Sunday, July 31, 2011

One month from today... my due date!  Having been through this before, I have no doubt that this baby will NOT arrive on his due date.  In fact, I am expecting a September baby even though his date is August 31.  BBZ was a week late, so I am expecting the same from his brother.
There are so many things that are different about this time around.  Everyone keeps saying how hard it must be because of the crazy hot weather we have had, but I am actually doing ok just staying inside or being near water if we do play outside.
The hardest parts about this pregnancy are 1) I can't sit on the floor and play with BBZ for very long and 2) I can't carry BBZ far or hold him on my lap very well.  I hate these facts.  I miss playing with him and holding him and having plenty of room on my lap for him.  Those are the parts I am most looking forward to having back.

Also, there's my job.  I have only been in my new position since January, so leaving for 12 weeks this time is much, much harder than last time.  I have a lot more responsibilities and more things I am accountable for, so therefore there is much more to get in place to be away for such a long time.  I've been trying really hard to avoid stressing about it, but there were 2 nights last week that I woke up and just could not stop thinking about everything I have to get in place.  I have to remind myself that things will be fine.  They have to be!

Mostly, I want to be able to not even think about work while I am off with LBZ.  I don't want to feel like things are undone.  I want to have everything in place.  It's almost like I am nesting at work!

Which is also pretty funny.  I'm not really nesting at home.  This time, compared to last, I know that there are things that don't need to be in place when he gets home.  And I know that I will have to do some things after he gets here.  It's pretty funny how relaxed I am now compared to my last post.  It's amazing what a little time can do!

We have been so busy over the last few weeks.  We celebrated by Grandpa's 90th birthday!  I think he looked better than he has in a long, long time.

BBZ and his daddy looked great too!

This is my most immediate family with my grandparents in the middle.  My mom, her twin sister and their kids and grand kids make up the rest of us.  The only person missing is my dad, who was unable to get away from work for the weekend.  It was a fun day!

My grandparents moved into a senior living apartment building earlier this year and the move has been hard on them.  It seemed to be hardest on my grandpa, who had to give up his shop for a small 2-bedroom apartment.  After hearing how much this was affecting him, one of the administrators had an old office converted into a shop for him and anyone else who wants to use it.  Here, my grandpa can build his airplanes and continue to do what he loves.  I really believe that this is why he seemed so happy at his party.

Since my mom was in town, we were able to go out!  My friend celebrated her 30th birthday, so N and I went for a couple of hours.  It's so nice to have my family close by!  There were a few pregnant ladies at the are 2 of us!

That was last weekend.  This weekend we had not one, but 2 more birthday parties!  One was the first birthday of the friend whose 30th we just celebrated.  It was outside, which I was worried about, but a huge (and much needed) storm came through right before the party and made it much more tolerable!

Who doesn't love candy cigarettes??  Well, they call them candy sticks these days.

Waiting patiently for his turn at the pinata.

Candy, candy, candy!!!

And a whistle.

After this party, we headed to the next one!  This one was at a pool, so we were able to get in and cool off a bit.  We couldn't stay long since we were all pretty beat, but there was time for cookie cake!  This is the 3rd birthday of one of the 2008 babies.  6 of us were pregnant in 2008 and 4 of us are pregnant now with round 2!  It's fun to have so many kids who are so close in age.

Here's BBZ asking A's daddy when they plan to cut the cookie cake.  You know, the important stuff :)

Here's BBZ, A, and B who were all born within 3 month of each other.

Here they are!  BBZ at 5 days old on the far left, B in the middle at 1 month old, and A on the right at 2 months old.  We were at the shower of the 5th baby this day back in September 2008.

It was a great party!

Complete with ring pops...mmm.

Overall, I really feel great.  I am still worried about some things, but I have an overwhelming sense of peace about the baby and how our lives will just adjust to his coming into them.  Maybe it's because I have shifted my freaking out to my work life instead of home life.  My mind can only freak out about 1 things at a time, apparently :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This is so hard, and it’s only going to get harder.

Yes folks, I am not feeling overly optimistic today, so please brace yourselves for a whiny, bummer, not-so-happy post where I feel ever so sorry for myself. It doesn’t happen often, but today it is.
Being pregnant while raising a toddler is really, really hard. As though the pregnancy tireds, big belly, waking every 2 hours to pee and short temper weren’t bad enough, add a toddler on the verge of the (worse than terrible twos) threes, and you have one worn out mama.

