I’ve reached a new low

April 30, 2008

My ice cravings finally got so bad that I did the unthinkable.  I bought ice.  Gasp.  I was growing tired of refilling the trays at home and stopping for the good small ice chips at restaurants, so I bought a big bag of ice that barely fit in my freezer for about $2.89.  Not so bad, really, considering that I’ve probably spent that in gas money (HA! more than that, I’m sure) driving to fast food places to ask for free ice in the biggest cup they can spare.  Speaking of that, I got reprimanded at Wendy’s (did I already mention that?) and then proceeded to feel guilty every time I tried to get ice without buying anything.  If I’m actually eating something, that’s different – if they’ll give you free water, they will give you free ice.  So, now I have a nice little supply that should last me the rest of this week (I think).  They’re not ideal ice chips, but rather the round kind that are about an inch long and have a hole through the middle.  Still, they’re better than homemade ice. 

Did all of that sound as completely ridiculous as I think it did??  Good.  That’s my life.

So, my doctor’s appointment yesterday revealed that I have gained more like four pounds in two weeks, rather than what I was hoping for at a pound per week.  I’m not going to freak out about this because my doctor says it’s just fine.  It’s just that I have this fear of hitting forty pounds gained in a pregnancy.  I know, I probably have readers that have gained a whole lot more than forty, but so far, thirty-three is the most I’ve gained in a pregnancy and I’d love to keep it that way.  It just makes it easier to lose the weight afterward. 

Other than weight, my doctor seemed pleased with everything.  I’m measuring large for where I’m at, which is not a suprise because my babies come big.  In fact, she didn’t suggest a change in my due date, but just agreed with me that the baby is big like Jenny was (and Elias should have been).  When I mentioned the fact that I’ve been getting Braxton Hicks very frequently even when I’m sitting down, and that they hurt, she said she figures I’ll be early.  I’m not convinced of this, but you never know.  I am convinced that Elias being born early was my fault and not the way it should have been.  I expect to be late.  I expect..to be…late.  Sigh. 

The highlight of the day (Tuesday) was making sweet potato and avacado sushi and going to a friend’s house for lunch.  She kept Elias for me while Jenny and I went to the doctor, which is always a treat.  That little boy does not like being confined to a stroller and does not like being told what to do (i.e. sit still, don’t stand up in the stroller, come back here, you little…).  Jenny does somewhat better, although the draw of the play area is a bigger thing for her than her brother.  I brought her with me yesterday because she has now had diarrhea for more than three weeks.  She doesn’t seem sick, is eating fine, hasn’t had a fever, but seemingly can’t get back to normal digestion.  So now I get the super fun task of collecting a stool sample.  Hooray for me!  I am willing to go through it, because obviously, a small child who can’t process things normally is somewhat worrisome.  They’re testing her white blood cell count and in the middle of the night last night, all I could think about was leukemia.  I laid there crying, attempting to go back to sleep and imagining life without my beautiful Jenny.  This is a very bad habit.  Before I had her, when Mike still went out of town for work, I would imagine all sorts of awful things when he was five minutes late calling or getting home.  And now that I have children, I have three people to think this way about (well, four, because I also worry that I might lose the baby). 

Turns out Jenny has only one symptom of leukemia – the diarrhea thing – and I shouldn’t worry.  Not only that, but if it became something we had to face, my cousin went through it when she was three or four and so my family has been there before.  I shouldn’t worry anyway, because I know it’s not good for me and God doesn’t like it (really…I imagine it breaks His heart that we worry so much sometimes). 

Well, now that I’ve brought back my fears and cried a little more, I think I’ll go read about food.  I always feel better when I do that. 

