Mixed bag 

Today was mixed bag, good/bad day. Lots of highlights, but still a bunch of pesky hormones dragging me down.

I got to spend part of the morning at Lewis’s school for a special visit from the “Lizard Man”. Ellen came too because Kyle was squeezing in a round of golf, but she slept through the whole thing. That meant that I really got to participate with Lewis, and that filled my cup, albeit temporarily. Below is a picture of Lewis with one of the creatures. 

I’ve noticed that evenings have felt particularly hard. I get through the days ok, but no matter what happens during the day, even if I’ve had a ton of fun or everything has gone smoothly, by dinnertime I feel like kind of a wreck! I don’t know if it is just because I’m tired and therefore can’t withstand the hormones anymore, or if it is facing the fact that I have gone through another day without accomplishing anything, or if it is something else. But something about the evenings makes all the little things feel heavy.

Whatever it is, I usually shed a few tears. Often because I miss Lewis. Often because my house is a mess. Often because I have a fridge full of food but no appetite, and I feel stressed about wasting the food if I don’t get through it. Often because I have a to do list full of simple tasks I just don’t feel like I can manage.

One of the strangest sensations is that I feel like I should be doing more with Ellen than just sitting around, and I feel guilty when that’s all I do. If I hold her, I feel like that’s not enough. If I put her down, it’s worse. If I put her down and go do something productive, it’s even worse. It’s a really silly thing to get so crazy about, but I can’t turn off the feeling of needing to be constantly attached to her. And even that doesn’t feel like I’m fulfilling my duties as a mother.

I remember feeling something similar with Lewis, and I also know that feeling faded eventually. I just wish I remembered how long it took, or that I could find myself a shortcut to get there sooner. Because this is frustrating and silly and I know it is ridiculous. So I just want to move past it.

Anyway, enough of my neuroses and emotions. Back to the goodness of the day – Ellen’s belly button stump fell off overnight. Or should I say it was ripped off? It got stuck on her jammies and came off during a diaper change. Either way, good riddance. It smelled so bad it made me and Kyle gag, so we won’t miss it! I do think it was a little premature because the hole it left behind filled with some green gunk and bled throughout the day a teensy bit, but oh well. Seriously. The smell was foul.

A friend and fellow new mom-of-two came by with a meal for us this afternoon. It was fun to swap birth stories and one-to-two transition stories. I love having a handful of friends going through the same thing at the same time. It really helps to have that support and to know that you’re not alone or crazy. 

I rounded out the day with getting to read Lewis a few stories. Normally that’s part of the routine with Kyle, but I got to cut in tonight, which really felt special. Anytime I can steal a moment with Lewis is so precious.

I just love my kids so much. That’s what it boils down to. My anxiety about doing “enough” for Ellen and my missing Lewis are symptoms of a very deep love. I knew I’d have enough room in my heart for both of them, but I didn’t know that that space in my heart would be so vast that I wouldn’t be able to cram enough of them in it. 

1 week!

This tiny person is a week old today!

It is pretty crazy that a week has already passed. It feels like ages ago that we got sent in for induction, but at the same time, I remember the birth like it just happened two minutes ago.

The past week has been spent healing, problem solving, getting to know Ellen, and riding the postpartum roller coaster.

Healing is going well, as far as I can tell. I don’t dare do much investigation, but I am convinced things are going as they should “down there”. And after the tongue/lip tie revision, I believe my nipples will be on their way to healed soon too.

Problem solving has yielded great results, especially with breastfeeding. Ellen hit/exceeded her birth weight today at our lactation appointment which was a required follow-up to the tongue/lip tie revision. Finding out her weight was a bonus (also, she eats twice as much in a feeding than an average 1 week old, my little hippo!), but the real purpose of the visit was to check her latch with her new anatomy. The lactation consultant said everything looked great and sent us on our way. Yay! 

Another awesome development today is that I didn’t need to pump one single time. The engorgement phase seems to have passed quickly this time around with some clever problem solving, following advice from the first lactation visit, and a little bit of sudafed to “dry me up” a smidge.

