Mother of Two

So. Yeah. Didn’t mean to ditch you there. That was the quickest week of my life. Wow. And just like that, I’m a mama of two. Thanks so much for all the love on Twitter and Facebook, welcoming my baby Ferris into this world. You guys are awesome.

Here’s a pic of me from earlier today, one week post partum (minus a few hours).

(You’ll notice I didn’t clean the mirror for you this time. That requires two hands!)

I feel so good. Compared to how I felt after having Bowie, I don’t even feel like I gave birth. Not that it was a whole lot easier this time. I mean, in some ways yes. 18 hours of labor compared to 6 hours of labor = amazeballs easier. But, epidural compared to no epidural = NO FREAKING WALK IN THE PARK. Overall, things went very well, and recovery is going great.

I will be posting the birth story here in a few days, after I gather my thoughts and can think straight again. Pregnancy Brain was pretty bad this go around, but I totally forgot how bad New Mom Brain is, wowza.

I just wanted to check in with you and let you know I’m doing so great. Learning to make Bowie’s lunch with one hand, nursing a baby in the other. Re-learning how to change a poopy diaper on a wiggly newborn by nightlight.

Our little family is adjusting perfectly to the new addition. And I am so, so, so looking forward to watching Ferris grow. (Just not too fast, ok?)

Here’s a super sweet picture my husband took at the hospital when Bowie first came to meet baby brother:

Love you guys. Stick around, there’s so much more to come on my journey through motherhood!

 

A Wager

Not really a wager. I don’t like to gamble. But, we started a little family betting pool this morning: When Will Baby Brother Come Out?

Daddy says Saturday.

Mommy says Sunday, since baby has been playing this pregnancy by the book the whole time.

Bowie says, and I quote, “In one week.” Thanks, kid.

I was really hoping against all hopes that he’d come before 7:30 last night, to get me out of having to speak in front of the whole preschool community at a meeting. But, no such luck. So, now I’m just waiting it out.

There is a finite end to all of this, I just have to remember that. Because of the diabetes, they’re cuttin’ him off of the amniotic at 41 weeks. So, this will all be over and done with by the 23rd or 24th. But, after all this time, thinking about tacking an extra week onto things is torturous.

What do you think, Internet? Place your bets! I will try to think of some fun prize for anyone who might guess it right.

 

Let There Be Carbs

I just returned home from my appointment with the diabetes center at my hospital, and all I can say is HALLELUJA.

The nurse I spoke with was shocked at how much I’d cut back on the carbs. But, I explained, the women’s clinic didn’t offer me much information at all, except to “cut way back” and I wanted to play it safe.

This makes me wonder why hospital policy isn’t that someone from the diabetes center calls you within 48 hours of your diagnosis to just give you a quick run-down of things over the phone, rather than make you wait 10 days in the dark until you can get an appointment. But, I know none of you are part of my hospital’s administration so…end of rant.

She had a lot more info than I found anywhere on the Internet too. She tailored a diet plan for me based on my results and my health (before and during pregnancy), which is so helpful. And she said I can probably afford to have a much more significant amount of carbs than other women. This means bread! Crackers! Pasta! Just keeping it to a reasonable amount, of course.

I treated myself to a tuna sub from Subway for lunch, just to see what numbers came up and: totally normal. So, that slice of pizza I “indulged” in Sunday night? Probably no biggie whatsoever. I can still eat (basically) what I want to. I’m so relieved. I’ll be full for more than a half hour at a time! I won’t be so crabby all the time!

The womp womp news is that I do have to test my blood sugar periodically. FOUR TIMES A DAY at least for this first week. But, our insurance got me a pretty sweet little monitor with “gentle” lancets.

I’ve already tested twice today and it’s not so bad. I’m even typing away with the fingers I’ve tested, no issue whatsoever. I had this image in my head of me having to test like, every hour, and my fingertips would be so sore I couldn’t do anything. Not so. Still a pain to do, and to remember to do, but I only have 11 weeks left. And I actually have to birth this little man. So, you know, I can handle this.

I want to really give a shout out to the fellow moms who gave me so much info on past posts. It really helped me feel better, and I got some much needed firsthand info when I was totally clueless. Thank you thank you thank you!

24 Weeks

The end of this week marks my official entry into the third trimester of this pregnancy, woo hoo! But, three months still seems like an eternity to me, even when I consider that I’ve already completed twice that. I think it has something to do with the fact that I will be pregnant all summer long. It’s only three months, but the prospect of being pregnant for an entire season is a little daunting. Even when I remind myself I was in fact pregnant for the entire spring.

The other day at school, a mom asked how much longer I had, and I said three months. Literally at the same moment she was saying, “Oh that’s coming up soon!” I was saying, “So much longer still.”

