Monday, February 14, 2011

To My Valentines

I feel like Hannah can sense that something is coming. She seems extra cuddly. She wakes up in the middle of the night but isn't sick or in pain, she just wants to be held. When I try to put her back to bed, she tells me, "No, Mommy. Sit!" and points back to the rocking chair.

I don't know how to tell her that everything will be OK. It might be hard at first, but we'll make it work. I don't know how to tell myself that.

When I give up on getting her to bed (or the following night, when she gives up on me getting her to bed) we call for Dada. He comes in and works his magic and gets her back to sleep. Watching my amazing husband be such an incredible daddy makes it almost worth the exhaustion I know we'll both feel tomorrow.

And I am so completely filled with love for him and for my cuddly little girl today. Happy Valentine's Day to the loves of my life (including the tiniest love of my life that I get to meet this week).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tipping Point

All I can think about lately is how to proceed with the final days of this pregnancy. Induce sooner or later? (I seem to have completely discounted the fact that I can go into labor on my own. I'm not gonna lie. After 81 weeks of combined pregnancy, I have lost a lot of faith in my uterus taking the initiative.)

40wks pregnant with Hannah

And then last night I spilled hot chocolate on myself. I've done a pretty good job of bending over, picking up a toddler and her toys, sitting down on the ground, hopping back short, I thought that I was pretty agile these days, in spite of my gigantic size and odd shape. But having really hot fluids covering your body makes you painfully aware of how long it takes you to get up and get out of your clothes. So I have reconsidered that thought. Anyway, the whole thing was messy and to say I was really frustrated would be quite the understatement.

39 wks pregnant with M

The worst part about it all, I am down to just a handful clothes that still fit (maternity clothes are really bad for being overpriced and poorly made, this time around I resolved to avoid purchasing anymore than I absolutely had to). And I just spilled hot chocolate on my only maternity jeans. As I ripped them off, I figured I'd just put on my sweatpants for the evening (my wonderful, always comfy no matter how fat I get sweatpants). Then I remembered that they were peed on this morning when Hannah woke up early and I tried to cuddle with her for a while to see if she'd fall back asleep instead of our usual morning diaper/clothe/play schedule. I had nothing warm to wear. As my poor husband offered his sweatpants and I pathetically but happily accepted, I realized that maybe the universe was trying to tell me something. If I am going to continue this pregnancy to 41 weeks, I will need to do it from my house. And probably naked.

Even though the laundry is all done, it appears the damage has also been done. I'm afraid I'm not cut out for those extra four days of pregnancy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

To Induce or Not To Induce

My first daughter was induced at 41 weeks. My second daughter is about to go past due as well. And now I have to decide what to do. My initial plan was to let the pregnancy do its own thing until 41 weeks (when most doctors recommend that you be induced because your risk of complications exceeds the benefits of staying pregnant; natural birth advocates usually disagree. But when it comes to a Stanford University study v. natural birth advocates, I side with the smartypants Standford Doctors and cross my fingers that my due date is accurate). However, at my 39 week appointment, I asked my doctor when in between 40 and 41st week of pregnancy was he on call. The answer was Wednesday (40 wk, 2 d). Is 4 or 5 days worth stressing out about? To that I ask, is the device your child consumes beverages from worth stressing out about? Is the type of diaper your child poops in worth stressing out about? Obviously. When it comes to parenting, nothing seems to escape the realm of stress-worthy. Or failing that, the realm of Something Other Moms Will Judge You For.

