Thursday, July 29, 2010

Art and Ultrasounds

So, two things: first, a parenting question. How does one delicately go about disposing of the ten to twenty pictures, many of them consisting largely of a few dots on an otherwise blank sheet of scratch paper, produced by their offspring each week? Certainly I save the good ones, but I literally cannot save every single picture from every single Princess coloring book, nor can I frame and cherish every single blurry watercolor, no matter how much effort and pride is involved in its production. The few times I've been found out throwing things away there was much crying and wounded feelings about it, so I've resorted to saving everything in a big pile and then quietly doing away with stuff in the dark of the night when everyone's tucked into bed. This feels sort of sneaky and wrong and not-nice-mother-ish, but what am I supposed to do? Is it ok to continue to let the kids THINK that everything is being saved when in fact much of it is meeting The Big Trash Compactor In The Sky?

The other thing is a doctor's appointment update. The good: baby is measuring about a week ahead for his gestational age, and weighs almost three pounds. That makes me feel good, 'cause my others were always about a week behind where they should have been, growth wise. (Also makes me feel better about how HUGE I am already!) The other good is that I finally got to see the OB that I slightly prefer, and she agreed to be on call for my delivery! I don't dislike the other doc, but this other one is known for being pretty laid back and hands off when it comes to the birthing part, and the nurses at the hospital (as well as my doula!) all said she was the best for water birth, so obviously I was hoping to have her. The other doctor's nice enough and all, but much more traditional in her style of "actively managing" delivery. At least that's what I've gathered.

The bad is that my cervix is shorter yet. It's now 2.9 cm, when a normal, "safe" length is between 4 and 6. So I'm not on bedrest YET, but I'm to continue with my modified bed rest rules, the ones I've kinda given to myself (basically lying down whenever I feel more than one contraction or feel the baby's head starting to engage, drinking water, taking deep breaths, etc) and then we're reevaluating in two weeks based on where my cervix length/dilation is then. If I get sidelined then, that will be two weeks earlier than with the other two... Six weeks of bedrest somehow sounds much more depressing than four!

So keep your fingers crossed that I can be allowed to stay up for at least another month and that the baby doesn't come until he's fully cooked!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Well Isn't That Special

WHOOPS! Seems as though I haven't even turned my computer on in a week! How did that happen? Well, a combination of things: never ending illnesses, heat so stifling that just being near a hot computer was enough to start me sweating, a lot of Braxton-hicks-ing because of all the heat, and subsequently a lot of lying on the couch and taking it easy, and therefore nothing really HAPPENING that was worth blogging, unless my kids setting some kind of world record for marathon Nick Jr. watching is worth noting. MOTHER OF THE YEAR, these last few days, let me tell you. But if all that lounging and laziness has kept me from preterm labor (and it seems it has, so far) well, I call it successful parenting!

But now there is something worth noting, because WHAT THE WHAT?! According to that little ticker thingie up there, it seems that in just under two hours I will be twenty eight weeks pregnant. Entering the third trimester. You guys, there is no trimester after that. Then there is a baby, an actual human baby that lives in our house and sleeps beside my bed and nurses on me and smells like heaven (and also sometimes like puke.)

And it's so strange, because it seems like just a month or two ago it was my twenty fifth birthday, and I was miserably sick with miscarriage-inducing drugs prescribed to help my body let go of an already gone baby- a third already gone baby- and my husband and family had thrown me a surprise party to cheer me up. Which it did, it did, but it still felt like I was just never going to make it to being healthily pregnant ever again. And that was the only birthday present I really wanted, just a promise that I WOULD have a real live baby again someday.

Now I think I will. Even if this baby came tomorrow (and he'd better not) chances are he'd make it, and would one day be in a bassinet by my bed, nursing and all. Or bottle feeding, but who CARES because he would be there, and he would be ours. Speaking of OURS, can I just say that is so fun being pregnant this time with two little kids in the house? And then clarify that I'm actually not being sarcastic?

