Ten days later…

June 25, 2008

This may very well be my last post on this blog for quite some time.  It is a pregnancy journal, after all, and I do have another blog that is better suited to my everyday life (har har…The Everyday Life of a Messy Housewife). 

However, because this is baby/postpartum related, I figured it fit better here. 

Erik is doing great – he is eating and sleeping really well and gives us a few hours every day of interaction, which seems to be pretty rare at this age.  I know what they say about baby smiles – that any smile before a month of age isn’t a real smile – and I’ve believed it in the past, because my kids definitely had gassy smiles and sleep smiles before they were a month old, but at a month, they looked me in the eye and grinned back at me.  Erik has decided to break the rules; I’m not kidding you – he has smiled at me about four times now.  I have said that you can tell a real smile because of the look in their eyes.  They look right at you and their eyes smile along with their mouths.  Well, that’s just what he has been doing.  I can’t explain it, and you can argue all you want, but if you were his mother, you’d agree with me (I just wish someone else could see it so they’d know what I’m talking about). 

On the kid front, Jenny continues to ask where her “buddo Ewik” is and actually refers to him most of the time as “Ewik buddo”.  Elias just calls him baby, although I think he’s been trying to say Erik and it comes out sounding like “owie”, which is hilarious.  So far, neither of them has made him cry or tried to carry him around the house, although I’ve been very careful to keep him with me or keep my eye on him all the time when he’s not in his bed away from them.  A friend of mine told me a story about her kids that made me decide never to leave the room while Erik is laying on the couch or the floor – her older son was in the room after she changed her newborn’s diaper and she left to get something quickly in the other room.  When she went back, the older boy had picked up his brother and was carrying him upside down, trying to help her.  If I remember right, he said, “Here, Mommy, I bring him to you.”  Yikes!  So I’m going to watch them very carefully, because I can just see it happening with one of them, thinking they were helping me. 

As far as my health/energy goes, I seem to do fine getting up in the morning and having energy until just before lunch, and then I feel like crashing.  Yesterday, I actually dozed on the couch with the kids climbing on me – Elias tearing up an envelope and throwing it around didn’t even faze me, I was so tired.  Today, I feel tired, but when I laid down to have a nap, I could only think of cleaning and writing.  So I got up, swept the living room floor, cleaned up toys, did the dishes and now I’m writing.  I have maybe twenty minutes that I can count on the kids staying asleep, so If I get tired now, it’s probably too late to do anything about it.  As for my actual recovery, I feel pretty good, although I’m still bleeding a good deal, which is getting old.  Yeah, I know it’s only been ten days, but it seems that it’s different this time than it was with the other two.  Also, I got my hopes up because I went all day yesterday without anything at all and then had it come back in the middle of the night.  Okay – enough already!  Fortunately, the cramping quit a week ago, so at least it’s not a bother in that way.  It is true, afterpains seem to get worse each time you have a baby.  I don’t really remember anything with Jenny, but I had them pretty bad with Elias and this time, they were really bad.  But four days of them is not so bad, really.

The other big thing around the house is that as soon as the kids got over their cold/cough, they got another one!  And now Erik has it!  Goopy eyes, coughs and runny/stuffy noses that I’m wiping all the time and Jenny yelling from her room, “I need to blow my nose!!” in the middle of the night (and ten seconds ago – hooray!).  I’ve had a sore throat, but my cough is getting better and I don’t have symptoms of a cold like they do…I just hope it stays that way.  The kids spent all day yesterday lying around watching movies while I wiped noses and read a book.  I’m so glad Erik has decided to be a good baby and sleep for long stretches between feedings.  I don’t know what I would do if he was fussy like Elias was.

So much for twenty minutes, I think I got about ten out of them.  Oh, well.  C’est la vie.  I meant to go into more, like the fact that I weaned myself off of ice, but apparently, I’m out of time.  Oh, yeah, I weaned myself off of ice.  I’ll tell you about it sometime. 

