Last semester, I gave birth to Maxine. I had two classes; both were online. I did my midterms online with her sleeping on my chest. I had her sleeping beside me as I took my finals. I also kept a B average.
So far this semester, I have an A in all three of my classes. Two classes are on campus and one is online. This week is spring break and I finally have a chance to slow down and just breathe.
The number one question that I am asked is “How do you do it?”
I am a 26 year old college student balancing family and school. Luckily I have a large support system. My husband is there to keep encouraging me. When I’m in class early mornings and at night, he’s at home bonding with Maxine. He is an extremely hard worker and I appreciate that he was able to slightly adjust his exhausting work schedule so that I can attend school. My parents are a great help as well. They are always there for us and if I want an uninterrupted nap, I know I can always head over to their house. Any time that I feel overwhelmed, or just need help with school work, I can always call my sister. She is wonderful! I can honestly say that if it were not for the incredible support system that I have, I would not be doing so well at school.
I also have a schedule for everyday. Organization is key! If you do everything spur of the moment, it’s hard to get everything done. Friday is my free day. I wind down and do zero schoolwork on Fridays. My online assignments are due on Thursday, so I try to have them done by Wednesday evening. Saturday and Sunday I do all of my English reading and homework. I have math on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and I complete any homework from that class once I get home. While I’m doing homework Maxine is normally wrapped on my back or in the ergo on my back fast asleep. Babywearing is the reason my homework gets done! Maxine gets cuddles and I have my hands free.
I get adequate rest breaks so I don’t get overwhelmed. I set break times for myself and Maxine gives me breaks too because I have to nurse her.
My life is exhausting and I love every single second of it! I’m am so happy that it is spring break and I’m spending all of my extra time this week with my family.
Next week I will be back to my hectic life. Midterms are next week! Maybe this spring break will have a little studying involved…
Lately, I have not felt like myself at all. I’m very irritable. I’m exhausted. I’m mean. I’m physically ill. I’m in even more pain than I could have ever imagined. I know that this has everything to do with me being pregnant. I’m in my 9th and final month right now. I have THIRTY DAYS left until my due date. This excites me and scares me tremendously. We have everything we need to welcome Maxine to the world now…I think. I’m sure I won’t know for sure until she gets here. I’m already one centimeter dilated and thinning out. I really hope that she doesn’t wait until October 12th to come. I want her to come after September 21st though. I’ve already been having contractions. Since they are not regular, there is no point in going back to labor and delivery because they will just send me home. I’m crying a lot due to how miserable I am all the time. Those huge kicks assure me that all of this misery is for an incredible reason.
There is one thing that has driven me completely BONKERS this pregnancy, especially since I’ve been showing big time. THE ADVICE. Oh goodness. I know that not everyone realizes that I have been working with children for a decade of my like. I know that everyone thinks their advice and tips are the best. I know that everyone is an expert on children. Seriously though, unless I ASK you for advice or for your labor story (which I do ask sometimes!!) I DON’T WANT THE INPUT. I know that kids poop, spit, vomit, scratch, cry, eat, breathe, EXIST. I know that!!! I mean anyone with a brain knows that kids do this. I know that I’m huge, look tired, look sick, will have a hard time sleeping, will be in tons of pain during labor, and no, I don’t know if I want an epidural or not. Stop telling me that I do or don’t need one! I realize that labor is different for everyone. I realize that pregnancy is different for everyone. Why can’t everyone else?
I think my “favorite” unwanted advice is “sleep now, you can kiss that goodbye once the baby comes.” People fail to realize that I already DON’T sleep–especially during a manic episode. I’ve been running on next to no sleep for years! Even when I tell them I have a hard time sleeping more than three hours at a time anyway, they feel the need to tell me how different it is when the kid is waking you up. They also think that my husband won’t be helping with the baby for some reason. I don’t understand that. Just because YOUR husband was a douchenozzle and didn’t help you care for your infant, does not mean that my husband will be the same way. It is already obvious that my husband is going to be very caring and helpful, especially since he has been known to roll out of bed at 4:00 AM after going to sleep at 3:00 just to help his very pregnant wife out of the bed so she can pee!
People also get very offended when they ask me how I’m feeling and I reply with the truth. I FEEL HORRIBLE. PREGNANCY IS THE WORST. I mean, what do they want me to say? That I feel amazing and I want to be pregnant for the rest of my LIFE? No. I feel like shit. Pregnancy is not pleasant at all for me. I can’t wait until the baby is here. No, I’m not joking.
Everyone has their own opinions about raising a child. I have not been fully open with my plans for parenting because everyone is right and if you don’t do it their way, you are wrong. This is my plan: Breastfeeding and pumping, but supplementing with formula as needed. For example, if my husband needs to feed the baby, but he needs to have something quick, he will use some room temp water and formula powder. I’m sure people are like FORMULA IS POISON and then others are like BREASTFEEDING IS HORRIBLE. IT MAKES DUMB BABIES (seriously, I’ve heard that.) Who cares! As long as the baby is getting fed, I see zero issue with what I plan to do. Room sharing with a bassinet beside the bed for the first few months and the crib in the room as well for those later infant months. There is nothing wrong with this either. Some people say that having a kid in the room ruins intimacy with couples. I don’t see how it would. If anything, I’m sure I will feel more in love with my husband and want him even more especially knowing what can come of it. Early potty training. I feel that once my child starts walking, and can start to understand and verbally dictate when she is wet/poopy, she can be potty trained. Vaccinations will be given. For some reason, this is a HUGE argument between people. If you don’t want to vaccinate your kid, don’t. Just don’t tell me I am harming my child by doing so. My child will be fine. I was fine. My friend’s kid is fine. That kid over there is fine. No that child with the mental disability did not get it from the vaccine, he was born that way. There are other things that I plan on doing as well and some things that I don’t plan on doing for my own personal reasons. I don’t bash people because they do things differently. I praise them for marching to the beat of their own drummer.
Well, this definitely turned out to be longer than I anticipated haha! Here is the tl;dr version:
One month until my due date!
I’m 1cm dilated and my cervix is thinning out!
Your pregnancy advice is unwanted unless I ask for it!
I already don’t sleep, so stop telling me that I won’t after the baby comes!
If you ask me how I feel, I will tell you the truth!
I’m raising my child how I want and you can’t change that!
Driving down back roads at night will always comfort me.
I grew up in Smithfield, Virginia.
It’s the place I go when I feel sad.
It is where I go when I need to relax.
It is where I go when I miss my parents.
Whenever I feel stressed, I drive.
I prefer back roads in Smithfield.
I know them like the back of my hand.
They are instant stress relief for me.
Driving under the stars.
Only my headlights, showing me where to turn next.