For one thing, time goes WAAAY faster when you have other people to think about besides your own bloated self. For another, it really is so fun to see things through kids' eyes. Hearing them talk about the baby, and to the baby, sharing their name ideas, singing him songs, picking out little presents, telling me all the ways they're going to "help" take care of him... It gives me a feeling I don't even have a name for, because I've never felt it before. Even when I was pregnant with Eli, Addy was just young enough that she really didn't understand anything until we brought him home. With this baby, they both totally get it, and it's just... I would explain it like this, I guess: I'm not just having Jim's and my baby, this time. I'm having a sibling, a little brother. I'm making our family more complete.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From The Quarantined

Welp, now Jim and I are sick too. No fevers, but we have coughs, congestion, body aches, the whole bag, as do the kids. Literally the day their temperatures started running normal again the sneezing and hysterics of "noses not working" began, so now they've pretty much been sick a solid week. Neither of them are eating well, and I'm so hot I never feel like eating, either, until I'm so hungry my blood sugar is plummeting. So not a lot of cooking is going on around here, is what I'm saying. That's kinda nice, I guess. Not nice: I'm not really a big cereal eater, but it turns out when you don't cook there's not much else to eat.

The kids are getting downright irate about still not feeling well. Addy, especially, keeps yelling at me that she doesn't NEED any medicine because she absolutely IS NOT sick anymore- this after having spent all night keeping me awake with her comings and goings to our bed, alternately moaning and SHOUTING about her stuffy nose and thrashing around in general misery. Eli is responding to his discomfort by being incredibly clinging, and, naturally, completely regressing in toilet training. We've missed several playdates and even a possible trip to the cottage, too, so there's definitely a feeling of sulk going around, adults included. Also: BOREDOM OMG.

I'd love to at least be doing nesting projects for baby, but since it's so hot and I'm trying hard to continue with my taking it easy mantra, not much heavy stuff is going on yet. Jim moved a dresser for me, and my mom kindly took literally twelve boxes of outgrown girl clothes to be stored in her basement, thus allowing me a little more freedom to rearrange toys and stuff (since the baby's nursery has been used the last year or so as a playroom/storage closet.) So it's mostly just a lot of pesky organizing of toys and clothes, really, but that's never my favorite part. I'm more of a scrubber and window washer and picture hanger type.

For me, though, the most worrisome thing still undone is the issue of the baby's NAME. The rest of the stuff, even if I find it mentally irritating, could all technically be done after the baby arrived and it wouldn't really hurt anything. Not like he'll be using the nursery for several months anyways. But the name! He has to have a name before we leave the hospital! And our list so far consists of pathetically few names, none of which I'm really in love with:


I like them all, but I have my issues with them. Wesley is just not wowing me, as much as I like it and like the nickname Wes. Josiah I love, but I don't like the nicknames Jo or Josey for a boy- there's a girl at church named Josey already who's friends with Addy and it just seems like it'd be a little confusing. And Ronin is cool and unusual and all, but there are NO nicknames, likable or otherwise, and one of my caveats of naming has always been that there be a nickname option. So yeah... I know you can't help me clean out my closets to make room to store the dress up clothes bin, but you can tell me your favorite boy names, right?

Friday, July 09, 2010

Fever Pitch

So I think I already mentioned how much my kids currently love anything Spider Man related. I know, I know- they're kinda young and those movies are kind of scary and adult and HEY, IT WASN'T MY IDEA. They seem completely undisturbed by any scariness, however, and are instead fascinated with the idea of "good guys" and "bad guys." I still feel hesitant even about introducing that concept, vague as I sometimes find the lines between good and bad to be. It's like this quote from "The Guleg Archipelago" by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (which I copied down with great earnestness at age seventeen, but still find to be just as piercing as I did then): "If there were only evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were only necessary to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

BUT I digress... We were watching Spider Man 2 tonight over pizza, in a great festival of relief at having brought Addy's temperature down from its terrifying peak of 105.2. Seriously, I had called the hospital's hotline only to hear sobering words like "seizure," and I was THISCLOSE to snatching her to my chest and running her to the ER on my own two feet if she didn't cool off within five minutes. But she did, thank God, and so the only place to which I hurried off was CVS, to get Motrin and Tylenol and Pedialyte and a giant bag of candy (in lieu of a giant bottle of WINE obviously.)

