That must be off

So I think maybe I’m turning a corner with this virus? (Which by the way they think is/was likely Norovirus, Sheelah. Really fun thing to be twinners with.)

Anyways, I had an ultrasound yesterday to check fluid levels and the good news is they are miraculously fine. At least one of us is staying hydrated. The… other news is they think my baby is a monster. Now I’ve heard a million stories of these late size guesstimates being off and practically zero where they were right. Everyone always freaks out about these things and then it’s all fine in the end so I’m trying to take it with an entire shaker of salt.

They said he overall measures a week and a half ahead and is already 7 or 8 lbs. For reference, B was 7 lbs 4 oz when he was born past 40 weeks. None of that shocked me, but what did was his melon. His head alone measures 4+ weeks ahead. So it’s not even the size of a fetus’s head, but the size of an outside baby’s head. I’m hoping if they’re right then that thing can stretch into an incredible cone to get out. But does anyone know how accurate head measurements are at this stage? I’m hoping not very?

37/38 weeks. Sorry if I look like I've been puking for a week. Somehow this baby still manages to grow.

37/38 weeks. Sorry if I look like I’ve been puking for a week. Somehow this baby still manages to grow.

My doctor told me last time that nature won’t give you a baby you can’t push out and I’m “not the kind of lady who can just pop out a 9 pounder.” So it seems like he’s bound to be wrong on some front here. Will it be the size estimate? Will nature betray me? Or will I indeed push out a 9 pounder? How exciting to find out…

Checked the labor and delivery box

It seems like no one just cruises through 40 weeks and then shows up to the hospital and has a baby. There always has to be some sort of scare that ends in a Labor and Delivery visit but no birth. Last time I had mine at 33ish weeks and they diagnosed me as being a dehydrated idiot. This time was a bit more exciting. Baby #2 continues his epic campaign to be our last child.

G, B, and I have all passed around this lovely stomach virus for a while and of course for them it was a mild two day affair. Since things are wonky during pregnancy the bug was still slowly killing me on day 7. Then for some reason on Saturday, day 8, it decided to really rear it’s head and get fierce. Everyone knows what that looks like so no need to elaborate, but this particular round also came with some legit contractions and the shakes. I had really had enough and wasn’t feeling the baby very much so Gaga stayed with B, and G and I went to labor and delivery to get everything checked out.

They confirmed I was contracting every 2-4 minutes and I confirmed that the contractions hurt more than any labor I ever felt with B. (Since I was induced with him I pretty much had them page the anesthesiologist at the same time they gave me the pitocin IV, which was a great decision.) They gave me a couple bags of IV fluids, during which time my body was still losing fluids at a faster rate but it was still really nice to have something going in. Eventually they gave me some drugs to stop the fluid rejection processes, and some Tylenol for the fever. (I didn’t know this but apparently a fever makes baby’s heart race, oops.)

This is actually from when I was in labor with B so imagine this only me looking 100x worse.

This is actually from when I was in labor with B so imagine this only me looking 100x worse.

Many hours later we walked out of there (big improvement over having to be wheeled in clutching a bowl) and I was doing much better. I’m thankful to be able to keep some fluids down now, and am glad this baby is going to hang out for a bit longer.

I guess because I was out of it I left my wallet at the hospital so Sunday G asked B if he wanted to go back to pick it up. B was adamant that, “We can’t go yet because it’s not time for my baby brother to be born yet!!” No, not yet, but it feels like we’re getting sort of close, gulp.

Totally unrelated picture. Fighting a fire with the pregnancy pillow (hose).

Totally unrelated picture. Fighting a fire with the pregnancy pillow (hose).

Now excuse me while I scour Amazon for the little blanket warmer thing they have at the hospital. That was truly divine.

The actual worst feeling

As of yesterday it seemed close to impossible for me to feel worse than I already did. (Ooo foreshadowing!) At 36/37 weeks pregnant I’ve been having constant very painful, yet thankfully fake, contractions for days. On top of that I’ve had a fever, a stomach virus, and a toddler who also can’t seem to shake the stomach virus. It’s really a low “how are you feeling” bar but I can always count on the universe to humble me and remind me how good I still have it.

I mean just look at that face.

I mean just look at that face.

