29 May 2019

37 Weeks

I'm 37 weeks along and still feel like I have another couple of months until the baby comes. I don't know why I feel like there's so much time, it still doesn't really seem real I guess.

I had a routine doctor visit today. They checked my weight and vitals and measured my belly and checked the heart beat. My weight jumped up 5 lbs since last week, which seems extreme but the doctor didn't say much, just asked if I've been eating a lot of sweets. (Which I kinda have in general, but not more than usual for this pregnancy.) Saturday after work I noticed my feet got swollen, perhaps my body is just holding onto extra water. I was measuring at 36 weeks, but the doctor didn't seem concerned about that either, she just said the baby probably dropped a bit.

I brought up an elective induction to my doctor in more detail today. I don't feel comfortable doing it, but I also don't feel comfortable going into labor naturally with all the variables working against me getting to the hospital in time, so I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. Generally speaking I am at low risk for needing a c-section if I get induced and the other risks that I am concerned about (fetal distress and infection) are low too. Anything is possible though and I have been heavily weighing my options and stressing about this decision for a month now. I am leaning more towards getting induced though. I wouldn't do it before 40 weeks and I would do it after my due date. Honestly I'm terrified and just want her to come early so I don't have to make this choice.

Anyway, after my appointment I went to visit Nat at lunch. I don't ever tell her when I'm coming, that way in case I can't make it she isn't bummed. She always asks me when/if I'm going to come to lunch that week but when I do come she is more interested in talking to her best friend than me, haha. The school staff is always so nice and everyone was asking how I'm feeling and suggesting ways to bring on labor, like walking and apparently hot water on your back.

I've been looking at my old post from when I was pregnant with Natalie and labor was even quicker than I remember. My water broke closer to 6 in the morning, I thought it was 5. Then the contractions started after that (what amount of time I have no idea) and I remember they became pretty intense pretty quickly. I got to the hospital around 8:30 am and she was born at 11:09 am. So if you count labor from when my water broke that is about 5 hours, if you count it from first contraction I will say about 4. I was 3 cm dilated at my doctor's appointment 6 days before she was born.

I really want to reassure myself that everything will work out one way or another. I think talking about it helps.One way or another I am going to be a mom again and I am so happy about that!

28 May 2019

8th Anniversary

Today we celebrated 8 years of marriage! This years material was one of my favorites, because we got to incorporate it into our date: pottery. We booked a private pottery lesson at a place called Cafe Pottery. It was fun to try something out of my comfort zone (yes, that's how boring I am, I consider a pottery class beyond my comfort zone). We made a cup and a bowl each and then after the class we went to lunch, and after lunch we popped by the place we got married at, just to visit. We then went home and watched t.v. before a quick dinner and picking Natalie up from Matt's mom's house. All in all a great day. Natalie had one of the best days ever too and did not want to leave my mother in laws. She went to the dance studio with Linda (MIL) and then they went to the dollar store and out to hibachi for dinner! Almost sounds like a more fun date than mine and Matt's. :p 

27 May 2019

Memory Lane

Tomorrow we celebrate 8 years of being married! I mean this in a good way but it feels a lot longer than 8 years. Life has changed so much in such a good way and it feels like a lifetime ago we were saying our tearful vows to each other.

I remember how nervous I was for the wedding. Not because the commitment scared me but because the social anxiety of it all made me almost sick to my stomach. I was so relaxed when everything went smoothly though and we became husband and wife. 

Now here we are 8 years later and I 'm a nervous wreck over a different life event, yay! I can't imagine what my life would be like if I never met Matt. (I would say I can't imagine what life would be like if we never met and fell in love, but the falling in love was inevitable. Me first and then he had no choice but to love me back ;)) He is my rock. Our relationship has definitely changed in ways and it has not always been easy. There are frustrating and upsetting times but we genuinely love and care about each other. Truly and deeply. 

Our anniversary is one of my favorite days of the year because now that the big celebration of the wedding day is long gone, we get to celebrate alone together. Every year we spend the day together and go out to eat, catch a movie, or figure out something special to do to commemorate the day. 