Getting to know Ellen will be a lifelong journey, I’m sure. But this first week has revealed a pretty even keeled infant who isn’t particular about anything. She’s just as happy to be held as she is to hang out in a rocker, and she doesn’t care if the rocker is rocking or just stays still. She will take a bottle, a pacifier or the boob. She’s cool with a ride in the car. Doesn’t mind going out shopping or whatever. Basically, as long as she’s fed, she’s cool.

The postpartum roller coaster is not my favorite ride. I’m definitely doing better this time than I did with Lewis, but I still have moments that feel really heavy and hard.

Today, for example, the feeling of missing Lewis weighed on me to the point that it brought me to tears. I made a conscious effort to be a part of his morning routine and to pick him up from school, hoping that would fill my cup a bit. I even requested (and received) a bunch of hugs and kisses out of him. But none of that felt like enough.


I guess you could say I’m grieving the loss of his only-childness. No one ever mentioned to me how sad I would be about that. It is quite difficult for me to go from being able to fully focus on this wonderful, interactive human to being mostly focused on a human who can’t give anything back yet. Ellen is, of course, also wonderful. But I miss the reciprocation and feedback and laughs and silliness. And even the sass and backtalk (I never thought I’d say that)! 

Infants can’t give any of that to you. It is just selfless giving of yourself to this sweet, innocent person who relies on you completely. It is a special, important thing to care for an infant. And I love it – truly I do. All I’m saying is that I love Lewis too, and I miss him so much my soul aches. And I wish someone had warned me about this feeling. 

All in all, I would say we’ve had a good first week. I expected both ups and downs, even if I didn’t know exactly what shape they would all take. I’m looking forward to a week two that hopefully brings some more emotional stability.

Day 6

Sweet Ellen is 6 days old today, and she had a big day. She had her tongue and lip tie confirmed by an ENT and it was immediately revised with a laser procedure. 

I am so grateful I followed my instincts and had her looked at asap, because I can already feel a difference in Ellen’s latch and my pain levels with breastfeeding.

“Fun” fact – The information the doctor handed us at the appointment said that less than 5% of babies have tongue/lip tie issues. Well, 100% of my babies had them! And 100% of my babies were sunnyside up at birth, which is also an uncommon occurrence. Beating the odds right and left. Where is my lottery ticket?!?!

Anyway, getting that done was a big deal. Now we have 3 weeks of stretching the revised sites to prevent reattaching, a trip to the lactation consultant to make sure Ellen is using her new anatomy correctly, and a follow up with the ENT to make sure nothing has started reattaching despite our stretching efforts. All the extra “stuff” is worth it to make sure we can breastfeed. I’m so, so happy.

I also officially kissed the last of the newborn-sized clothes and diapers goodbye today. I’m so glad I hadn’t stocked up on a ton of either. I must have known on some level that she’d be massive! It’s a little sad, though, because some of those clothes were really precious and none of my babies will ever wear them. 

The only other Ellen news today is her stinky belly button. I’m keeping a watchful eye on it, because it smells awful, and is oozing green pus. The doctor says this is fine and normal, but it is so gross that Kyle nearly puked earlier from the stench. She told us what we should actually watch for and be concerned about, and you can bet we will be on it if those things happen!

How about an update about mama? Well, after a very successful night of sleep (considering we have a newborn), I was ready for the day. I got laundry folded, showered, ate well (go me! That’ll show you, postpartum appetite loss!), and didn’t even need a nap.

Physically, I’m definitely on the upswing. My belly is going down, my stretch marks are less red and angry, my bleeding is slowing, my breasts are less engorged, and my nether regions are less swollen and the stitches are bothering me less. I think I may even be able to stop ibuprofen in the coming days. It’s all positive news there.

Emotionally, today is my best day yet. I’m definitely still on the hormonal roller coaster, but with more sleep I find I am more in control of myself. 