Let me say along with this, that I really don’t mean to complain. I love that we are having another baby. I love that BBZ is on the verge of being the big brother that I can tell he so desperately wants to be. I love where our family is going, even though to say I am freaking out a little is a HUGE understatement.

I’ve never been one to apologize for my feelings. I know there are people out there who have 3, 4, and even 5 kids who probably had it worse than me, but that doesn’t make my feelings about my situation any less valid. They are feelings, after all, and we don’t always have control over how we feel. We just feel, you know?

I am really starting to freak out. I want to practice many of the attachment parenting practices I did with BBZ with his brother, but I probably won’t be able to, at least not to the same extent.

BBZ never cried until he was about 10 weeks old…when he was with me anyway. When he was with anyone besides me (and my boobs) he cried, but as long as I was nearby, he seriously never cried. I know the reason is because anytime he wanted anything, he had it…immediately.

I nursed him one day from sun up to sun down, I swear. I did a lot of crying that day, but he sure didn’t.

It is very hard for me to accept the fact that I am not going to be able to provide for this baby in the same way. I also know that I will not be able to attend to BBZ the same way as I do now, which is hard for me to imagine. Is he spoiled? Perhaps, but he is also a pretty happy and well rounded little boy. He does have to wait sometimes and when he does we talk about how it can be hard, and hopefully he is taking mental notes because he will be doing a lot of waiting for me in about 6 weeks or so.

I spoke to a friend who also had a “needy” first born about how the heck people do this and she said that the older one has no choice but to learn to adjust and the younger one learns not to become so needy. I guess this is why I want two children, really.

I know that only children can develop a sense of entitlement after never having to share their parents or take turns with a sibling. Now I’m not bashing parents with only children, only expressing an observation. My niece and my nephew are both only children and there are great things about that fact. There are also great things about having 2 children, which is what I am desperately trying to focus on since I am starting to, well, freak out about ending out first born’s only childness.

But really, I want BBZ to understand that he is older and can do more for himself. It’s so interesting how a child can be so determined to be independent while simultaneously needing mommy for every. Single. Thing. I want him to learn what having a baby brother will teach him about the world. How the world isn’t always at his beck and call, and that waiting for something can make it that much more special.

But the baby? That’s another story. He really shouldn’t have to wait for anything. If he wants me, he should have me whenever he wants. I am not one who believes that he will learn to sooth himself or that he will just have to figure it out. As a parent, I believe it is my job to comfort him and give him all of the things he needs during those first few months of life, without question.

The thought of not being able to do that is so scary to me.

And not only not being bale to do it, but expecting me to be all of these things to everyone is freaking me out too! How the hell am I going to do this?


Those of you who know me personally know that I cannot stay negative for very long. I remember having feelings somewhat like this before BBZ was born. Crazy buyer’s remorse. I wondered what I was thinking bringing a baby into the world and how there was no way I could do it all…and then he was here, and we just made it work.

I know we will make it work. Maybe he will be a great sleeper. Maybe BBZ will truly understand that the baby needs me and why. Maybe both boys will be so in sync, that I might be able to nap at the same time they do. Maybe this child will be an early sleeper and give me plenty of sweet night time with my night owl. This is a lot of “what ifs”, but the point is that I know deep down that everything will be just fine.

Like how the hell am I going to get 2 children out of the house and myself to work every day? Especially on days like today when BBZ was extra slow-moving. Whoa boy, and work? How the hell am I going to be able to go back to work again at all?

Geez. I better just stop now.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Two Years Ago Tomorrow...

. . . I went to a hospital for the second time after being sent home by a man who said my baby was "sick, but not critically ill".

. . . my 9-month old experienced the first of two surgeries he would have before the age of 14 months.

. . . I typed a long blog post detailing the events of the previous few days.

. . . I had to hold down my baby while doctors tried to help him.

. . . I pumped as my baby was beginning his surgery, and felt an overwhelming feeling of peace.

. . . I was right to feel that everything was going to be ok.

These Days . . .

. . . I remember exactly what it felt like to see him wake up the next morning.

. . . I remember exactly how his little face looked at me to rescue him while the doctors tried to help.

. . . I cry when I re-read the blog post I wrote.

. . . I laugh when I re-read this post, about a large headed baseball man and his really bad timing.

