Could this be it?

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I’ll be 39 weeks on Wednesday, and I think baby is coming sooner rather than later. Which means I’ll have to give up my dream of him having a Leap Day birthday. Oh well 🙂

With Potamus, I had 10 days of early labor signs. My midwives don’t normally do checks, but I requested one. To confirm what I already knew: I was dilated. Yes, if you Google “can I feel myself dilating,” the answer is “no,” but I did. I was 4cm for 10 days.

And I felt it again this time. Last Thursday night. Like a pap smear scraping from the inside. Menstrual like cramps. Ping ponging between feeling constipated and having diarrhea. And the incredible urge to fight through the pain and clean the entire house: nesting.

I’ve heard that labors follow similar courses, so I’m not worried that it’ll happen tonight, but I’d be surprised if baby didn’t arrive before Sunday. That would be about 10 days like last time. I won’t be surprised if it’s on Thursday, though, either. It feels sooner, rather than later, but I’m hoping to get through a few more days of work…to wrap up things for the next 6 months.

Today I woke up and my belly was lower. Not dropped like first time moms, but the lightening in my rib cage makes me breathe easier, and I had my first full meal in like 100 years. So yay!

It’s scary and exciting to think that this could be it. We went out to dinner tonight as a family of 3, and we just kept saying, “this might be the last time. Next time it might be as a family of 4.”

Crazy.

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35 Weeks Rainbow

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I’m surprising myself with the bump shots this pregnancy. With Potamus I took a few, but it wasn’t my main focus. This time around I’ve managed to take a few more. And with the rainbow backdrop, how could I resist?

35 weeks.

It feels like forever from now.
It feels like it could be tomorrow.
I don’t think I’m prepared.

But, I’m trying to go with all the different feelings I’m feeling in any given moment. Like crying at the Passat commercial featuring a dad with his two sons on a boy adventure day. Today I wore supportive tennis shoes and found that it helped with a great deal of my hip pain, which is both tremendously good, and also embarrassing. I don’t want to wear New Balance tennis shoes with my maternity outfits for the next 5 weeks…

This pregnancy has been a roller coaster. I’m trying to focus on being mindful, now that I’m nearing the end.

The Second Kid Dilemma

It’s begun.

That dreaded second kid syndrome. You know the one. Where the more kids a family has, the less pictures or mementos are kept around. By the time the third or fourth or fifth kid enters the brood, there’s nary a picture to be found.

We won’t get to that crazy level, because this is the last time I will be pregnant.

But I’ve begun to notice that, despite all of my changing thoughts, little tidbits of things I ‘want to write down,’ I am choosing differently this time. I don’t know if it’s mindfulness, or exhaustion, but the zest for documenting has left, in part.

In the past few weeks I’ve thought about writing on:
-the incredible pain I’m feeling with an out of alignment pelvis (and yay, how good my first chiropractic appointment went in getting me to not walk like a 107 year old)

-the fear of turning my sweetness into an older sibling, and the pressure that goes with that responsibility. I know, both Boof and I were the eldest.

-the  “holy shit we’re doing this again? for real? is it too late to back out now?” panic thoughts that overshadow my motherly imaginations of those sweet snuggle sessions and watching a new person grow into the person they already are. My mind is mostly obsessed with poop. And nursing. And poop. Diapers. Poop. Nursing. Poop. Sleep deprivation. Poop.

-the fear that, as exhausted as I am right now, with 24 teaching credits, a part-time job, 25 weeks pregnant, a 4 year old, etc. etc. etc., that I am already stretched too thin in the love department. I am most afraid of becoming the Cruel Mother, rather than staying the 95% empathetic mother. I worry that I will hold my almost 4 year old to a higher standard of behavior simply out of sheer exhaustion, leaving him bewildered at the change.

These are just snapshots of things that flutter through my head on my daily commute, while I’m in the shower, or getting up at 3am for my 5th potty break of the night. They are the same fears, only modified, that I had while pregnant with Potamus. And my higher self knows that all will be okay. But I also know, that I have enjoyed looking back. Seeing a fossil record of those fears, and while I’m zenfully in the moment of anxiety (is that an oxymoron?), I also know, that in 6 months, or 6 years, I won’t remember these little tidbits if I don’t write them down. Like the funny conversations between a mother and her child on the commute home. It quickly evaporates if not set in stone.

I don’t hope to capture all of the moments. But some. So the record isn’t Potamus and then nothing. But I’m also tired. And trying to form cohesive sentences only adds to my exhaustion.

So tell me, mothers of multiples…how do you handle the inequity of time spent worrying/writing/thinking/loving that first kid, and try to create balance with the other one, two, or five who come along behind?

This is how Potamus envisions his new baby brother. <3

This is how Potamus envisions his new baby brother. ❤

21 Week Side by Side

21 side by side

So much about this pregnancy has been completely different than the last go-round. Perhaps it’s age, or perhaps it’s because I’m carrying a distinctly unique human being in my belly region. How silly of me to think that I would get the two children mixed up. How silly of me to think I needed a girl to draw the distinction. How silly of me to think that I would never compare the two.

