22 weeks and counting

I am 22 weeks with my baby girl. I have been so bad about posting updates and keeping everyone in the loop. But, time is slipping by oh so fast, with the other two kids to keep up with, and life just refusing to slow down.

While I am excited about her arrival (though cautiously excited because my anxiety never lets myself get too excited about anything), I have been plagued with some pretty serious negative emotions, and it’s made this whole thing very difficult. I’m panicking for two now.

My anxiety has been a constant in my life, going back as far as I can remember. But I feel like it is escalating as I get older. Partly because motherhood is, well, motherhood. And also partly because I found my way through an extremely difficult couple of years by always having a bottle of alcohol by my side, and sometimes I am afraid I will lose control again, and let myself sink to that point again. It is a constant terror of mine: that I will relapse again. My psychiatrist tells me to think positively about my awareness. That being on guard all the time will work in my favor. And he’s right. But it’s exhausting.

I am on a lower dose of my antidepressant than I was before I got pregnant. Just to keep things safe. But I can definitely tell the difference. It mostly keeps the depression at bay, but I have some pretty terrible days. Whereas before, it was a lot of fairly good days, almost no terrible days. It just feels like something isn’t right. I don’t know exactly what, but something is off. I am allowed to take my anti-anxiety medication in moderation, but even that doesn’t seem to help much. I can barely go five minutes without letting my intrusive thoughts evolve to the point that I and/or the baby and/or my whole family are dead. I can’t get it out of my mind. It hasn’t been this bad for a very long time. I’m the one-day-at-a-time girl again right now, which is working. But gosh I want to be “normal.”

The “logic” behind worrying about anything and everything is that you can prepare yourself for the worst. And if you worry about the worst, it probably won’t happen. If you go along in life all happy-go-lucky, not a care in the world, that’s when the bad stuff sneaks up behind you and side swipes you on a random weekday morning. Just when you thought everything was ok. So, worry! Worry it up. Of course, I know logically that this is absurd, life will happen as it happens whether I worry or not, so I may as well spare myself the anxiety. It’s just not quite that easy.

I find myself doubting whether or not I can handle the early days with a newborn without feeling swallowed up by the whole thing, unable to breathe, unable to move. Those early days are so hard. You’re all hopped up on hormones and lack of sleep. And not to mention the physical healing you have to go through. And with the demands of life scratching at the door like a dog that needs to be let out, you can feel very guilty and ashamed for focusing on your baby so much.

The comedian Jim Gaffigan made a joke once about having a fifth child. “It’s like you’re drowning, and then someone hands you a baby.” Which is pretty funny, I laughed very hard at that. But, I think it can also apply to a mom with serious mood disorders trying to be just a mom, just a regular mom who can do it all and be it all (even though we all know in the back of our minds that those expectations are just too high). It’s like you’re drowning in your illness, and then someone hands you your baby. Good luck, hon!

But, hey. There’s also her gorgeous ultrasound pictures. And the reassurance that she’s growing and developing wonderfully. And I can look forward to looking into her eyes for the first time. And smelling her big, bald head. And watching her sleep in my arms. And watching her brothers bond with and love her. There are positives here. I was avoiding buying anything because I was afraid I’d jinx something. But I bought a few tiny, adorable pieces of clothing. And no matter how many babies you have, it’s still mind blowing to imagine that a person tiny enough to fit into that stuff will soon come out of you. Just mind blowing.

The first thing I ever said to Bowie was, “I’m so glad you’re out of me.” And when they handed Ferris to me, I said in a hormonal daze, “I forgot how small these things are.” I’m hoping I can come up with something a little more brilliant to say to her. To my daughter. To my little fork in the road. I will be nervous, I will battle my illnesses, but I will be able to see the beauty in all of it, I just know it.

Just a little more than halfway done, and holding on. Thank you everyone who has offered kindness and support. This mama needs it.

