11.27.2012

Baby Face

I am a woman obsessed.  Not by choice, mind you.  It's because I am a mother.  I think.

I lay next to C tonight, reading a library book we've read together at least 15 times, so I know all the parts where I need to be patient so he can count things, and the exact parts that will make him giggle, and the parts that he gets so excited he shouts out in one-word bursts, and the parts that I don't need to read because he will recite them himself.

And at the part about the jelly bean car - the giggly part - I recited the words from memory so I could look over at his face and watch as his eyes creased with laughter, as his mouth opened and emitted a giggle, as his body gave a little wiggle of delight as it lay there next to mine on his bed.

And then, there it was again.  That nagging little feeling.  That pokey, brain-prodding question of how well it is I actually remember how it is that this little face I love so much grew from a fresh, soft, squishy, chubby newborn face to the slender, beautiful-for-a-boy three year old face of today. 
"Do you REALLY remember?" asked that shrew of an inner voice.  And then I would desperately try to remember if I remembered the thing I was supposed to remember because I am The Mom.  And when I thought I remembered, when I drew up mental images of his newborn face, of his 18-month-old face, that shrew would dash all hope: "Nope! That's from a photo.  It's a reflected memory, you twit."

It's that same nagging feeling I have when I look into A's face and will myself to memorize it in its entirety, to make mental bookmarks of this place in our history together so that I can remember what 6 months and 2 days old was like - today - as he sat there in his walker while I cooked dinner and positively beamed at me each and every time I turned my attention his way, entirely thrilled to be exploring the world from a sitting vantage point and on his own steam, fat legs and long feet bumping his body from the ground upward, all the while my inner voice anxiously willing me to remember how his voice trills as he's trying out new sounds and finding his voice.

Then, there's the voice of sanity that creeps in. . . softly, carefully, diplomatically.  And She saves me, gives me a Get Out of Jail Free card with a simple "Why this stress?" and gently reminding me "Your memory's not so great anyway, you know.  You LIVE in the moment.  Give yourself credit for that.  Besides, do you remember what M's face has looked like every day from the moment you first met?  No? Just a few vivid momentary recollections, then? So, why put this on yourself as a mother?" 

Then, I breathe a sigh of relief.  For about one second.  Then, the obsessed lady turns to the sane lady and says "BUT don't you KNOW that this time goes SO QUICKLY!? DON'T YOU KNOW that one day this will ALL BE GONE!?!? And OH how we'll both MISS IT, you and I.  OH how we'll miss it!"

And then?

Then those two ladies cry together a while before going and kissing their babies in their sleep.  Then, they pinky swear each other to give even more kisses tomorrow, right before beginning a new day's study of those babies' faces.

 ~Nichole

11.09.2012

Three Years. . .

Thanks, you wonderful little dude, for making me a momma 3 years ago! You are amazing - a whole world squished into a skinny, little boy body. I love you! ~Mom

10.18.2012

Mom Zombie

The 4-month regression has become the 4.75 month regression. It ebbs and flows. But mostly with the flowing.  After almost EVERY sleep cycle.  {That's every hour and a half, folks!}

It's to the point where I'm PRAYING my kids will sleep. {But then maybe cursing in whispers when they don't?}

And the 2.9 year old?  Well. . . well, just last night, for instance, he fell asleep on the livingroom floor at 6:00 {What!? no dinner?}.  He refused to be woken up and I dressed him in jammies and carried him to bed at 9:00.  He proceeded to be awake from 2:45 to 4:00 this morning, demanding (in a loud let's-wake-everyone-up voice) that I lay with him - and not being very patient about it when I got up to help his brother get back to sleep TWICE. 

{Did I mention the middle of the night pee/diaper/bed soak and diaper changes times 2?  No?}

And this morning, for the first time in weeks (?), the almost-three-year-old is sleeping in past his normal waking time.  So, technically, yes, I guess "sleep begets sleep".  Sort of.

Oh it's a zoo! 

And I'm head zombie.

The cute pterodactyl screeching of my baby morning bird makes it a little better.  His round smiling face makes it a LOT better.

And reading things like this helps me know I'm not to only one who fantasizes about sleep.
And that it's just the way it is.  {I apparently just FORGOT.}

My work day's gonna be a looooonnnnggg one today.

