Good morning, good afternoon, and good night, squeezers! Can I tell you how utterly grateful and appreciative I am for all your love and support?! I love reading all your comments, messages, and emails and it makes me so happy to know that you can all relate, even if in a small way, to the weekly Rocco reports!
I'm posting this a little late only because I wanted to include details from yesterday's Anatomy Sonogram. When women hit the 18-20 week mark, you go in for what's called an anatomic ultrasound. The ultrasound will be used to determine fetal anomalies, the baby's size, weight and to measure growth ensuring the fetus is developing according to plan. (see http://www.babymed.com/pregnancy-tests/anatomy-ultrasound-pregnancy).
Everything from the brain to the abdomen is measured and checked to make sure the fetus is growing as it should. The sex of the baby is also determined, but if you're impatient like me, you already went somewhere else to find out (thanks http://apeekinthepod4d.com/index.html)! We double confirmed it was still a boy (let's play where's the penis!) and watched him for a few minutes while he tossed and turned inside his shoebox-sized closed quarters. Because he seemed to be playing a game of peek-a-boo with his face, we have to come back in three weeks to get a better frontal view of his eyes, nose, and lips. All in all, Rocco measured perfectly and everything is looking fantastic. He currently weighs 8oz, the same amount as a small can of Hunt's tomato sauce.
As far as how I feel physically, I have no complaints. I did wake up with slight nausea this am, but thankfully it flew the coop. I am still wearing my regular clothes with the exception of maternity jean shorts, since my regular shorts were starting to look a little too trailer park for my taste. What I wear during pregnancy and my style during pregnancy, are two topics I've been constantly speaking about on my blog and on a recent segment for Telemundo's Access Total. Your style doesn't have to take a back seat while you're pregnant. On the contrary, it's a beautiful time to show off that bump and wear a lot more body-con pieces without worrying about spanx or sucking in your stomach to the point of suffocation. Let it hang out with absolute delight and pride! It's the greatest miracle of life. You also don't have to break the bank and buy a whole new closet of maternity clothes. Your closet is your friend! Yes, there will be some things you won't be wearing for the next nine months (bye bye crop tops), but it all comes down to fit and fabric and chances are, you may already own pieces that have stretch in them or may be loose fitting. Some of my skirts have now become high-waisted to better accommodate my growing bump! And as far as tees go, buy one size bigger for a more comfortable fit! Apply the same rule to bathing suits. Stay away from constricting fabrics that don't have any stretch to them. These are not your friends. But you know what is your friend? Leggings! These puppies are life savers and comfortably chic! You can dress them up with a pair of heels, or dress them down with flats or a cute pair of metallic sandals. I lived in leggings while I was pregnant with Maya! I paired mine with boots and sweaters and they were a dream! As your belly grows, I definitely do advise in investing in a pair of pregnancy jeans, and yes, skinny jeans for us hot mommas are available in different washes! Some of the pieces I invested in were a maternity polka dot blouse, two dresses, two skinny jeans, which unfortunately won't see the light of day in this heat but they were great for NYC winters, and two maternity bras because my VS ones just couldn't hold the jugs.!
This week, I want to talk about my new found respect for stay-at-home moms (SAHM). Whether you personally work or stay home, or your own mom worked or stayed home, it's a parenting topic that can sometimes divide even the best of us. My mother worked not only because she needed to work, but because she liked it as well, and she would tell me. and I respected that. Of course there were times when I wished we could hang out together at home instead of at her office, but I admired the fact that she worked hard to give me a better life. Many women work because they have to in order to provide for their families, and some of these women work because they genuinely like what they do and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I applaud these women for continuing to do something that they feel so passionate about, and you know what? It doesn't make them any less of a parent. Then there are the mothers that choose to put their careers aside because they want to be with their kids full-time. And you know what? There isn't anything wrong with that either. But that's something I learned after I became a parent. Before kids, I was that girl- the girl that thought that the mom who stayed home with her kids did nothing all day and had the life of leisure. I always thought to myself or said to friends who shared the same mentality, "But what do they DO all day?" Like if they were in some sort of mommy cult. I thought how brainless and boring and quite frankly, easy, to stay at home all day taking care of a baby or a rambunctious toddler and give up your career to do that.
