…diapers.

Yes, we’re pregnant!

If you know me, you’re probably scratching your head right about now and asking yourself, “But, I thought she said they weren’t ready to start a family yet” or even, “Sierra always said she didn’t want kids.” And now that I’m to this point (almost 13 weeks!) I feel ready to be honest about something else. Something that only three people (Chris, my sister Bree, and my friend Frankie) have known about me all along is this: I’ve always wanted a family. But since I was about 17 years old, and for reasons about which I will spare you the details, I have questioned my ability to have children. I had never tried to conceive. But I was certain it would never work. And rather than admit to friends and family that I may not be able to have what I wanted so desperately, I found it easier to proclaim that I just didn’t want children. That way, every time someone asked us, “No babies for you?” or “When are you two going to start a family?” it made it a little less damaging.

And the question got asked. A lot. I have come to learn that different phases of life bring with them stock questions that everyone seems to ask. During our engagement, it was “did you set a date yet?” And during the first year or so of our marriage, it was “when are you guys going to have a baby?” On that note, I have to interject here. When a couple doesn’t have kids, there’s a reason for it. And that reason is really none of your business. No amount of asking them—regardless of how politely or “cutesy” it may be phrased—will impact the decision that is ultimately up to the couple. Maybe they don’t want kids yet. Or at all. Maybe one (or both) of them can’t have kids. Either way, it’s rude (and often upsetting) to ask! I digress.

Shortly after our third wedding anniversary (in January of this year), Chris and I made a long weekend trip to where we honeymooned in the Poconos—Cove Haven…love them! And the purpose of that trip was to mark the official start of us trying to conceive. We had talked about being ready to start trying. But I needed “an important starting point” to make myself feel okay mentally. After all, we had spent the past 12 years trying NOT to conceive. I couldn’t just wake up one day and suddenly try to do exactly what we’d avoided for so long! Chris didn’t understand my logic but still he packed up the car and off to the Poconos we went.

And January turned into February turned into March turned into April. And, sure, we were having fun. But with each passing month I became more and more disheartened. All the while, we watched as friends and family around us continued to announce pregnancies, have babies, and post photos of their little ones all over Facebook. And we were happy for them, of course. But at the same time, I was left tearily exclaiming to Chris, “Everyone gets to be pregnant except for me!”

In May, Chris decided that we needed to get away. So off we went to spend a weekend in Providence at a quaint little bed-and-breakfast that Chris picked out. It was just what we needed. Time away. Time to just be us, without worrying about anyone or anything else. We came home relaxed and ready to keep trying. And May turned to June.

In June, I met a woman who had a profound impact on me. We were strangers when we both received invitations to the wedding where we met. She was a high school classmate of the bride while the groom is a friend of Chris’. But the seating chart said we were sharing a table and I, fortunately, ended up sitting next to her. Over dinner, we started to chat and I learned that she is the mother of triplets. I asked her if multiples run in her family and her candid response floored me. “No, they were fertility babies.” She told me that her and her (now ex) husband were having a hard time conceiving so she went through treatments to make her family. By the end of the conversation, I had admitted to her that I was afraid I can’t conceive, either. She had given me hope, though, that if I wanted a family, it was possible. Someway, somehow.

In July, I felt run-down…just not myself. And I said to Chris, “I bet it happened.” But the test said no. And I cried. I came to Chris and said, “I’m going to give it until January. That’ll be one full year. And if it hasn’t happened by then, we’ll go see a doctor.” The prospect of needing to go to that length seemed daunting. But if it’s what I had to do to have a family, then I’d do it. I tried to remain optimistic in the meantime. “I bet it’s going to happen soon, though. I just feel it,” I had said to Chris in August.

With our trip to Vegas looming within a few days, I decided to take a test “just in case” before leaving. I didn’t tell anyone—not even Chris—that I was taking it because I didn’t want to deal with the heartbreak of having to tell anyone that it was negative again. So on Saturday, September 15, I woke up bright and early and headed to the bathroom. And I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was that a plus sign?! I immediately burst into tears—happy ones—and asked Chris to come downstairs. I handed him the test and said through my tears, “Everyone gets to be pregnant!”

He took the test from me and immediately went into consoling husband mode, as he’s done after so many tests in the recent past. “Honey, don’t get upset. It’ll happen someday.” Then he looked at the test. “Am I reading this right?!” He asked. I nodded. “You’re pregnant?!” I nodded. And he wrapped his arms around me and squeezed. It was finally happening!

So let me catch you up on what you’ve missed over the past 35-or-so days…. We had our first ultrasound on 10/6; The baby looked like a shrimp and since has been dubbed with the nickname Scampi. And we shared our news with a small handful of people. My sister cried. Frankie said, “God is good!” Chris’ mom’s eyes crinkled with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on her face. Chris’ dad held my hand across the breakfast table while we waited for the waitress to deliver food. My sister’s boys asked if it was planned (yes, DeShawn) and if they could choose the baby’s name (no, Anthony). I’m told that Chris’ twin brother Dave said, “Dude, this is a pretty big deal.” Our closest friends cheered and congratulated Chris on “getting the job done!” But the best reaction of them all was my dad’s.

After leaving the ultrasound appointment, I texted my father to ask if I could stop by to talk to him. And within about 30 minutes I found myself in the living room of the home I grew up in. I asked him to put on his glasses and turn on a light, which he did. I then handed him the ultrasound photo. He stared at it, smiled, and asked, “Uh…where is this?” I got teary so my sister lightened the mood. “Well, it’s not in Chris!” He teared up and said, “This is wonderful news, doll. Seeing you have kids is one of the things I still had to accomplish in my life and I’m so happy for you.” (Unbeknownst to me until that night, my father had been asking my sister for a year or so if she thought I’d ever start a family. And knowing my fears about conceiving, she has been telling him not to pressure me.)

And over the past month or so, as we began to divulge the news to a select few, I came to learn the question that is associated with this phase of life: “How are you feeling?” It’s the first thing people want to know when when they hear the news. And then again every time they see or talk to me again. My typical response is, “Good.” But by that I mean, “I have to eat all day to keep myself from feeling hungry because that’s when I get nauseous. And I cry all the time and for no good reason; Chris is LOVING it. I feel huge and often wonder if I’m visibly waddling, despite the fact that my sister insists I’m neither. But other than all that….Good.”

I’m told the second trimester gets easier. And I do hope that that’s true. But at the same time, I am choosing to see this pregnancy as a blessing. I never thought I’d be here—preparing to be a mom—because I thought it just wasn’t in my cards. And I have spent a long time empathizing with the women who are unable to conceive because for so long, I thought I was among them. I realize that there are lots of women out there that would give anything to be in my shoes so I’m not going to take a second of this experience for granted.

Bree: “Look at the arm moving!”
Me: “THANK GOD THAT’S AN ARM! I thought it was the nose!”