Saturday, June 28, 2008

34 Weeks, 1 Day

Wow. Where does the time go? It seems like I opened Mother's Day gifts last weekend, and here it is practically the Fourth of July! We've been really busy during the week with all of our summer activities and the weekends race by in a steady stream of nesty little household projects, errands, and the soaking up of the neighborhood summer life outside. Good to enjoy all these things now and for the next month or so, and then spend time with family and close friends after Peanut arrives. I actually think the timing of Peanut's due date works really well with the flow of life around here - we'll be ready to buckle down for newborn hibernation as the summer season winds down, and then during the winter months he'll be small and passive. Come spring, he'll be a bit more alert and sitting up, ready to take in a bit more of his world, and summer will find him on the move and probably up on his feet before fall comes and goes. The following summer he'll be almost two! A solid walker, likely ready to join the rest of the kids in play.

Peanut's red chair arrived today and is in his room, just waiting to be settled into for nursing, rocking, reading and snuggling. The room lacks just a few finishing details and then I'll post pictures of it for everyone to see. I think it's going to be perfect for him, and for all of us to enjoy with him, each in our own designated way.

With all the busy-ness of the past couple of weeks I've made myself pretty tired. As usual I'm not getting enough sleep and lately I'm not getting to lie down mid-day on my left side for a bit, which means the heartburn and the ankle swelling have been at all-time peak levels. This week will be somewhat less busy and I'm hoping I can reinsert some afternoon downtime (for me - Bean has been taking her naps as usual, although they aren't quite as long as I prefer and she needs) and get this body back feeling great again. I don't feel too bad though, for as tired as I am, in fact I'd say I'm better than ever for this pregnancy as I'm not sick AND I'm not depressed. Overall, I'm generally quite happy, in fact.

I am having the hip pain I remember from the latter days of carrying Bean. Just dull, pressurey achiness on each side, and sometimes accompanying lower back aches. What really makes it feel better is to have my hips pressed inward from each side, like they're being squeezed back together -- that's such a huge relief! As luck would have it, Bean has found a little game she loves to play - she sits on one of my hips and uses a strap from my maternity tank as reigns and then pretends I'm a flying unicorn pony. The pressure of her sitting on one hip as the other presses into the bed or the floor is AWESOME for the hip pain, and we are both quite well-pleased for a nice long time playing that game! Yay!

The girls are both producing tiny amounts of colostrum now. I'm really happy about that and I try not to obsess about it, but it really does come into my mind frequently as I go about each day. It's funny, to me. But I don't blame me, really. The breastfeeding issue has a bit of an emotional charge for me, and probably always will. I'm resolving NOT to allow myself to worry and drive myself crazy about it once Peanut's here though. I just want a peaceful time with my baby, and if that means formula, well, in the end whatever keeps my family in harmony and my baby happy and my heart at peace, that's the right thing to do. The pressure to be perfect in a situation I can't control completely is just not healthy for me or anyone else in the long run, and I don't want it tainting our time together now or in the future.

I think I've gained about 2 lbs. in the past 2 weeks - at my lightest I'm at 152 lbs. My body, though, doesn't look like it has gained any weight - just my belly. Al says from behind, or if I'm standing in a way that obscures my belly, he'd never even know I was pregnant. Even though I wouldn't much mind gaining weight all over because I know I could get it back off without too much effort, I'm glad I won't have a bunch to lose and maybe I'll get to wear my normal fall/winter wardrobe this year. I think I'd enjoy that - it'd be nice perk-me-up as I deal with all those fun post-natal hormonal readjustments.

It feels good to feel ready for Peanut. I just need to wash and put away all of his newborn and preemie (I wonder now if he'll really need the preemie things) clothes and get the diaper changing table all ready, and that will be it, really, besides just getting things together for the hospital visit.

I feel slighly apprehensive about the birth this time - much less so than I did with Bean - possibly just because I know more about it and I'm older and all that. I feel a little bit like I might somehow end up have a C-section, though I have no basis for that prediction. I just strangely feel it's possible this time. Everything went well for Bean's birth - maybe I just can't believe I'd be fortunate enough have two uncomplicated births and two perfectly healthy babies. Who knows. I think that was part of my reason for feeling so hesitant to do this all again.

So we're basically watching the calendar now. I will take belly shots today and get them into the gallery ASAP.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

32 weeks, 6 days - Happy Dancing and High Fives All Around, Girls.

I just got out of the bathtub a minute ago (it's about 9 PM) and GUESS WHAT?

I leaked a tiny little droplet of colostrum!

A statement which just caused many of you to make an "ARGH. TMI, Megan!" face. But my long-time Diaryland girls and a few of my friends-in-real-life are smiling. Because they know my struggles with breastfeeding and how huge a boost to my confidence this was.

That is all. I'll update the photo gallery and try to write a longer post tomorrow.

Hello, colostrum, old friend. Good to see you.


Friday, June 13, 2008

32 Weeks! That's 8 Months!

I know. It's been awhile and an update is long overdue. Along with warmer temperatures comes a lot more activity around here, which has been a good thing for all of us, although WHEW, I'm so worn out at the end of the day I don't dare lie down until I know it's 100% safe to go to sleep because the minute I get horizontalit's lights out in every sense of those words. And ohmygoodness it feels SO good to get horizontal, and particularly on my left side - such a huge relief to my entire system - like AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH... that kind of relief. Amazing how much LESS of a relief it is to lie down on my back or my right side, even. But that left side, WOW! THAT is the ticket, right there.

