How My Priorities Have Changed Since Getting Pregnant

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Having gotten knocked up later in life, I can say with confidence I do not envy anyone younger than me bringing a baby into this world. It turns out I’m, like, a pregnancy champ, so I might be a bit biased. But I’m also mature, and content, and wealthy, and married to a great man, and not entirely complaint-free but close. It’s as though all our fertile stars were aligning to kick me into something I always wanted to do, but didn’t want to do myself, and it couldn’t have come at a better time in our lives.

Before I miscarried in 2016 (don’t be sad, we’re not), I went into moderate panic mode over our whole life situation. We were living in a camper, which was fine, but I immediately began throwing things out and making room for baby clothes and a crib. I had a new life plan and baby-friendly budget out in about 30 seconds, and I started researching different states’ 529s. I felt incredibly clueless and unprepared, and that was not at all pleasant.

This time I still feel incredibly clueless (like, who knew moles grow and change during pregnancy? Or anything about Braxton Hicks?), but not at all unprepared. We’ve got a car seat, a place for baby to sleep, a variety of cloth diapers, and a burning desire not to work until traditional retirement age. We are set.

So what’s changed?

Honestly, not much.

I got off Facebook. I know there are other social media platforms out there, but Facebook stopped feeling like I was even interacting with humans. It’s all ads and memes and videos of people I don’t know doing things I don’t care about. Not to mention I don’t give a shit what Friends or CSI or Fox News character anyone would be. I mean, really, we’ve all got better things to do with our time. Note: we are soon be an entirely Facebook-free family, so if you want to keep up with us, better subscribe to this blog, or follow us on Instagram or Twitter.

I have unfollowed everyone I don’t know on Instagram with the exception of some van dwellers and full-time RVers. I need inspiration for our future life. You know, in a van that will pull an Airstream, but also sail to Antarctica.

I stopped tying and untying my shoes. All my shoes are slip-ons whether they were made that way or not. PRODUCTIVITY OVERLOAD.

I’m doing everything less and reading more. I am literally in the middle of five books right now and just finished a sixth last weekend. I read financial independence books on slow nights at work, the pregnancy and parenting books in the mornings or while sitting in waiting rooms, and the fictions to wind down before bed. I’ve read more in the last seven months than maybe the last seven years. Next up? Harry Potter.

I stopped running when North Dakota got so cold and snowy last fall, but I’ve substituted Kegels instead. When I get that thousand yard stare mid-conversation you’ll know what’s going on.

I ran right out and opened baby’s first high yield savings account. It’s had exactly $0.09 in it since September. Live it up, babe! When it gets to $3,000 I’ll move it over to a brokerage account. Toys highly discouraged, money very much appreciated.

t work I respectfully decline doing chest compressions during a code. I say that, but I was forced into them two weeks ago. I got compliments on my spread-eagle.

64 oz? That’s for Quakers. I drink a gallon of water every day.

I am making an extreme effort to take the word ‘hate’ out of my vocabulary.

I get legitimately sad when I catch a glimpse of my tampons, or of my NuvaRing stash in the fridge. At this 36-weeks-point I’m happy to stay pregnant forever.

I started drinking milk. I’m not sure I have ever drank a glass of white milk my entire life. They tried to force me to drink it in kindergarten but I complained to my mom and she said “Just tell them you’re allergic.” No one bothered me after that day.

I stopped drinking coffee. I cut my daily allotment in half when I found out I was Gregnant, but I had said allotment on the way to our anatomy ultrasound and omg it was terrible. Baby’s heart was racing and it wouldn’t stop moving and kicking and punching. The US tech had to move on in hopes baby would slow down enough to get a look at its organs. I stopped cold turkey that day. Luckily I don’t have an addictive nature (except when it comes to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, amiright?) so physically it’s fine. I just miss it so much. Sometimes I sneak a sip or two of Greg’s and dream of the day I can drink it ad lib. Note: I do drink a daily cup of black or green tea to keep my mind sharp.

I’ve got to make serious bending over choices. A penny? Nah, bro. Seven nickels? Hell yes I’m going downtown! Jokes, I picked up a penny yesterday. #financialfreedom

I basically despise all men who aren’t family but are close to me in age and don’t have children. Don’t look at me, don’t try to make small talk with me. I feel like the Hell Bitch – if you get too close I’m going to kick you in the mouth. I’m sure there is a perfectly (bio)logical explanation for this, so I don’t feel like this is a real negative. I’m crazier than ever about my Gregory, but those other men can kindly eff off.

So what hasn’t changed?