Unpredictable

Life can be so weird sometimes. And often, when we get to a place of comfort and normalcy, something drops in our laps. Something we never saw coming. Something we never even imagined might happen.

Thanksgiving week, I found myself fainting while I did yard work. And peeing constantly. And the official nail in the coffin: not getting my period.

I took a home pregnancy test and got a very faint positive. I took another test: another faint positive. I started wondering if any of my medications might cause a false positive, but Dr. Google seriously let me down. As you can imagine, there was very conflicting information, and nothing regarding my specific medications. So anyway, the next day I took 4 more tests (just to be sure) and got 4 positives. Four.

And I commenced to freak the hell out. And then I had the unbridled pleasure of making my husband freak the hell out right along with me.

I was on the birth control pill. No one saw this coming. Not me, not him, not my gynecologist. We had two boys. We were done. This was it. This was our family, this was our future.

I mean, we had certainly discussed the possibility of adding one more little one to the mix. But, with all the struggles I had been through, and then with the move to a new city and purchase of a new home, we just decided that it wasn’t a good time, and that by the time it was a “good” time, it would probably be on the later side to be contemplating such a thing. So, no more kiddos.

And suddenly: baby.

I’m going to be a mother again. I’m going to go through 9 months of pregnancy. Again. I’m going to have to go through labor and delivery. Again. I’m going to be changing diapers. Again. And when I’m 40! Unless this is a super genius baby who will by potty trained by then. Finger crossed.

I wasn’t thrilled when I found out, but I also wasn’t disappointed in any way. It was a shock, and shock takes some time to wear off. I went through all the stages of grief (grief for my no-diaper, big-kid mom life) and ended up here, at 15 weeks, feeling…ok. Just ok. Which in turn makes me feel guilty. Shouldn’t I be over the moon about this? Babies are a blessing, and all of that? What’s wrong with me?

And the fretting, oh my word the fretting. I was a basket case when I was pregnant with Ferris, because he was my post-miscarriage baby. My rainbow baby. I was a nervous wreck with him. But this time, it’s so much worse. I am going to be 38 in a few weeks. That’s oooollllldddd according to the OBGYN. And everything that can normally go wrong, can really go wrong. There’s Down’s syndrome and zika and heart defects and my lord, a million other things I can’t even think of. We didn’t plan for this baby, and the prospect of something being wrong is too much to bear. I’ve been plenty reassured that the odds are in our favor. And our chromosomal testing came back totally and completely normal. But, that still doesn’t calm an anxious mind.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that we don’t have any stuff. We have NO. STUFF. No crib, no changing table, no carseat, no stroller, no high chair, no swings, no carriers, no bibs, no blankets, no clothes, nada. We were done. We gave it all away. Which I had heard is a surefire way to get yourself a surprise baby, but I just chuckled at it. Let me be a PSA for you here, don’t get rid of the baby stuff until you go through menopause. Just to be sure. Thankfully, what we do have are plenty of friends and family with small children who have lots of goodies to pass along to us. I’m so grateful for the kindness of our “village” right now.

And the real kicker: it’s a girl. A GIRL. No more Boy Mom Dot Com here. I mean, a girl is wonderful. So exciting. I’m happy about it. But, with boys, I knew what I was doing. I have no idea how to raise a girl. Especially in these crazy times we live in. Thank goodness for the big, wide Internet parenting community.

But anyway, it’s happening. I have definitely felt pregnant. Mega morning sickness, the worst of all my pregnancies. I was showing by 8 weeks, so fun when you’re not ready to tell people yet. You just look like you’ve been hitting the chocolate Hostess Donettes too hard. Which I had. So, fair enough. I have also been so tired, I nearly nod off at red lights. And gassy. GOOD. LORD. I have made a lifestyle out of crop dusting entire aisles at Target.