Had a doctor's appointment Monday morning. No major stuff, just the customary trip to the ladies' room and the blood pressure check: 106 over 70-something. Baby's heartbeat sounding lovely and slow and steady, although Dr. Howey exclaimed as usual that HE NEVER STOPS MOVING. EVER. And I'm measuring right on target. Haven't gained anything in a month, but she's fine with that considering my increased activity level. I'm holding steady right at 150 buck naked, and I'm happy with that and how the weight's distributed, etc. Good stuff.

Still no stretchmarks and the belly button is hanging in there so far. It's very tiny now, but still a little peephole. Bean talks into it a lot as apparently that's the best way for Peanut to hear her. She's very into talking things over with the brother-boy lately, particularly when she's excited over something like DESSERT or playing outside. "C'mon Peanut! Wess go play outside!" Loving that.

We have just about everything we need to bring our boy home and settle him in. I washed his crib sheet today in preparation for setting up the crib in his room over the weekend. We need to get the curtain rod and put the curtains up, as well. And I still have to figure out what kind of changing table I want in there. The crib's white and the dresser's walnut. Or oak. So I can decide which way to go with the changing table. It can be a cheapo one that's just the top part on some shelves. I bought baskets with gingham liners to match the bedding in there, so those can just go on the shelves. Maybe since the baskets are white I'll get an oak changing table so together they'll tie the rest of the stuff in the room together. We also have a blue, red, lime green and cream rug to go in the room that will tie all of the colors together. It should be quite a cute little room when all is said and done. I still need more stuff for the walls, but that's not a major necessity. Oh, and I need a waste bin. Trashcan. Whatever.

B and I ran across a cute little blue and white Beanie Baby puppy at a store this week and agreed that Peanut must have it for his room. The puppy is sitting in there atop a pile of bedding and books and baskets and he looks happy and expectant. I like that look. He's waiting to be Peanut's Best Friend! Lucky little puppy. (Although we all know Miss Beanie will be Peanut's REAL best friend. I hope, anyway.)

I actually feel better than I have this whole pregnancy right now, now that I've worked out the right doses and timing for the Pepcid AC and the iron supplements and I'm staying busy and active and spending less time all holed up alone here. The nesting, as you can tell from this blog and FriedOkra has started in full-force and this time applies to the whole house instead of just the baby's room. There was just a lot of stuff that still needed doing to get us "settled" in this home, that's been waiting since we moved in and I know good and well it'll be a year or more after P's born that I'll have time or energy to think about anything like this again. So, it needs to get done now.

I've been thinking (okay, worrying, fretting and stewing) about life post-baby lately. I mean, not post baby. Post-BIRTH. I know I say this all the time but I feel conflicted and worried about TIME. I had no concept with Bean how very little time a mother has left in a day with a newborn to care for, and now I'll have a newborn AND a pretty demanding little girl to handle. And I feel, more than ever, that I HAVE to have time to do some things other than child care, namely blogging. A few VERY EXCITING opportunities have come up lately, ones I couldn't turn down because they are SO what I want to be doing. (I can't give details now, but I promise I will as soon as I'm allowed.) I mean, like DREAM opportunities. And I have accepted them, knowing full well I'm basically piling on the stress for myself - usually a person who requires and insists on tons of margin, time-and-stress wise in my life. I just wonder how on earth I'll fit it all in. Something will have to give and I know that. But what? And to whose detriment. I'm going to have to make those decisions carefully and really decide what has to go.

To that end, we've hired someone to do the cleaning again. I had someone during my last pregnancy up until B was about 8 or 9 mos old I think. This time I've started much later in the pregnancy and will probably keep her a little longer. It all just depends, really. Ideally I'd love to have a very very part time helper around here to watch the kids for a few hours a week so I can have dedicated writing time. I can get things done pretty quickly if I'm not constantly having to stop and start again, but trying to write while tending to just Bean makes a one-hour project take two hours, so imagine how TWO children will slow things down. But that takes money, to hire someone, and I am not sure how good I'll feel about spending Al's money on child-care when that's MY JOB. I know he'd support me if I wanted to do it, but that doesn't mean I'd feel comfortable with it myself.

I realize that this all sounds very selfish. Well, maybe not to EVERYONE reading, but to many. I think the thing is that I'm at a stage in my life where doing something I love doing - something that will stretch me in the way I want to be stretched and allow me to do a "job" I've dreamed of all my life - is just SO tempting, and seems like it could be so fleeting, too. I just feel pulled to grab the opportunity now AND do a great job being a mother and wife, because that's another important dream and of course the number one priority for me.

What it means is that I'll have to employ very very strategic time management and prioritization skills, which frankly, I don't think I even have, being as how I've never reallky demanded of myself NEARLY what I had the capacity for, being, as I said, a person who firmly believes in margin, AND, frankly, my priority for a majority of my life has been, well, MYSELF. And that HAS changed some with Bean and Al in the picture, but since Bean's gotten older I've had the opportunity to slip back into having my own needs as a priority on occasion again.

Oh, I don't know. I suppose it'll all find a way to work out and if I have to give up something blogging-related, so be it. I don't know why I'm writing this here, other than that Peanuts arrival seems imminent now and this line of thinking is related to what happens when he does get here, beyond the diapers and the late nights and the nursing and the household adjustment to our tiny new little manny mcman.

I just wanna do right by everyone, and not give up these things I love, just for me. If you have any sage advice, it's welcome. It's crazy to take anything on right now, while I'm expecting a baby, but I'm doing it anyway and I hope it all works out well.

But I'm happy these days. And getting excited about birth and having my little baby to cuddle and get to know.

I'm going NOW to update the Belly Gallery. The lying-on-my-back pictures aren't coming out well lately, for some reason, but I'm trying!

My Lil Family