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The tail end of week thirty-three and I’m still feeling like the end will never come.  I am insanely jealous of a friend who just had her baby on Tuesday, another who – if she has not had it yet – is a week overdue, and my sister-in-law, who tomorrow will be two weeks away from her due date.  The only consolation is that if this baby decides to be as early as its older brother, it could be here in three and a half weeks.  I’m not hoping for that, but I’m sure I wouldn’t complain, either.  If it is as I assume it will be, with me staying far away from the maternity ward until I’m certain that I’m in labour, I will probably be two weeks late.  I know, that’s really pessimistic, but I can’t help it.  After all, this is my third baby and I have to be realistic.  I will admit that Elias was more than likely born two and a half weeks early because I went in to the hospital the night before with Braxton Hicks contractions that were bad enough to make me suspect that I was in labour.  They checked me for dilation, found that I was still sealed up nicely, and sent me home.  By around noon the next day, I had dilated to six centimeters without feeling a thing.  So this time, I’m determined to wait until I know for sure that I’m in actual labour – as in, strong contractions, my water breaking, lots of show, etc.  Because I was induced with Jenny at eight days overdue, I do not expect to be early.  But you never know, I suppose. 

My other reason for not pushing myself into labour early is my desire for both a June baby born after Jenny’s birthday and a big baby.  Jenny (at eight days late, as I mentioned) was nine pounds six ounces.  Elias was seven, four.  A two pound difference is huge and with Jenny, I felt pretty confident that I wasn’t going to break her, but Elias felt so tiny (and still is pretty small, too).  Big babies are also nice because generally, no one worries about where they fall on the percentile charts for weight and height.  Another reason to be only slightly early, on time or late is that Jenny’s birthday is one week before my due date, and I’d love to make it through her party without having a newborn to care for.  Anytime after that is just fine, though. 

Physically, I actually feel pretty good.  I still have some of the aforementioned issues, but they are improving.  I’m not counting on this improvement holding through until the end, but it is nice for now.  I still double over with Braxton Hicks when I walk more than two blocks or sweep the floor for more than five minutes, but I’m used to it, so it’s not so bad.  And I can tell myself that it will be worth it when I have another quick labour (please, oh, please).  As for size, I feel quite small, especially compared with my sister-in-law, who isn’t huge, either, but is four weeks ahead of me.  For awhile, it seemed that we were about the same size, but she’s passed me now that her baby is getting ready for birth. 

One thing that makes the waiting easier is the fact that I will have a niece or nephew to hold sooner than I’ll hold my own baby.  The only way this won’t happen is if my sister-in-law is two weeks late and I’m two weeks early.  I’m pretty certain that her doctor won’t let her go that far, though, and this is her first baby, so she won’t have any reason to push for waiting longer.  I have been pretty firm with my doctor, and will continue to be, on the issue of induction.  Unless there is a problem with the baby or I am more than two weeks late, I don’t want to be induced.  For once, I’d love to go into labour and through it on my own.  I may have made it to six centimeters with Elias on my own, but then they said that his head was up so high they were worried that if my water broke, the cord would come out before his head.  Because something like that would result in an emergency c-section, I agreed to being put on a pitocin drip to get him moving down.  I then spent the next six hours stuck in the same bed hooked to an IV, waiting for things to progress more.  Had I not gone in when I did, I may have had to rush to the hospital to deliver, but I suspect that I would have progressed much the same as I had all morning – with teeny tiny cramps being the only contractions I felt.  That’s my opinion on it, anyway.  And of course, what I would love to have happen this time.  I think having hard labour twice is enough  – the rest should be a piece of cake.  Maybe that’s why so many people stop after having two children…??

One reason that I was starting to feel so good physically is that the weather was starting to feel spring-like and the snow had all melted.  And then, yesterday morning, we woke up to a few more inches and vehicles completely covered in white.  Fortunately, most of it melted yesterday, but the ground is still dusted, making it feel like early winter instead of early spring.  However, the clouds will part because tomorrow is supposed to be very warm – 15 to 18 above if we can believe the forecast.  Spring would be lovely right about now.  I’m officially tired of winter.

Well, my children are hungry and bugging me and I suppose I’d better find out what trouble they’re getting into (well, the boy anyway – Jenny is just talking about being beautiful…sigh).