Cravings have been coming and going. Previously when I’ve been pregnant, I’ve avoided lunchmeats and fish totally grossed me out. This time? Give me all the sliced turkey and fish you’ve got. I know, I know. But I’ve been craving protein like mad. And turkey sandwiches were all I could stomach for several weeks. Cravings for sweets come and go. With Bowie and Ferris, I couldn’t stop with the sweets. It was all I wanted. This time, meh. Food turn offs include anything lemon flavored (but oddly not lemons themselves) and French fries (I KNOW!).

So, I’m 15 weeks and doing fine. Except for the occasional freak out about doing this all over again. And having more kids than parents in our house. Stick around, because it’s about to get very exciting over here!

 

 

 

I Had my Baby on my Due Date. But You Probably Won’t.

I don’t know why I’m writing this. My youngest is 3, so birth stories aren’t exactly relevant. But I have a lot of friends and family having their babies lately, many of them having their first babies. And the topic was on my mind I guess. Anyway, this is all about due dates and how it’s all a sham.

I did NOT have Bowie on my due date. In fact, that little dude stayed in 8 days past my due date. I was devastated. I tried to have my midwife do a “membrane sweep” which is apparently impossible if you’re not dilated at all. Which I was not. I wept in the hospital room when they told me if he didn’t come over the weekend that they’d induce me on Monday. I really didn’t want to be induced. I decided he would just be a June baby rather than the May baby we thought he would be, and I’d wait. And wait. And then in the wee hours of May 31, I went into labor and 18 hours later he was here.

Ferris was different. I went to the doctor on my due date. She examined me and found I was already at 5 centimeters, and we both started freaking out. The exam triggered contractions and she gingerly walked me down to labor and delivery and they admitted me, and 6 hours later he was born. On my due date.

Studies say that only 5% of women actually give birth on their due dates. Far fewer when it is their first baby. Due dates are crap. They are just a day that they assign you to give birth based on the approximate time you conceived. It means nothing, really. It gets all your hopes up and when the day comes on your calendar you get all excited, and then nothing happens and you’re pissed because you’re so sick of being pregnant.

Really, all women should just forget about their due dates. Sure, use it as a benchmark for when your baby is fully cooked and ready to come out, but not a plan for when the baby will come out.

Your body knows what it’s doing, and your body will push that baby out when it’s good and ready. Your due date means zilch when you’re body’s got it all under control. Try not to put too much stock into it. Baby might even decide to come before your due date. Lucky you! Unless it’s too early. That’s a whole different ball game.

What about you? Did you have any of your kids on your due date? Anyone you know? How early/late were your littles?

Remember Them

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. A time I like to write a little something, because, if you did not know, I myself suffered a miscarriage in April 2011. Every year when the date passes, or when we reach this month, I am always shocked at how much time has passed yet how sad it still makes me feel.

There’s a saying that there are some things you never, ever get over, you just get past them and find a new normal. And the death of a child, at whatever stage in their life, is certainly one of those things.

I like to write and talk about my miscarriage, not to make people sad or to hold my own pity party, but to bring awareness. When I had my miscarriage, I was so misinformed and ignorant about the whole thing. I wish I had been more aware of the possibility. I wish I had known how very many other women suffered the same thing. I wish I had known how valid my feelings of sadness, loss and anger were. So, I write and I talk, so that other women won’t feel the way that I did.

I encourage you, too, to open up and talk about your experience. You could make a real difference for a woman suffering in silence. And let’s remember our children that are gone, and never forget them, keep them in our hearts always.

Here are some of my posts from the past about my experience:

Loss

One Year

I am the Face

I Am the Face

I still think about the baby I miscarried. Every day. Some days, just a fleeting thought. Other days, I cry a little bit about it. It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 1/2 years, because sometimes it can still feel like it just happened.

In the days shortly after, I thought that if I could just get pregnant again, I could forget all about it and move on. Nine months later I finally got pregnant with Ferris, and I did not forget all about it, and did not move on. Quite the opposite, actually. Not only was I fraught with worry for the ENTIRE pregnancy that something would go horribly wrong, but I also felt so guilty for being so happy to be pregnant again. That maybe at some point I actually would forget the baby I miscarried.