QUICK, please tell me I'm not the only one.  AND how DO you moms with more than 2 do it???? 

~Nichole

10.03.2012

Sleep Glorious Sleep (We're Not Getting It)

I am having fun with this little bruiser (hello! 17 pounds, 26.5 inches at 4 months!) who is currently sitting next to me wide-eyed and wakeful at a stupid time of morning after a night of almost constant wakefulness.  This, after weeks of waking due to teething pains, and I'm starting to go nuts/worry/panic/younameit.

After a night like last night, a mom does one of three things: beats her head against the nearest wall, collapses into a crying heap in the corner, or hits up Google to figure out whether this is the dreaded 4 month sleep regression. . .

I did the latter.  Here's what I found: a great article by Clever Father and a possibly even better article by Alexis Dubief.

If this doesn't end in a few weeks, I really will go nuts.  Until then, patience dear (sleep-deprived) mother, patience.

~Nichole

7.28.2012

The Sum of All Kisses

I was slow dancing the baby to sleep tonight and I looked down at his face and wanted to kiss it and kiss it but I knew that one loose strand of hair would tickle his cheek and wake him up and we'd have to start the dance all over again. . .

So instead, in my head, I did what every mother must do at the end of the day: I asked, silently, "were you kissed enough today?  were you hugged enough today?  were you loved enough today?"  That timeless question that connects us with an ageless line of mothers before us.

My heart feelers reached out to touch the hearts of my children - the one I was slow dancing into sleep and the one I had just laid down to sleep, our heads touching, trading whispers of "I wuv you bery much momma" and "I love you very much my son" - to take their love temperature.  And in my mind, I replayed the kisses of the day.

I know I loaded C up with kisses right before bed, and in the quiet moments getting him dressed for bed, but he had to ask me to "put the baby down and hug me!" today.  He gets significantly less face time from the momma who used to rush in every morning to rouse him and hold onto him like the world might end in 10 minutes and then I would hug and kiss him into full wakefulness.

And the baby somehow always gets less mom time when Dada's off and C's afoot.  He misses me.  I'm calmer when I'm with him and he's calmer when he's with me.  We were made for each other.

We were ALL made for each other.  C has taken to saying "we are family!" when saying his "I wuv" yous.  And indeed we are. . .

I am blessed enough to be able to bear witness to these lives - to provide every kiss and hug, to make a mental tally, and write the record in my heart.

And in theirs.

And when all is written, I hope it is complete.

~Nichole

7.02.2012

The August of My Awakening


Sometimes. . . .
Well sometimes I am just so so tired. 
And sometimes. . . .
Sometimes I remember how lucky I am. 

Usually when I am kissing C’s cheeks at night. 
Or inhaling the newborn baby scent off of A. 

Having Baby A here with us makes me remember all over again what a blessing it all is. 

I look at my sons and when I really allow myself to think on it, I am absolutely mystified.  The fervency with which I love them astounds me sometimes.  

But what has me really, truly awestruck is that I get to be these boys’ mother, to watch their personalities unfurl themselves right before my very eyes, to stand witness as the pure, undiluted essences of their beings flourish and fill up their growing bodies.

Words stumble and fall weak in the knees, daunted by the task of expressing the emergence of a body, the rushing forth of spirit, the creation of a whole new being, and precisely how it is that one becomes a mother.

Yes, the creation of a body is an extraordinary wonder to be sure, but guiding the development of these souls?  

It is THE miracle of my life.

~Nichole

6.12.2012

On BFing

Alternate title for this post? "BFing is making me effing crazy!"

Oh the things you learn with your first baby. . .

For instance, I learned that being nonchalant about breastfeeding (i.e. setting in your mind that "I'll just pump, no biggie" while you're pregnant) is not necessarily the best approach.  People (including every LC at the hospital) are a strange mixture of aghast and amazed that I pumped exclusively for a full year with C.

This time around, I have been more committed to making breastfeeding work.  Then, I had a baby who literally did NOT know how to suck.  We had to finger feed him in order to train him the proper way to suck.  Going from finger feeding to bottle feeding was a huge triumph, and going from bottle feeding to nursing with a shield was also pretty awesome.  (Why oh why didn't I know about shields with C?)