So, no promises, but more than likely, I’ll be sticking to the other blog from now on (at least  until I’m pregnant again, although then the address will be misleading, since it won’t be baby number three anymore).  Well, off I go to be a mommy again (unless my kids have gone back to sleep…oh, wouldn’t that be nice?!).

Apparently my uterus was offended at the letter I wrote and it decided to get me back last night.  I had the usual hour or so of contractions after supper when I started feeling cooped up and decided to take a walk.  Mike was watching Jumanji with the kids, so it was a good opportunity to go out by myself and see if I could get something happening.  I made it half a block when I was already feeling mighty uncomfortable and by the time I got halfway into my walk, I was stopping pretty frequently to bend over or squat to relieve some of the pain.  I sat down on a bus stop bench about a block from home to rest and then dragged myself the rest of the way.  Mind you, this was not a terribly long walk – I didn’t walk miles or anything, just a few blocks (okay, I don’t really know how far I walked and I lost track of time, so I can’t even relate that information).  I got home, collapsed into the rocking chair and spent the next half hour or forty-five minutes breathing and groaning and complaining about my pain.  We put the kids to bed in the middle of all that and I still felt pretty bad.  Mike went out to mow the lawn and I sat at the computer most of the time he was outside.  Little by little, my ridiculously painful Braxton Hicks contractions went away.  We went to bed somewhat early, although it took me ages to fall asleep because of my ribs.

Today, I’m tired, nauseated, still having contractions and absolutely no signs that they are “real” contractions.  My half hearted joke from yesterday is still floating in my head: “Let’s get on with the bloody show!”  Yeah, Mike didn’t even really laugh, but he’s the one who asked if I was having any yet. 

I’m starting to look forward to Tuesday, when I may very well give birth almost on my own.  I would still love to have the baby before then, but I’m having doubts. 

Meanwhile, the kids decided today would be a good day to be clingy, argumentative (in the way that a three year old and twenty-one month old can be) and demanding.  At the moment, they’re quietly eating lunch and watching Rugrats for the second time today (yeah, I’m weak; movies are too easy).  When they’re done, they’ll have a nap and I can lay down or manically clean things, depending on what mood strikes me.  What I would really like is one of two things: to go into labour right now or to let someone else deal with the kids for the rest of the day while I climb into bed and feel sorry for myself.  And maybe sleep.  It seems that I’m more likely to go into labour than for someone to magically show up at my house just begging to watch my kids.  Maybe after the baby is born, but not now.  Poor me.  Poor pregnant me.

Am I pitiful or what?

The home stretch

June 3, 2008

Mike mentioned the other day that even though I’m sick of being pregnant, I will have the baby this month.  It’s one nice thing about being due when I am – I can only really go two weeks late, and that’s still June, so there you have it.  I had my appointment today and found out something pretty shocking – I have gained about six pounds in the last week.  Yeah, no kidding.  I have noticed more back pain and feeling like I’m suddenly huge, so my suspicion is that the baby and the boobs have grown.  At least that’s what I’m hoping.  I’m also hoping that I have the baby soon, because I did the math, and I’ve now gained about thirty-three pounds during my pregnancy.  My doctor actually made the first weight related comment today when she said that I was on target for how much I could gain during pregnancy, if I had the baby today.  And then she told me not to have the baby today, because the whole hospital, maternity ward included, is packed.  When I went for my first appointment in October, the nurse told me that June was a busy month.  I mentioned this to my doctor and she said that she has thirteen!maternity patients due this month.  Yikes!!  And I’ll remind you that this is not a big city.  This is Fort St. John, population 18,000-ish.  If I remember correctly, the year Jenny was born, someone told me that we have the highest birth rate per capita in British Columbia.  For our population, we were having about 250 babies per year, while Metro Vancouver, population around 2 million, was having 1000 babies per year.  Yeah, our population is a fraction of the size of theirs and we are having a quarter of the number of babies they are.  I’m sure my statistics aren’t perfect and are somewhat out of date, but still.  That’s crazy.  Add to that the fact that our hospital is ancient and sucks in a lot of ways, and well, it’s just a lovely place to have a baby. 

