Sunday, September 30, 2012

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Today has been... Difficult. Early this morning my big girl padded into my room complaining of a sore tummy. I pulled her into bed to snuggle and hoped it was just an attempt at getting into the room that we now share with her little sister. Not so. She couldn't settle down and was increasingly agitated finally asking to go back to her room. I took her to her bed and went to get glass of water for her and that's when the barfing started.

My poor lady. She's never had a stomach bug if you can believe it. In fact, aside from the 6 months of turbo spit up she had as a baby, she's only puked a handful of times, due to coughing or a secondary infection. She was so scared! My heart completely broke for her - but I have to admit my main concern was for Everley.

OMG. What if the baby gets it? What if I get it and have to care for the baby? This is not a situation I can handle well. My anxiety levels, fueled by postpartum hormones, are through the roof over it.

Bella barfed all night and morning and stopped sometime around noon. She feels awful and I'm so sad for her. So far the rest of us are okay I think. But I feel like a ticking time bomb and nights are the worst if I'm dealing with anxiety. In daylight I cope because I can be up with my kids, watching, ever watching for signs of distress. Nights are harder with Cairn fast asleep, Bella in another room and me up alone with the baby.

I think I only slept an hour or so last night, and I just caught another hour from 7 - 8pm. Settling in now for a long night. The first that will probably be really hard, but certainly not the last. I've had minimal anxiety this time around and have been feeling really great overall. This day has set me back a bit, but I intend to fight back, breathe deeply, keep calm carry on.

What lightens the mood better than a good dose of baby hiccups? Nothing, that's what! Enjoy:

Saturday, September 29, 2012


The day arrived.

These lights are totally harshing my mellow.

I'm stewing and brewing up the full birth story, mostly written from the insane-person notes I took on my iPhone in the hospital that day. I'm still trying to piece together the times and events from the jumble of madness in my head. I'll be honest, every second of it melted away the instant I looked up from the mess between my legs, took a deep long breath and felt the shaking that had consumed me slow down and then stop, just in time for my husband hand me this:

Happy Birthday to me, and Birth Day to her.

It's a girl. Her name is Everley Read.

For Ever.

That's how long I've been waiting for her. And now she's here. And she's fucking spectacular. And we are complete.

Welcome to the gun show.

Happy one-week birthday baby sister.

This place is a'ight after all.

Love Mommy

PS: Top 40 (before 40): #1 - Expand my family - Check!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Final Countdown

I've been meaning to get on here and write a quick summary of this pregnancy for weeks now, but have not been able to open this blog and face my last post with out drowning in my own tears. Well, here I sit, drowning in my own tears, but at least I can honestly chalk it up to some INSANE hormonal INSANITY now that I'm three days away from my estimated due date.

Three days.


Strangely, as much as it's fun to play up the panic, I feel very calm. For months I've been telling people that this baby was going to come early. I assumed this because first of all, I was hugemongously pregnant this time around by like five months. I simply couldn't imagine that I would continue to grow all the way to term. Incorrect. Still growing.

Also, Anabella came early by about a week. And first babies are supposed to be the late ones. Everyone says second babies come faster and sooner. Everyone says it so IT MUST BE TRUE. Liars. All of you are hateful liars.

The fact that I'm actually past the point that I thought I'd make it to has bought me some much needed downtime. Allowed me to get organized both materially and physically. It's calmed me and I'm grateful. 

Today I'm 39 weeks and 5 days and don't have many physical signs that this babe is coming. I'm very tired and have been experiencing semi-regular Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks, there's definitely a change a-brewing in my body, but that's about it. As of my appointment last Thursday, no significant dilation or effacement.

I know it can happen quickly once things kick into gear and I anticipate that it will, but truthfully I'm in no rush. I've been loving my quiet time at home. It's been quite a whirlwind few months. Just about everything that could happen at one time happened - from the crazy project at work that occupied my time and my mind for months, to the passing of our Moet, to Bella starting JK (owe you a post on that one too) - it's just been so relentlessly chaotic that there's been little time for reflection on this little life I'm creating.

A blessing in one sense, because it allowed me to get through the hottest summer on record while VERY pregnant without too much time to obsess and whine. It forced me to stand up and wipe the puke of my chin and get my tired ass to work even though I felt like dying for months with nausea and fatigue. It allowed me to grieve the loss of my boy in fits and starts, in small quiet moments that were few and far between. I'm not done with that yet, but I'm getting through it. I miss him no less, but I'm moving past. It allowed us as a family to make the most out of the together time we did have, at the cottage and on non-working weekends, because we understood that time was precious. That being family of three was fleeting.

I finished working on August 31 and though I've still been keeping (too) busy, tackling all the things that I couldn't get around to because of work, I've finally found some time to focus on this new baby that's about to join our clan (THREE DAYS).