Then something happened. I became a mom and my mentality and acceptance of SAHMs changed. I consider myself a career woman. I feel blessed because I get to wake up every morning and do what I've always wanted to do. I've had a career in entertainment television since I was 20 years old, and I love it. I live, breathe, and eat TV production. It's in my blood and every assignment gets me excited. When I was pregnant with Maya, I knew that I wanted to keep working after she was born. I had submitted my maternity plan- four months off and then back to the grind of trying to find that mystical balance of motherhood and red carpets. But a few months later, I was laid off. I was devastated. I loved what I did and so much of my personal identity was tied to my career and I think many women can relate to that. I was not ready to say goodbye to my career. I knew it wasn't the end of the world, but it definitely threw my plans for a loop. Little did I know, that getting laid off while I was seven months pregnant, turned out to be the greatest gift I could have received.
I wasn't completely without a job. I was still able to freelance a couple of times during the week, but the bulk of my time was spent taking care of Maya. I didn't have any help, with the exception of some top grade babysitters I used when I did have to work, so it was my girl and I, all day and everyday and my day never stopped and it was a continuous cycle- eat, sleep, change diapers, music class, bath time, go for a walk...repeat...eat, sleep, change diapers, tummy time...repeat.." you get the gist of it. And the great advantage of having a baby in Manhattan is that you are not so confined to the inside of your home or a car. The city is your playground (hello sidewalk cafes, Central Park, and East River Ferry) so we were always out and about with ease and that was refreshing for me. But by the time I looked at the clock, it was 9pm. Where did my day go? Nap when the baby naps? Pfft! Another illusion. While Maya slept, I knew I had three hours to do what I needed to do- writing, cleaning, laundry, answer emails, watch 20 minutes of TV, maybe even brush my teeth. I was rocking my time management game. And as she got older and more mobile and vocal, our days got a little busier with runs to the park, more feedings, more play times, story times, and more baby charades, because God knows you spend most of the time trying to guess what your crying baby needs (are you hungry? are you tired? do you want to play? do you want to read? do you want to climb a mountain? oh I know, you wanna watch Downton Abbey marathons with momma! ) and jokingly pretending and hoping to yourself that you're going to get some answer from a nine month old! That glass of wine couldn't come sooner!
But I wouldn't change it for the world! It really is the most exhausting but the most rewarding job on the planet. I was able to be there when you she took her first steps in our living room, and officially walked in the play area of her music class. I was there when she said her first words, sat up for the first time, rolled over for the first time, and all those special firsts that not every parent has the luxury to witness. I was there. And for that, I'm thankful. I call it another divine intervention from my mother upstairs. These were moments that I would have probably missed or seen on a video, if it weren't for the fact that I had lost my job. I learned that a SAHM's job is never done. When your 'boss' is an infant or toddler-sized human, you work all day, plus overtime, with no breaks, no vacation, and no sick days (hangovers and the flu?! what's that?). They're the cutest baby dictators you'll ever see. You will watch Sesame Street 10x a day, you will sing Twinkle Twinkle 30x a day, you will be a pro at making animal sounds, and have a PHD in peek-a-boo. But you'll also get to snuggle against that baby fresh skin all day whenever you want, get teary-eyed each time your baby laughs at something silly you do, and your heart will melt when she throws her little arms around your neck and says 'mama.' It'll make you forget all those dishes in the sink and that laundry that keeps piling up because somehow, you will get it done. Moms are the real superheroes!
I can't wait to do it all over again with baby number two, but one thing hasn't changed- my itch to return back to work. I want to be a mom and I want to be a career woman and I'm sure I'll struggle to find that work/family balance but I know that getting back to my career will make me an even better mother to Maya and Rocco. I want to set an example for my kids and show them that when you love to do something dearly, you follow your heart and you do it and you don't have to give it up completely. Every mother has a different truth and this is mine. But one thing will be different- my respect and admiration for those mothers that choose to stay home. For all the times I thought, "What do you DO all day?" I AM SORRY. I now know you do more than you should and you do it happily and sleepily. Mothers have the hardest and most demanding job- more demanding than any CEO on Wall Street or Silicon Valley. That's cake compared to staying home with a child 24/7. But amidst this fact, let's remember that the most important thing is not to judge one another. Let's be kind. Whether you are a SAHM or a WM (working mom), it doesn't matter. At the end of the day, do we love our kids? And if the answer is yes, then we are all trying to do the best we can and that's admirable.
So the next time you even think to utter those six ignorant words to a SAHM, hold your tongue or suffer the wrath and a punch to the face! Instead, smile, even if you don't get it. Because you may not know it now, but that may be you one day!
That's a wrap for week 18! See you next week for some more parenting and pregnancy 411. Is there something you want to hear about? Let me know and we'll talk about it!