Anyway, she said, “Don’t have the baby today.”  I wonder if tomorrow would be okay.  It would help me keep up with the Wednesday, first ten days of the month thing

Regardless of all that, I have an appointment scheduled for next Tuesday to have my membranes stripped, which I would really love to avoid.  If it doesn’t work then, she’ll do it again the next Tuesday, and then if it still doesn’t work, I’ll be induced between the 18th and 20th.  I finally got the nerve to ask her what the hospital policy was on induction and she said that it’s more up to her and that she will give two weeks if everything appears to be going well for the baby.  It’s very common here to induce after eight days, but she was previously practicing in the UK, where it is never done before twelve days overdue.  I was relieved to hear this, because as much as I don’t want to be pregnant for another minute, I also do not want to be induced, so I’ll go as long as I can before putting myself through that again. 

As for self-induction, I’ve been doing a bit of boob groping (I don’t know, that just sounds better to me than “nipple stimulation”) in hopes that it might help, but I haven’t noticed anything yet.  I’m also planning to do some walking tonight, hopefully after the kids are in bed and things have cooled down a bit outside. 

On the kid front, something pretty funny happened this morning, albeit something that required a good deal of clean up afterwards.  I put the kids in their room to play for at least an hour and at some point, I remember hearing Jenny say, “Here, I have to change you.”  I figured she was talking to one of her dolls or something and didn’t bother checking.  Finally, I heard Elias crying and not stopping, so I thought it might be time to go in and rescue him.  I found him, completely naked, sitting on Jenny’s bed.  She had taken off her shirt and shorts and was pretending to sleep in her bed, ignoring her poor brother.  A very dirty diaper was wrapped pretty nicely on the bed.  As in, she took it off of him and wrapped it up just like we do.  The only problem is that she gave no thought to the fact that he had some of the contents of that diaper still on him.  So the sheets were stripped and the poor boy had to endure a good wipe down because it had all dried on by then.  Ah, the joy.  At least Jenny is trying to help.  I told her that this is one thing she can’t help with unless I’m there.  And I learned my lesson – don’t ever leave them alone with Elias in only a diaper.  It was really warm in the house, he got breakfast all over his pajamas, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to wait to get him dressed.  I was wrong. 

Well, once again, I sincerely hope that the next time I write, I will no longer be pregnant.  I seriously doubt that will be the case, but you never know. 

Tick tock…

June 2, 2008

I was going to say something about counting the days, now that I’m down to less than a week before my due date. Then I realized that due dates don’t mean much and the less I think about it, the better off I’ll be. I really, really don’t want to be overdue, but I was with Jenny and it doesn’t seem like this kid is making any effort to move out yet, so I may very well go past my due date. I made it through Jenny’s birthday without giving birth, so one goal has been accomplished. Not that I would have minded having the baby a few days before her birthday, but I was a little afraid that I would have it on her birthday and then my poor kids would have to share a birthday forever. I never have thought that was very fair – it’s similar in my mind to kids born on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. It becomes very hard to celebrate one without the other and people often end up combining the two to save time and/or money. I know, Jenny’s birthday will be quite close to the baby’s, but at least it won’t be on the same day.

My goal right now is to also make it through today without going into labour, since my sister-in-law’s baby shower is tonight. However, after it’s over, I’m starting in on the self-induction stuff big time. The baby is head down and I think pretty low, I’m full term and healthy – there’s no reason that I can see not to try to get things going myself. Number one on the list of things to try – nipple stimulation. (I bet that phrase will get me some unintentional links from search engines.) I have never used this method in past pregnancies, but a friend of mine said that the one OBGYN we have in town recommended it to her, so I figure it’s a safe bet. It can bring on really strong contractions, so women are supposed to be careful, but I’m not too worried. It will either work or it won’t. The What to Expect book has a brief blurb in it that says women who started doing it at 39 weeks were much less likely to go past their due dates. That’s enough motivation for me. There are lots of other things I can try, but I’ve done most of them and none of them have worked for me in the past. I do want to try to go walking a bit more often as I know it’s good for me, but I’m not expecting that to push me into labour. And castor oil – something one of my friends swears by and has used, I believe, in all four of her pregnancies – is just way too gross for me. Not only do I hate the thought of swallowing oil, but the effects of it are just not what I want to start labour with. Yeah, let’s spend hours on the toilet emptying out our insides while having strong contractions. Um, no thanks.