Then I thought when I just had the healthy baby boy in my arms, it would help me stop being sad at least. But then, Ferris arrived, and nope. I didn’t stop being sad. Of course I was, and am now, a lot less sad than I had been before, but there’s still a little bit of hurt that lingers.

Today is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day. Looking back, the one thing I wish more than anything else (aside from not miscarrying to begin with) was that I had been exactly that: more aware. I was completely clueless. And wrote on my blog at just 7 weeks that I was pregnant. So my loss was fairly public. Which was good in some ways, not so good in other ways.

Miscarriage is something that just isn’t talked about, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. It happens to so many women. It happens to one in four pregnancies. ONE IN FOUR! So why are we keeping ourselves so in the dark about it?

Of course I knew it was a possibility. I had heard about it, knew a little bit about it. But I so naively thought it was something that only happened to women with fertility issues. I can’t believe I thought that! And I’d been pregnant and had Bowie, no issues at all, so I thought I was in the clear. I can just get pregnant again, nothing to worry about at all.

I know why no one talks about it: it’s unpleasant. To say the least. It’s a total downer. Its’ awkward. How would that conversation even go? It’s not information you’d necessarily pass on, unless someone you know is actively trying, or is newly pregnant. So what would you say? “Hey, congratulations on your pregnancy! You know you have a 20% chance of losing it, right? Just wanted you to know.”

But, something we can do is come together on Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day, share our stories, and hope that we can simply bring a little comfort to a woman who miscarries tomorrow, next week, next year. Help her feel a little warmth in her coldest hour, knowing that she’s not alone. And it’s not her fault. And she can grieve in whatever way, and for however long, she needs to. Because the pain can linger for a long, long time. And there’s nothing worse than dealing with that kind of pain, and thinking you’re alone. You’re not alone. We’re here. All of us. You will get through, and you’ll be ok.

 

Ferris’ Birth Story. If you’re into that kind of thing. The word ‘placenta’ makes an appearance.

My birth story with Ferris begins with an unofficial Monday visit for a quick exam on the labor and delivery floor of the hospital. The midwife I had seen the Friday before couldn’t get me a regular appointment at the clinic, so she said, “I’m working in labor and delivery on Monday, just stop by and I’ll fit you in.”

So, Monday, I waddle in, and she’s totally busy, which is what I expected. I kept myself busy in the waiting room for 45 minutes (thank God for smart phones) and she finally emerged, fresh from her second delivery of twins in 24 hours, and says there’s not much space for an exam, and would I walk back over to the clinic with her for the exam.

Finally at the clinic, she sneaks me into an unused room, and does the exam. I was expecting to be at least a centimeter or two dilated, given the number of Braxton Hicks I’d been having over the past week. And that maybe we could do a membrane sweep and get things moving.

I could tell by the way her eyes widened that she had better news for me. “You’re at FIVE CENTIMETERS.”

For anyone reading this who’s never had a baby, I will explain to you that 5cm is basically halfway done with labor. And I hadn’t felt a thing. It also means, baby is coming at any second.

At that point she figured she should do a full exam, to make sure things were ok. So, she took my blood pressure moments later, which was understandably incredibly high. She took it a few more times, and it was normal, but then I also had a wee bit of protein in my urine. So, we walked back over to labor and delivery so I could be monitored. She joked that my water could break just from that short walk, I was THISCLOSE to being in labor.

They got me a bed, hooked me up to a blood pressure monitor, and a fetal monitor. I had normal blood pressure. And regular contractions. Very regular. And because it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get from our house to the hospital, in good traffic, they were very hesitant to let me go.