First things first.  I am thirty-two weeks pregnant and I have gained approximately twenty-two pounds as of Tuesday.  If I gain the average of one pound each remaining week (just an average, but I’m counting on sticking to it more or less), I’ll reach thirty pounds of gain when I’m at forty weeks.  This works for me, as I gained thirty-three with Jenny and twenty-seven with Elias and I like the idea of making it through three pregnancies gaining relatively the same amount of weight.  Not only that, but I lost the weight after Jenny in six months and after Elias, I lost it in six weeks.  This seems to be based on nursing alone, because I haven’t worked out like crazy after giving birth or anything.  The six week weight loss must have been from nursing, because I always take it pretty easy during that time.  However, I am aware that I shouldn’t get lazy just because I’ve had it easy before.  I have every intention of at least going walking with the kids after the baby is born.  Unfortunately, winter walking is not very easy here, so I haven’t done much at all since September.  Summers make for good walking as long as it isn’t too hot.  I have recently discovered that my neighbour is pregnant and due in September, so I’m hoping I can talk her into walking with me some this summer.  My sister-in-law is due in three weeks, so she may make a good walking buddy, too, although her idea of walking is more like hiking.  Hiking with one kid strapped to your back or front is one thing, but attempting it with three kids is not something I’d want to try on my own.

On to my title.  Everyone keeps asking me if I’m anemic, because I want ice all the time.  I have found that it is just part of pregnancy for me to want ice in large quantities, and each time my iron levels have been tested, I’ve been fine.  It started about a  month ago, and for some time, I was content to munch on the ice at home and the ice in my glass when we went out to eat.  Now it’s gone to the next level, which sends me through the drive thru at Wendy’s at least once a week for a large cup of ice.  Yesterday, I had my customary ice at home at least twice, a large (very large) cup of ice from Wendy’s, and then a smaller cup from KFC in the evening.  I hate to know what I may be doing to my teeth, but so far, they seem to be doing all right.

Another craving I’ve been dealing with is the ever present “food I can’t get here” craving.  I frustrated myself to the point of tears two days ago because I couldn’t put a name to what I wanted.  I decided that I only had myself to blame – I’ve been reading MSG150, Enjoy Thai Food, Not Martha (not always food, but good when it is), and most recently, The GastroGnome.  These people get to eat so much good stuff, whether made by themselves or eaten out, and I am insanely jealous at times.  When I manage to make a really satisfying meal, I can ignore the envy, but when I’m feeling tired and unmotivated and wanting to go out, I really wish I had all these restaurants at my fingertips.  Particularly with the MSG crew and Naomi at The GastroGnome, I feel my jealousy sparked along with homesickness, since they are both in Seattle and a great deal of their writing centers around Seattle eateries.  MSG has been great fun to read – they’re visiting every restaurant in the International District that is open for lunch and has its primary source of income from food (no coffee shops, basically).  While some of their visits I would completely avoid (those with no vegetarian options), most of them have at the very least been entertaining to read about.  I am particularly interested in visiting Vegetarian Bistro for good dim sum, Blue and Pink for Korean food, which I haven’t had much of, and at least one place for congee, which sounds like something right up my alley.

But now I’m salivating and I should move onto something else that won’t make me hungry (which actually isn’t so bad, since I’m having lunch with my mother-in-law in half an hour).

And here it comes, folks, those other things mentioned that I hate talking about but hate living with even more.

Hemorrhoids are a fact of life for many elderly and overweight people and also for many pregnant women.  I’m just going to be honest here and say that the trouble started when I was pushing Elias out.  I was in pain for a week or so, but they went away.  And now they’re back and I’m wondering if they’re worse this time.  I’ve done everything to try to prevent them, but somehow, I ended up with the joy all over again.  And it sucks.  If you haven’t experienced these, lucky you.  If you have, I understand completely.  If you’re grossed out and think I’m silly for mentioning this, get over it.  This is a journal of my pregnancy, and at the moment, they are a part of this pregnancy.  I sincerely hope I never feel the need to mention them again, but feel I won’t be quite that lucky.