Meanwhile, the ribs still hurt, but I’m getting used to it. They are making sleep a bit more difficult, as I think I wake up a bit every time I roll onto my left side. Of course, at this point, I’m waking up nearly every two hours to pee anyway, so what difference does it make? I still hurt pretty bad when I sneeze, but I think the cold is going away, so it’s not happening all that often now. I haven’t iced them in a few days and I stopped taking Tylenol, so things must be better.

Yesterday was a huge day, but somehow we got through it and didn’t feel totally awful at the end of it. Church in the morning, lunch on the way home, a short nap for the kids, I made a cake and then we had Jenny’s party. We quickly cleaned up after everyone left and ran over to Mike’s company barbeque, where at least we were fed and I didn’t have to be on my feet much at all. Most people are pretty sympathetic to hugely pregnant women, and the hostess actually recruited one of her daughters to keep the kids entertained for some of the time. I expected that we might be there for some time, but by twenty after six, things were wrapped up and the kids were acting pretty grumpy, so we decided to go to a communion service at church. Friends of ours were doing childcare, so I at least was assured that bringing the kids wouldn’t be a bad idea. They got to play with their friends (who were at the birthday party, too) and we got to sit in one place for awhile. After that, Mike’s parents were going to McDonald’s, and while we do not buy things or eat things there as a rule, they do have a nice play area, so we headed over after getting drinks for ourselves elsewhere. The kids got to play some more and by the time we got home at nearly nine o’clock, they were quite obviously in need of sleep. Jenny just had to play with her new toys first, but after fifteen minutes, we got them to bed. I then had some cleaning up to do and Mike took the time to remove all the junk from our room and put it back in the laundry room (that was how he cleaned it up so that people could come from the backyard into the house…our room was full of laundry room mess). I put in some laundry, made Mike a lunch and then read and slept until Mike came to bed. I got a foot massage out of him before we went to sleep, which was a nice treat. It must have been the shoes I was wearing, but my right foot hurt so bad I was walking funny before bed.

Anyway, today is my day “off”. So far, I have folded laundry and cleaned up a few things in the kitchen, but I’m not planning to be terribly productive, just because I wore myself out so badly yesterday. I have movies and books from the library and the kids have new toys and a clean room to play in, so they’re likely to stay entertained pretty easily today. Tomorrow, when I feel like going into labour would be nice, I can start back on things around the house, with hope that cleaning might get things going for me.

My big triumph of the day yesterday was the cake I made for Jenny. It was a boxed cake mix (I had to compromise somewhere) but with homemade filling and icing. I did a layer of raspberry puree with some sugar and cornstarch to thicken it and a layer of whipped cream in the middle of two layers of chocolate cake. I iced it with pink butter cream frosting and decorated with candy. I have made Jenny’s cakes in the past few years, but this one is definitely my favourite so far. I did some piping on it and really enjoyed that part – it may be something I do more often.  Here’s a picture (yes, I’m showing off :)):

 

Jenny\'s pink candy cake

Take a deep breath.