When I got home there was pizza and suddenly normal looking, alert-eyed children asking for Spider Man show!!! and adults sagging with exhaustion and relief, so, obviously we just ate the pizza and watched the Spider Man. And I got to thinking how much I love the music in those movies- it's seriously about half the appeal of them, for me. I wandered out to the computer to look up some of the music videos on YouTube (I actually already own the soundtrack) and the kids of course followed, each of them wanting to see the video that corresponded to their favorite song from the soundtrack. So here they are, Addy's, Eli's, and my favorite songs: can you guess whose is whose?


The good: It finally rained. Like, poured down rain, all night on and off. The air no longer feels like a Death Cloud.

The bad: The rain apparently was violent enough to drill a hole in our roof, as I discovered a leak coming down the wall of our linen closet (ALL OVER THE LINENS) at about eleven last night.

The good: I happened to be rooting around in there to find a clean pillow for Eli because he had completely soaked his through with sweat when his fever broke after going to bed. He woke up crying incoherently that he was all wet, and I at first thought he meant his pull-up, until I realized he was literally laying in a puddle of sweat. Yikes. But anyways, I had just washed all of our sheets a few days ago, so it was unlikely I would even have opened that closet door for another week if I hadn't needed to get clean bedding for him in the middle of the night like that.

The bad: The fevers are still with us, though at least they're being controlled with Tylenol. They just spike back up every four hours, the highest recorded temp being 103. I always get a little freaked out by fevers. Kids act so WEIRD sometimes when they're feverish! It feels wrong not to be rushing them to the hospital to make sure they don't slip into a delirious coma.

The good: I'm still not sick, despite having sweaty sick kids crawling all over me and sleeping in my bed.

The bad: Adelay threw up grape juice all over the couch and the throw pillow this morning.

The good: At least it wasn't the white couch.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

This Heat Rash Is Here To Stay

Oh, where to begin? Well. It's hot here! It's really really hot. Yesterday it hit ninety eight degrees at one point. (My OB: "Really just lay around and take it easy this week while it's so humid. No yard work, no heavy housework." Me: "Oh ok. I guess if I MUST!") It's bearable, as long as you just stay inside or in the water. Being in hot cars is the worst, really, so I kind of just don't want to go anywhere. We were supposed to have a playdate at a little public spray park today, which I was super excited for because I was all prepared to bust out the maternity bathing suit and get in there myself. Alas, both kids were up all night with pretty high fevers, so that plan got scratched. Instead we are laying around on the couches eating ice cream for lunch and watching Spider Man for the thirtieth time since Eli first developed his boy-crush on Peter Parker. I'm starting to hate the sound of Tobey Maguire's voice.

Eli has entered the love-of-costume-wearing phase that Addy went through around age three. The one in which I let her wear her Tinkerbell outfit everywhere because... I dunno. It just didn't seem like a hill to die on, and she DID make a good Tinkerbell. Eli has a Spiderman ensemble that is ever so slightly more raggedy than Addy's costume, consisting of dingy red cotton shorts, hand me down Spiderman slippers, a red Spiderman baseball cap, and a pretty awesome Spiderman shirt complete with WEBS under the arms. The two messages it conveys are: RED, and SPIDERMAN RULES ALL. Anyways, he wants to wear it every day, so I'm trying to remember to wash it every night and have it at the ready for him. I mean, what the heck. It's not much effort to make a small kid so very, very happy. (Seems like he could reciprocate that mindset by pooping on his potty on a regular basis and thus make ME so very very happy, but, whatevs. Ingrate.)