Only, my kid is an inefficient nurser.  So, he takes a LONG time to nurse, then doesn't get enough because he quickly tires and falls asleep since he has to work harder at breastfeeding than he does at bottle feeding.  So, then he cluster feeds, sometimes every half hour for hours.  Which makes me a bit crazy.

Take yesterday, for instance.  With C on a field trip to Nana & Tata's house, I took the opportunity to nurse (and hold my baby) as much as I could.  Which was pretty much all afternoon.  At one point, he nursed for a full hour, then took another ounce and a half by bottle, then still woke up for more within an hour.  The babe ate every hour between noon and 5 p.m.  At which point I was pretty exhausted, in need of a bonafide nap, and also sort of all what the what?

I sent a dispatch to my friend asking for moral support:

I need some reassurance that it's not awful that I prefer pumping and bottle feeding because I have an inefficient nurser who not only needs a shield to nurse and cluster feeds, but takes FOREVER at the breast . . .

And that wonderfully seasoned mommy of four did what friends do: she reassured me.  

Then, something sort of magical happened.  I gave up nursing for the day and Baby A started routinely eating 3 ounces every two hours and sleeping in between.  (Hello two week-old eating pattern we've been waiting for!) 

I'm not giving up!  I'm going to try every day and continue to hope he finally "gets it" the way I've heard some babies magically do.  In the meantime, I am thankful for a body that remembers how this went last time and has made a fantastic supply in response.  (I seriously freeze about 8-12 ounces every day.)

Oh.  Also saving my sanity?  Besides wonderful in-laws who take my kid?  The swing.  Hooray for the swing!

~Nichole

6.11.2012

Things You Miss

My pregnancy with Baby A was much easier than my pregnancy with C in almost every way (save morning sickness).  Even so, toward the end, I was still feeling a little bit "done".  The high bp certainly didn't help.  Oh, and the swollen feet.  And the feeling huge.  And my missing mojo. 

While pregnant, you truly think it is impossible to miss a single thing about. . . well, being pregnant.

And you'd be wrong.

Here are some things I'll truly miss:
-thick, long, luxurious hair that does not shed or fall out
-no menstrual cycles for 10 months (I somehow always forget about that part)
-no need for birth control
-most excellent skin
-not having to suck my stomach in


~Nichole

6.10.2012

Second Birth

In the last weeks of my pregnancy with A, I heard myself tell my two OBs - old and new - that I would be happy just repeating my delivery with C, minus the hemorrhage and the sick husband. 

So, after my ER visit, I was scheduled to be induced on 5/24 at 39 weeks for high blood pressure.  Because my complaint was heart palpitations, they never actually monitored the baby when my blood pressure was so high, so I left the hospital knowing only that my bp was in the normal range, but not having any idea what having bp spike like that was doing to the baby.  I was anxious about an induction, having heard horror stories of failed or stalled inductions, but I was more anxious about something happening to my baby.  I had to make a conscious decision to trust my (new) doc, have faith, and trust my body.

At my doctor's appointment on Wednesday the 23rd, I was completely closed and not effaced.  To my surprise, my doc didn't give me an out, so I was still scheduled for a 3 a.m. induction the following morning. At 10:00 p.m. the hospital called and we got bumped to "early afternoon".  We planned an entirely different morning, one that was leisurely and included homemade crepes and playing outside with our kid.   So, we stayed up WAY too late talking and trying "natural" ways to get ready for labor.

After about 3 hours of sleep, we got a call at 5 a.m. saying they had a bed and to come on in.  We checked in at the hospital at 8 a.m. and went straight to a LDR room (no triage!), where they started an IV and checked me. I was 2cm and 60% effaced! So, no need for Cervidil: I went straight to Pit around 9 a.m.

My doc came in and explained process and info about breaking my water, which made me entirely nervous and I told her I was really hesitant to start the clock.  She explained that the risks of c-section were the same either way (about 80% at that point) and that it might help baby descend gradually and help me get more dilated and effaced.  I confirmed with her that the baby wasn't posterior and then agreed to have her break my water.  (That hook?  Youch!)  Once things really got going (i.e. uncomfortable), I sat on a birthing ball for several hours and worked through contractions while M and I watched "contraction TV" and read Us Weekly (me) and a book about succession planning (him).