One of my favorite parts though is the gifts. Not because I'm greedy, but because we use traditional materials as gifts for each year. I.E. the first year was paper, then cotton, then leather and so on. It is really fun basing a gift on a material and trying to get creative with what we give. So let's take a trip down memory lane and talk about all the gifts we did over the years!

First year: Paper. For the first year we both gave each other the same gift: love notes in bottles. I hand wrote mine and Matt ordered (and I hope customized) his online. I remember his plan was to give mine to me at the beach and half bury it in the sand for me to find, but we never made it to the beach for whatever reason. 

Second year: cotton. I gave him a nice Polo shirt like I do for most special occasions and he bought us a new mattress. Not as romantic as the first year but we needed a bigger bed SO bad since we were sharing a queen size with a little munchkin who liked to roll and kick a lot. 

Third year: leather. This one felt pretty tricky. I got Matt some Rayban sunglasses in a leather case and asked him for a tablet in a leather case too. We ended up losing the tablet a few years later (honestly it became Natalie's anyway) and the case he got was too small/shaped weird but I still have it!

Fourth year: fruit and flowers. It seemed stupid and challenging at first (here's a daisy and a bowl of oranges..?) but I think we both did a good job getting creative. I put together a basket full of some of Matt's favorite snacks along with some masculine flowers that wilted and died because I hid them in the humid basement and I also made him a really pretty fruit tart. He gave me several bouquets of flowers and took me on a date to the arboretum in D.C. 

Fifth year: wood. I saved the cork to the (cheap) champagne we drank on our first anniversary, so I was excited about using that to create a sentimental gift. Again, I am not crafty, so I spent a lot of time thinking about and putting my heart into how to give him a piece of wooden cork as a present. I decided to so a shadow box. I found a picture of us from our first anniversary with Matt holding a glass of the champagne and then added some cutesy little details along with the cork in it. Matt got me a much needed dining room table. 

Sixth year: candy or iron. This is by far my favorite! Neither one of us care for sweets (I do have a sweet tooth now that I'm pregnant) so it seemed hard to figure out. My mom actually suggested we take a trip up to Hershey, PA and I thought that was genius. This was the first (and only) trip we'd taken without Natalie and we had so much fun. We stayed at the shadiest motel which added to the excitement. Will we get robbed or murdered?! Who knows?! It was comical how bad the place we stayed at was and the woman Greta who worked there always seemed to be lurking around. We went to Hershey Park and even though we didn't get on any rides we visited the zoo in the park and had a really good time. I picked out a cute little Hershey kiss stuffy and named it Greta to take home to Natalie. Matt also gave me real roses preserved in iron, how sweet! 

Seventh year: wool or copper. We once again gave each other the same gift this year: Moscow mule cups. My plan was to make Matt a nice dinner at home and then relax together and have some cocktails in our new cups. It sounded romantic to me but that is not how the day worked out. I ended up being violently hungover from a party the night before. Classy, I know. We didn't do too much but decided to drive out to the Shenandoah area for dinner (about an hour away). There was no way I was pouring another drink that day or anytime soon after and the cups still have yet to be used. 

I am excited about and look forward to tomorrow's material: pottery or bronze. 

23 May 2019

Zoo Field Trip

I remember how different life was last year at this time. Natalie was in kindergarten and she took her first field trip that I wasn't able to attend. I literally had a panic attack that day. It was rainy and they were going to see a play like 45 minutes away. To add fuel to my concerns a few days prior there had been a horrible school bus accident that killed several children in NJ. I was a mess. This time last year is also when I had my chemical pregnancy, so I am certain that the hormones from that were contributing to the emotions, I just didn't know it yet.

Today I was lucky enough to get to chaperone her field trip to the zoo. I had mixed feelings about signing up to go because last week when I took a walk I was having frequent cramps in addition to my back pain, but I felt so bad when I told Natalie I might not volunteer and she cried. I looked into purchasing a back brace, even getting a prenatal massage the day before the trip, but we took a little test drive on Sunday and walked around the Museum of American History, and I was in decent shape so I figured I could handle the zoo.