One of the hardest adjustments so far is how much I miss Lewis. He’s at school all day and then only home + awake for 2-3 hours in the evening. That’s no different than normal, and it hadn’t been bothering me at all, but now my attention is split and I find that I desperately miss focusing on him 100% when time with him is so limited. He’s so sweet and funny and special and I am so preoccupied and pinned down by the baby that I miss out on enjoying those lovely moments with him. 

Kyle has been soaking up the extra bonding time with Lewis and I definitely feel jealous. I hope that it won’t take me long to figure out how to be there for both of my kids simultaneously and feel satisfied by the experience bonding with both of them. I imagine that is very rewarding, whereas the current state of things is making me feel guilty and sad.

Luckily, I think I’m on better footing for bonding with Ellen now that breastfeeding is sorting itself out. Without the agony, I think my attachment to her will explode and be wonderful. That’s half of the children-duo covered. A good start, indeed.

4 hours

Ellen just slept 4 hours straight. She would have kept going but I had to wake her to feed to relieve some pressure in my breasts. 

I’m amazed. 6 days old today, and sleeping a long stretch like that!!! I wonder how long she would have gone if I hadn’t had to interrupt her.

Newborn visit 

Today Ellen went to the doctor for her newborn visit. She checked out perfect, except for the tongue/lip tie. Just as I expected! She is also nearly back up to birth weight, so she’s a real champ!

We got the referral from the pediatrician to a big shot ENT for the tie revision, and they called to schedule this afternoon. The first available appointment wasn’t until the 18th of September!!!! When I heard that, I almost started to cry. If I had to wait that long, I’m sure I would just stop breastfeeding. 

BUT! They put us on a waitlist for cancellations, and sure enough, they called back again and we are going in tomorrow. Not to the big shot ENT, but to one of his colleagues. And I don’t care who we see as long as they can help us and save the situation. So tomorrow morning, we trek off to Gresham for the revision, and I am excited for relief!

Other than the pain from Ellen’s latch, I’ve still been dealing with engorgement and ocersupply. But I seem to be making progress on that front too and hope that within the next couple days I’ll feel great on all accounts.

Ellen is a little sweetie, with a really calm demeanor. She hardly cries. If she is hungry, she’ll chew on her fingers or root around for quite a while before beginning to cry. I don’t know if this is a true indication of her personality, or if she just hasn’t found her voice yet, but it’s really nice not to get screamed at all day!

The spit up/vomit issues she had in her first few days seem to have resolved through holding her upright, sleeping at an incline (bye bye bassinet, hello rocker), and just the passage of time. It makes nights easier, and lowers anxiety for both me and Kyle. 

Other than the appointment to fix her tie issues tomorrow, it is the first day since she arrived where we don’t have a bunch of stuff on the calendar. We are looking forward to keeping it low key and getting to know Ellen even better.

We’re doing this!

It is midnight and I have already gotten 1.5 hours of sleep. And those 1.5 hours were all in one stretch! Outlook on life, improved significantly.

However, we are having major latch issues today due to engorgement making my breasts too hard for Ellen to suck on. But we are working through the 10-20 minute process each time and eventually she gets on and gets fed. It’s rough, for sure.

We did visit the lactation consultant today and find that by their diagnostic matrix, Ellen does have tongue and lip tie just like her brother did, and the recommended solution is getting that snipped. I am happy to have my suspicions confirmed, but the ties are making the latches we do succeed in achieving quite painful.

Between the engorgement and the tongue/lip ties, it has not been an easy day for me, breastfeeding wise. It was also a super busy day generally, managed on very little sleep, but the busy-ness meant we got a partial diagnosis from the lactation consultant (doc needs to confirm and refer to no specialist for procedure still), got Lewis’s haircut, had newborn photos taken, and got visits from a bunch of family members too. It was worth it, and I’m proud to say that I only cried once very briefly despite my exhaustion and the hormones trying to drag me down.

Go me!

Complain 

Been awake nearly 3 hours. Fed the monster 5 times and she keeps asking for more. Probably because she falls asleep mid way through each feeding. 2 poops, 1 round of hiccups were included in the fun too.

My nipples are killing me. Somehow I’m still engorged despite the constant feedings. And Ellen’s lips are so blistered they’re peeling.