I have a feeling it will fly by though. Or, the teeny, tiny optimist that lives deep down inside of me is thinking it will fly by. There’s a lot of prep work that I’ve been putting off, and we’ve only got three months to take care of it. Taking a hospital tour (because after four years, we need a bit of a refresher course), rearranging our bedroom to fit the little guy in, making sure we have enough for him to wear (I saved a ton of Bowie’s stuff in general, but so very little newborn duds?), making a game plan for what to do with Bowie while we are in the hospital…and making an attempt at relaxing a bit and enjoying our simple, quiet life before baby is here.

I need to apologize for the epic bummer my last post was! Things really haven’t been that bad. I’ve just been really busy. I have to spend all of my available afternoons at preschool instead of my one required work day afternoon, shadowing Bowie and helping to be his “guide”. Basically, they need an extra set of hands to help redirect him when he feels cornered or stressed out. Which is often. So, my lovely child-free afternoons where I can float around light as air from errand to errand and get everything done have been relegated to rushed mornings where I have to drag Bowie along on every errand, and not all of them get done.

We’ve heard back from the occupational therapist: both she and our preschool director see clear evidence that Bowie has some sensory processing difficulties, and she has suggested that we have some therapy sessions over the summer. When the preschool director first asked that I meet with someone, I felt intimidated by the whole prospect of Bowie needing an occupational therapist, but now I just feel relieved. I’m relieved that there’s a legitimate issue there that we can put our finger on, finally, and that we can specifically target to help him and to help us better survive an average day. I’ve already started to learn how to help him avoid triggers and how to help him cope after an outburst and use words to tell me how he felt. I know that with the help of someone who deals with this professionally, we can figure this out.

Bowie has been having his good days and his bad days, and sometimes I look back at the end of what I would call a “bad” day and realize that in reality it was just a few bad moments, and we trudged through. Overall, things have been good lately. Bowie is happy to sit and have long conversations about what we will name baby brother, what kinds of games he will play with baby brother and how he will show baby brother how to be a big boy. He’s super excited to turn four (tomorrow, OMG!) and become a big brother.

There’s a quote floating around on Pinterest right now, “Someone else is happy with less than you have.” I try to remind myself of that every day. Life is tough sometimes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still smile and find the silver linings. Thanks everyone for all of your support.

Halfway There!

So, I’m 20 weeks pregnant now. Halfway from here to there. Usually, being halfway there is a big motivator for me, like with road trips, tests, Mondays, etc. Pregnancy brings a bit of the pessimist out of me. “You mean I’m only halfway there?!” But, exciting times anyway. I think I’m just getting antsy because now I know I have another little man on the way, and I want to meet him as soon as possible.

As you saw from my last post, I’ve had the 2nd trimester ultrasound, and things look great. We’ve got a happy, healthy, ACTIVE baby boy coming at us this fall.

This ultrasound was a gigantic leap for me as far as feeling comfortable with this pregnancy and getting some confidence that things are ok. The ultrasound technician kept saying how great things were looking. And during the ultrasound, baby turned his face right to the screen and yawned. Our hearts very nearly exploded. I’m feeling so much better now, not completely free of anxiety but definitely better than I was.

I’m also starting to get that “house” feeling of pregnancy. As in, “I’m as big as a”. I know I’m really not that big (yet) but I don’t remember feeling so big with Bowie. This time around, I seem to just keep growing, and growing and GROWING. Here’s my 20 week pic:

They are not kidding about being bigger with subsequent pregnancies. Here is me at about the same point in my pregnancy with Bowie:

Wowza. But, even though I feel huge and I’ve started waddling already, I bear the belly with a lot of pride. I feel like I’m more confident with my body, somehow.

And, now my “with child” state is more obvious to the general public. Which is nice, no more sideways glances from people assuming it’s more a case of “fries with that”. But, I forgot about all the questions! My goodness! (I’m talking about strangers here. If we’re acquainted in the slightest, I really don’t mind. But, standing in line together at Target does not make us “acquainted”.) Is it your first? How far along are you? Is it a boy or a girl? Where are you having him? Will you have an epidural? Was he planned? These questions might not bother everyone, but I’m kind of a private person, and sometimes just don’t want to answer. And it doesn’t help that no matter the question, no matter your answer, unsolicited advice is sure to follow. And unsolicited advice, especially bad or judgmental unsolicited advice, is a bit of a pet peeve of mine.

And the touching. Come on people. If we’re friends or family, rub the tummy, rub away. But, if we’ve never laid eyes on each other before, I beg of you, keep your hands to yourself. I’m uncomfortable when a stranger touches my ARM. I’ve read articles suggesting I should just relax and not get so uppity about it, but it’s a stranger. Touching me. Pregnancy doesn’t erase one’s sense of personal space.