May 28, 2008

Okay, so literally, doing this hurts, but figuratively, I think it’s what I need to do.  I had a decent morning, really.  I woke up at nine, which is nice – not too early and had some snuggle time with Jenny before we got up to have breakfast.  I started to make her breakfast when the phone rang, which usually throws me when it happens so early.  However, it was a good phone call – from the lady who has been more or less running the show at our Thursday morning Bible studies.  She is a great-grandmother and I won’t guess at her age, but obviously, having that status does generally make you “elderly”.  She defies that title, though, as she is full of perk and incredibly easy to talk to.  It seems that once a week now for a few weeks, she has been calling to check up on things with me and to talk about the Bible study and what our plans are for it.  I feel priveleged – she’s a fountain of wisdom and a breath of fresh air when I need it.  Anyway, I talked to her for some time, made breakfast for Jenny and then for Elias when he woke up, and picked at my cereal while I talked.  Just after I hung up the phone with her, close to ten o’clock, my mother-in-law called and asked if we would come over for coffee on the deck at eleven.  I had not even started reading my Bible and had just poured myself a new bowl of cereal (as the kids ate most of the first one).  I figured I could probably do it, though, so I said we’d be there and got on my routine right away.  Really, things seemed to go very smoothly until we left the house.  The kids got dressed without a hassle, I had a shower that wasn’t even rushed and we got to my in-laws right around eleven.  The rest was not quite as nice.  Elias decided that getting into things and doing things he wasn’t supposed to be doing would be lots of fun and so instead of enjoying myself and relaxing in the sun, I kept jumping up to stop him from doing one thing or another.  My sister-in-law was there with her son and she was asking my mother-in-law about breastfeeding and when she started giving solids.  This is where it got fun.  I have opinions about all of this and they are based on research and the facts about babies and what is best for them.  It’s just like car seats – maybe we didn’t ride in proper car seats when we were babies, and maybe we’re just fine now, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do all we can for our kids now that we have more knowledge.  The same thing goes for breastfeeding and giving solid foods.  Breastfeeding is good for babies.  This has been proven.  Long term breastfeeding is good for them as they get older, and feeding any form of solid food before six months of age is not a good idea.  Their digestive systems are not mature enough yet to handle more than formula or breastmilk, and in reality, they do not need more than either of these.  There is a mentality with some people that if your baby cries more than  you like or demands to be fed or doesn’t sleep through the night often enough, you should give them infant cereals to get them to behave.  Well, Jenny was easy – she slept through the night at two months and was a content baby.  I did nurse her a lot – often forty-five minutes on each side per feeding.  However, she hardly had to get upset when I would know to nurse her, so I never had any temptation to give her anything else.  Elias was a different story.  He was on the breast every two or three hours until he was six months old and still not sleeping through the night.  I persisted in waiting until then to give him solids and guess what – he still didn’t sleep through the night!  The fact is, we have more information now that will benefit our children’s health and well being.  Our mothers had other information, their mothers had other information.  Our daughters, when they are having children, will have new information and we will have to respect that.  Shouldn’t we want the best for our kids and someday, our grandkids?  I should hope so. 

The point it, my mother-in-law started giving my husband solid foods at three months and stopped nursing at five months.  She stopped nursing both her daughters around three months.  She has made comments to my sister-in-law about nursing that indicate that she doesn’t expect her to nurse any longer than she did.  My sister-in-law said today, “How am I going to nurse for a year like my husband wants me to if my mother didn’t do that with me?”  The logic stumped both my mother-in-law and myself, and yet she said, more or less, that it wouldn’t hurt her grandson to have solid foods earlier if he needed it.  I explained my thinking and that it is based on research and what is now advised by the medical community and it felt like she was shooting it down and calling me stupid.  My kids are doing just fine now and they breastfed for a year or more each, did not have solid foods until they were six months and did not have any dairy products until they were over a year old.  I never gave them formula, I never gave them bottles – we went straight to cow’s milk in sippy cups when they were not nursing anymore.  Yes, I know other families who have gone in the opposite direction from this and their kids appear to be just fine as well.  And yes, my husband and his sisters are healthy adults now.  But if our kids could be heartier and healthier because of the differences in how we do things now, why wouldn’t we want them to be?