. . . my son is anxiously awaiting the arrival of his little brother.  And also his birthday, which to him seem to coincide.

. . . I lay down with him until he falls asleep, every single night.

. . . I argue with him for 20 minutes about brushing his teeth.

. . . I negotiate my way out of Target with $.99 stickers as opposed to a $44.99 Lego set.

. . . he has mastered the potty, with an occasional accident here and there.

. . . I smell his hair and breathe him in and remember how I felt 2 years ago tomorrow.

. . . I promise again to never take a moment with him for granted. . .even the hard ones.

. . . he loves to show off his scar, just like my dad predicted he would.

I must say, it looks much better than I imagined it would 2 years ago!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

To Doula or not to Doula...that is (or was) the question.

I don’t think I have blogged much about what I hope to experience during and after the birth of Mr. LBZ.  This actually surprises me because his upcoming birth and what I hope to gain from it has been on my mind since I found out I was pregnant.

You see, my birth experience with BBZ left much to be desired.  For a long time I attributed the negative experience I remember to the fact that I got the epidural, which led to a snowball effect of interventions, something that I have come to learn is honestly quite common.

As I continued to do some self-exploration, I realized that it wasn’t the experience itself that left such an emotional wound inside me, but rather the way I was treated.

For a while I thought that the 3rd degree tear, the months of healing, the scar tissue and the fact that I felt all of the stitches I received was the reason I had such a wound from the experience, but that wasn’t it at all.

I was shopping at a local breastfeeding support and resale shop recently and while checking out I chatted with the woman working there and learned that she was a certified childbirth educator.  She shared some information with me and asked me to join a birth class she was holding there on Tuesday evenings.  As much as I wanted to attend, weekly babysitters from 7-9pm are just not realistic for us, so I declined and went on my way.

A few days later, a friend from LLL posted an article about childbirth on Facebook.  I commented something about how I hoped to heal some wounds that I was holding onto from my first birth experience and she suggested the very same class, as she apparently is friends with the woman I bumped into at the store.  Small world!

In that comment she tagged the woman’s facebook page, which I visited and “liked”.  That prompted the woman to then contact me and offer both individual classes in our home or doula services.  After some phone tag we finally connected.

It was during this hour-long phone call that I came to realize that it really wasn’t the trauma of the physical effects of the birth I was holding on to, but rather the emotions of how I was treated during the last 20 minutes or so of the ordeal.

I am going to try and put into words what it felt like.  I describe in the story how the room filled with people, they put oxygen on my face, that the woman picked up the phone next to me and said they were going to do a “forcep delivery with variables” and I had no idea what they were talk about.  No one talked to me.  No one even looked at me.  At that moment, I wasn’t even a person.  I was a being on a table and they were all doing their job…the way I do at my computer.  Without even a thought about what I, as a person, was thinking or feeling.

I remember pushing hard, the way my doctor asked me to, then not knowing if I should push again.  I waited for her to tell me and she didn’t.  I pushed but I didn’t know if I was supposed to or not.  Then suddenly, he was here.

They handed him to me in an attempt to distract me from the pain I was experiencing while they stitched me up.  I saw him, I heard him, but I did not feel what I expected to feel for my newborn baby.  I felt disconnected, unsure of him, and unsure of what I was supposed to do.  I didn't even know that I was supposed to be thinking of delivering the placenta.  I actually forgot that part and wondered why they were still working on me.  No one told me what was happenning.

As the room emptied and I was there with my new son, my mom and my husband I didn’t feel the way I thought I would feel.  I felt…powerless.  Utterly stripped of any power I had over my body, over myself, and over the way my son was born.  Some people have described a term called “birth rape” which I don’t really like.  But rape is not about sex, it’s about power.  The powerlessness I felt was like nothing I have ever felt before, and it is a feeling that I continue to associate with my birth experience to this day, although I already feel like I am healing.

While talking with this kind woman on the phone, I realized that it was the loss of power that I was grieving, not the natural birth.  I do want a natural birth and I really believe that I will have that, but it is not what will heal the emotional wounds I have.  Control is what will do that.

I have changed doctors, changed hospitals, read countless beginnings of book (my interesting book-reading habits are another blog for another day) and have had some very serious talks with N about how I need his help to keep control over the situation so I may leave with a feeling of empowerment and connection to the baby that I so desire.  I will not allow what happened to me to happen again.  I am more educated, more prepared, and more confident about what I want and what I deserve as a person and as a human being.

