Thursday, February 23, 2012

38 Weeks

All right. This is the point in the pregnancy where I reeeally start getting antsy to get this baby out!

I know it's bad when I start viewing videos like this:

Generally, I can't stand having anyone touch my feet...Even watching that video makes me wince. Yet I'm still tempted to try it...

Then, there are the times-- when I have my hands entirely full with the two boys I already have-- where I start to think maybe it would be best for everyone if this kid just stayed put until he's, oh, six years old...haha.

Mym ind is pretty preoccupied most of the time with thoughts about labor: Is it happening? Is it not happening? Where will it start? When? Who will I be with? What if we don't make it to the hospital? What if he's born at home? What if he's born in the car?! Because this is the way my mind works: I can't help considering every single conceivable possibility, because then I can be prepared for anything and surprised by nothing. Theoretically.

Psychologically, I believe that the mind can have a powerful influence over when and how a pregnant woman experiences labor. When I was pregnant with Z, for instance, my in-laws (who were going to take care of G for us while I was in labor) had a week-long trip to Massachusetts planned, flying out on midnight of the morning of my due date. I had a tentative backup plan should they have ended up being away when I went into labor; but I really wanted to have the baby when they were in town (and I didn't want to wait until after they got back). Well, my water broke the morning before they were to leave; they watched G at their home as they packed; when Z was finally born that evening, they brought G to the hospital, met the new baby, and G stayed the night with us at the hospital. Everything worked out perfectly. I've always wondered since then, did I somehow psych myself into going into labor when I did? And if so, maybe it'll happen that way again.

Lately, although physically I have felt ready-- and my body has given me many many signs that it's pretty much ready, too-- I have had lots of valid reasons for putting off labor. Nick and the boys had the flu; then I had the flu. My mother-in-law was out of town and just got back in late last night. Nick was very busy with tax season and it would have been a hardship on his coworkers for him to take much time off (thankfully, it looks like things are finally slowing down now). I still had a few last-minute preparations to take care of (made five freezer meals the past two weeks!).

But now, finally, I'm starting to feel more ready. Like, this weekend would be good...Really good.

Think I can make it happen? Maybe a good foot rub will help...or not...

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Dark Side" ramblings #4

Yep. It's the middle of the night and I can't sleep-- again.

Poor Nick has been sick. Z is sick, too. G and I seem to have avoided the worst of it, though. But yeah, Nick has had an especially hard time, probably from being overworked the last two weeks. He stayed home from church yesterday to get some extra rest, and hopefully he'll be able to take a day off tomorrow, too, as he still seems to be getting over a fever. He told me yesterday morning, "Please, please don't go into labor until I'm over this." I'll do my best.

If it weren't for the illness, though, I'd be pretty eager to get going. The Braxton-Hicks contractions I've been having for the last few months have started making way for more intense prodromal labor, inlcuding the occasional contraction that feels so close to the real thing (radiating back pain, pelvic pressure) that I start to get a little excited. But then it goes away. Because my first labor was induced, and my second labor required a membrane rupture to really get going, I'm almost afraid I won't even recognize real labor this time when it starts. Maybe with any luck my first sign will be my water breaking-- that's a pretty obvious indication, I think. Only with Z, when the midwife ruptured my sac, it only took 3-4 hours and the baby was born! So if my water does break first, I'm going to have to pretty much book it to the hospital just in case this labor goes even faster.

Tonight at dinner, Z let out a little toot. I turned to him and said, "Did you toot?" He said, "Yeah. I can toot like this" And then he did it again-- on purpose! Great. My two-year-old can toot at will...Now all I have to do is get him to poop at will, on the potty...