Last night, around 2 am, I woke up and rolled over to semi-consciously check on B for the billionth time. (Like everyone said, just because he sleeps through the night doesn’t mean I do now.) To my complete and absolute shock, and for the first time ever, he was NOT THERE. Enter immediate stage 100000 panic. That has literally never happened before. He never ever ever ever gets out of the bed by himself, especially in the middle of the night. He will always wake someone up. Plus he sleeps in between G and I so it’d even be hard to orchestrate without accidentally waking one of us.

Anyways, now I know if I ever need G immediately conscious all I have to do is scream, “Garth wake up! Benny isn’t here!” I swear to you the President could surprise G at our house in the morning and it would still take him 20 minutes to get out of bed, but this time it was about 2 seconds and he shot out like a rocket.

We turned on every light in every room and ran around frantically screaming for B. It was clear he was nowhere and my tired brain started racing to thoughts of kidnapping. The alarm was still set, there was no sign of forced entry, and he had been sleeping on top of us. It seemed impossible. It also seemed impossible that he just gotten up to play in the middle of the night in the dark by himself. I knew I had to be missing something.

Relatively calmly (haha) I went back to the bedroom to look in and around the bed more closely. The comforter was on the floor at the foot of the bed, where G had thrown it in a rush to start the search. And there, sticking out from underneath it, was a little pajama footie pad. B was fast asleep on the floor, at the foot of the bed, buried by the comforter. So in our efforts to rescue him we basically almost smothered him.

Amazingly, given the way he started life, he can now sleep through anything.

Amazingly, given the way he started life, he can now sleep through anything.

G scooped him up still asleep, put him back in bed, and we all rested peacefully. Oh wait no, G and I will probably never sleep again after that feeling, but B didn’t even know it happened.

So yeah, physically on a scale of 1-terrible, I’d say I still feel terrible, but I know now there is an infinitely worse way to feel and that is not knowing where your child is or if they are ok. Even if it only lasted for 2 minutes, I know I never ever ever want to feel that again.

The know-it-alls win

The world is full of parenting cliches:

The days are long but the years are short.
It’s the hardest yet best job you’ll ever have.
You never know how much you can love someone until you have a child.
You think you know everything about being a parent until you become one.

The list goes on. I find them all to be a little annoying and know-it-all-y. And the most annoying part?? They are all true. Every last one of them.

Fine, you all win. I think he is the greatest thing in human history.

Fine, you all win. I think he is the greatest thing in human history.


The less profound one I always heard pre-kid is that things you think are totally gross will not bug you in the slightest when it’s your own child. I was so sure this one would be wrong for me though. I hate gross things and I am super squeamish. I fainted on career day in 7th grade when I watched a cat get their teeth cleaned at the vet’s office. I am not the friend who will hold your hair while you puke, I will close the door and wish you luck. Granted so far it has turned out to be way less gross with my own kid than expected and I would 100000% rather change my own kid’s diaper than someone else’s, but last night really tested that whole philosophy for me.

Out of nowhere B got sick to his stomach. There was a lot of puking, which is of course scary to a little kid, which meant there was a lot of holding and snuggling in between wardrobe and sheet changes. Plus, he doesn’t feel right unless you are cheek to cheek. “Snuggle me Mommy! Nooo, not like that, wit yo cheeeek!” This closeness meant 90% of the puke got on me. There was even one special episode where I, unsurprisingly given the arrangement, took a direct shot to the face. Some quick thinking made me at least close my mouth and turn my head to the side enough to get most of it in my ear. My thoughts in that moment? I really hate everyone because they were right. It was not my favorite thing but it was surprisingly not gross and my instinct was never to drop or throw the puking creature but instead to hold him tighter.

It was like this only grosser.

It was like this only grosser (not a word).

Let’s hope you’re all right about my heart doubling in size once I have a second kid because it feels awfully full right now. (Of love, not puke, obviously I eventually put him down and cleaned up.)

The silver lining was we finally watched Frozen while this was all happening. I guess it was good but in my opinion it was no Lion King.

Strange full circle moment

So when I was adding pics to my last post I had this strange deja vu feeling. Specifically I felt like I had posted a picture exactly like this one before.

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It turns out I had only it was not of my child, just a stranger’s kid whose picture I found on the Internet! (Not weird at all.) It was in this post written during my pregnancy with B in which I describe a random hormonal crying spell about how my boy would grow up in this house and make all of his memories in this, still fairly new to us, town. When I put that all together and read my old post I realized OMG it’s happening. That sappy vision I had of my faceless little boy riding a tricycle for the first time in our driveway ALREADY HAPPENED.