I’ve felt the movements from week 16, which is much earlier than with Potamus. I hear that second babies are like that. He flips, and twirls, especially at night when I’m trying to get some shuteye. And now I can feel him during the day. When I’m standing in front of my class I feel the little swimmer bouncing off the walls, and I smile. This little fish is my constant companion, and a little light in an otherwise hard season of life.

Cheers to halfway through. Cheers to my last pregnancy. Gonna try and soak every minute up. Even the achy hips and constant peeing. Because I know this is it. The final lap.

19 Weeks

19 weeks

In a mere 4.5 days we learn whether we’re having a boy or a girl. I’m beyond excited. And while I only took a few pregnancy “bump” photos with Potamus, I’ve been curious to see how I’m progressing this go round. I want to compare with my first pregnancy, mostly because I’m actively working out and trying to eat healthier…something really important with my currently VERY stressful job.

This picture isn’t a comparison between pregnancies, but rather one of my abs engaged vs not engaged. Trying to maintain my core while I have the ability to do so!

When I’m 21 weeks I’ll do a side by side comparison with my Potamus belly!

Hopes

When I was a kid, I distinctly remember my mom saying “don’t get your hopes up.” I rationally know that it was a moment-in-time-specific saying, but it stuck with me, and has had a profound effect on many things that I do. I halt my emotions, rather than feeling them, in order to put myself in emotional limbo until all.the.facts.are.known.

I was doing this with my recent pregnancy. Because my sister-in-law had a 10 week miscarriage, I was afraid that an early announcement would bring about a similar result (not rational, I know), but announced secretly, anyway. I was afraid to let myself get too excited about being pregnant, in case it meant losing it (and then deciding the next steps, which almost 90% would be not trying anymore). When Potamus asked for a sister, and I want a girl, I held off even entertaining the idea that it could be a girl. Sure I know that I’ll love another son, but I want a girl.

In the past few days I have been catching myself calling the baby ‘her.’ I spent ten hours cleaning out our office/guest room and moving the changing table from the garage into our new nursery/guest room. I know it’s just nesting, but when my parents arrived I was just naturally calling it ‘her room,’ and saying, ‘when she gets here,’ etc. And I realized, when doing my mindfulness app, that I actually want to get my hopes up. Will I be sad, and go through the emotions if anything were to happen to this baby, or if she were to be a he, yep. And I’d also be fine. I’d know that I can handle emotions and changes and everything turns out okay.

So I’m letting myself get my hopes up. And I’ll deal with the consequences later. Because I’m tired of living like my life is on hold until I know X or Y or Z happens.

Fear of the Unknown vs Fear of the Known

I’m having trouble.

I’m currently in the blissful weeks of pregnancy. The afternoon nausea has gone, and I’m mostly even keeled (with the exception of dealing with a very trying almost 4 year old. WHEW I WILL BE GLAD WHEN THIS STAGE IS OVER. THERE I SAID IT.) I mostly am symptom free, and not yet in the showing + feeling kicks stage.

And yet, I am petrified.

Last pregnancy I was nervous, in the “can I do this? Can I really be a parent?” naivete way. But this time around? Petrified. I see pictures online of my friends’ brand new baby and I’m propelled backward in time with all of this new knowledge and I’m like “no no no no no this can’t be happening to me.” Like, wake me up from the nightmare.

Rationally I know I’ll survive, as we do. But thrive? Boy am I concerned about that. I sit in stillness for a minute and try to imagine a tiny wriggling 8lb baby on my chest while my son yells “mommy more orange juice” from the living room and think, “what the fuck have I gotten myself into?”

The fear of the known has always been hard for me. During sports seasons I would DREAD the daily conditioning, even to the point of making myself occasionally vomit to avoid practice. Knowing what was to come was terrible. The anxiety buildup was beyond what I could control. Something sprung on me in the moment isn’t fun, but I suck it up and deal much better. So having 10 months to think about this impending doom (as I can’t help but conceptualize it) is crazy scary.

And then I get the mommy guilt trip that I’ve thus avoided with my son so far. But this worry that somehow my antepartum anxiety is going to effect this little one. That I’ll give birth to a neurotic daughter* and thus feel terrible for creating a child just like myself.

I spin and spin and annoy myself to no end. Despite the fact that I know I will be okay. I’ve been okay this whole time, and I will be okay again, but I’m petrified of the hard parts. With my son I didn’t know what to expect. And so once he was born I rushed headlong into parenting with a naivete that I’m afraid will be tampered down by my obsessional desire to conserve energy at all costs.

Can anyone at all relate? Am I completely a nutcase?

Lego Ninjago does nothing for  my liberal "it's a culture, not a costume," leanings. At what age will I have to enforce that?

Lego Ninjago does nothing for my liberal “it’s a culture, not a costume,” leanings. At what age will I have to enforce that?