G was playing in his room last night before bed and all of a sudden he came running out, screaming about a tiny fly trying to get him. We kept trying to calm him down, explaining that little flies don't hurt anybody. But he was not convinced. He would not go back into his room and instead hid under a blanket on the couch; of course, then Z imitated his big brother and it almost turned into a game, hiding from the baby fruit fly...Eventually, G got up his courage to try going back into his room, only to freak out again when he said the fly was poking his foot. We thought it was probably something in the carpet, so Nick came along with the vacuum and "vacummed up the fly." Then, I took G aside and had a discussion with him again, now that he was a little more calm. I encouraged him to use his imagination to make the situation less scary. I made up a story for him, telling him that the fly was probably just lost and ended up in our apartment when where he really wanted to go was the unit upstairs to visit him mommy and daddy. That elicited a laugh. Then I told G I thought we should probably let the fly out of the vacuum and open the front door so he could go upstairs. It took a good deal of prompting to get him to actually open the front door-- I think he was still a little scared. But he did it, and I "coaxed" the "fly" out of the vacuum hose so he could go out and visit his mommy and daddy.

Later that night I was reading books to the boys in their room, and I did actually see the fruit fly fly across the book I was reading a few times. Fortunately, G didn't seem to notice and I didn't say anything. At least I know he's not hallucinating, though.

I'm at the point in my pregnancy now, that whenever I pass someone in the hall at church their eyes seem to go directly to my belly. And if anyone says anything to me, there's a 95% chance (at least) that their first words to me will be either "how are you feeling?" (polite and considerate, albeit a little annoying when I've heard the same thing about ten times already), or "when is that baby going to be here?" (to which I answer, "I don't know." I mean really, I don't know. So what's the point in asking?). Also, being asked over and over-- sometimes by the same people every week-- "When are you due again?" and "It's a girl, right? Or is it a boy? Or do you know?" Okay, I understand that it's hard to remember everything you hear. But if you're going to go to the trouble of asking me about my personal life (and yes, my pregnancy is personal) at least you could go to a little more effort to actually remember the gender of my baby the first time I tell you.

Can you tell these pregnancy hormones are making me a little more irritable than normal? Only a little, though :P

Ugh, baby's pushing on my stomach right now and giving me heartburn...Drop, baby! Drop!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Emotionality and Deep Thoughts

G has been in quite an emotional stage of his development lately. Small things can really set him off. And the "big" things...well, they can seem pretty traumatic judging by his reactions. It's all part of growing up, learning to understand, label, and deal with budding emotions. I can only hope I'm doing the right things to help him through this period so that he can come out confident on the other side.

On the other hand, once in a while he amazes me with his maturity when there are times where I get overly-emotional about something...He's right there to comfort me and tell me it will be okay, in just the same way I am there for him when he's having a hard time. It's very sweet and quite gratifying to see him modeling that behavior; he does it with his little brother, too.

I am often surprised, also, by the depth of his thoughts. He blindsides me constantly with real-world questions that sometimes I am at a loss to answer adequately. Nick says-- and his mother concurs-- that he was like this as a child, too. Mom? Was I like that?

Haha, I'm remembering now the home video clip where my brothers and I are doing puzzles on the ottoman and my puzzle has a yellow pig in it and I'm asking over and over with increasing intensity until I finally get an answer, "Mom! Some pigs are yellow and some pigs are pink, huh?!" Finally, in the video, my mom says something exasperatedly like, "Yes, Sylvia, some pigs are yellow and some pigs are pink." And then life resumes. What my mom probably didn't realize then, was that that question was really important to me. Of course, I don't remember what was going through my head at the time, but after witnessing/dealing with my son, I imagine it was something like, "Hey, this pig is yellow. But I thought pigs were pink! Hey wait! This doesn't make any sense. *world as I know it comes crashing down momentarily* Unless...*lightbulb* Maybe some pigs are yellow and some pigs are pink! I'd better ask Mom..." Now my question, after telling that story, is, Who in their right mind would make a puzzle for preschoolers with a yellow pig in it?!