Toying with the idea of cancelling life tomorrow so I can sleep every moment Ellen sleeps. Two one hour stretches tonight ain’t gonna cut it.

Hello, milk 

Hooray! (And ouch!) My milk came in last night! I noticed it this morning as I hunched over my vomit covered baby with my boobs hanging out and my nipples started to drip. 

Man, I make motherhood sound glamorous, don’t I?

Well, Ellen continues to be a barf machine at night time, and our washer continues to run nonstop. In addition to the barfing sending me that way, the breastfeeding pain and some other physical signs are making me nervous about Ellen’s latch and possible tongue tie, so we are heading to the lactation consultant tomorrow to make sure we’re on the right track.

I’m glad to have that scheduled because the milk coming in has brought a wave of hormones which make me feel really sad and anxious. It feels better to be doing something proactive to battle the anxiety. 

The sadness however, is a different beast. I remember from last time that it is just something I have to ride out. But it is so confusing and uncomfortable to feel so sad when you know you’re actually quite happy. 

Anyway, at least I can work on the anxiety! And my milk coming in is a huge relief too!

Milk drunk 

I think we have our first milk-drunk moment!

How did we get to this glorious moment? Kiddo went almost 7 hours without eating overnight! 

Before we start dancing and assume that means mom and dad got 7 hrs of sleep, please understand that that’s not to say Ellen didn’t wake up. Because she did. We had a poopy diaper, a leaked-through, pee-filled diaper and she was puking quite a bit. We had several outfit changes and a full bassinet sheet change as a result. Just no eating.

I didn’t force her to eat because her tummy seemed upset and she didn’t seem interested in the slightest. And at one point I tried to rouse her for feeding because it had been so long and she wouldn’t even wake up. Tiny weirdo.

That waiting between feedings resulted in one of two things:

A) my milk did not come in, but it had been long enough since she ate that my colostrum had time to store up for her to really enjoy

or 

B) my milk did have time to come in and she is going to be a much happier camper in general.

Either way, I heard good gulping and swallowing noises, and she is passed out and content now. Yay!

We are home!

We got discharged today!

I got my catheter out in the morning and successfully peed on my own, which meant I was cleared for departure early in the day. Ellen didn’t have her testing done until later in the afternoon, so we weren’t sure we’d get to go until that was finished and the results were in, but she passed with flying colors and we were on our way home by 515 pm.

Ellen was a star on the drive home, quiet as could be. And Lewis was so, so excited when we came through the door. He immediately asked to see her, and quickly moved on to wanting to hold her.

He even spontaneously proclaimed that he liked her in between laps around the living room. *swoon*

Kyle’s dad had taken over from his mom on Lewis duty in the afternoon, so he stayed for dinner, which was hauled in by my mom and her husband. I enjoyed a delicious glass of wine along with my meal, and we all enjoyed being home together.

Now Lewis is snoozing for the night and I’m trying to get Ellen to sleep as well so I can catch a few zzz’s myself. It’s a little tricky because her appetite is on a different pace than my milk, so she comes off the breast unsatisfied. A hungry baby is not easy to get to sleep, so we will see how tonight goes! Let’s all cross fingers for my milk to come tomorrow so I can keep up with my chunky angel’s demands.

It’s a happy day over here at our house!

The kind, lovely nurse took Ellen to the nurse’s station for 1.5 hours so I could rest. I was starting to worry about my ability to cope and care for both Baby’s needs and my own on so little sleep, but I’m back on track now thanks to that break.

After the 1.5 hour kick start, Ellen came back in snoozing so I got another couple hours as a lovely bonus before a wake up call. She’s back asleep now, but in my arms, so I think I’m done for the moment.
Feeling grateful for the rest and for our nurse. Life is looking pretty good after some shut eye!

I have slept 1.25 hrs in the last 42 hrs. I’m the remaining 40.75 hours, I pushed out a huge ass baby.

Mama needs a nap. But Baby Ellen says, “nope”. I’m gonna cluster feed on day one instead of sleeping nonstop like a normal baby because I am a giant and I would like to stay that way.