The need to settle down. Okay, the lack of the need to settle down. I definitely feel like I’m nesting, but I’m stacking my nest with bits of twine and coin, rather than a reliable roof over our baby’s head. Our life plans are as much in the air as they always are, and it hasn’t bothered us at all until a couple of nights ago when our landlords (who we love) told us they’d like to keep us here year-round. Then it occurred to us that we don’t actually have a permanent place to live, or any plans to settle permanently somewhere to acquire one. I’ve got a great job opportunity here in Tucson in winter and we love going back to North Dakota every fall to help harvest. Do we keep paying rent even when we’re not living here to secure our rental, or do we buy another nice, used camper and stay truly mobile? In true Scarlett fashion we’ve decided to think about this tomorrow, or in a couple of months to see what becoming a trio is actually like. I’m leaning hard toward another camper. Anyone selling one?

My desire to travel. It’s stronger than ever and I’m already making lists of where we can go with a new babe. You can get the yellow fever vaccine at birth, right?

My aversion to spending money on things. Someone at work told me “As much as you’re working, you’ll be able to buy your baby golden shoes.” They obviously don’t know who they’re dealing with. We’ve spent a grand total of $14.50 on this babe (a stocking cap in Poland, and unopened nipple pads and two used bottles from Goodwill), and just $2 on a thrift store delivery/nursing bra for me. I refuse to promote mindless consumerism, and choose instead to find as much as I can used to offset the impact this baby will inevitably have on Mother Earth. I had a minimal-impact baby shower when I was in Oklahoma and got a slew of hand-me-downs, from cloth diapers to high chairs to a pack-n-play to books to teeny tiny newborn onesies. We’re not finding out gender, but if you’ve got anything you’d like to get rid of, I’m all belly.

Eating well and staying active. I’m still hiking and walking and circuit training, though planks and squats have gotten progressively more difficult. And sure, I have my weak moments, but I haven’t once used the excuse I’m eating for two, and don’t think I’ve gained a pound outside of my uterus. I even managed to avoid the gestational diabetes in spite of being old, Native American, and having immediate diabetic family members. That was my #1 pregnancy goal, outside of a healthy babe at the end. #winning

My need to take care of the planet. I’ve really started looking at things differently since taking my offspring’s future into account. Like individual yogurts, those little peanut butters I used to eat at work, and anything plastic that can’t be recycled. All of those things we consume are just piling up in our children’s landfills, and along their roads, and in their oceans. Think about that next time you use a plastic medicine cup to give your patient meds, or when you take a plastic straw or styrofoam cup or plastic grocery bag. Is your children’s future worth your present convenience? Of course it isn’t. Buy in bulk, recycle what you can, and ditch the ridiculous American “convenience” mentality.

Our pursuit of financial independence. I scheduled myself five nights a week until the end of my second trimester and maxed out my 401k in just five paychecks. My goal for the rest of 2019 is to fully fund next year’s IRAs, HSA, expense and travel funds. I firmly believe in securing our own oxygen masks before helping others. We will continue to save and invest as we have been, and I’ll keep an open mind for the future, but I’m not earmarking anything for this baby in terms of first car or college fund or whatever else America tells you you should provide for children when they have every ability to earn it themselves. We will teach this babe the power of hard work and savings, and show it the way to financial freedom instead of handing it over to them. Greg and I are workers, and I think should either of us have been given a full ride in life we would not be the independent savers we are today. Welcome to real life, kid!

And finally, our number one priority in life: The pursuit of free time. We will provide food, water, shelter, love, security, and all the time we can spare. Babies and kids don’t need things or money mindlessly handed to them. Less is more, except when it comes to attention. We are fortunate and grateful to have the means and ability, if we choose, for both of us to take extended baby (‘-aternity’, if you will) leave and for one of us to always be home with baby. Make hay while the sun shines, people, because babies don’t keep.

G.Hammer and I are looking forward to baseball games with little Cubs jerseys, birding at an even slower pace, revisiting all our national parks and seeing parts of them we haven’t seen in years or ever, and of course swearing this little Jr. Ranger in the first chance we get. Minimum age 5?! Minutes, maybe.

Seriously, it took all my willpower not to buy the tiniest Jr. Ranger vest and hat they had at Channel Islands NP. If your little ranger has outgrown theirs we’d love to have it. But not that sexist pink crap. Real rangers wear green, y’all.

Pending uneventful delivery, stay tuned for an update in a few weeks months to see how my priorities will have changed since becoming Warcken³.

How did your life change after getting knocked up?

2 thoughts on “How My Priorities Have Changed Since Getting Pregnant

  1. Well, prior to getting “Knocked up” I quit smoking and haven’t smoked since!! Opposite of you I do spoil the heck out of my kids and buy them way to much 😦 , but they have chores and at 16 years old are expected to have PT jobs to learn responsibility and how to make their own $. I love to read your blog and keep up with your adventures. Miss you and best of luck pushing that babe out after all those Kegels!

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