Which is about when I started actually feeling the contractions. They theorized that the exam was enough to trigger the beginning of real labor, and that this was it. Baby was a-comin’. I called my husband, who was home taking care of Bowie, who some of you may remember had conveniently woken up that very morning running a fever of 101. I had my husband finish packing up my hospital bag, and pack up a bag for Bowie and deliver him to my sister-in-law’s house, whose schedule had so thankfully been wide open for her to take my sick kiddo so I wouldn’t have to unleash that on one of the preschool families, or anyone in the hospital.

My labor was pretty manageable for the next few hours. But, I could tell things were moving quickly. I don’t recall the exact time, but a few hours before Ferris was actually born, the labor hit me suddenly, like three tons of bricks. I had been walking the halls to keep things moving steadily, and I no longer felt like I could stand during a contraction. I spent some time on the birthing ball (a big yoga ball), but eventually was so uncomfortable, all I wanted to do was lay on the bed in the fetal position (no pun intended, but fitting, yes?).

Eventually, I felt the way I did when my labor with Bowie first began–loose bowels, vomiting, the shakes, and very powerful contractions. And I remembered that during that labor, I went from 0 to 4cm in a matter of hours, and I was feeling hopeful that things had really progressed and it was almost time to push. I was in a lot of pain, and was even starting to think epidural, which I have mentioned on here before that I really wanted to do without. Brien managed to talk me out of it. But a quick exam revealed that I was “7cm, but I can stretch you to 9” and I was devastated, thinking it would be another zillion years, and more of these intense contractions than I could possibly handle.

But then, I started to feel pressure. The pressure they talk about in all the books that I never felt with Bowie because I’d had the epidural. Out of the blue, and with a giant gush, my water broke, and MY GOD, THE PRESSURE. I think I was even yelling “so much pressure! so much pressure! so much pressure!” in between my obscenities. I got scared, because she had told me I was only 7cm, that they would tell me I couldn’t push yet. Because my BODY was pushing. I couldn’t help it! My body was doing so much of the work of getting my baby out for me.

I said, “I have to push! I can’t help it!” and, she said the best words I’d heard all day, “Go ahead. Just go with it.”

Like I said, my body was doing so much of the work. But, I pushed as hard as I could, both because that made it feel a hell of a lot better, and because it’s time to push! My sweet baby boy will be here any second!

At one point, after 2 or 3 pushes, it felt to me like maybe his head was halfway out. But, shortly after that the midwife announced, “He’s out!”

I looked down, completely in shock, “He IS?!”

And there he was. A mere 6 hours after the initial exam.

The best part: I was so aware for that moment. I wasn’t groggy from lack of sleep, I wasn’t exhausted from 18 hours of labor, I wasn’t nauseous and shaking from an epidural. I was awake, aware and fully there. So. much. better.

Also, best part: no tears. Which meant no stitches. Which meant, I felt amazing just minutes after delivering. I took pain medication in the hospital for uterine cramping, not for my patched up undercarriage. This also made things so much smoother for getting up and down on my own in the hospital, and getting to go home quickly, and of course taking care of things at home. Only a week after delivery, I was dropping Bowie off at preschool, and everyone was amazed to see me there. But, I just felt so good.

I never wrote down my Bowie birth story. I wasn’t blogging yet back then, so maybe I didn’t see the point. I’d love to write it up now, but I don’t remember much of it. I remember the highlights, but so many of those 18 hours are a complete blur. I’m ever-grateful to have Ferris’ birth story fresh in my mind, and to have had a positive experience to share as well.

This picture of me was taken minutes after delivery. I hadn’t even delivered the placenta yet. What a difference from my first labor.

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.

 

38 Weeks

38 weeks 2 days as of today, and he’s still in there. I was thinking do I post a picture or not? I can’t possibly look that much different from the last picture. But um, HOLY WOW I AM SO MUCH BIGGER.

Click through to see the 36 week picture again, for a frame of reference.