Okay, weirdness out of the way.  I had hoped to continue my productivity from last week, but because of this pain, I haven’t done much except keep the kitchen looking pretty decent all week.  And really, that’s good enough for me right now. 

Maybe by next week’s post, I’ll be over this and can write about something more uplifting.

Well, at least some days include every day miracles that make you glad you’ve chosen to live like this.  We went to bed early Sunday night for the first time in a very long time.  Mike has had hockey nearly every Sunday night since September (as in, maybe he’s had three Sundays off in that whole time), and as a result, we haven’t gotten to bed early on a Sunday night in ages.  After the horrors of Saturday night – oh, yeah, I didn’t talk about that yet – we had a nap Sunday afternoon and went to bed by ten that night.  Although I had the requisite three wakings to use the bathroom, none of them involved Jenny getting up at the same time – miracle number one.  When Mike got up to shower in the morning, Jenny woke up and I resigned myself to another early morning.  However, I managed to leave Elias crying in his bed – figuring that I would only get him up if he was really upset for awhile.  Jenny came back to bed with me and promptly went back to sleep.  We slept until ten – miracle number two!  Elias stayed asleep that whole time and Jenny only woke up once to ask for water and then went back to sleep.  I think she was still getting over being a bit sick over the weekend and just needed the sleep, but it has been ages since she slept in so late.  We had an easy morning with everyone being content with their breakfast and then Elias played in their room and Jenny laid on the couch while I cleaned the bathroom – miracle number three.  When they went down for their nap, I managed to clean out the van and still have time to watch a movie and relax before the kids got up – miracle number four. 

It was probably really vital to my sanity to have so much sleep and so many good things in one day after Saturday night.  Jenny kept getting up before we went to bed and when we finally did get to bed sometime after one, she still wasn’t sleeping.  We brought her into our room hoping she would sleep, but it seemed that every time I managed to drift off, she’d say something or push her feet against my back or something equally obnoxious.  I finally put her back to bed around two-thirty.  I had just drifted off (yet again) when I heard her yelling that she had to poop.  She yelled it twice and then suddenly started scream/crying and saying it again.  I got to her door, brought her into the bathroom, turned on the light and only then realized that I hadn’t made it in time.  She had diarrhea that had absolutely no substance and was now pooling on the rug and a dozen other places along the hallway.  I yelled for Mike to come clean things up a bit while I got Jenny cleaned up.  After some effort to do it sans water, I finally figured that a bath was the only way out.  So, Jenny happily took a three AM bath.  The major frustration wasn’t even the fact that we had to clean up so much and do laundry and give her a bath, it was that she was giddy about it.  She’s potty trained – she knows that she shouldn’t poop her pants (not that she could have helped it), but she was all excited about the bath and kept reminding me that she had pooped her pants. 

All through the bath, Mike was attempting to get Elias back to sleep, since all the activity had woken him up.  He got him to sleep and as soon as he laid him down in bed, he woke up again.  Once Jenny was back in bed, we went back to bed for five minutes before deciding that it would be wise to bring Elias in with us to see if I could get him to sleep with a little snuggling.  Fortunately, it worked pretty quickly, but it was still around four when I finally went to sleep.  Jenny was then up again to go the bathroom just before seven.  After that, we slept until ten, but I was dragging all morning.  So obviously, the nap, early night and sleeping in Monday morning were all very important for me. 

This morning was a bit earlier than yesterday, but nothing unusual.  My housecleaning goal this week is to do one relatively small job each day and more if I can handle it.  I have a huge list, but I think today I might try to tackle the laundry room.  Now that hockey is done for the year, Mike’s equipment can be moved out to the shed again and I can have my laundry room back.  The only trouble is that it’s also full of other junk.  Recycling needs to go out, shelves that are stacked on the floor need to be put up in the kids’ room and various other things just need to find better homes.

My big goal is to have the house in much better order before the baby is born.  If I wait too long, I will just wear myself out and risk not getting it done.  I have a habit of getting so frustrated with the state of things that I try to do everything all at once and just frustrate myself even more when I can’t get it all done.  I’m hoping that the one small job a day plan will work for me. 