Anyway, after this mental upset – it’s not like we actually  had an argument, it just felt like we were on the edge of one – I brought the kids home and fed them lunch.  Jenny wanted applesauce and there wasn’t much left, so I split it between both kids and then made them sandwiches.  Jenny first had to throw a small fit because she wanted applesauce and not a sandwich, and then when she was over that, she ate two or three bites of her sandwich and said she was done.  I then had to do a great deal of forceful speaking to her to get her to go to the bathroom and to bed.  Elias made a gigantic mess with his lunch, so much that I had to just take his overalls off before putting him to bed.  And then, as I finally sat down to check my email and have some lunch myself, I can still hear them talking in their room.  In fact, right now, forty minutes later, I think I can hear Jenny humming.  This does not fare well for the rest of the day, because we are supposed to be going to the lake with the family for supper at four.  Some days.

So, I’m going to try to take a deep breath and keep hoping and praying that I’ll go into labour today and at least get the physical pains taken care of.  Who knows, it could happen.

I have had a few weird days physically.  Yesterday I was concerned that I might have something serious, but fortunately, the worst of it went away.  On Sunday, I felt fine all day and then after supper, my ribs started to hurt.  I felt strange and kept getting hot flashes (not those kind, but I imagine they aren’t that different) so I went for a long walk from my in-laws while Mike stayed with the kids.  I felt somewhat better when I got back and happily spent almost an hour holding my two week old nephew, who was wide awake.  I still had pain in my ribs when I went to bed, and throughout the night, every time I woke up, I had something new bothering me.  My head and neck on my right side started to ache and the glands on the right side of my neck were swollen.  Most of that is gone now, although it lasted most of the day yesterday.  My ribs just keep feeling worse, though.  The strange thing is that nothing happened on Sunday that could have injured me.  I feel like this is what broken or bruised ribs must feel like, though.  Fortunately, I have a doctor’s appointment today and should be able to find out why I’m in pain. 

On a different subject, I was filling out a passport application for Elias and they asked for weight and height.  I haven’t weighed or measured Elias in a few months, so I did both today, and did both for Jenny as well.  I then punched the amounts in on a growth percentile calculator online and found that while Jenny is just about where she has been since she was six months old – around the 50th percentile for weight and height – Elias is still a tiny little munchkin below the 3rd percentile for both.  At birth, Elias was around the 40th percentile for weight and the 75th for length, but he has persisted in being tiny ever since.  Jenny, on the other hand, was a monster baby until she hit six months – she was above the 97th percentile until then.

A little off topic regarding pregnancy, I suppose, but it is making me wonder how this baby will compare with them for weight and length at birth.  I know that most of it is when the baby is born – Elias was early and 7 lb 4 oz, while Jenny was late and 9 lb 6 oz.  Three and a half weeks of extra in-womb growth makes quite a difference.  My guess is that if this baby was born now, it would be around eight pounds, but I could be off by quite a bit, I suppose.  And, if it isn’t born now, I won’t really know what it would have been.

I think as my pregnancy progresses, my writing gets worse.  I was terrible at keeping up on my journal with Jenny and Elias, so at least I have a record for this baby.  I suppose one reason that my writing suffers is that my son never wants to leave me alone when I’m writing.  I end up getting up two or three times to re-locate him or change his diaper or break up a fight between him and his sister or some inanimate object.

Of course, this entry is no different – I have so far left to change his diaper and keep him from dumping Jenny’s water on his head.  I suppose this means I had better end this for now, although I will probably write again later after my doctor’s appointment.  Hopefully I’ll have some answer about the rib thing by then.

 

Post-doctor’s appointment:

I have costal chondritis.  Doesn’t that sound nice?  Basically, it happens when the uterus grows to the point that it starts pushing the ribs outward.  It can happen to non-pregnant people, but when it happens to pregnant women, there is only one cure: delivery.  So now my desire to give birth has skyrocketed.  If I’m going to have to put up with this pain and pregnancy any longer, I’d like it to be less than twenty-four hours more.  But we’ll see…

Aside from that, everything seems to be ship-shape.  Baby’s heart rate is staying around 150 bpm and my weight is up just a bit from last week.  At this point, I think my total gain is probably around twenty-eight pounds, but I didn’t check my chart this time, so I’m not totally certain of that.