Good thing I love her!

We did a thing!


Meet Ellen Pamela Knees. She joined our family at 7:14 this morning, August 23rd. She is a whopper at 9 lbs 7 oz and 21.25 inches tall. Big brother Lewis is a big fan, and so are mama and dada. Everyone is healthy and recovering from a tough labor – and we could not be happier with what we got for our efforts. We love you, Ellen!

I’ll post the “birth story” at some point in the undefined, but hopefully not terribly distant future. With all the (literally) gory details. This will have to do for today!

40 weeks

Never thought I would be writing a “40 weeks” post! I had absolutely no suspicion that I would make it this far – not to mention no desire to make it this far!

I went for my weekly checkup today only to find that literally nothing has changed since last week. Still close to 2cm dilated, and cervix way up behind baby’s head. All the contractions I’ve been having have been nothing more than useless, painful annoyances.

The doctor reminded me that a lack of progress prior to the onset of labor means nothing, and I could still “go” at any minute. I do know she’s right, especially after being 1cm with Lewis for many weeks with no change before my water spontaneously broke and he made his appearance. But even armed with that knowledge and experience, I am having a harder time than I would like dealing with my disappointment that nothing seems to be happening.

Side note – I packed an additional outfit for Baby Sister in the hospital bag. This one is a 0-3 month size just in case she is gigantic after all this “baking” and doesn’t fit in a newborn outfit. 

I am now scheduled for a non-stress test on Thursday to monitor the baby midway between today’s appointment and my induction on Sunday. My heart’s deepest desire is that I won’t need either appointment, but I am happy to have the NST to look forward to. It’s a pretty boring experience usually, but I long so deeply to feel connected to and meet this baby that I will welcome any kind of extra interaction with her that I can get.

In the meantime, I’m trying to keep a positive attitude, a sense of humor, and my sanity (with measured success). Kyle and Lewis help with all of those things. They’re both so loving and supportive and excited that they have a way of naturally pulling me out of my funk.

I told Lewis earlier that I was a little sad that Baby Sister hasn’t come out yet, and he said, “how do we get her out?” To which I replied, “what do you think? How should we get her out?” His answer was, “Thursday!”

So there you have it, folks! Sounds like I’m in for a few more days of pregnancy.

But it is also possible that it is my destiny to be pregnant forever.

Still pregnant 

The pregnancy with no end continues.

Tried walking around today. No baby, but I do have an aching back and very angry feet.

Better luck tomorrow, I guess?

Pep talk 

I just gave Baby Sister a pep talk. It was exactly this time in my pregnancy with Lewis that Kyle gave Lewis a similar pep talk to encourage him to come meet us, because we were ready. 3 hours later my water broke and the rest is history.

I’m hoping for a repeat performance this time. Lewis was a good listener and followed daddy’s instructions, so maybe our sweet girl will follow suit and we will get to meet her tomorrow.

How fun would it be to have them both exactly 3 days before their respective due dates? 

Anyway, I can always dream, can’t I? 

No action yet

I’m still feeling optimistic about today, but there was no action overnight to inspire a hospital trip.

That’s not to say that my sleep wasn’t totally disturbed by my uterus all night long. Because it definitely was. But things haven’t turned regular yet, so I just camped out in bed, wide awake.

The disturbance continues this morning. After I dropped the kid off at daycare, I went to the grocery store to walk around a little bit to try to get things going even more. I was supremely uncomfortable, but alas – not heading to the hospital.

I did, however, stock up on a bunch of healthy-ish freezer meals to supplement the stash I already have. I got a bunch of Amy’s Organic individual microwave meals to get me full meals with some reasonable nutritional value in a matter of minutes once the baby comes. I remember from last time that quick and easy was paramount, and I also remember feeling like the meal deliveries from friends and family tapered off long before I felt capable of managing my own cooking. So this is my strategy to deal with it this time around. I’m feeling good about it!

Now if this darn baby would just get out.

Hello… baby?

Still no baby. The wait continues. 

I feel strongly that tomorrow is the day, but I’ve been wrong before. 