So you guessed it, I cried again. Over what I’m not sure, but I guess just the passage of time and the fact that I’m doing this again, blah blah. Too bad B already said, “I don’t want the brother to ride my tricycle. He has to get his own when he gets bigger,” or I could replicate this exact shot in two years with #2 in the same outfit on the same tricycle.

35/36 weeks. I broke down and bought 2 new maternity shirts because nothing else fits anymore. There will be a MWF and TTH rotation from now til the end.

35/36 weeks. I broke down and bought 2 new maternity shirts because nothing else fits anymore. There will be a MWF and TTH rotation from now til the end.

The hard hitting questions

B is definitely the kind of kid that needs/wants to talk a looooot about things in advance so he knows what to expect. He also likes to understand every detail of a situation and tends to have an opinion about most of those details as well. Accordingly we have discussed what this new baby means ad nauseum. This is fine with me partially because I’m his mom and it’s my job and partially because I’m the exact same way so I get it.

On the advice of some friends and the books (why do I keep reading those?) I have tried to keep it real but positive. I read you shouldn’t say things like, “Don’t worry, Mommy and Daddy will still love you once the baby comes!” because what if that never occurred to him? Then bringing it up actually creates a problem where there was none. I didn’t want to poke the tiger but there are a lot of things about having a baby brother that I knew would be hard on him and thought it would all go more smoothly if we could talk about it in advance. I just didn’t know how to bring it up. Thankfully B did it for me the other day.

Here he is putting moving his old baby books from his shelf to his brother's shelf. I almost passed out from all the feelings.

Here he is moving his old baby books from his shelf to his brother’s shelf. I almost passed out from all the feelings.

Out of nowhere, as he’s only ever said nothing or positive things, he started asking all the hard questions about the baby. I feel like he is getting to an age where these stories are his stories and not mine to share so I won’t give the transcript but he touched on exactly what I think will be hard on him (and all kids) sharing his mom, attention, time, and things. I tried so hard not to cry so I could properly keep up the calm and reassuring persona, and I think in the end I did an ok job of telling it like it is yet making him feel better about his concerns.

"I hear that you're feeling soul-crushing guilt. Tell me about that."

“I hear that you’re feeling soul-crushing guilt. Tell me about that.”

Even though it was a hard talk to have, it was also kind of an amazing one. Again, I am blown away by what goes on in that little (well actually enormous) head of his. And I actually feel better about how this will all go now that we’ve opened the door to talking about some of these issues ahead of time.

One of his concerns is that his brother can't ride a tricycle for a while. He proposed just putting the baby in that little basket on the back and driving him around. Sweet or terrifying?

One of his concerns is that his brother can’t ride a tricycle for a while. He proposed just putting the baby in that little basket on the back and driving him around. Sweet or terrifying?

Special thanks to my precocious toddler for bringing these things up. I hope he’s figured out how we are going to have the sex, drinking, and drugs talks one day too.

Looking up and forward: pregnancy update

I’m not really one for the standard pregnancy update format so I made up my own.

Crippling pain: Based on how much my pelvis/back/pubic bone etc. hurt at 20 weeks I was really terrified that I’d be riding around in a rascal scooter by this point. Miraculously though, I’m doing pretty well! I’ve modified my activity significantly (only sit certain ways, try not to do as much physically, never ever run) and I’ve been beyond lucky to have tons of help that allows me to do less. I’ve also been doing PT and have added massage to the rotation. All in all I don’t feel much worse than I did at this point last time, which is an incredibly welcome shock to me. I hope that wasn’t a huge jinx.

Emotions: I spent the first trimester crying over ruining B’s life, and the second trimester freaking out over how I would make it the whole way without being carried around. But now? I think I will survive and I’m even getting kind of excited to meet this little guy. I have spent a ton of emotional energy wondering how B will handle it and wondering how any of this could possibly compare to my perfect child already in existence. Now I’m realizing this will be different and that will be ok and maybe even wonderful. I even kind of believe people that I might find myself loving #2 as much as #1.

Weight: Since this is something we are all supposed to talk about I figure I’d share that I now weigh what I did when I was 40 weeks with B. Oops! But given that I got a few talks about not gaining enough weight with him, lost it all in a week or two, and was eaten alive from breastfeeding until I was 10 lbs below pre-pregnancy weight, I figured some cushion (haha, get it?) this time would be celebrated. Not that I was lectured, but at my last appointment my doctor said he felt I was probably done gaining weight for this pregnancy. (!!!???) I’ve already proven him wrong since that conversation but I’m starting to feel like I am in uglier Hollywood and am either too fat or too skinny.

