Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When you least expect it.

I have about five posts stewing in my head (or more, we'll find out when this is done), but not the motivation or time to write them all.  So here is your brain dump.  Read it quick so it doesn't attract flies.  They are not in order of importance.  I think you'll know what I mean.

1.  Of course, top on my mind is 35 WEEKS.




Apparently I was too busy trying to snap a quick picture in the work restroom without looking like a creep to remember to smile.  I'll make this quick.  Up 41 pounds.  Sleeping well but require 5 pillows and our poor pup is banned upstairs because he was waking me up too much.  The heat wipes me out, but now that I've accepted that I get very little done when it's hot (or, really, ever) things seem much better.  I get random, crippling muscle pains for a day or two then things return to normal.

2.  Monday was our 7th anniversary.  I finally replaced the hubs wedding ring, which he lost over 4 years ago.  I was able to get a ring that looks like just like his original wedding band (which was pretty unique to begin with).  I was psyched.  As for the anniversary, it was low key and very much representative of our life right now.  Dinner with MJ.  Ate some cake on our front porch.  Chatted with our neighbor.  You, internet, don't get to hear me gush about this guy, he got that in a card I wrote him.  But I will tell you this.  I am a lucky, lucky girl.  I found myself a good man.  I marvel at the ride we've been on, and everything waiting for us in the future.  I marvel at the life we've built.  The family we've made. 

3.  Monday was also the day that I found a guy I used to date had died.  Apparently I don't read the newspaper or ever look at Facebook, because if I did I would have figured this out three years ago.  He died three years ago.  And I never knew.  We had always kept somewhat in touch.  We had exchanged a few emails a couple months before he died.  I had even glanced at his Facebook page a couple times, but figured he never updated it and apparently never read the comments.  Does anyone else ever think about old boyfriends?  Wonder what they're up to?  Every time he flashed into my mind I figured he was probably married.  Had kids.  I hoped he was happy.  And then I found out that the whole time he'd been dead.  Honestly, I was a total mess.  Here's his obituary:  http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/mpgraziano.htm.  On top of it all, it was our anniversary, a horrible time to mourn the loss of someone else you used to date.  Particularly because... it's complicated.  We dated when DH and I were on a break, seeing other people.  Anyway.  That's almost certainly more than you need to know, internet.  But I do feel the need to write it out.  He was such a nice guy, and he should be off having babies and building ridiculous contraptions.  Also, his mom shouldn't have to experience this.  She just shouldn't.  I know she went through it 3 years ago, but in my mind everyone is just now finding out about this.  It sucks, basically.

4.  The real world has been hitting me hard this week.  DH works in a job where he experiences little children drowning.  I work in a job where I have to hope that mines built now won't pollute the environment for 2,000 years, as some old Roman mines still do.  30 year olds die in plane crashes.  Lots of gun violence in St. Paul this year, I'm tired of hearing about shootings.

5.  In an effort not to dwell on bad things, I'll tell you some of the good things.  We're having a baby soon, have I mentioned that?  MJ is amazing (I think she'll get her own post).  Some kind soul told me I look cute today.  There are lots of annoying things that people say to pregnant women, but telling them they look cute has got to be one of the kindest.  If you're ever at a loss for what to say to a pregnant lady?  Tell them they look cute.  It will likely make their day.  Also?  We met a family at a restaurant the other night who may just be our parent soul mates.  I felt a little like I was flirting, or something.  Their daughter is 3 days older than MJ, and the two of them became instant friends and started running around the restaurant like crazy people.  She is pregnant (not the daughter) and due any day now.  So we shyly exchanged digits, and we'll see what comes of it.  It's weird to pick-up on other parents, but the skills are just the same.

6.  I meant to talk, somewhere in here, about work.  That may still get its own post.  I'm guessing it says something about me that I now find work the least interesting part of my day.  I have become a subpar employee, at least compared to my earlier work ethic.  I now just don't care as much.  There is more to say here, but I've been yawning for at least the past 3 bullets, so it is bed time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Round Two

Today I am 34 weeks.  That sounds unbelievably close to the end.  It doesn't feel that close, but it sounds like it.  Time has slowed down.  Up until about 32 weeks, this pregnancy sped by.  I felt wonderful, I enjoyed being pregnant and I looked forward to what was to come.

Now I'm starting to feel some dread.  I'm starting to feel uncomfortable.  The heat is largely responsible.  And not being able to bend over.  Those two characteristics are responsible for most of the negative feelings I'm currently having towards being pregnant.  Last night, with the thermometer still hovering at ~90 degrees, I left the comfort of our air conditioned family room to the non-air conditioned kitchen.  I made myself a rootbeer float, the entire time thinking

"I am dying.  I am dying.  I am dying."

I knew, somewhere deep down, that this wasn't true.  But the heat seems to take away any capacity I have for rational thought.  Our 109 year old house has radiator heat, so there is no easy way to install central air.  We have a little room unit for MJ's room, my room, and our family room.  If MJ was content to stay in one of these areas my job would be easier, but she is not.  So I try to play along and be a rational human being, but it seems I am unable.

The other dread I'm starting to feel is about having a newborn.   If you've read this blog for a while, you'll know that this is a very wanted baby.  A very longed for baby.  A very tried for baby.  But I still feel a little dread.  Last time around, I felt much more dread.  I didn't like babies.  I didn't even like little kids, and figured they'd be pretty uninteresting until they were about 10.  In reality, I really enjoyed having a newborn; MJ was an easy newborn, it's just the other 2.5 years that she's been not so easy, but totally interesting.  So while I have a more firm understanding of the upsides, I also have a more firm understanding of the downsides.