Hannah's birthday

Advantages of Inducing on Wednesday (two days past my due date)
  • Hannah can continue to go to daycare while I am at the hospital (Wednesday through Friday), thus minimizing disruption to her schedule (and consequently, my guilt).
  • I can be prepared. I can take off the day before and go shopping, cook some casseroles for the freezer, get my hair or nails done for the last time in a while and eat a gigantic meal the night before.
  • I won't have to buy any more of the super expensive (thanks for nothing, insurance company and your stupid third tier drug list) heart burn medicine that was the only thing that would stop the incredible burning sensation in my chest. My current script will list me until Monday. So I can tough it out with alternative treatments on Tuesday night and be heartburn free on Wednesday.
  • I will for sure have my doctor at the delivery.
  • I can stop wearing maternity clothes. Or at least, the biggest of my maternity clothes which are the only ones that still cover my stomach.
  • I will be minimizing the odds of meconium in the amniotic fluid, which landed Hannah in the NICU for just long enough to stress me out that our entire breastfeeding relationship was doomed.
  • I can eat sushi again sooner. Maybe have a sip of wine or beer. And sleep on my stomach or back.
  • I won't have to worry about going into labor in the middle of the night (luckily, not a huge deal for us, as my parents live close by and can come over and sleep at our place until Hannah wakes up. but still.) or over the weekend (when Hannah wouldn't be able to go to daycare with her wonderful teachers who are pros at making her nap and eat her veggies; also when research has shown you get less experienced medical staff and are more likely to die in the hospital. Of course, I'm pretty sure those studies were specifically about cardiac events. but still).
Disadvantages of Inducing Before I Absolutely Have To (i.e., on Wednesday)
  • I will feel weirdly guilty that Hannah got more time to cook and will wonder if any differences between the girls are related to the fact that I short changed my younger daughter by four days.
  • The baby will have less time to get as fat as Hannah got. And I loved having a 99th percentile baby. I took pride in the fact that I grew and vaginally delivered all 9lbs 2oz and 21.5inches of her. Maybe that is weird and not unlike the way guys probably feel pride when they take a really big dump. But it's still true.
  • I feel (perhaps foolishly) confident that I can stay pregnant until Monday (the 21st) and still have the advantages of a Wednesday delivery.
  • I might go into labor on my own and actually get to see what that is like.
  • Less time to have just one kid to feed, put to bed, entertain and stress out about. Although, who am I kidding? I've stressed out about this second kiddo since she was the size of a period at the end of this sentence. But it does add a different dimension of stress when you can hear the kid crying and their feeding system is no longer on autopilot.
Maybe I'll just go into labor on my own before then and this will be a moot point. But I'm not holding my breath...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What You Take Away

What I love about this photo shoot is what you can't see. You can't see the car trip to the cute little flower shop our photographer thought would make a nice backdrop for the pictures The car trip where my 16 month old nearly clawed her way out of a five point harness, outsmarted the child-safety locks on the door, and escaped my moving Civic to achieve her ultimate goal of "Up Pease, More Elmo, Outside, Juice, Mommy, PEEEEASE!!" I just watched her in horror and amazement while my stomach competed with my face for the Source of Greatest Discomfort. I was fighting off a cold that was making my sinuses want to die, while my pants were undoubtedly suffocating my unborn child. Meanwhile, I was trying to get last-minute directions from the photographer, which is hard for me because I have some sort of disorder where things like "North, across from, before, intersection" just blend together into some cacophony of, "you will never find this place, just pull the car into a ditch and cry." I wanted to just quit and never leave my house again. During the way-too-public-for-my-comfort-level shoot, I felt like everyone was watching me and judging me for some crime I was oblivious to committing. I was so traumatized by the whole thing that I had trouble falling asleep that night just thinking about it.

But when the photographer sent me the proofs, all I could see was the culmination of 38 weeks of love I'd already put into being a mom of two sweet little girls. I saw my little family captured in the moments before we would meet our newest member. I saw what was really important: not the every day stress of being a parent, not the doubts and insecurities, not even the "no, mommy!'s" that Hannah has so recently perfected (serious face, finger shake and all). What I saw was just the overwhelming love and joy and sweetness. What I love about these pictures is what I love about parenting, the way the difficulties can just melt away in one beautiful moment, leaving behind nothing but giggles and hugs and love.