Cravings: This is the other thing I’m supposed to talk about. Really none to report since the first trimester but I guess I do eat a little differently when pregnant. It’s the same as last time where I have a greater desire for salt and fat and am much less into chocolate and super rich sweets. It’s a pretty crazy out of body experience for me and I’m looking forward to getting back to normal. My doctor also said I was his only patient to have low blood sugar during my glucose test so I took this as science confirming that I need way more sugar than the average bear.

Sleep: I’ve been up every hour and not because of B. He sleeps through the night 9 out of 10 nights. Now, I just can’t sleep which has to be a pregnancy thing. I guess the “ruining my nights” torch has been passed from big brother to little brother.

Baby: What, it’s not all about me? Baby is growing and kicking and has a heartbeat! My doc said he will probably do an ultrasound around 37 weeks to check my fluid (since it was very low towards the end with B) and to see if the baby’s a giant. The last part is more to pacify me. My doctor felt that although I am much larger this time it was me and not the baby. You could not pay me enough to be an OB and have to delicately deliver information like that to overly emotional women.

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33/34 weeks

34/35 weeks

34/35 weeks

Life

I was feeling very whiney this morning. I didn’t sleep well (even less well than usual), everything really hurts (even more than usual), B had a rough drop off at school (more than a usual rough drop off), I have a long to-do list (yep, longer than usual), etc. etc. Intellectually I know that all of these things are silly little whines and life is actually grand. I know this, I really do! But sometimes I just feel shitty and I can’t get myself in that mindset where I realize my ‘problems’ are trivial.

We missed Parents Day at school yesterday because B has a little cold (life is hard!) so when I dropped him off this morning the teachers handed me an envelope. I figured it was some sort of informational packet about curriculum, summer session, whatever. After I got back home to tackle my oh so daunting to-do list while propping myself up on 1000 pillows (poor me!) I opened up the envelope to find this:

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And I soooooooooobbed. Like couldn’t see straight. For a long time. Everything is awesome right now and I want to appreciate every second. So thanks for that reminder, life. I needed it. (I think I’m hitting publish now but I honestly can’t see through the torrent of tears.)

*This post is sponsored by late pregnancy hormones

Fixing my back

I’ve tried to be really careful not to blame anything on pregnancy in front of B. I never say I can’t pick him up or lift something or run because of the baby, because I really don’t want him to resent his brother (yet.) Instead I just say my back is really hurting. Since he knows my back has always been an issue that comes and goes, and this is a version of the truth, it feels like a pretty good way to go.

Lately though he’s been asking when my back will be better. I’ve never really addressed that one way or the other so he seems to have figured out on his own that a lot of this is a temporary condition. Either that or it’s just getting old for him and he’s hoping. Last night, after playing with Daddy outside, he came in and said, “Mommy when your back gets better can you go outside with me and Daddy?” What was I going to say besides, “Of course!” So I basically confirmed his belief this is going away and got him thinking.

G has been making some good inroads lately!

G has been making some good inroads lately!

Then as we were getting ready for bed he decided that he didn’t want to walk the daunting length of our hallway and asked me to carry him. I said I couldn’t because my back hurt but I would hold his hand. He gave me a huge hug and kiss and said, “I gave you a hug and a kiss so your back feels better, Mommy! Now you can pick me up!” Again, what do I do at that point? Pick him up despite the pain. The kid is good.

I tell him all the time that I still love holding him. And that is completely true.

I tell him all the time that I still love holding him. And that is completely true.

Then he asked me, “When are the guys coming to fix your back?” I didn’t know what to say to that at first but figured out he probably thinks this is happening because we always have guys coming to our house to fix one thing or another (plumbing, heating, etc.) So why couldn’t we just find someone on Angie’s List to fix my back? The kid’s a problem solver. (Hoping he doesn’t know something I don’t about a future alien abduction surgery.)

Until we can go on stroller runs again, he keeps me company in the exercise room.

Until we can go on stroller runs again, he keeps me company in the exercise room.

(Too lazy to take a 33/34 week bump picture. Imagine me if I had swallowed a small planet/large moon.)