This pregnancy is so different from Bella's. Not knowing the gender or having a name (that's right, no names yet, full panic) has left me feeling considerably more detached from whoever it is that's growing inside of me.

With Bella I was able to imagine a little baby girl with dark brown curls and the prettiest name - Anabella - I knew she would be beautiful and tiny and pink. Whenever I thought of her, I thought of her already-born and in our arms. This baby I can picture snuggled up tightly in there. Warm and fat and ready to join us. But I can't imagine what he or she will be like on the outside. I'm excited for that surprise. I'm excited about sharing it with all of our friends and family, but it can be a little frustrating to not know my baby. I feel like I was much more bonded with Bella before she arrived that I am with this little one.

I'm not going to write too much about the pregnancy itself. I'm worried I'll just sound like an ungrateful complainer and we all know there's nothing worse. Fact is, we got pregnant easily and after my miscarriage last summer I consider that to be an absolute gift, which I will never ever take for granted. I have been fundamentally healthy and strong throughout even though I'm considered of 'late maternal age' (UGH). Most importantly our baby appears to be strong, healthy and clearly super comfortable in there. Glad I could be so accommodating, Baby, you're welcome.

I've gained less weight this time (though I still don't recognize myself in the mirror) 35lbs vs the 50lbs I packed on last time. Granted, I started out 10lbs heavier, but HEY THAT STILL PUTS ME 5lbs AHEAD. I'LL TAKE IT. I feel less dread about the body I'll be left with post-partum and more excited about the challenge of getting back to where I'd like to be. It's possible. It's hard work, but it's possible. Besides, this will be my last pregnancy so I'm willing to throw some dollars at myself to fix a few things that I didn't want to bother with last time because I was pretty sure I was going to just fuck it all up again anyway.

I feel good about where Anabella is right now. I think she's really ready to welcome a new person into our lives. I do not kid myself, I know it will be tough on her - on all of us - at times. But I've tried very hard to include her and to talk to her about it all and I know she's super excited. I'm so excited to see my first baby interact with my second. How mind-blowing will that be? I hope I can write about it here and do it justice.

I'm absolutely positive that waiting this long between kids was the best possible move for our family. Bella is a well-adjusted and mature little kid with her own life at school and daycare. She's got friends and established routines that are just hers and will allow her individual time with both Cairn and I. Plus, I have the luxury of being home all day with Baby while she is safe and busy at school next door. Right next door! It could not be more ideal. Way to go us!

This is getting rambly now, that's what happens when you scare yourself away from your own blog by writing with a giant case of the sads, so without further ado here's photographic evidence that I am indeed expecting a (possibly very large) nameless baby in an impossibly very short amount of time. 

13 weeks. 13 week ultrasound. 13 week, 5 days ultrasound. Had some bleeding around this time, hence the second ultrasound. Turned out that my placenta had separated from the uterine wall, but was already reattached by the time the second u/s was taken. It was the only scary moment of the pregnancy so far. Have started taking Diclectin here because of my 24 hour a day nausea and vomiting, which started at around 6 weeks. 
17 weeks. 18 weeks. 19 weeks. Still in my regular clothes here, but starting to yearn for elastic waistbands. I finally stopped throwing up daily somewhere around the 19 week mark, but still felt like doing it all the time. You'll see the weight-gain kick in now... still taking 4 daily doses of Diclectin in order to make it through the day at work.
20 weeks, 22 weeks, 23 weeks. Enter maternity clothing. Both pairs of pants and that dress were used during my first pregnancy, five years ago. Goodbye fashion, hello find something, anything that fits.
24 weeks. 25 weeks. 26 weeks. For some reason pregnant women are compelled to wear stripes. Kind of a can't beat'em, join'em phenomenon. Finally able to ween myself off the medication for morning sickness here. Feeling sooo much better.
26 weeks. This is how much better I am feeling.
27 weeks. 29 weeks. 30 weeks. Have officially given up on pants. Temperatures soar at 35+ degrees every single day and will continue to do so for the next 8 weeks. Our house is a sweat lodge. Have found my spirit animal. It's a pregnant deer in headlights.
31 weeks. 31 and a half weeks. 32 weeks. Finally able to convince Bella to join me in a picture! You may notice the sickly pallor on my face in this series. Morning sickness has returned. Am once again not able to get out of the house or up the street without puking. I think it has a lot to do with the heat, which by this time is really starting to wear me down.
33 weeks. Couldn't resist posting all three.
35 weeks. 36 weeks. 37 weeks. These three weeks were the CRAZIEST and I can't believe I'm even able to hold my shit together enough to take these shots. We lost Moet, I launched a website and I made it to my last day of work!
38 weeks. 39 weeks. Still no baby.
I'll hit full term and my due date in three more days on Friday September 21, which is also my birthday. If I make it to 40 weeks, I'll post that bump photo for sure. But here's hoping that maybe, just maybe, these pictures are about to get a whole lot cuter before that day arrives.