Also! I forgot to say anything about my twenty four week appointment, but the ultrasound went really well. The tech kept laughing when she found out she was supposed to be checking for intrauterine growth restriction, and saying things like, "Um, yeah... he's definitely not growth restricted. Look at that big belly on him! Ha ha ha!" Which on the one hand is quite reassuring and on the other hand- how big is this kid going to be?! I've never actually had a baby that could be described as "on the large side," but those were the words I heard her say. Of course, she also said my cervix was "just barely long enough," so if that means possible preterm birth like with Addy, then I'm really glad that the baby's putting on weight quickly!

So that was a good visit, but then I got to missing them- it HAD been a whole week and a half since I last saw them, and I just worry that they're not getting enough of our money- so I went back yesterday so they could check out a weird, painful lump in my neck that I naturally assumed to be a blood clot or a tumor, but which is in fact just a swollen lymph node. I, uh, didn't actually know there were lymph nodes in your neck. I thought it was just armpits. Wow. Guess I have a ways to go before I realize that dream of being a CNM...

Anyways, there was also fluid in my ear, so they put me on antibiotics to nip what probably would have been the beginnings of an ear infection in the bud. I had been feeling a little dizzy on and off, actually, but just chalked it up to the heat until my neck started hurting. So yeah, this is one occasion where I don't feel dumb for having gone to the doctor, because, ha ha! That would have been super cool if I had gotten another inner ear infection/severe vertigo complete with vomiting while pregnant, huh? Ha ha ha! (That's me laughing crazily because seriously I think I would have gone slap out of my mind. I am not that strong, at least not when it comes to vomiting.)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Two Things- No, Three!

*Today in the library I saw a woman with a t-shirt that said, "Yep, I Got An Epidural!" That's all. And I could not stop laughing. Um, inwardly, obv. Because as much as I am proud of and pleased with my two birth experiences and hoping for another even MORE "natural" birth, I totally DO NOT CARE how anyone else wants to give birth. I may personally find the numbness and lack of mobility and potential side effects kind of off putting, as re: Teh Epidural, but if someone else finds grueling pain and breathing exercises and potential screaming in public kind of off putting, well, I totally get that, too. I really really do. So if you want your birth to involve a needle in your spine, dude, more power to ya. And I do not automatically assume you must be misinformed/ignorant/selfish/wimpy, either. I personally happened to have relatively easy births, as births go, and if I had to, say, endure ten hours of back labor, AFTER my water had broken and maybe after two or three sleepless days, I'd probably be asking for drugs too. We're all our own unique birthing snowflakes! Just wanted to be clear on that, since my own labor is coming (frighteningly) soon and then you'll probably be inundated with lots of doula/waterbirth talk. :)

*My dishwasher is starting to really make me mad. Besides not sanitizing and not having a disposal feature and the fact that a bunch of the separating prongs are broken off, it basically just doesn't dry anything that's plastic anymore. (Yes, we eat off of plastic sometimes. And store our food in plastic. But I don't HEAT food in it anymore! Baby steps, guys!) Anyways, yeah, it takes me twice as long as it used to to unload dishes because I have to stand there with a towel and DRY THEM BY HAND. So in case, theoretically, we were to replace it, anyone have any recommendations of brands/models of dishwashers?

And yes, my middle class sob stories are enough to bring a tear to your eye, I know. But here! This is for you, Anonymous Commenter #19 from two posts ago! At least I HAVE a dishwasher! And also, some women have to go to work and be GONE from their appliances all day! At least I don't have to pay some STRANGER to unload my dishwasher while I'm slaving away in an unfulfilling job all day! And gosh, at least I HAVE dishes! I could be eating off plantain leaves in a jungle somewhere! And I have food to dirty those dishes! SOME people don't....

Oh wait! That's right; people don't READ blogs to hear others go on and on about how lucky they are and how grateful they are for every blessing in their lives! People blog/follow blogs because it is an outlet for emotions, a place to commiserate, to empathize and to know that other people really ARE going through the same craziness they are. If they wanted to feel guilty about their own emotions and impressed by the saintliness of others, they'd be reading Guideposts or Chicken Soup for the Martyr's Soul.