Okay, this is the end for now.  Even though the kids are now sleeping, I’ve had a phone call that has thrown me off just as badly as my kids do.  Not a bad phone call, just a distraction.  Until next time.

Full Term

May 19, 2008

It’s official – I am three weeks away as of today.  Well, three weeks away from my anticipated due date, which could be off by weeks.  Not based on the baby or anything else, just based on the fact that very few women actually give birth on their due dates.  I suspect that many don’t even make it within a week.  They’re either early or late.  Last week, we were invited to a party that happened yesterday and I was asked to make sushi, so I was holding out until then to have the baby.  Also, my doctor requested my cooperation in waiting until I was technically full term.  So, today is that day and now I can have the baby.  The car seats are moved back in the van and the base to the baby seat is installed.  That was the big job, although there are lots of small tasks in the house that still need to be done…and the fact that our cradle is still being fixed (well, I hope it’s being fixed anyway).  I don’t really think of these things as a big deal, though.  The thing that keeps me holding on is my desire for another big baby.  It’s highly likely that I’ve mentioned it before, but Jenny was 9 lb. 6 oz. and eight days late, while Elias was 7 lb. 4 oz. and two and a half weeks early.  The difference was amazing and Jenny just never felt so fragile as Elias.  She was big and hearty and healthy, while I worried about him a bit more.  So as much as I don’t want to be pregnant anymore, I would like to have a bigger baby than last time. 

Really what would help is one event per week leading up to my due date that would keep me from wanting to have the baby so badly.  One party or get together, etc. and I could look forward to those things rather than my due date which is still depressingly weeks away.  Typically, my Thursday Bible study would be enough, but it’s not quite cutting it lately.  I thoroughly enjoy it, but if I had the baby..say, tonight, I would probably still go on Thursday.  If I had the baby on Wednesday, the girls could all come to see me in the hospital after the study, which would be awesome.  Therefore, it’s not imperative that I remain pregnant for that reason alone.  Unfortunately, it feels like a quiet month in the way of events.  I suppose I could try using my imagination and pretending that there were things to go to, but then I would be disappointed when the day came and it wasn’t real.

Anyway, I’m rambling now. 

In other news, my family is sick.  Elias came down with a cold last week and his nose ran and he coughed like crazy and effectively passed it on to Jenny.  Now Mike and I have a touch of it as well, although not nearly as bad as the kids.  Jenny has had a fever for most of the day and is acting very sick.  She tends to get hit with things much worse than Elias.  When he is sick, he doesn’t act quite as down as she does.  She will lay on the couch for hours at a time doing nothing and sometimes falling asleep, whereas he is rarely content to sit still.  I am sure that some of it is personality as Jenny seems to be a lot like me when I’m sick and Elias more like Mike.

The nice thing about this illness hitting us now is that tomorrow is Victoria Day and Mike has the day off.  The weather has also been very nice which makes it somewhat easier as well.  I still have lots of things on my to-do list for the house, but if necessary, I imagine we’ll all be nice and lazy tomorrow.

Aside from the cold, I’m not feeling too awful physically.  I’m paying very close attention to the baby lately, making sure that it’s moving enough and if I’m feeling hiccups or small movement down low, which would indicate that it is still head-down.  It’s possible that my kids were like this, but this baby seems to either be going nuts or totally still.  I’ve been on the monitor at the hospital twice now and the first time, the nurses were astounded at how often it moved, while the second time, they were trying to wake it up by giving me ice water to drink.  When it’s calm, it’s hard to believe that I’m carrying a child that could safely be born now.  When it’s awake, there’s no way that I can ignore it, and of course it’s grown enough to be born – it could probably crawl already if it wanted to! 