The next question was when to get the epidural.  I didn't want to get it too early and I really wanted to stay mobile as long as possible.  By 12, the nurse had upped the Pit and my contractions started to have teeth.  After she got back from her lunch break, she upped it again and by around 1:30 p.m., I was having a lot of back labor and asked for the epidural.  The epi was placed around 2:15 and when I was checked right after, I was 5cm and 80% effaced.

Then, I started going numb in my chest and arms, which made me itch the way a foot does when it falls asleep.  I told my nurse I was numb up to my breastline.  She cut the epidural off and got the anesthesiologist back in the room.  Once they got it adjusted, I progressed really quickly from there and by around 3:30, I was feeling pressure and was ready to push.

Two rounds of pushing and 10 minutes later, my second son was born! I went from 2 cm to having a baby in less than banker's hours. It was the best labor and delivery I could have hoped for (and one that I would TOTALLY do over again)!


Aside from a poor bruised nose from being pushed so fast and furiously, he was perfect, with tons of dark hair and the cutest little face ever!  They placed him on my chest immediately and we got a good nursing session in before his first bath. 

He developed jaundice and as a precaution we had to stay longer than we wanted.  He wasn't eating well, so we had to finger feed him, which basically means I put my index finger in his mouth facing up while M fed a little tube in on top of my finger.  I would hold the tube in place with my thumb while M pumped formula in with a syringe.  Yes - that means it took two people and four hands to feed our little boy for the first few days.

Thankfully, his jaundice resolved and he learned to suck the right way and we haven't looked back since!

Baby A has the sweetest little spirit and we are so grateful for him!

 ~Nichole

5.29.2012

Our Littlest Angel

A.M.F.
born May 24, 2012 at 3:55 p.m.
7 pounds, 10 ounces
20 inches 

~Nichole

5.16.2012

Much Ado

And so, it was in the 37th week of my pregnancy with my 2nd child that I found out what it must be like to be the child of a Jewish mother. . .

I met my doc for the second time.  I promised her I wouldn't cry if she told me I had made absolutely no progress since week 36.  Then I got to make good on my promise when the only good news she could offer was that the baby was still head down. 

I truly felt on the verge of a physical collapse and I lamented to her that I was SO very tired and that I was thinking of just going on leave early.  She said she could do that if I wanted, that she does it all the time.  Then she cupped my face with one of her hands and cooed "how could I say no to that face!" and the resulting mix of comfort and confusion is what I imagine children of Jewish mothers must often feel.  I told her I was taking the rest of the day off and would see what the weekend brought.

Well, the weekend brought a slightly higher blood pressure and increased episodes of palpitations that I could feel in my neck and throat and head.

So, Monday morning I went to the hospital, where it was discovered that my blood pressure was 140/102.  Scary high.  I was monitored, my bp dropped to 119/80, and baby seemed fine.  6 hours later I was released with instructions to rest.  No problemo.

My feet look better than they have in two weeks and I feel better than I have in at least a week - though I still have palpitations every now and then.

Today I followed up with my doc and she really was not kidding: she's not moody like Dr. M was at all.  In fact, she's sometimes so chipper and understanding and nice it's almost more saccharine than I can comprehend.

My bp was 119/79 - normal, but still a little high for me.  I am NOT pre-eclamptic (hooray!) but she put me on leave from work and scheduled an induction for next Thursday (39 weeks) just to be safe. I am measuring small so she thinks I won't have a big baby this time.  That fits with a dream I had last week: he'll be long and lean and have crazy amounts of dark hair that sticks straight up. . .

I'm a little freaked about induction and secretly hope my body will progress on its own.

We shall see. . .

~Nichole

4.18.2012

Inner Beauty

My belly is, at best, very rotund and, at worst, mottled and splotchy with stretching.
I still have not filled the gap that my lost baby tooth left.
My face is taking on the pregnancy puff, which is why my hair is still long and driving me nuts, tempting me to cut it.
Despite my husband’s deepest reassurances, my butt is pregnancy-big.
I am up 30 pounds.
I make a concentrated effort not to waddle, but a full bladder and sciatic nerve pain down my left leg sometimes make that difficult.
Even on my best non-pregnant days, I often struggle with self image.
Whilst third trimester pregnant, it is a daily, losing battle.

