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The baby feels big. Sometimes I see little bulges on my stomach where baby parts are stretching out, sometimes a whole side of me is pushed out and harder, totally uneven, and I wonder if I'm feeling a whole body pressed up against the side needing more room. One of us is moving all the time... when I'm walking around, I don't notice her, I think she's tucked in and happy, but when I sit down she stretches out and wants to be seen. And when I lay down, she moves around to find a good position, and when I flip over, she moves around again based on that. It's weird. It's good that it's all been so gradual, otherwise it'd totally freak me out.
Scientifically speaking, I've decided that any anxiety about childbirth is eased by the increasing discomfort and weirdness of pregnancy. You're supposed to look forward to delivery, supposed to feel unintimidated by it, supposed to feel like it's the right thing to happen. Sometimes when I'm seeing all this baby movement I get this little twinge of feeling like, "Okay hon, you're a person. You're supposed to be out on your own like the rest of us, eating your food, wearing clothes, looking around." Those little twinges get longer and closer together every day. It won't be long until I feel strongly like it's time to evict the child, and then giving birth will seem like the most right thing in the world. When I got pregnant I remember telling the guys at work that I felt weird about it, there wasn't some magic womanhood part of me that made me feel like it was normal to let something inside me grow to 7-9 pounds and work its way out, I was completely freaked to be honest... but maybe the magic part of my brain was there all along? Or it didn't have to be so magic anyway.
I have some tips about maternity leave. I don't know if everyone reading this is American, but I am, so I apologize if this post doesn't apply globaly.
Here are my tips for working moms who plan on taking leave:
1) Research your company's policies, including ALL options for extending time off and what you can use (vacation, sick leave, time unpaid). You may not need any more time than the standard six weeks but then again you might. Know what you can do.
2) Talk to your company's HR department about what forms to fill out before, during, and after your leave. I talked with my supervisor about this and he wasn't very familiar with the procedures, sorry to say. Use as many resources as possible to get this sorted out. Talking to another woman who's taken maternity leave is a pretty good idea too.
3) Overestimate what you might need. I told my boss I was going to take eight weeks, but then when the end of six weeks came around I asked if I could come back for half days to "get out of the house". He was all for it... better than not having me at all! But as a rule my company HATES the idea of part-time work, even if I had vacation to cover the missing 20 hours, people were shocked that I was "allowed" to do this. It worked just fine. It was tough to actually get out of the office four hours after arriving, but I always had that option and that was nice. Transitioning back also made pumping breast milk a million times easier, because I didn't need a ton of milk in the fridge just to leave the baby for four hours.
Sonic, I like the way you described the sound a letter makes.
I asked a few early elementary school teachers I know this same question and wanted to share a bit of what they had to say.
They recommended starting with consonant-vowel-consonant words (CVC) with short vowel sounds, and focus on rhyming families (i.e. bat, cat, fat) and even including first consonant changes that don't make real words, like 'gat'. Then later introduce CVC with last letter changes (i.e. bad, bar, bat). They said we could try sight words at the same time and told me to do a search for the Fry sight word list.
After those CVC words aren't a problem, it was suggested to start adding an 'e' at the end of CVC words to change the vowel sound, an the meaning of the words, so introducing long vowels (i.e. cap->cape). Then after all that, we can start adding two consonants together and two vowels together. From there maybe come up with homonyms together, which can be a great way to introduce silent letters (i.e. new, knew).
I would say its very important, because what you learn shapes and molds yours views that make you who you are.
Aum, my partner and I were just discussing this. He was surprised by my taking the hard line that stopping BC or poking holes in condoms or something like that is rape, making the woman a rapist. Which should result in jail time, so she should lose custody, which should go to the father and now he has the choice of keeping the baby or putting them up for adoption.
It's unfortunate that you can't prove such a thing, but hopefully if it was actually taken seriously women would be less likely to do it because it would at least be explicitly called rape.
I understand how the justice system and the family courts would look at it. They see it as the man's sperm made it to the egg so somehow he wasn't protecting himself, he made the choice, yada yada. There's no way to prove that the woman was manipulative, withdrew BC, or "poked holes in the condom" (I think that's unheard of, but anyway).
I topped baby off tonight. He straight up drank 7 ounces of formula after his prunes. If he's an infiltrator, he's eating well for it.
I am still dealing with the fact that your 11 year old is an actual 11 year old.
My father-in-law spends a lot of time with the kid, mostly by choice. I sometimes wish we had more of a schedule, because at the moment, naps and bedtime are the only semi-guaranteed breaks for anyone. My spouse and father-in-law both work from home free-lance, so they don't actually have a schedule for when they need to be left alone, but at least my father-in-law has more warning with jobs scheduled out in advance.
I'm sorry for your loss. Ectopic pregnancies are scary, and I would like to go punch that first doctor in the face for you.
PPD is awful too.
You can continue discussing with him the difference of a boy and a girl. Have him socialize too with the same gender. There's nothing wrong if you have go with opposite sex as long as he understands what/who he is.
So do you feel hanging out with the opposite gender at a young age can confuse a person's gender identity?
If a boy who has a penis asks if he's a boy and you don't just say yes, then that's straight up lunacy.
What he decides to do with that boyhood or how he dresses is up to him. But if you're born with a penis you're a boy.
Making it airy fairy when, statistically, scientifically, less than 1% of 1% of children born have true gender dysphoria, is immoral and wrong. It's also a sign of our troubled times.
This is just my anecdotal experience but...
I have experienced bullying based on simply engaging in normal children's play with girls. Insults were attacks on both me and the girls. But I NEVER questioned my gender as a male. So if a child asks me if he's a boy and was identified biologically as one, I am going to question what influences are on the child before I answer.