Having It All

Dear Alex,

You are just over 25 weeks now– about 14 inches long and weighing in at a whopping 2 lbs. Supposedly this is the size of a cauliflower stalk… honestly I’m not a huge cauliflower fan & have no idea of this is true. 😉 Anyway, this weekend we went to a wedding in WV, for a cousin on the Hartleben (Nana’s) side of the family. We haven’t seen any of them since you were 5 weeks along, and I think they got a kick out of seeing  the ever-expanding belly:

One thing that cracks me up are people’s reactions to the whole “touching the belly” issue… some folks have no qualms whatsoever & tend to go straight for it, others are more hesitant and will shyly ask first. Personally I have no problems with people I know touching it if they want, as long as they ask. However, I definitely DO have a problem with strangers touching my belly. Luckily this has not happened yet– it’s just been friends, family & coworkers. Dad of course does it all the time; he really likes feeling you kick, talking to you, and just rubbing/kissing the belly. I think that is his way of feeling connected to you. 🙂

The super long car rides to/from the wedding (5 hours each way) were much more uncomfortable at 6 months pregnant than they would’ve been normally… thank goodness for pillows, snacks & lots of rest areas along the way. When Dad & I take long car rides like that, we take the opportunity to have heart-to-hearts about whatever happens to be on our mind at the time. We spent the ride home Saturday night engrossed in what can be kind of a controversial topic: religion.

Specifically, we spoke about what sort of religious beliefs/values we want to try to raise you on. I suppose I won’t go into detail about it here just now, but your Dad & I had different experiences growing up when it comes to our religious education. This has lead to each of us having different belief systems. We’ve had some lively debates on these topics over the years, but in general we’re pretty supportive of one another in this regard… and of course we hold to the same set of core moral values. In the end, Dad & I agreed that we would give you a basic education on both of our belief systems, then of course you can decide for yourself when you’re older. All in all, I’m glad Dad & I took the time to have this conversation now. It’s good to be on the same page (or as close to it as possible) with things like that.

Another productive conversation I had this week was with my boss… not the supervisors I work with on a daily basis, but the “big” boss who does the hiring & firing, and who approves things like maternity leave. Although he’d heard through the grapevine that I am pregnant, I had not actually sat down to discuss it with him prior to this. I was afraid that it would be awkward, but he was very supportive and agreeable to whatever telework, leave plans, etc. I thought were best. Basically I am planning to start teleworking full-time around the last month of my pregnancy (starting the week before Christmas), do that up until I go into labor and then take the three months after you are born off. This should put me back at work around the May timeframe.

One thing my boss also mentioned was that, if I wanted, working part-time is also an option. Obviously that would have a lot of financial ramifications on us though, so I’m going to give that a lot more thought. Honestly I’ve already given the topic of “having it all” — i.e. a career and a family — a lot of thought, both during this pregnancy & even before that. It amazes me how some women manage to pull it off so smoothly (or so it seems). And I know it’s going to be tougher for us because Dad will have a little over a year of school left when you’re born, plus we don’t have much family in our area to help out… but in the end I’m sure it will be fine; I think it’s going to be something that we’ll have to figure out as we go.

And that is quite enough for now… Since physically I’ve felt pretty much the same these last few weeks, I’ve been focusing these entries on some of the mental/emotional things we’ve been going through to prepare for your arrival. Hope it wasn’t too boring! Until next week, little guy! 🙂

All my love,
Mom

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