I am really glad I didn't chicken out and went. The other child in my group was easy going and I paced myself so it wasn't too challenging.

The animals were pretty active. We saw a gorilla roar and bang on a door, which was really exciting and a bit intimidating. We also saw a panda chomping on bamboo and a tiger take a dip in water too cool off. Poor Natalie did get poked in the eye by a laminated neck tag she had on while she played on the playground. Her eye still has a red spot and she was really worn out after that happened but ending up perking back up.

I don't know what life will be like this time next year, but I am feeling really lucky  to be able to experience these happy moments that are here now.

21 May 2019

36 Weeks

I've gotten asked, "When is that baby coming?!" by a coworker and "Did you have your baby yet?" by a four year old, so it feels as if everyone around me is ready for Nugget to be born. 

Hard to believe looking at my belly that she has four more weeks of growing and stretching me out to do. I would love to be relieved of my back pain, which is by far the biggest (and pretty much only) complaint I have, but I am complacent with the timing of when she is supposed to arrive. 

Time is still passing at a very fast rate and life is going to be very different soon, so well I look forward to and welcome that change, I am just enjoying my life as I know it. 

At my last check up two weeks ago I was told Nugget is head down, though the doctor said she thought that the time before, at 32 weeks. A part of me feels like I won't make it to my due date, though that isn't based off of anything except a slight feeling (and maybe a bit of disbelief that I will get even bigger than I am). 

Something that recently started a week ago is cramps when I walk. Matt and I were taking a walk to get me a smoothie (one of the few things I crave) and I began to get some stomach cramps. They were slightly painful, so I don't know if it's braxton hicks or not. 

I had a check up today and everything went fine at the doctor's. I don't really care for my new doctor, I feel like she doesn't listen very well and just is in and out. We did a swab for strep b and she checked to see if I've dilated at all, which I have not. She said she doesn't think the baby will come before she's due. 

I have a field trip to chaperone on Thursday so after my appointment I went to Target to buy some maternity shorts. When I was leaving to go catch the bus I fell and busted my knee. It was pretty embarrassing. Luckily I didn't fall on my belly or injure myself more. A woman with a young son asked me if I was okay, and for some reason when I am upset or embarrassed I just cry any time I try to talk, which only makes me more embarrassed which only leads to more tears. She asked me if I wanted a hug, which I took. She gave me the biggest, most compassionate hug from a stranger I have ever had and I am pretty sure she started crying with me too. 

I don't have anything planned to do tomorrow and I am looking forward to that. 

16 May 2019

One on One

With Mothers/Fathers Day, our anniversary, both mine and Matt's birthdays, plus the end of the school year and a due date approaching, May is certainly the start of the busy season for us until the end of June. 

I always look for reasons to keep busy though, so yesterday after Natalie had a dental check up (no cavities!) I took her on an outing to the playground and out for pizza and ice cream. It's hard to imagine how things will change when one on one time is sparse. I hope and dream to be a mom who makes time to give each of my children my sole attention every once in awhile. 

Right now I do a pretty good job making time for Natalie. I try to play with her when she asks (though that is a challenge on days I'm tired), I visit her at school and volunteer, I schedule special things to do like I did yesterday and I overall make sure to put down my phone and pay attention to her. I'm not perfect and I could certainly improve how I parent, but I know I show her I love her. I so look forward to another little one to give my love and attention to. 

13 May 2019

Mother's Day 2019

I remember how special my first Mother's Day was. Natalie was 5 months old. Matt spoiled me and made me feel extra special and pampered. We went to the place we got married and took some nice pictures, he showered me with gifts and cooked me an awesome dinner. It just felt magical.

I wanted this Mother's Day to be extra nice too, since it is my last one as a mom to one child. I don't know why that felt like a big deal to me but it did. Anyway, when there is pressure for a day to go really well it almost never does.