But even when my voice, upon seeing myself in the mirror, tells me differently:
That little face that brightens upon seeing me at the end of the day makes me feel beautiful.
Those soft little lips kissing me repeatedly make me feel beautiful.
The bathtime giggles together make me feel beautiful
Bedtime conversations that start with “tell me bout da” make me feel beautiful.
The whispered “I wuv you, so bery much” makes me feel beautiful.
Being a mother makes me feel beautiful.

~Nichole

4.07.2012

Update at 32 weeks

I love the visit right after the one with the glucose test because you get all sorts of great news, like "your iron's normal" and "you passed the diabetes test with flying colors" and "it's time to pre-register at the hospital" and "you're winning the stretch mark war" and "baby's locked and loaded in the head down position". {See why I'm gonna miss my doc?}

In other news, I think this baby gets an inordinate amount of the hiccups. It's very fun and funny now, but may not be if it continues after he's born.

Also, with the heat comes the swelling. {Howdy there, 90 degree weather!} So, I bought my feet some raspberry colored crocs to compensate. So there.

Also, baby's suddenly slowed down movement-wise in the last few days and I'm wondering what that's all about.

And, oh holy night (!), I woke up with acid in my mouth last night! The kind you only get after you throw up. Which I have not done since I was - oh - about 12. So, I can only devise that this means my belly is now expanding UPwards and crushing my poor esophagus. {Hooray!}

I'm finding it surreal that I am down to single digits left now: just 8 (or less) weeks to go now! {Or, as I told my doc, "the train is coming in to the station".} I can't distinguish between whether my obsession over whether this baby will be early or not is a premonition or just a fear. . . . but I keep telling myself to pack a hospital bag (or three) just in case. In any case, I'd be good with having a Taurus.

~Nichole

3.16.2012

Two Year Old Stammering

Recently, my prodigious little 2.33 year old has taken to stammering his way through sentences. First it was “I’m gonna gonna. . .” and then he added a few more “gonnas”. Then, it was just “I, I, I, I. . . .”

While I suspect that it’s akin to that point in learning a foreign language when your brain goes faster than your limited vocabulary allows, it’s still kind of worrisome.

He talks A LOT! Last Sunday in church, he sat on the floor with a little 5 year old girl and talked her ear off about “saying a prayer” and about “going pee” and all sorts of hilarious things. Every day, usually while he’s in the bathtub, we review his day and he tells me what he’s done. Sometimes, if he doesn’t have the words to say what he wants, he’ll quote from one of the books we read often.

If and when he stammers, I don’t interrupt him or try to finish his sentences for him. I do, however, sometimes gently prod him with “think about what you’re trying to say”, which seems to help because he can usually complete his sentence after that. It’s like he has SO much he wants to say, but is trying to find the words to say it.

I googled “two year old stuttering” and found a couple of things that put my mind at ease.

Here’s what BabyCenter has to say:

"It's normal for your 2-year-old to go through a phase of stuttering, especially when you consider the fact that between the ages of 30 months and 5 years, kids are undergoing extremely rapid growth in their verbal abilities.

Technically, most kids this age don't have a true stutter — instead, they either hesitate when talking or repeat whole words or the first syllable of a word. Your child has these lapses when his brainpower outstrips his verbal dexterity. He may be extremely excited to tell you what's on his mind, or he may be tired, angry, or upset, so he can't get his words out easily. His rapidly developing brain is trying to pull up the right words in the right order. The result may come out something like this: "Mommy, Mommy, look at — look at that." If your child's stuttering continues to get worse, to the point where he's tensing his jaw or grimacing in an effort to get the words out, talk with his pediatrician."

And a pediatric expert from WebMD:

"Transient dysfluency (temporary stuttering) is typically seen in 2- to 4-year-olds. They usually are very verbal and often advanced for their years. The dysfluency results from their talking abilities going faster than the language centers of their brain. It’s as if their brain can’t catch up to their motor mouth, so it slows things down by repeating sounds over and over (i.e. by stuttering).