Okay, pregnancy griping over. I must be hungry (again). Halfway there. Whew. Here’s hoping for a very quick next 20 weeks.

The Week in Snippets

A few random things. Because apparently that’s how I roll now?

Mid-pregnancy ultrasound is scheduled for April 27. I can hardly wait to lay eyes on the little one, and see how things are going. I’m such a ball of excitement/nerves/wonder, I can hardly think straight. But I had a nice talk with the midwife at my appointment last Friday about my concerns, and she said the heartbeat sounds really great, and the baby is moving around a lot, so things seem to be progressing very well. And if I need to pop in for a “heartbeat check”, to just give her a call. That conversation made my LIFE. In a sea of doctors and midwives who are trying desperately to understand how I feel and put me at ease, finally someone who could.

I’m not sure how often I’ve discussed this on here, but lately Bowie has been very…physical. Too physical. And he’s started hurting kids at preschool. But, the preschool director, his teacher and Brien and I are bound and determined to get him back on the right track. We’ve enlisted the help of an occupational therapist, who we got a smokin’ deal on through the preschool, and she is in the process of evaluating him for sensory motor sensitivities, which could explain a whole heck of a lot of the things he’s having issues with lately. I will keep you all updated, and go into more detail in a future post. For now, I will just say that it’s been a major stressor for me and my husband lately, and we’ve been working so hard lately, doing our absolute best, with few results. Some results, but it’s slow-going. It’s all fairly normal, and he will outgrow it, but I’d love to have this phase behind us, especially with a new little one set to arrive this fall.

I have had pregnancy brain something fierce. I’m not talking about walking into a room and forgetting why you’re there. I’m talking about having to make myself no less than 4 to do lists, all of which say the same thing, and leaving them around the house for myself, and STILL forgetting things. An example: I had a meeting at preschool the other night, a meeting we have once a month, without fail. I had it on all of my lists. I had it on the calendar. I talked with another mom about it that day. During dinner that night, I was talking about it with my husband. Then, I rinsed my dinner plate, put it in the dishwasher, sat down on the couch, and that was it. I forgot all about the meeting until it was long over. And I never forget stuff like that. Never! I was…I don’t know…embarrassed? It felt like that time in sixth grade when I totally forgot I had to give a how-to speech in English class, and had to make one up on the fly. Which was terrible. (But, thank you Mrs. Beguhn for making me do it anyway, LESSON LEARNED. Well, unless I’m pregnant, apparently.) Thankfully, the person at school in charge of making sure everyone gets to the meetings is a close friend. And she didn’t judge me. Too much.

The weather was nice this weekend, and is supposed to be even nicer as the week progresses. I did a whole bunch of gardening over the weekend, and I’m super excited to see how we do this year. I’m taking the old trial-and-error approach to figuring out gardening in the Outer Sunset (we have a very unique climate out here), so starting off the new season, I’m always so excited to see what grows, what doesn’t, and the whole spectrum in between. This year we’re trying (thus far) strawberries, lettuce, pattypan squash, two kinds of bush beans, fava beans, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, celery, peppers and chard. I’m also trying some new techniques with rosemary, thyme, parsley, cilantro and basil (for some reason, raising healthy herbs completely eludes me, no matter what, but, I press on). If you have any tips on any of these, or tips on raising a garden in a mild, wet, foggy climate, let me know.

And, the obligatory belly bump photo. I wasn’t going to do these this time, for some reason it just seemed unnecessary. But, all of a sudden I have this BELLY and I just have to share (and yes, I cleaned the mirror for you people. You should feel very special.):

Have a great week everyone!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly…

…of this pregnancy. So far.

The good:

1. Just being pregnant. It took 9 long months from miscarriage to conception and I am just so glad it finally happened. I wondered if it ever would, if my body was all done. (I know, I know I’m only 33 for Heaven’s sakes, but that stuff just crosses your mind sometimes.) (Especially when you live in a society hell bent on making you think 30 is “old”.) So, it’s nice to be past all of that.

2. I’ve been feeling the baby move since just 15 weeks! I was probably more like 22 weeks or so with Bowie before I felt his little movements, but now that I know what it feels like, I can recognize even the tiniest flutters. It’s such an amazing feeling during a pregnancy in which I need a LOT of reassurance.

3. The morning sickness was not so bad. I definitely had it, but it ended quickly and abruptly. With Bowie, I was doing the eating-saltines-before-getting-out-of-bed thing until like 20 weeks. With this kiddo, I did that only for about a week, really early on, and then I managed to survive just getting up and getting that first cup of tea in me. And I haven’t even really felt sick since week 12 or so (unless I have a headache, but that’s not a story for the “good” section).