The stars seem aligned for tomorrow to be a great birthday. My own doctor is on call, it is a prime number day (that’s a family superstition), my little brother and dad will still be in town, it’s close to the same proximity to my due date as I experienced with Lewis, Kyle has work all squared away… let’s do this!

My contractions have been increasing in intensity this evening, which is a good sign. But I have also been out and about, so getting in bed and laying down may quiet everything and calm my suspicions. 

I’m trying not to jump to conclusions.

But I did spend a lot of the day reading stories of how other women’s water broke, which did nothing to calm my excitement for labor to start.

In the event that Baby Sister doesn’t come on her own, we now have an induction scheduled for the evening of the 27th. That feels an awful long way away, so I would like to think that I won’t need that appointment. But I suppose anything is possible!

Send me good birthing thoughts for tomorrow. I feel very positive about tomorrow.

No baby 

No baby today either!

She just keeps wiggling away in there, happy as a clam. 

I am so relaxed now on my maternity leave that my body has calmed down the contractions a bit. Or maybe just my reaction to them is just more low key now that I’m more relaxed?

Either way, the contractions do keep happening, but no baby has fallen out.

Maybe tomorrow!

39 weeks 


Still pregnant!

Baby

She is still in there. Lots of movement and hiccups. Checked out great at the doctor today. Fully cooked and ready at “full term” as of today!

Me

I am pretty ready to be done with pregnancy, but feeling generally a lot more cheerful about everything now that I’m done working. Taking that stressor off my plate has made me feel much more at ease, and that has, in turn, made me feel better equipped to handle the waiting. 

But I’m cool with the wait ending whenever! However, there are no indications that the end is in the immediate future. I checked out exactly the same as last week by the doctor’s estimation – 2 cm and basically not effaced. 

I’m not too concerned about the “lack” of progress though, because I was 1 cm for weeks with Lewis before my water broke, and then it took me 5 hours of labor at the hospital to get to 2 cm! So I’m already rocking and rolling compared to last time. And experience tells me that progress at this stage doesn’t really mean much for “go time”, although it is nice that my body has prepped at least a little!

My buddy Shalyce had her baby today and I was lucky enough to get to go visit the little squish + family. Snuggling a perfect little peanut baby definitely heightened my emotional readiness for our own baby! Plus it would be fun to be in the hospital with our nuggets at the same time, just down the hall from each other.

My dad and little brother are both in town now too, so the troops are rallied. Really, it’s time. Everything is all set! Just missing that baby, is all!

Lewis 

Kiddo was all over the map emotionally this past weekend. Kyle and I are doing our best to savor the happy, less challenging moments and pretend the rough spots didn’t happen so we can soak in as much of his “only childness” as possible while we can.

In general, kiddo is still sweet and saying hilarious things all the time, but I don’t have any particular highlights to share off the top of my head right now. I just love that kid. That’s a pretty good summary. 

And I am dying to introduce him and Baby Sister to each other. I can’t wait to see how that goes and to hear what Lewis has to say about all of it!!

Nesting?

Am I nesting?

I just mended holes in two of Kyle’s shirts, organized under my sink, organized all of the drawers in our bathroom by category using little bins, cleaned out the medicine cabinet to discard expired meds, organized the bandaids separately, organized all the leftover paper plates and napkins etc from various parties, did all the dishes, and put away a bunch more baby clothes in labeled bins.

That’s gotta be nesting, right?

So… baby tonight maybe?!?!

No baby yet 

I am officially on maternity leave, but there is no baby yet!

Yesterday was my last scheduled day of work, and I am so relieved. It feels wonderful to have nothing to do but wait for Baby.

Kyle had to work late last night, so Lewis and I got a special evening together just the two of us. We ate veggie pizza in front of his favorite movie (Robots), and Lewis’s only complaint was that there was no broccoli (whaaaaat?!). Then kiddo had a couple cookies and we snuggled and played until bedtime. A couple stories, and then he put himself to sleep. It was such an easy, peaceful night, and one that I’ll cherish in my memories as one of our last with him as an only child.