Stuttering is probably, at least in part, an inborn, genetic problem. There are lots of theories, but nobody really knows what causes it. Boys are about three times more likely to stutter than girls. When it comes to developmental issues, boys always get the short end of the stick!

Once your little guy’s brain catches up to his mouth, the stuttering will disappear. In the meantime, I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. He’s too young to be very bothered by the stuttering, and if you get anxious about it, so will he, which may just make it worse. Continue to talk to him in a nice, slow, relaxed way and patiently wait for him to make his points. The odds are very good he’ll outgrow it in less than a year.

So I wouldn’t worry if I were you, but while I’m on the subject, let’s discuss when a parent should begin to worry about a child’s stuttering, which is seen in 1% of school-aged children.

Personally, I usually don’t worry about stuttering unless it’s still happening after the age of 4 years. Here are some things that would lead me to bring a child to a speech-language therapist’s attention:

• The child is very bothered and upset by the stuttering.
• The stuttering occurs in all situations, not just when the child is excited or nervous.
• The child seems to be struggling to get the words out, with an increase in the pitch of his/her voice.
• The repetitions are very frequent and very long.
• There are frequent prolongations or blockages of words and sounds.
• The child avoids saying certain difficult words.

We’ve all known people who stutter and we all know how hard it can be for the stutterer. The good news is:

1. Most kids get better.

2. Speech therapy helps. If you have any concerns about your child’s dysfluency, talk to your pediatric provider or find a good speech-language pathologist (the Stuttering Foundation of America can recommend one)."

It seems to be a passing phase, since he's already getting a little better, but these things are still good to know.

~Nichole

3.12.2012

No, But Really

I wasn’t kidding when I said the honeymoon is over. I’ve nearly passed out at church the last two Sundays. Sitting in metal chairs with a pregnant belly and little to no air flow does not make my body happy I guess. Apparently, this is just how my body does pregnancy in the third trimester. (Remember when I passed out twice at work when in my 3rd tm with C?)

Blah.

AND I have my glucose test tomorrow morning.

Is there no way I can pull a Rip Van Winkle and sleep for the next 10 to 12 weeks?

So long second trimester! I’ll miss you while I’m slogging through the swampy undertow of this last trimester, clawing my way to the finish line. At least I have "nesting" to look forward to. . .

~Nichole

3.08.2012

The Honeymoon Is Over

Hooray! I’ve made it to the third trimester!

Or, in other words, I am leaving the “honeymoon” phase and am now entering the “beached whale” stage of pregnancy.

Last Friday, I experienced the worst mixture of feelings I’ve yet felt in this pregnancy. It happened as I was standing at the Bass Pro feeding tank, the smile I had while watching my toddler point at the “big fish” still plastered on my face as I tried to remember the last time I had felt the baby move.

The resulting feelings were an awfully haunting mixture of panic and guilt, as I realized I hadn’t felt him move since earlier that morning, and it was now a full 12 hours later. I tried to soothe myself with the realization that we’d had an active morning that stretched into early afternoon. “But,” said my mind, “But! There were those 3 hours during naptime when you sat on the couch with your feet up and felt nary an internal punch or kick.

I tried not to let the panic or the guilt consume me as I made my way to my husband’s second home at the fly shop. Thankfully, he was calm under pressure, and suggested getting something sweet to drink and taking it easy for a bit. (In my mind I wondered how on earth he knew the textbook response. . . ) While we were en route to Sonic, the baby sent a telegram: SOS style taps and jabs to say “Hey! I’m in here! Hello!!!! (And, yes, something sweet to drink would be nice!)”

Phew! Relief!

Until a week ago, my body had procured for its retirement years a wide, flat piece of real estate between the bottom of my navel and the top of my pelvis. This bump has become somewhat of an interloper in that space. The retirement property is no longer flat now that my belly has ballooned downward and staked its claim. The baby’s finally decided to emerge from his hammock at the very very bottom of my uterus (under formerly flat real estate) and is staking out areas northward. I suppose now that he’s almost 15 inches long and weighs about 2.5 pounds, it’s time to find some more comfortable digs. I really don’t understand pregnant bellies and the babies in them. . .