The weather was crap and so was my mood. Matt and I got into a stupid. petty argument (the only kind we have) and I cried. I was just in a crummy mood and I know it's selfish and entitled, but I just didn't feel as spoiled as I wanted. At the end of the day I drew myself a bath and ended up sobbing, completely overwhelmed with anxiety and sadness, something that has been happening fairly regularly lately.

I feel bad not appreciating it all more but I can't control how I feel. I don't mean to sound ungrateful but I've been so overcome with feeling anxious about what all could go wrong that it does alter my personality a bit. I'm not always a gloomy, the sky is falling person and the bad feelings come in waves. I am happy. I love my life. I don't want anything to change that, hence where the negativity comes in. I just don't want anything bad to happen to my family or me. I don't know why these feelings get so out of hand at times.

Putting it all into perspective and refocusing on the good, yesterday was not a bad day. Natalie and my niece were very excited to give me extra love. The night before they were whispering about what they would make me for breakfast and Natalie said I like toast and jam. Bridget asked what kind of eggs I like and Nat told her I don't really like eggs, which is true, I don't like 99% of breakfast foods most the time. Natalie made me a coupon book and card at school that she gave me on Friday. Matt got me flowers and pajamas that cannot fit my big ole belly right now. It rained and was cold almost every hour of the day until the late afternoon. We went to lunch, then visited with my mom for a bit and I brought her flowers, wine, chocolate, some bath goods and had the girls make her cards. Then we stopped by my sister's house and saw my twin nieces and nephews while the kids played (then fought). We took my mother in law out to dinner and poor Natalie got the hiccups for the seventh time that day. It bothered her a lot through the day and she wasn't very happy. We had a pretty short dinner then had to come home and give her a short bath before bed. She must be going through a growth spurt, because she has been eating a ton lately. She ate a lunch before lunch, then at dinner ate half my wonton tacos plus her entree, and had a dinner after dinner. Overall her behavior has greatly improved, and I really think it all has to do with having a consistent schedule for her, something that will be very unpredictable next month with the end of school and new baby.

I do wish I could hit a skip button and be past the hard part of bearing a child. I know the pain I will endure bringing her into the world will be worth it once I see and hold my baby. She is certainly worth the heartache and stress I am facing at the moment. I just wish I knew everything was going to work out. The dread is eating me up.

05 May 2019

Sibling Tour of VHC

Our weekends are usually filled with home projects, grocery shopping, play dates for Natalie, and some sort of family time. Two days always feels way too short to get everything done and spend time together, and I only get two days every other weekend since I work alternating Saturdays. 

I was off work this weekend. We didn't start off with plans, but Saturday morning at 9 am I started looking into the hospital tours my doctor has been telling me are offered at the place I plan to deliver Nugget. My thoughts are, "It's a hospital, what the hell could they possibly show me that I haven't seen before?" but they have a special tour for siblings and we needed to make the drive to the hospital to know the route and see how long it takes. Turns out they had one sibling tour that morning at 10:15 and it was the only one I could find before my due date, so we sped up the morning and decided to do it. 

The point of it was to get Natalie familiar with how things are going to work while the baby and I are away from home and she comes to visit us. We don't have a definitive plan on who will be taking care of her while I give birth, or if Matt will be spending the night at home or in the hospital with me. There are a few variables to consider, like if she will still have school (last day of school is June 20th, my due date is June 18th), what time I will go into labor (what if it's at 2 am?) and if the change would be easier with someone coming here to take care of her, or her going to their house. Honestly it's going to be my mother in law who takes care of her, we just need to work out the details (and confirm that with her). 

The tour was aimed at slightly younger children (between 2 and 6) but I am glad we did it. We were shown a recovery room (though I was told the ones we viewed were for moms with twins or moms who are staying a few more days in the hospital, their standard room is smaller), went over do's and don'ts for visitation, saw the nursery with two babies in it, read a story, then practiced holding a doll like a real baby. 