Baby watch 2017 continues!

Still with child

Baby Sister is showing no new signs of being on her way out. Everything is exactly the same as the past few days.

So we wait. And we are huge. And we are hot. And we are tired. And we are EXCITEEEEEDDDDDDD!!!

Come on, Baby! Come meet us!

No Birth Yet

That’s right, still pregnant!

Still experiencing all the same “signs” of impending doom labor, but no baby yet. So the only logical conclusion is that I’ll be pregnant forever.

Heh.

Still. Pregnant.

Baby Sister is still in there.

I think she’s down a little lower today, since I’m waddling around like a penguin and feeling quite a bit of pressure.

Also still riding the contractions train. They hurt a lot more this morning when I was in bed, but now that I’m up and about and they don’t hurt like that I think I can conclude that they only hurt that badly because I was laying on my side with my belly unsupported. Darn. I was kind of excited, because more painful = game time.

I also thought I might have a small amniotic fluid leak last night. But again, no such luck. Just regular pregnancy discharge. Gross.

Can you tell I’m eager to get the show on the road? I’m imagining labor signs right and left! It feels like I’m going to cry “wolf” to myself so many times that when it is real, I won’t believe it and I’ll end up giving birth in the car.

Yikes. Just scared myself. Signing off.

Still Pregnant!

The full moon didn’t get us. Baby is still in there!

Lewis also slept waaaaaaaaaaaay better last night (AKA all the way through!), so I was able to get some much better rest. I still woke up a million times from contractions (ouch!), but I got to go back to sleep.

Feeling better rested = better equipped for labor. So I guess you could say I’m glad the full moon didn’t get us. I’d rather go into it with a “gas tank” that is more than 1/4 full. I’d say today we’re at 3/4, which seems like a solid starting point.

We’ll see what the day brings!

38 Weeks


Stiiiiillllll pregnant!

Baby

She’s the size of a baby. Not a fruit or vegetable or anything else. She’s a baby now!

We’re “early full term”. So, welcome to the world whenever you feel like it, Baby Sister.

Me

Tired.

Huge.

Thought I was in labor briefly yesterday when my contractions started to become more regular, about 6-7 mins apart. Then they basically stopped. So, not in labor.

Full moon is this evening, so I’ve had a hunch today is the day. I’ve been feeling “off”, and felt compelled to get all the laundry done and dishes put away “just in case”. I even put the hospital bag in my car for my trip to the doctor’s. But I’m probably just wishing today is the day and will remain pregnant for 2 more weeks, because I did not get sent to the hospital from the doctor’s office.

Although they did say they had already sent two other moms to the hospital from the clinic to give birth today! I’m tellin’ ya – FULL MOON!

Oh, the stats – I am 2cm this week, but cervix is still long. Doc said Baby and I are measuring great, and she doesn’t think Baby will be as gigantic as I think she will be. We’ll see who is right on that one! I had high blood pressure when I first arrived, but they took it again at the end and were reassured, as it had gone down. Something to keep an eye on, though.

I ended up summoning my mother to help me tag team the toddler-wrangling this evening due to intensifying contractions and absent energy. What a goddess she is, swooping in to help while Kyle was at a work meeting. I was a mess, and with mom by my side, the kid ended up fed, bathed, and asleep. Hallelujah. 

Side note – Maybe I erased the memory, but I don’t remember feeling this grumpy about “still” being pregnant at this stage with Lewis.

This is my last week of work, regardless of Baby’s arrival. Thank goodness. I’m so tired.

Lewis

He did not sleep well last night. Woke up screaming. I stayed with him for an hour. Kyle stayed with him for an hour. Then we brought him in our room and he was awake for another hour before finally falling back asleep. I dangled off the edge of the bed and couldn’t adjust my position the rest of the night because kiddo was in my space, so I just watched Kyle and Lewis sleep and cried tears of exhaustion/pain. My hips have been killing me all day from not being able to move all night. Plus the contractions. Ouch.