So yeah. Take a question like mine above, and multiply its import by ten and those are the kinds of questions I often get from my preschooler. Questions about life, death, crime, justice, God, humanity...How do you explain some of these things to a preschooler?! Before I was actually faced with this situation, I firmly believed that I-- as a parent-- should always do my best to truthfullyand thoroughly answer any question my kid might ask me. For instance, with the pig question above, I would have first tried to understand why my kid was asking the question and then would have answered honestly, "Well, it's true that pigs come in different colors-- pink, brown, white, black... However, I've never seen a pig in quite that shade of yellow before; I think the people making this puzzle just thought it would be fun to make a yellow pig." But then of course, that would have inspired a whole new stream of questions from a kid like mine: "What's a "shade"? being probably first and foremost; my son is a nut for vocabulary. But now I understand why my own mom answered the way she did: it was just so much simpler! And less time-consuming to boot. And time was at a premium for her, with four small children under the age of five.

But back to my son. Like I said, he can get very emotional, and sometimes with good reason. Just this past week, he was playing at school and he and a couple other boys broke one of the class rules of not running around in the bathroom. They all got time-outs from the teacher; and after school, the teacher prompted G to tell me what had happened. He immediately broke down and his teacher had to tell me herself what had happened. Of course, it wasn't nearly as bad as G seemed to think it was. It's not like he'd been fighting, after all. He just got swept up in the moment with his friends and went somewhere he shouldn't have. I wasn't upset with him, but apparently he had been quite concerned about how I would react as he seemed pretty devastated. Well I comforted him and reassured him and we went home. He seemed to be fine by the time we got home.

But the next morning at breakfast, I mentioned that he had school again that day, and he told me and Nick that he didn't think he should go to school because he felt a little sick and didn't want to get the other kids sick. (He did have a bit of a cough, but nothing serious) Well at first, Nick and I were impressed that he would be that considerate of his classmates. But later, it became clear to me that the real reason G didn't want to go to school was that he was afraid after yesterday's incident. He allowed me to take him to school, but verbally objecting the entire way.

When we got to the door of the classroom, he melted down again. He wanted me to stay with him; he was afraid to knock on the door; he didn't want to be here. I continued to coax him, even as other kids trickled in past him (usually he's quite eager to go in all by himself while I wait by the car). Finally, he knocked loudly enough to be heard, but immediately cowered behind his hands before the teacher opened the door. Just as I had assured him would be the case, his teacher greeted him with a smile; I explained his behavior to her and that I had tried to tell him that she wouldn't be mad at him, that today was a new day, that he had a "clean slate" and all that. She was reassuring to him as well as she ushered him inside. When I came back later to pick him up, he was all smiles again.

We as adults often seem to remember our childhood as "blissfully ignorant," simpler times, carefree. But to the mind and heart of a child, it's really not that simple. Yet my hope as a parent is that, by the time my children are adults, they will also remember their childhood as happy, simple, and carefree-- at least in comparison to adulthood.

Monday, February 6, 2012

"dark side" ramblings #3

Apparently people keep asking Nick at church if we're sure I'm not carrying twins...Nope. Pretty sure I was about this big with my other babies, too. I just have big babies! And I'm small, so, they just make me poke out a lot.

On a related note, though, I already feel so big right now I can hardly believe I still have four and a half weeks 'til my due date!

I think we've finally settled on a name (yay!). And for those of us whom we told before, it's not going to be Asher. And I'm not going to share the new name here yet, just in case it changes again.

FYI: When a woman is pregnant, or just had a newborn, (or any other time, really) is not the time to ask her if/when she's going to have more kids. Seriously.

And if you do have the nerve to ask me, at the moment, I'd probably be more inclined to say "Never again," than, "Oh, yeah, I want to have about six more, acutally." Though of course the real truth of the matter probably lies somewhere between the two. But I'll take my babies one at a time, thank you.

This particularly appears to be on people's minds simply due to the fact that I am pregnant with my third BOY. Like I'm going to keep trying and trying and trying until I finally have a girl. And then I'll stop. Because obviously no family is complete unless it has at least one child of each gender; but then equally as obviously, if you do manage to have at least one of each gender now you can stop because who could ask for more?

Sure, I'd like a daughter. But I LOVE MY BOYS! I truly believe I was born to be a mama of boys. And that's A-OK with me. I will raise them to be "good catches" and look forward to meeting my future daughters-in-law.

The only problem I see with having more boys is that they're getting so hard to name!