Also? I’m really freaking tired! Like, REALLY! No matter how much I sleep, I’m tired. So tired. Each and every night I’m waking 3 or 4 times to go to the bathroom. And each and every time I find myself fully awake for seemingly no reason and then go “Oh. Bladder.”, I find myself lamenting the REMs I know I should be getting and knowing that somewhere, somehow my body’s keeping score on what it’s sacrificing to gestate this baby.

And then there’s the part where my OB is leaving his practice a month before my due date. Boo!

But mostly, there’s just this buzzy feeling as we enter the homestretch. It could be the shortest trimester of a pregnancy (9 weeks!) or the longest (14 weeks – hiss!), but it’s the one that feels most real, like the realization that “hey! There’s a baby at the end of all this!”. M’s getting so excited, which I think is exciting and kind of funny. Because he has no idea what we’re really in for!

~Nichole

2.22.2012

This Pregnancy Grew Wings

Time is literally flying. And it’s in a desperate attempt to catalog some of this going-too-quickly, whirlwind of a pregnancy that I now write.

The “days left to go” have officially dropped down from triple digits, and now number at 99. I can’t believe I’ll be 26 weeks along tomorrow! I’ve seriously been meaning to get a belly pic for this kicking little progeny for over 2 weeks now. It’s crazy! Everyone of my family who said my belly was “tiny” two weeks ago probably wouldn’t think so now. And while I remember all too well that I can and will get bigger (I’m trying to block the mental images of my belly at full-term), it still seems impossible. Even so, I’m giving serious consideration to doing a belly cast just in case the baby factory closes after this one’s done cooking.

I’m hovering around 19 pounds of weight gain. I’m slightly more freaked about total weight gain this time than I was last time, but that doesn’t stop me from eating daily doses of things like cake, ice cream and chocolate. (Don’t worry! I also get good things like fruit, greek yogurt and baby carrots. . .)

I feel so hurried with life that it’s hard to remind myself to slow down and enjoy feeling this baby. I feel like during my pregnancy with C, I was so much more in tune with every little movement and felt more bonded with him. With this baby, I have to remind myself that there’s a baby in there and that he’s getting bigger every day. Still, this doesn’t leave me with the all-too-common worry that I won’t love this baby as much as I do C. My bigger worry is that I’ll be able to keep loving C the same (and more!) after the baby. When we had C, M and I went from a straight line to a triangle, and I remember that being a very scary prospect. And now, adding one more means we’ll have to pound those angles out to a nice, round circle. It’s just what happens when you have a new addition to a family, but being “under construction” isn’t always so tidy a process.

My confidence is more shaky this time around. I don’t know how that’s possible, since my pregnancy with C was my first full-term pregnancy. But, I know precisely what can possibly go wrong (I’ve heard way too many sad, but touching stories since I’ve been pregnant) and I just don’t think I have the first-time-everything-will-be-ok confidence I had last time. My biggest fear is losing the baby to pre-term birth. Even being 26 weeks along does little to assuage that fear, because when I think I’m almost out of the danger zone and into the safety net that 27 weeks provides, the statistic floats up that baby boys are more underdeveloped and have less fight than baby girls.

Still, this pregnancy is also more fun and exciting in some ways. M is also incredibly excited, now that having one has made the process that much more tangible and real for him than it was last time. Plus, this time we get to share the experience with C, who pats my belly and says “when dis baby is done growing, he’s gonna come see us”. (What else are you gonna tell a 2 year old when he pulls my shirt up and asks to see the baby – the same way he can see his “baby” (aka mini Pooh bear) when you zip down his jammies and baby bear “gets born”?)

~Nichole

1.31.2012

Update at 23 Weeks

It has occurred to me that I haven’t updated a whole lot during this pregnancy. So, here’s a brief comparison of this time to last time, chart-style:

LESS
boobs
fatigue
weight gain
hair (thickness)
water drinking
chili dogs
patience

MORE
belly
morning sickness
headaches
hair (length)
prenatal taking
baby carrots
breathlessness

NEVER BEFORE
taking belly pictures
excessive saliva
consistently stuffy nose & sneezing
time is flying!
name already picked out
absolute commitment to make nursing work
having to worry about picking C up

~Nichole

"May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." -Ray Bradbury