This all followed a weekend where Lewis was a huge pill, not listening, following rules, or eating. Oh. And he fell down the stairs. Twice. Ugh.

Saving grace this morning? When he saw me crying (woops. I couldn’t help it. I was so tired the tears just squirted out), he looked at my tears falling down my cheek and said, “Look! Oh mommy, I’ll get it.” And then he wiped my tears away one by one. “Oh mommy. Look. Another one. It’s okay, I’ll get it” *wipe*

So cute I could die.

All of us

So things are about to change. Big time. I’m still just as excited, but I’m entering into the familiar parenthood territory of feeling polar opposite emotions simultaneously. Now existing next to my excitement is trepidation.

I’m barely coping with our current life just carrying Baby Sister around in my belly. I haven’t been as engaged with Lewis, and I lose my patience quickly. I even fear the moments that I have to be solo with him, because I don’t feel confident I can handle it or give him what he needs/deserves. So how will I be a good mom when Baby Sister is outside and I’m hormonal and so tired?

You always hear so much about moms wondering how they’ll be able to love another child as much as they love their first. I’m not worried about that one little bit. I’m just feeling some concern about my abilities to cope with this unknown “new normal” that is coming at us (any minute!).

But you know what? Going from zero to one was wild too, and I figured out life with Lewis, even though it wasn’t always graceful. Despite my struggles with “momming” during pregnancy, my love for Lewis hasn’t faded at all – I love being a mom so dearly, that I do know on some level that I’ll figure out “momming” for two as well. I imagine it will probably not be graceful either, but I’ll do it just the same.

It’s just emotional and scary to look forward to this new phase and know it will be life-changing, but not really know exactly how it will change our lives, because you can’t really prepare when you don’t know.

So yes, trepidation. Naturally so. But that excitement hasn’t waned. Those two feelings are just coexisting and creating emotional turmoil for now. Truly, though, as weird/scary as it is to face this transition, I could not be happier. Let’s get the show on the road and start the madness!

Zzzz

Spent most of the night awake, counting contractions. So many contractions. But not regular yet, just annoying and frequent enough to fool me and keep me from sleeping.

And less than 2 hours after finally falling back asleep, Baby Sister decided to wake up and do some interpretive dance in my belly.

This exhaustion is familiar from the first (nearly) 2 years of Lewis’s life. Game on, folks. At least I know I can survive it now!

And the boys are up and gone already at 6:40, off to get Gramps for the “cars and coffee” meetup and a trip to some sort of car museum. So if I happen to fall back asleep on the couch, it’s not a problem. 

Plus I have a date with girlfriends for pedicures and lunch to look forward to later. That should be relaxing and lovely. I’ll get through this day. Thumbs up!

IS THIS IT?!

Oh dear. I’ve lost my mind.

I made a mistake earlier today of reading a Facebook thread about various women’s experiences with early labor – what they felt/knew at the time, and what they recognized in hindsight.

It has given me phantom symptoms ever since! Every little twinge (this is a real contraction!), every little thought (I just know today is the day), each dish I do (I’m nesting), clearly I’m in labor.

Good Lord. Calm yourself, woman!

But I have had one true sign of things being set in motion (TMI, coming up!) – My mucus plug is coming out in bits! I remember this from my pregnancy with Lewis. It is exactly the same! Of course, with him, there was still plenty of waiting left after this happened, so I’m not exactly rallying the troops and heading to the hospital. There could be days/weeks still before labor starts. But it feels so exciting that there is something happening that I can’t second guess as “in my head” or “made up”.

This level of sustained excitement and anticipation is really intense. I am on the edge of my seat, and it almost feels like a constant adrenaline rush. I just can’t wait. There is little-to-no fear, unlike with Lewis, and I’m basically in a prolonged state of elation. I GET TO MEET MY BABY SOON. My baby! And I know what birth can be like, and I know how to take care of a brand new person, so there is nothing to be afraid of. It’s just JOY.

So cross your fingers, my friends. There is a full moon on Monday, and full moons pull babies out of people. I could be one of those people! Meeting my baby! On Monday! Under the full moon! YEEEEE!!!!