By the way, my glasses broke. Again. This is my fourth pair in almost as many years. *sigh* They're all taped up with duct tape right now. Yes, it's the latest fashion. For the next week or so. I'm replacing them with plastic frames this time; we'll see if they hold up any better than the (apparently) flimsy wire frames I've been getting. How come Nick's glasses never get broken? Oh yeah, because he's not home with two (soon to be three) rowdy BOYS all day every day (Did I say I was okay with having all boys? Oh...).

Speaking of my boys, they sure do eat a lot! Nick occasionally will ask me where all our "extra" income goes each month, and why I keep having to dip into our savings...I forget he's not home all day to hear the incessant "I'm hungry!" And by golly, I'm hungry, too! I've got another boy curled up inside me apparently telling me the same thing as his older brothers.

Thank goodness for tax season and tax returns. Though I hear the latter is going to be greatly diminished over the next couple years...

Speaking of tax season, right now being a peak time at H&R Block, Nick has been working overtime this last week. Which means time-and-a-half (yay!). But it also means he doesn't get to be home much. It's to the point now where if the boys are up in the morning before he leaves for work, they (especially the toddler) will do everything in their power to get him to stay "just a little longer," or even not go to work at all (sorry kiddos, not happening). Just the other morning, Z sat on Daddy's lap and said to him, "You shouldn't go to work. You should stay home." (Did I mention this kid is only two-and-a-half years old? His verbal skills astound me sometimes.) All day yesterday (Sunday), whenever there was help needed, or attention wanted, Z insisted on Daddy doing it.

Z has recently discovered how to scream. And I mean scream. Before it was just wailing and thrashing we had to deal with. But now, every so often, we are lucky enough to be serenaded with an ear-splitting, hair-raising song to the heavens.

G is an emotional mess lately. It started a few months ago, but has been getting increasingly worse. We are doing our best to help him understand his newfound overwhelming emotions and learn to deal with life more rationally. Generally, he's such a sweet, amicable, intelligent boy; but when those strong emotions take over, it's really tough! For all of us, but especially for him. It's hard to be rational all the time-- even for adults! So I really do sympathize with his plight.

G has also started taking his role as "oldest brother" very seriously lol. He reminds me of the stories my mom used to tell of me as a little girl, thirteen whole months older than my younger (twin) brothers. He has decided to take on the role of "enforcer," not only at home but everywhere we go it seems. If there is a child being disciplined, he wants to "help." And he is all too eager to remind other kids (and sometimes even adults) of the rules, even when he may be forgetting to follow them himself. Just yesterday, we were over at the in-laws' for a little while and my niece and nephew were also there. At one point, my mother-in-law put my niece in a time-out and told her to stay there; G witnessed this, but then eventually went back to the playroom (after we told him to stop trying to help Nana lecture his cousin); when my niece was let out of time-out and went back to play, G said to her, "Did Nana say you could be in here?"

Okay, I'm finally starting to feel sleepy again. I'm going back to bed now.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Difference between me and my husband

So, I am obviously not much of an artist. But the cartoon below attempts to illustrate the difference between my husband and me when we go to bed-- particularly in the wintertime. He is almost always too cold, and I am almost always too hot. He tries to crank up the thermostat in our room right before bed, and I always want to keep it turned off (the heater is right behind our bed and it makes my pillow too hot!). I win, of course, based on the fact that he can always add more layers to his side of the bed, but there's only so much I can remove...I've also explained to him that if it ever gets too cold in our room even for me, at least then he'll have a much better chance that I'll want to snuggle with him and sleep closer. Otherwise, I tend to want to shove him as far to the other side of the bed as I can so I don't have to feel his body heat when I'm already too hot to sleep. But even when he keeps the thermostat off, it is still often a little too warm for my liking...poor guy can't win. I still cuddle with him on occasion, but it usually doesn't last long before I start to sweat and have to scoot away. It's especially a problem when I'm pregnant, i.e., housing a little furnace inside me.

Hopefully the words are all legible. The first panel shows a little "x-ray vision" for the purpose of showing what I usually wear to bed, vs. what he wears.