Not much I can tell you that’s new, I’ve complained about it all so much before that I will spare you this week. I alternate about every 30 seconds between paralyzing anxiety about labor and delivery (and parenting two children at once), and wanting him to get out of mama’s belleh right nooooooowwww!

Any time now. Aaaaaaannnnnnnny time now.

P.S. I made the Circle of Moms list! Thanks so much for your votes!!!

Glance Back at the Week

1. The preschool director had requested a meeting with me last week, to “discuss Bowie’s progress and where he is now”. And I sort of dreaded it, just unsure of what they’d tell me or expect me to say. I met with them this past Tuesday and, oh you guys. Amazing meeting. The teachers are completely floored by his behavior, and how far he’s come. The director said he’s “a completely different kid.” They applauded us for putting him in therapy and being persistent with him over the summer, and they said it has paid off in a major way. And they’d even like to use us as an example for future families who might be hesitant to seek help. I used to cry in their office out of frustration and embarrassment, and that day I was able to get misty out of pride and relief. I knew there had been a change in him, but I wasn’t sure others would be able to see it too. But, they were so surprised, and so happy.

2. So, if you’re a semi-regular reader, then you know I had a salmonella infection in 2006. It was a little bit traumatic, and I talk about it a lot, using my blog as a therapist (thanks you guys, you’re way cheaper than an actual therapist) and I like to get the word out about recalls and warnings. Because it was hell on earth, and I just don’t want to see anyone else get it. But I have to say that lately, I am pretty freaking overwhelmed with the news stories and warnings and recalls and possible contaminations and outbreaks. They are everywhere I turn. Peanut butter and mangoes and lettuce and spinach and canteloupe and tomatoes and ground turkey and MY GOD MAKE IT STOP. It’s enough to make even the bravest eater among us wonder if anything we ever put in our mouths is safe. And being pregnant makes it even scarier, because it’s not just about me right now, ya know? Funny story (also that you’ve probably already heard)–when I went into labor with Bowie, I actually thought I’d contracted salmonella again. The gastrointestinal distress, the abdominal cramping, it was all so reminiscent of my illness. I told my husband to take me to the hospital because I was sick and I didn’t want to hurt the baby. He could see through the crazy and knew I was in labor, but I was inconsolable, surely I’d somehow gotten salmonella again, and now my baby had it too. Wow, the crazy, looking back.

3. Since Tuesday, I have been having some mild cramping and lots of pelvic pressure. I’m sure I have a ways to go yet, but it’s nice to feel like things are progressing a little bit. I am SO hungry. All the time. It’s nuts. (Mmmm, nuts.) And between the peeing, the sore hips, the sweating to death and the insane dreams, sleep is a thing of the past. I’m trying to learn to cope with it, instead of complain about it, because I know I won’t be getting sleep anytime soon.

4. For your weekly dose of insane cute: Bowie found this outfit in the dress up area at school. It’s a witch’s dress, but some of the trim is green with spiders and spiderwebs on it. And he’s totally latched on to the thing, proclaiming it the “Nice Spiderman Princess” outfit. He wears it all afternoon at school, and the other night I just couldn’t get it off of him, so he wore it out to dinner too. And the the whole next afternoon at school, and following evening. It’s so cute and hilarious, and we can’t wait to show him pictures when he graduates high school.

36 Weeks

36 weeks, people! THIRTY SIX WEEKS!

I have some way, somehow, made it to the last month of this pregnancy! It feels like it’s taken for-EV-er (not helped by the fact that the owner of our corner market says “I thought you were due like, last week?” every single time I walk in there. Which is a lot. Ahem.) but here we are!

I am almost as giddy as I imagine I will be on my due date, because the next four weeks have the full, busy promise of flying by at light speed. Doctor’s appointments, preschool duties, final preparations. My days will be full. And short.

I’m still getting that question: How are you feeling?

If I had to pick just one word, I’d say “tired”. If I got an extra word, I would say “hungry”.