I didn’t know that guilt over splitting my time and energy would start before #2 even arrives. I also didn’t know that my lies half-truths would start to be picked apart by a 2.5 year old.

My textbook baby

I think at this point it is fair to conclude that B is not a textbook baby. Pretty much since birth he has not followed a single thing I’ve read and has even been more likely to do the opposite. Now as a toddler, he continues the pattern. All the things they say will work do not. (This was just supposed to be an intro but I couldn’t stop typing so I turned it into a bulleted list and I had to stop myself from making it even longer.)

-I give him choices (to give him a sense of control in an unpredictable world! yet still have him choose something acceptable to me!) and he sees right through it. His typical response is, “I don’t like any of your choices! I don’t want to choose one of those.” Then he repeats that he wants to do something that is not on the list.

-People say the trick to getting toddlers to eat is to let them help with the food prep. Again, no dice. He will almost always eat some ingredients along the way but will never ever touch the finished product if he knows what went into it. You have a much better shot with a finished mystery meal.

-Transitions are hard for every toddler so I try the things that are recommended. We talk about the next thing we are doing and then do a lot of countdowns and 5 minute warnings, 3 minute warnings, etc. before transitions. He calmly repeats back every time, “After Mommy’s timer goes off in x minutes, we will pack up our trucks and leave the park and go to the grocery store where I can pick out a bagel!” Other mothers stare in awe at my perfect child as his calm acceptance continues throughout the countdown. Then the timer goes off and he loses his sh*t completely. He screams, he bargains, he kicks, the works. So basically all of that helps him zero but at least the other mothers feel a lot better about their kids in the end.

-We FaceTime with Daddy as often as possible while he’s traveling so it feels like he’s still in our lives and we know he misses us etc. This makes B focus on all of the things Daddy is doing (watching soccer games!) or who he is seeing (co-workers or other family who happen to live where he is traveling to) instead of being home playing with B and it makes him upset and jealous. He would prefer to think that Daddy is in some isolated prison cell the whole time and then comes home to do acceptable things like play with B.

-Traveling and having visitors constantly has made him worse, not better, at handling those events and change in general.

The list goes on and it looks like that would’ve been a better blog post topic as I could ramble for an hour.

He never had day night confusion. He always knew he wanted to be awake all day. Even at 3 days old he wouldn't fall asleep in the car.

He never had day night confusion. He always knew he wanted to be awake all day. And even at 3 days old he wouldn’t fall asleep in the car.

Anyways, now that we are approaching welcoming a new special snowflake into the world I am left wondering what this one will be like? Despite being B’s closest blood relative on the planet everyone assures me they will be really different, and the most different this one could possibly be is if he were “normal”. I am almost panicked at the thought that this boy might be a textbook baby! What will I do!? That will be so foreign to me and I already got rid of all of our stupid, useless books! At least I can Google those 5 things (S’s?) from Happiest Baby On the Block and maybe they won’t actually make this baby scream louder as if fighting for his life to escape the swaddle and turn himself right side up? (<- based on B’s reaction the whole Harvey Karp method gave him the sensation of drowning.)

Turns out you can be super cute without books.

Turns out you don’t need a book to tell you how to be adorable.

So far there is at least some evidence that baby #2 will be more by the book than his big brother (low bar). People say that fetuses are typically the most active at the end of the day when you are lying in bed and sleep when you are moving around a lot. B was never active at bedtime or overnight (really, he had no day night confusion at all!) but always freaked out right when I finished a run when they said he should’ve been passed out from all the movement (explains why he was also a stroller and car seat screamer). This one totally follows that though! He is active in the evenings and sleeps during and after a work out! Supposedly pre-natal massages are supposed to relax babies along with moms. Of course B would have a dance party the whole time and sort of ruin the moment. This one though? He chills out.

I’m not counting on anything but it’s entertaining to think that all my experience might be worthless because this one is so “normal”.

32/33 weeks. With B I had trouble gaining weight, gained at all the "wrong" times and not at the "right" ones. This time feels totally foreign and weird to me as I'm doing nothing differently yet my body is behaving as if it actually read all the What to Expect books.

32/33 weeks. With B I had trouble gaining weight, and gained at all the “wrong” times and not at the “right” ones. This time feels totally foreign and weird to me as I’m doing nothing differently (well except not running which prob matters a lot) yet my body is behaving as if it actually read all the What to Expect books.