The bad:

1. The soul-sucking fatigue. When I was pregnant with Bowie, I do remember being tired. And I had the luxury of alone time back then, so I’d take naps. And go to bed early. This time, I’m so much more tired. I’m thinking, I finally get what all the books are talking about. I was tired the first time. This time I’m so EXHAUSTED. I don’t have the time to stop and go to sleep whenever the mood strikes. Some days I just have to suck down a guilt-ridden Diet Coke and power through until Bowie is asleep, about 8pm these days. To add insult to injury, all the books told me I’d probably start feeling better around week 14. Three weeks later and I’m seeing no signs of improvement. Bah humbug.

2. I’ve been waking up with these awful headaches, as previously mentioned. Probably 3 or 4 days a week. It’s like a mild migraine, if there is such a thing. I wake up with a pounding head, and mega-nausea. But different nausea than morning sickness. And I have actually thrown up from this. If I can manage to get my morning cup of tea in me, the headache subsides and my day continues as normal. I have the suspicion it’s blood pressure related. And I have a hard time not ending up sleeping on my back. Every time I wake up, I switch to my side, but it never fails, I end up on my back again. And that’s supposed to be not so great for blood flow. Going to talk to the doc about it next week at my appointment. I sure hope there are some preventative things I can do about this.

3. Some things don’t smell/taste “right” to me anymore. I never had this issue with Bowie. With him, the traditional yucky smells would bother me: cigarette smoke, gasoline, garbage cans, booze breath. But this time, random things are starting to turn me off. So far the worst offenders are pizza sauce (I KNOW) and blueberry toaster waffles. And I hope the list ends there. It’s very frustrating.

The ugly:

1. Body hair. Namely, facial hair. It’s the grossest ever. WTF, hormones?

2. I’m already having a hard time holding in pee. At 17 weeks. What’s going to become of me when I’m HUGE and waddling to the bathroom? Ugh.

3. Acne. That lovely “pregnancy glow” is causing me some mega clogged pores.

And, because I’m getting this question a lot lately, here’s an FAQ about the baby’s gender and whatnot:

1. Are you going to find out the sex of the baby? Yes.

2. Are you going to share said information with us? Yes.

3. When do you get to find out? The ultrasound is generally performed around 20 weeks. I will officially be 20 weeks on April 29th. I go in for a regular appointment next Friday, where we will be scheduling the ultrasound appointment.

4. Do you want a boy or a girl? I’m torn. Having another boy would be fun. Boys are lots of fun. And I feel like I know what I’m doing. Although, of course having a little girl would be great too. I’d have one of each. A set. So, I’m indifferent.

5. Does Bowie want a brother or sister? I think he’d be happy with either. But, for a few weeks now he has been insistent that it’s a sister. Even telling me, “No, mama, it’s not a brother, it’s a sister.” I might have a little clairvoyant on my hands, we shall see.

About the Size of a Lime

That’s how big my baby is.

Yep, my baby. I’m 12 weeks preggo as of last weekend.

I was really stressing out about when and how and why to come out to the Internet about my pregnancy. While I could not be more thrilled to be pregnant again, I’m also about as anxious as I think one human being could be. Especially since it’s been 2 weeks since my last doctor’s appointment, and I don’t get to go back for 2 more weeks. I need more reassurance than that.

I also thought getting pregnant again would just fix all of my feelings of loss and grief and fear, and everything would be right with the world again. Not exactly so. For a while, my feelings actually intensified; hormones I suppose. And then I felt guilty, like I was so fixated on conceiving this baby that I might forget the baby I lost. (I’ve since realized that’s just not going to happen.) And now, I worry all the time that things will turn out the same way again, I can’t seem to settle into reality mode and be happy.

But, I want everyone who was there for me during the miscarriage and the grieving process to also be able to celebrate with me. And maybe telling more than just our parents and siblings will help make things seem more real. Thank you all for your support, here’s to the future. And here’s to my little lime. (This is reminding me how much I miss margaritas.)


Photo credit: mconnors from morguefile.com

A Conversation

In the car, driving to the grocery store:

Bowie: Mama, do you have a new baby?

Me: uuuummmm, what?

Bowie: Do you have a new baby? The baby in your belly?

I did tell him a few times that there was a “baby in my belly”. But that was it. And I haven’t said a word since the miscarriage.

Me: Uh, there’s not a baby in my belly.

Bowie: Yes, there is a baby in your belly!

Me: Well…that baby got a boo boo and had to go away.

Bowie: Oh. [pause] I can get it back!

Me: I wish we could, but that baby is gone forever. We will have to work really hard to make a new one.

Bowie: Yes. Because I want to have a baby in my family.

Never thought I’d have to have that conversation. Poor kid. It must be hard to comprehend stuff like that. Lord knows it’s tough for adults.