Of course, pregnancy is only making everything more complicated, but nothing is out of the ordinary.  I’m two months away from D-day today, but it still feels like a long way off.  Of course, in another month, I’ll probably feel even more like that – as if it will never end.  I can hardly wait to be done with it and hold my baby.  I’m certain that no matter how many times I do it, that part will never get old.  With Jenny, it was maybe a bit more amazing, just because it was the first time I’d ever held my own child in my arms, but the amount of love I felt for Elias was certainly no less than when Jenny was born. 

For anyone reading who has one child and worries that they wouldn’t have enough love for a second child because they love their first so much, don’t worry – it won’t be a problem. 

Until next week…

I’ve had bad days before – plenty of them.  I’ve had awful days and in-between days, but every so often, I just have one of “those days”.  The kind that makes you feel like curling up in a ball and shutting everything out – including the people you love.  I love my kids and I love my husband, but the demands on my time have suddenly come to a crescendo.  Here’s my day….starting last night (because that’s a big part of it):

Guilt trip Mike into doing dishes around nine o’clock, feel guilty about it, but whatever.

Get up at one o’clock to deal with Jenny, who has pooped her pants.  I saw it coming, but what can you do?  Toddler with diarrhea, no diapers, this is what you get sometimes.

Get up at six o’clock to go the bathroom, take Jenny again just in case she feels like repeating her accident a second time.

Wake up when Mike gets up, wonder why he’s leaving so early, go back to sleep hoping that the kids sleep in a bit.

Wake up approximately twenty minutes after Mike leaves and force myself to get out of bed to get the kids up.  Spend the next hour (or more) in bed with them trying to wake up.

Feed everybody breakfast of pound cake and strawberries.  Am I a good mother or what?  Just so concerned with my children’s diets.

Fast forward…the in-between hours weren’t so bad, mostly the same as any other day.

Make very nice lunch of salmon and green and yellow beans that Jenny actually eats (it’s a miracle – I guess I get one today after all).  Watch Elias proceed to put most of his lunch onto his lap.

Go to doctor’s appointment and deal with kids that don’t want to remain in the stroller.  Ask doctor about Elias’ skin condition and finally get a small breakthrough – a referral to a dermatologist.  Of course, it can’t be in town, but has to be two and a half hours away and probably completely at the whim of that office as to when we go in.  Look forward to driving to Grande Prairie by myself, as it is bound to be on a day that Mike won’t be able to get off work.

On the way home, listen to demands from Jenny for gum that lead to consequences for her that had to wait until we got home, which is not my favourite way of doing things.  Go through the process of telling her why she’s in trouble a good ten minutes after she’s been yelling at me. 

Put the kids to bed, fortunately without much trouble.

Come out into the kitchen, look around the house and cry. 

Balance on the verge of tears while writing and checking my email.

That’s the kind of day it has been.  The vastly overwhelming kind that really does make me wish I could take a nap for about a week.  Even napping today should be out of the question, regardless of how tired I am.  In this house, if I don’t do it or beg Mike to do it, it doesn’t get done.  That counts for everything.  I have laundry piling up, the kids’ room is a mess (although nothing can be done about that while they’re sleeping, anyway), the kitchen is a wreck, the living room is…you guessed it, a wreck, and the remains of lunch are still waiting for me in the high chair where Elias left them. 

All that and I’m having pain in my stomach again because of the baby.  And I feel like eating lots of junk and drinking chocolate milk and laying on the couch reading until I fall asleep.  And then when Mike gets home, turning him to robot mode where he’ll do all the chores without complaining or remembering having done them.  Okay, so the second thing isn’t actually possible, but I sure wish it was sometimes.  A robot would be nice.

As for pregnancy (I guess I’d better throw it in here, even though I mostly just feel like complaining today), everything is ship shape.  No diabetes (no surprise there), slightly low hemoglobin, but not low enough to worry about, normal blood pressure, normal weight gain, measuring appropriately for my due date, active baby with strong heart beat.  If only the rest of my life were that easy.