I also have some fear about some of the things I feel committed to.  Last time I was committed to natural birth and breastfeeding.  I didn't do real great at either of them.  So this time around, I find myself even more committed.  From reading other mom blogs, I feel like a bit of a rarity on those fronts.  It seems like those moms who had c-sections last time had a scheduled c-section this time.  Those who had trouble breast feeding seem to not be doing it at all this time, or to be not as insistent that it will work. Instead, I find myself thinking I've learned from my mistakes and will definitely do better this time.  Am I setting myself up for even more failure and disappointment?  Having committed to a VBAC, I'm slightly terrified of failing at it.

The saving grace through all of this, is a better understanding that none of it matters as much as it seems to at the time.  MJ's birth experience and my breast feeding prowess don't define our relationship.  Despite what brochures at the pediatricians office tell you, there are other, far more important, aspects to the person she is becoming.  Do they play a role?  Probably.  I don't want to fully downplay their significance, but I think that part of the reason women play up their significance so much is that they are so damn hard.  So if they're that hard, they must matter a lot, right?  Otherwise, why bother?

To me, the reason they matter has more to do with insurance purposes.  We all pay a lot for insurance, but how often do we really use it?  How often does it matter?  For most people, not much, but if you need it you're sure glad you have it.  Similarly, the reason to avoid a c-section is not so much about the birth experience but about those rare bad outcomes.  The reason to breastfeed is that the antibodies might save your kid from a life threatening illness.  There are other, touchy feely reasons, but it's not like those touchy feely moments don't exist if you give your kid a bottle.  It's not like you're not ecstatic to meet your baby even if they don't come through your vagina.

So anyway, yes, I'm committed, but no, in the end it probably won't matter that much.  Ask me in two months time how that's working out for me.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Welcome, summer.

I wrote a post a week ago and never posted it.  And that was about a week later than I had intended to post something.  So I'm a bit behind.

Here I sit at 33.28 weeks.  With a photo from 32.86 weeks.  Having not written since 31 weeks.



I have finally gotten.... tired.  It hit pretty suddenly, I think.  I knew I'd been slowing down, in the sense that I wasn't walking as much as I used to because my hips hurt at some point.  But last week I realized that I couldn't do everything I wanted to (i.e. couldn't get everything done that I wanted to because I felt like crap when I did.  If I didn't stop myself and force myself to just sit down and rest, I would get so tired I felt like passing out.)

Part of it, undoubtedly, is that summer hit last weekend.  The temperatures got into the 90's, and I became an uber bitch.  I realized that the heat just puts me over the edge.  Usually I can deal with one thing well, two things start to get rough and three is when I become bitchy.  Being 33 weeks pregnant, I'm already dealing with one thing.  So if MJ gets whiny I am less patient than usual.  But if it's hot, and MJ gets whiny, I'm just a terrible person.  I didn't realize this until the end of the weekend, so I spent much of the weekend being super bitch.  Next time I may just insist on A/C and then those around me will be better off all around.

 I am looking very pregnant these days (see above if you need confirmation).  Everybody stares now, and looks like they want to strike up a conversation.  This is most common on the elevator.  Out of the corner of my eye, I can see the person next to me staring, looking like they want to say something.  Because everyone wants to know.  You're the automatic conversation starter.  "When are you due?  What are you having?  How are you feeling?"  No one can resist, so they stare, waiting for an opening to strike up a conversation, and I try to stay absorbed in my own world so I don't have to have the same conversation 8 times a day.

I love the question "Are you going to work right up until you deliver?"  The alternative, when you have a toddler, is to not work and to stay home, presumably with your toddler.  And I guarantee that chasing a toddler at 40 weeks pregnant sounds way more exhausting than sitting at my desk all day.  So yes, I will "work" until the end, unless that no longer sounds doable.  I made it clear to DH this week that I am going to be needing more help.  That I will be doing less around the house.  I think he is starting to get it.

Let's see, other things pregnancy related.  32 week appointment (last week) went well.  Nothing to report.  I was up 36 pounds but haven't weighed myself since.  We met with our doula last week, which felt very productive.  It got us thinking about all the delivery things again.  By this point in last pregnancy I was obsessively reading books about labor and delivery.  A lot of Ina May Gaskin was happening.  And this time, I'm just not really thinking about it.  Avoidance, maybe?  I'm not sure that all of that focus did me much good last time, so perhaps a more relaxed attitude will be a good thing.  Sleep has become... intermittent.  I've been spending more nights in the guest room bed, because all the tossing and turning of the dog and the hubs seems to keep me awake these days.  I sleep well when I sleep by myself, but I think anything that wakes me up even a little bit reminds me that I have to pee and sends me to the bathroom.

The nursery still isn't complete, mainly because I've been busy?  Distracted?  Lazy?  Probably all of those adjectives work.  I get a little obsessive about planning the nursery.  It's probably my favorite baby planning activity.

This week I drove up to the Iron Range for a two day work trip. 


I spent a lot of time looking at mines.  It's something I find fascinating, particularly in person.  I struggled to take pictures that could capture the scale of these mines.  I didn't really succeed.  The pit in this pictures is about a mile across and 600 feet deep.  And man made.  I find these things beautiful, in a totally weird sort of way.  It was a great trip, but made for a busy week.

 Then I returned and landed myself at the OB's office due to uterine cramping.  After being totally freaked out, and doing some testing, we decided it was from all the "off-roading" I did driving around these mines.  All is fine, the muscle cramps have mostly gone away, and little girl is kicking away.

A friend of mine, whose due date was two days after mine, had her little boy this week.  All seems to be well, but it was very sobering to me.  It was also fascinating to see how "normal" he looks.  There's a full-fledged baby in there, something I can't really wrap my head around, despite having been through this before.