I was glad to get acquainted with the hospital as well, since Natalie was born closer to home at another hospital. Making the dive definitely didn't ease any of my anxiety about making it there in the event of a short labor. It took us 30 minutes and that was without traffic, plus the route was confusing as hell and we almost missed some turns, even with GPS. If we have to make that drive during rush hour traffic it will take well over an hour to get there. To make matters worse traffic will be getting even heavier in the next couple of weeks due to Metro shutting down several train stations for the entire summer, hence more cars on the road. 

I so wish I could just have Nugget at the same place I had Natalie at which is only 15 minutes away from home. I didn't love my experience with the hospital I had Natalie at, but they did their job and got her here safely and that is really all that matters in the end. Unfortunately due to our new health insurance my doctors practice only delivers at an inconvenient location in a different city. 

02 May 2019

33 Weeks

A new month is here and another week of pregnancy down! From the online updates I read Nugget is at least 16 or 17 inches and around 4 1/2 lbs at this point. Apparently I look way bigger and further along than what I am, as I so nicely had another customer at work tell me yesterday. I did a good job not crying this time as she exclaimed, "Wow, 7 weeks left to go? That's must be a big baby."  but it still stung and I will never understand how people are so rude and/or stupid.

Nugget is growing along and it makes me happy. She gets the hiccups a lot now, sometimes several times a day and that means her body is working the way it should be and she's practicing breathing and swallowing. That's the only thing I can feel going on with her, other than the kicks and rolls and bladder jabs. I look forward to finding out if she is in the head down position yet at my next checkup on Tuesday.

Minus the back pain I am pretty comfortable and feeling good. The heartburn I would get seems to have almost completely gone away. I remember with Natalie at the end of my pregnancy I had to prop myself up at night with pillows to sleep because I was getting heartburn pretty bad, so there's still time for it to reappear this go around.

My energy is decent, though it definitely fluctuates. I was feeling pretty worn out the last several days because I had to fill in at work for my sister because she was sick but today I am home relaxing. Natalie can be a big contributor to me feeling drained too, as she has been struggling with a grumpy mood and attitude for awhile now. It's exhausting reprimanding her and dealing with the fits and crying and punishments. Being a parent can be tiresome and challenging but I really love it and I hate when people take it for granted or act like their kids are the biggest nuisance. Kids can be annoying and a huge pain in the ass but having them makes you very lucky and I am still in aw of how lucky I am to be getting a second child.

Sometimes life does feel too good to be true and then anxiety sets in about what could go wrong. I am certainly nervous to give birth again for a string of reasons. My first reason is that there will be a complication during delivery and something will happen to me or the baby, like death. I know in the western world with modern medicine it isn't very likely but it still happens. There's nothing (yet) to indicate a problem will occur (though it's better to be prepared and forewarned if there will be one), it's just a fear I have.

My second concern, one that is more reasonable I suppose, is that I won't make it to the hospital in time, or that even if I do I won't have time for an epidural. I know, I know, our bodies are made to do this, it's been done since the beginning of time and all that good stuff, but I am not going to pretend I am not a huge wuss when it comes to pain. Childbirth is the second most painful thing a human can experience next to being burned alive (I'm not making this up). My labor with Natalie was 6 hours from start to finish and rumor has it the second time you give birth the timing is cut in half. I labored at home with her for 3 hours before it really got bad and I knew I was probably in labor. If labor is only 3 hours this time I will possibly be having an unplanned home birth, which is not what I want at all. The contractions alone were the worst pain I've ever felt in my life and I was so thankful to not feel the pain of her exiting my body.

My last even most justified worry is the toll the stress of a new baby will take on me and my family and our relationships. Being sleep deprived really can make a person on edge, and if Natalie is still having a hard time (or an even harder time) with being cranky then I imagine my patience will be almost nil. I don't want to be a stressed out, frazzled, hot mess who snaps over the smallest things. I worry how Matt and I will get along too and when the hell we're going to have time to be a couple.

Overall my concerns are pretty minor (besides, you know, dying) and my life is really great so I try to keep it all in perspective.