N and I together decided not to hire a doula for our birth experience.  He and I spoke at length about it and feel that we can handle it and have the experience that we both want.  I am so excited to embark on this with him and to know that we will be able to have what we want…no matter how our sweet LBZ physically comes into the world.  Because that is not the issue…the issue is having control and power over the situation.

When I was laboring naturally with BBZ, I felt a connection to N that I hadn’t felt before.  We were a team, and we were doing so well together.  N said that after I got the epidural, he had this uneasy feeling and couldn’t sit still.  I later read that men produce a hormone while his partner is laboring that allows him to deeply connect with her and support his partner.  I believe that N was experiencing this without any way to direct it after the epidural took away the need for his support.  Interesting stuff.

So I’m not sure why I have hesitated to blog about any of this.  I think I wanted to keep my wishes somewhat quiet because I know that when some people hear that a woman hopes for a natural birth that comments can include ones that are not supportive and of the “yeah, right!” nature, and I just didn’t want to expose myself to that.

When I was getting close to BBZ’s birth, I remember thinking that it would be cool to tell people that I did it naturally.  This time, I really don’t care about that.  I hope that I can accomplish this goal mostly because I have seen enough natural birth videos to see the look of pure accomplishment and connection to their baby that each woman feels following her birth experience.  I crave that.  I need to experience that.  It means as much to me as bringing this little man into the world does.  And I know N and I can do it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

What a weekend!

I love, love, love 3-day weekends!  This one is especially great because I slept for almost 12 hours last night!  That is something I would not otherwise be able to do on a Sunday/Monday, so it was awesome.

I have been much more tired lately.  I guess that's typical for the 3rd trimester, but I felt so great there for a while, I think I was in denial that it would ever change.

My friends went camping on Saturday night, but I just could not bring myself to go.  It was 98 degrees, humid as hell, and sleeping in a tent did not sound appealing to me.  N went, so BBZ and I held down the fort.

We didn't waste the god day off though!  We went to the mall where I thought he would want to play on the indoor playground for a while, but he picked out a new firetruck to buy with some money N left for him and wanted to go straight home to play with it.

We headed home, had some lunch, then went to the pool at his school.  It's a HUGE community center with the best outdoor children's pool I have ever been to.  It wasn't very crowded, and there is a while separate play place for little kids, so there were no crazy teenagers fighting for water space.  It was so, so much fun.

We aren't currently members because the cost is a bit high, but it is a month-to-month option, so we might sign up just for the summer.  both kids would get a discount, so with just BBZ it would be about $40/month, but that will probably go down when we factor in savings on a second child's tuition.  It's $28 for a family pass for one day, and you can't just go to the pool, so as long as we went twice/month it would pay for itself.  It's still expensive, but this pool is that awesome.

After a nice, long nap, we headed to my friend Laura's house for some dinner and fireworks.  It was so hot!  It was 90 degrees when I pulled into my driveway at home at 10:54pm.  Ridiculous!

Yesterday we had a bit of a relaxing day.  We wanted to do more, but it was just too hot for me.  We wanted to go downtown for the fireworks, but the heat and later the rain storms stopped us.  It was probably best since I fell asleep so early.

Today I am heading to lunch with my friend who is having a little girl about 2 weeks before this little man is due.  We have been friends since we were about 7 years old.  She is one of my oldest friends!  We were pregnant together with our oldest boys who are 5 weeks apart.  I'm so looking forward to it!

I did a little shopping on Friday evening at a local resale shop and bought a blue maternity shirt for $1.  I love the color and the fit so much I took another belly picture.  I feel like he is really getting big in there! 

(31 weeks, 3 days)

My feelings are all over the place right now.  On one hand, I am so ready to meet this sweet little boy!  And on the other, I am petrified of how his coming into our lives will affect BBZ and our family.  One one hand, I am so ready to be off work for 12 weeks I can hardly stand it!  And on the other hand I am terrified about having things in place and ready for me to be gone.

Ugh.  Only about 8 more weeks to go!  I go through periods of time when I don't even think or worry about anything.  Knowing full well that I had no idea how anything would work out when I was pregnant with BBZ and how things just have and have been amazing.  I know the same is true for this little one, but sometimes the worry takes over!

I'll tell you what though, holding this sweet babe in my arms is only a couple of months away.  It's going to change our lives, and I can't wait to see how!