I just noticed the time stamp on this entry and thought I’d mention that, for the record, it is not yet Monday where I am writing from.  The side bar tells me that there was a draft saved at 6:16 am on Monday, May 19th.  As of this moment, it is 11:14 pm on Sunday night.  So, to clarify, my due date is three weeks from today, Sunday.  I know, nobody cares, but it matters to me right now (blame it on pregnancy…you can do that for almost anything).

I’m sure there are things I could have gone on to say, but I should probably finish doing the dishes and some other general cleaning up.  My concern is that if I went into labour in the middle of the night, my mother-in-law would have to come over to stay while the kids slept and then she’d see how bad it was in the morning.  This is one of my greatest fears…well, okay, it’s diminishing a bit year by year, but still, it’s not a nice thought.  At least if my dishes are done and there aren’t pieces of clothing and garbage strewn about, it’s not quite so bad.

If I’m still pregnant, you’ll hear from me sometime soon (or at least during my thirty-eighth week), and if I’ve had the baby, it may be sooner.  Or later.  Okay, I’d better leave it at that before I stop making any sense at all.

Well, on most days, anyway.  I’m trying it out now because I am feeling a bit down.  My first thought about writing about this here was that it feels pointless sometimes.  I wonder if anyone bothers to read, and then I think – Who cares?  It is a great way for me to feel like I’m writing to an audience rather than just to myself.  Even if no one reads it, I can tell myself that someone does.

Seriously, I am lacking in motivation, frustrated with my house and my kids and my body.  Very frustrated with the fact that I have five weeks left of this pregnancy (give or take a few days).  I want to hold my baby and watch all of this melt away.  Since I’ve been there before, I know that’s exactly what will happen – at least for the first day or so. 

I am keeping up on my dishes (mostly), my laundry (mostly), and trying to get into the habit of making sure the kids’ room is clean before they go to bed at night.  It feels pointless at times, but I know someone has to do it.  I have little moments of joy – like making muffins that have to be the best I’ve ever made in my life, and assembling a gift for my sister-in-law that hopefully will be useful to her before her baby is born.  Knowing that I’ll at least get to hold her baby soon does help a bit.  The house is another story.  I had a goal.  A number of separate projects that could be finished in a day or two individually.  I finished the kitchen and the bathroom and half of the kids’ room.  I have the living room, laundry room and my bedroom to finish.  The living room is the one that gets me.  I haven’t been bothering to clean up at all because I tell myself that one of these days I’ll do a really thorough job of it and so worrying about the day to day is silly.  But then I see the mess on the floor and the clutter that just needs to be gathered up and put away and it makes me feel awful.  It doesn’t help that when the kids are awake and not confined to their rooms, they follow me around and won’t leave me alone.  By the time I get them playing in their room or napping, I feel like sitting down and doing nothing. 

I think tonight will be one of those when I get some Mommy time.  I hope it will be, anyway.  I need a few hours to myself that are not being used for productivity and are not in my own house.  Really, though, it would be even better if I could have a date night with Mike.  I told him last week that he is in charge of arranging babysitting in advance and taking me out soon.  Too often, our date nights are spur of the moment, call his parents half an hour before, rush to feed the kids some supper, drop them off and then feel rushed and guilty through the whole thing.  We have one girl who wants to babysit for us, but she’s a bit young to do it on her own yet.  She’s going to help me out this summer by coming and playing with the kids once in awhile so that I can have time with the baby or by myself – hopefully by the fall, she’ll be at the point where we can trust her with Jenny and Elias.  It may be awhile before we would leave a baby with anyone, though.  My committment to nursing makes it hard to leave our kids with anyone until they’re over six months old.  I will not bend, though.  The only thing that would keep me from it would be a serious problem with the baby that made it impossible to nurse.  I sincerely hope I never have to face that.

I feel like I’m all over the board today, but some of it is venting and some of it is just filling space.  I’ve already written for this week of pregnancy, but this just felt like the best place to say some of this.

At this moment, I feel like I can’t remember most of what I just wrote.  Don’t worry, I’m not drinking or on drugs or in labour.  Just pregnant and losing a brain cell or two every day.

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. 

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).