I don’t sleep well at night anymore. It’s a 7 to 8 hour battle of wills with my own body. I have to pee approximately every 2 hours. And that’s if I don’t have a beverage with my dinner. I also have to roll over every hour or so, because for some reason if I lie on one side for too long, the hip I’ve been lying on is excruciatingly sore. Only relieved by lying on my back (NOT ALLOWED) or rolling over to the other side to start the process over again. I remember having a hard time sleeping toward the end of my pregnancy with Bowie too. But back then I had the luxury of naps. And days off.

Also, Bowie used to sleep very reliably until 7 a.m. but has lately taken to waking at more of the 5:30 or 6 a.m. hour. We have been letting him lay in bed with us in the hopes that all three of us can snooze for another hour, but that rarely works.

My days are also very tiring themselves. Some days just getting from the front of our house to the back is exhausting. So, you know, those days when I actually do stuff, like go grocery shopping and sweeping the floors and doing a couple of loads of laundry, I’m ready for bed by 6 p.m.

And the thing with my appetite. I’m hungry ALL. THE. TIME. Always. It never ends. I will finish a meal, a big, satisfying meal, and I will feel really full. For about a half hour. “I’m starving.” “Didn’t you just eat that big turkey sandwich from the deli?” “That was a whole 20 minutes ago, fool!” Thank goodness I haven’t gained that much weight this pregnancy, or I’d feel bad for stuffing my face so much.

My last pregnancy, I ate anything and everything in sight. But this time, I have to watch what I eat pretty closely because of the diabetes. So, I have to find easy go-to snack foods that are high in protein, low in carbs, fairly healthy and not sugary. Cheese. I eat a lot of cheese.

Baby has also moved a bit lower into my pelvis in the last couple of days. Getting out of bed, getting off the couch, getting out of the car and really just walking are a JOKE. Well, not exactly. Jokes are funny. This BLOWS. So much pain, radiating from my pelvis and hips all the way down my legs. And forget the “pregnancy waddle”, this is more in the camp of “pregnancy hobble along like a 90 year old with arthritis in every joint who can’t find her walker”. My belly is also so much bigger than it was with Bowie. I was looking at some old pictures, and even a couple of weeks ago, I was bigger than I was at 38 weeks with Bowie. Right now, I’m about twice the size of that old picture, and I’m still only 36 weeks along with this guy. What the what? So, enormous pressure I haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing before. And I thought I knew all that was in store for me.

But, all things considered, I’m doing fine. Dealing with all of this while having to run around after Bowie was a little terrifying at first. But, we’re doing all right. All my other bothersome symptoms I’ve either gotten used to or they’ve thankfully waned a bit.

Now I get to psych myself up for labor, a labor I’m really optimistically envisioning is shorter and easier than my first go around, because I’m also optimistically hoping to get through it without resorting to the epidural. Not that I’m against epidurals in any way. But, I had one with Bowie and it mucked things up a bit. Slowed my labor down considerably, and so they gave me drugs to speed it back up again, which caused some serious contractions, which lowered Bowie’s heart rate to dangerous levels, which meant an almost C-section. Also, I had the shakes and nausea for at least 8 or 9 hours after the damn thing wore off. So, please let me do this without an epidural this time? Optimism! Yay!

I’m also thinking a lot about Bowie. He knows there’s a new baby coming, a baby who will be his little brother, but I know he is completely unaware of the bomb that’s about to drop on his little life. It’s a huge shift in reality for an already very sensitive four year old. My poor little guy. But, I just know he’s going to be a great big brother. We were sitting and having a heart-to-heart the other day and I said, “You won’t be sad if mommy and daddy are busy with baby brother and can’t help you with something, will you?”

And he said matter-of-factly, “No, mama, I’m going to have to help you with baby brother.” Heart: melted.

Thanks for hanging in there with me for this whole crazy, whiny ride. Almost there, almost there, almost there…