Thursday, May 2, 2013


It's always nice to be at this point in the academic year: things are not yet over so the summer is intact but in sight, making the last week's slog more doable. It's nice to have the summer still ahead, a blank canvas where all the time is still unspent and not a minute yet wasted. My plans for this summer are suitably ambitious (two conferences, trip home with Severin, completing the second book proposal and a couple of other major projects) but I'm also scheduling time to rest and play with my adorable and not-so-little baby boy.

I can't help but think back to this time last year--newly pregnant, my morning sickness was just starting, helping relieve some of my anxieties about pregnancy loss and blighted ova, With a big, chubby, delicious baby in my life, I can look back warmly and nostalgically to that spring and early summer when I was still steeped in the fears and discomforts that accompany early pregnancy. I'm starting to regain my interest in clothes even though breast feeding makes it difficult to wear so many dresses and I have to watch out for dry clean only fabrics. My little boy also drools and regurgitates so the messiness of new motherhood has not elapsed but somehow I'm better at judging the signs and finding times where I can dress relatively well. I've bought a few bargain dresses (the ICB online sample sale was great, and Club Monaco's sale section tempts me still, especially when there is an additional discount), but shopping remains a largely digital experience. And I still feel large, unattractive and old (the result of seeing a baby's perfect skin next to mine) but right now, I'm not sure I'm that bothered, although I certainly don't intend to let myself go. I'm sure the change in hormones post-pregnancy have something to do with it--as my hair attests (it's falling out and finds itself wound around baby fingers and toes and all other surfaces, nooks and crannies).

Now it's spring, I'm really starting to navigate the world with a pram/stroller and realizing that the MTA isn't exactly designed for new parents and their offspring. Last week we set off early for an appointment with my endocrinologist and due to a mixture of factors (the layout of elevators, helpful fellow passengers and bad signage) I ended up taking a subway train the wrong way and landed in Flushing not Grand Central. Of course I recognized that I was on the wrong train the second the door closed and the conductor announced the next station, but by then it was too late. With four elevators on the entire 7 train, and only one of them--at the last station--ahead of me, I had to ride to the end of the line, increasingly realizing that I would never make it before they closed. One wasted afternoon, cancelled appointment and cancellation fee later, I realised that being a mobile parent in NYC involves more work than I had thought. For our next big trip to the USCIS this Tuesday, I used the Baby Bjorn, which I still don't entirely trust (fears of baby falling on the floor) but it made life easier for me, even though I suspect that my little poppet would have been a little more cosy in his pram. 

Given my recent adventures, I'm wondering what it will be like to travel internationally with my baby. As he is huge for his age (4 months and I'm predicting at least 27 inches and 18 lbs right now), it may not be as comfortable as I'd like but I can't wait for him to meet the rest of his family.


erica said...

it's funny, my skin never bothered me until i had children, and now all i see is sun damage and fine lines. boo.

i highly recommend you look into other soft structured carriers like the ergo, etc. since S is a big baby, you'll be grateful for the extra support. and he will likely feel cozy and secure in that rather than the bjorn.

if i lived in NYC, i would invest in 2-3 different baby carriers (a wrap, a sling, and an SSC), and a top of the line umbrella stroller. also a comfortable, functional, and beautiful bag that can be used with the carrier.

18 pounds! i guess my babies are on the small side, leon didn't reach 18 lbs until 11 months, and elias clocks in at 20 lbs at 12 months. i've met quite a few 3-4 month old boys at 16-19 lbs, and i love the chub and heft of them!

Moya said...

Thanks Erica--we have an umbrella stroller and I definitely need to get more baby carriers. I was looking into buying a wrap or sling to take to England (any suggestions are welcome). I don't know his weight for sure but as he was 13.3 at two months and has well and truly outgrown the clothes he wore back then, I'm thinking 18 lbs may even be conservative.

The skin thing is frustrating. I want to have some lovely mum and baby photos but I just feel like a crone next to this pristine son of mine! I just don't want vanity to cost me a record of this precious time together.

leanne said...

Hi Moya -

I second Erica's comments on the ergo. I brought Noah into the city a few times when he was a baby and was terrified of how to navigate transportation, so spent the entire time using the ergo. I've also had success with the Moby wrap - I wore Eli in that exclusively for the first six months or so so that I could chase after the toddler. Both of my boys are big, and I felt that both of those carriers worked well for me. I've used both for traveling with the boys found them so much more convenient than lugging around a stroller.

And the skin thing - suddenly sun damage, fine lines, discoloration - what happened?

Also - I'm happy to send you my Moby if you want to give it a try. They can be hard to put on at first, but I enjoyed wearing the boys in them.

Moya said...

Thanks so much, Leanne. I got the Ergo on sale last week after seeing several neighbourhood mothers using them and asking them whether they would recommend getting one. I bought the silver one with stars which may be a little girly but I really liked it.

I am concerned about how difficult the Moby might be--I'd love to try it around the house. I saw someone trying one on in Babies R Us and was surprised to see how much fabric there was and how tricky it looked.