Thursday, April 30, 2009

Coming to Acceptance

If I told you I was thrilled to be having another baby, I would be lying. I'm not thrilled. I know the work that's ahead of me, and I know the tears the my older children are going to cry. This is the only instance i can think of where being an AP mom has been less than ideal... the babies don't know how to go to sleep on their own. I've always rocked them and loved them to sleep. It wouldn't be such a huge deal except that The Hub works second shift, so it's just me and my one lap, and its hard as it is. Beastie is 21 months old, and will be 26 months old when the new one comes. Anyone who thinks a 2 year old is not a baby is misinformed and expecting too highly of their children. A 2 year old child is gaining independence rapidly but is still very much a baby and needs the love and gentle guidance that one would give a younger child.
So the point is, I know my Beastie is going to spend some time crying once the new baby gets here, and that kills me. Because I refuse to let her "cry it out" to teach her to fall asleep on her own. It's non-negotiable; it isn't going to happen. She will cry next to me as I rock her little siblings, who will be 13 months and newborn. She does it now sometimes, and it hurts so bad to see your little child in so much emotional distress. I fear that it will get worse with a new addition.

But, I am starting to accept the new little one. The midwife gave me a packet of the things I need for the birth and immediately following, and on the packet it said "newborn diapers." That completely floored me. I know it sounds crazy but for some reason picturing tiny little cloth diapers (which I do not use, by the way) made the fact that a baby is coming seem so much more real.

And that got me thinking of the way newborns look, with their fat bellies and bowed legs and little black cord stump, and those unbelievably tiny butt cheeks, and their red faces and milia and stork bites (of which my babies always seem to have plenty) and the way their gums look and their little fisted hands and... for a moment, I can stop seeing the work and trouble, and imagine the little person who's coming.

I imagine white side-snap t-shirts and itty bitty socks and white caps and those little gowns. (I hate those little gowns. They always ride up and they never fit my babies properly, but I have a ton of them because they are just so sweet.) I'm imagining it being autumn, my favorite season, and bringing my Little swaddled bundle outside to smell the dying leaves and bonfires, and I'm picturing Halloween, with the baby on my front in a wrap and The Babe on my back in his backpack carrier, and Beastie and Four and EJ running through the neighborhood dressed as witches and ghosts and cowgirls, and in these moments, it doesn't seem so bad.

There's a little voice that creeps in right about now. Don't fool yourself, the voice says. You will be too tired to go for walks. You will be horribly depressed and overwhelmed, just like each time before. This might break you.

I know. I know in my heart that it will be, at times, horrible. But I also know that it will be fleeting. Look at Beastie and The Babe. It's almost laughably easy to take care of them now, and I've only been doing the "two under two" thing for eight months.

I think another reason I've had trouble with acceptance is because I come from a family who does not really value babies and children. No one has ever been happy to have a new baby enter the family, except me. When my brother and his girlfriend were expecting their children, I was the only one who was excited for them. My parents and grandparents, and my husband's parents, think children are a burden, and that child rearing is a dirty thankless job. It makes me feel really sad. I wish that, upon hearing we're pregnant, just one person would say "Congratulations," rather than "Oh my God, what are you going to do?" Because, really, what am I going to do? Birth the baby, then hate it? No, of course not.

I had to tell my mom I'm pregnant and she was furious. I do not understand this. We aren't rich by any means. Technically, we live below the poverty level. But we never ask anyone else for money, ever. The kids are well fed and dressed in nice clothes and always clean. The kids have plenty of toys and are genuinely happy. They have safe car seats and we ride around in a safe vehicle. There is no reason for people to judge me based on the number of children I have. I may need to deal with this further, and remove myself from these people and toxic situations, if it gets too out of hand.

I am going to make a conscious effort to love this baby now. I know it will get easier closer to the birth, but I want the baby to feel positive energy now, not negativity. I want the baby to arrive happy and in good health. And I don't care if they say your mind-set doesn't affect the unborn child - I think it does, and I want to surround him or her with light and happiness.

Friday, April 24, 2009

(nearly) 4 month prenatal appointment

I saw Yolanda, the midwife, yesterday. This was my first official prenatal appointment. She weighed me and then checked my blood for iron, and checked my urine for all kinds of stuff. Oh also she checked my blood pressure and pulse, and of course listened to the baby and measured me.

First things first: I am in excellent physical condition. She said she wishes all women could start pregnancy as healthy as me, and that made me feel really good. I have a large frame and my weight is well above "ideal," and I consider myself plus-sized. I wear about a size 16, which I guess is right at the cut-off of regular and plus-sized. But Yolanda said I am really very healthy. It was interesting, because my urine test said I had some minor things going on with my liver, and she asked if I had taken Tylenol or anything. I hadn't, but I just started taking an antibiotic for a dental issue. I took my first penicillin about three hours before the test, and it was kind of interesting that you could see that my liver was working to eliminate the medicine.

My uterus was measuring 20 weeks, which is more than a month ahead, but that's no big deal really, because this is my fifth baby. Yolanda said that in your first pregnancy or two, in her words, "the baby and the house grow together." But when you have more than two or three children, "the house grows faster than the baby does."

The baby's heartbeat was perfect. We couldn't get a long enough reading to get an accurate heart rate, because s/he was moving all around. But you could hear a nice healthy heart rate and that's the most important thing at this point.

We also looked at the Chinese gender chart and some other things to see if its a boy or a girl. Yolanda kept reminding me that those things were just for FUN, and not to count on them. All the charts said Boy, and Yolanda wrote it in my chart, so we can see if any of them were right.

I go back in a month, and in the meantime I need to go over my "birth kit" and start gathering supplies. Yolanda says to start gathering them now, because when I am in my eighth month I won't feel like going to medical supply stores. I have to agree with that.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A name has been chosen

Dear Baby,

You are fifteen weeks old. You have been gliding around in my womb since conception, but I;ve only felt you twice. The first time was two days ago, as I lay in bed reading a craft book. You fluttered, and it felt like a butterfly slowly opening and then closing its wings. And then again I felt you this morning, as I read aloud baby names. You fluttered at Ewan, just as you did two days ago.

Your name means "From the Yew Tree," and it's an anglicized spelling of the Gaelic name Eoghan. Both of these things are important, because the might yew grows in our native Ireland, and it's an ancient, meaningful, powerful tree. It is the Grandmother Tree, the tree of our ancestors. Perfect. I felt chills when I read the meaning of your name, and I KNEW it had to be for you.


PS. If you're a girl, you have some 'splainin' to do.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Things I am Thinking About

I don't think I can bullshit my way into a 20 week ultrasound with the OB. They are already furious with me for getting the last ultrasound, then cancelling my prenatal appointments. They keep calling me to reschedule, and I keep telling them I don't need to see the doctor. They're persistent fuckers though, calling me every other day. I stopped answering their calls.

I'm also thinking about baby names, and this part is tricky, because all of our kids' names start with E. And their middle names are one syllable with a long "a" sound, like Rain. (Which is a great middle name, except our middle names are all classic names, and Rain wouldn't fit in.)

I like Ean for a boy, but it sounds like my son's name. I like Ellice for a girl, but my sister in law wants to name a future girl that. I am out of E names, except the nerdy ones. Dammit.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I don't like online communities. It seems like every time I join one, I am ignored by most, and a few others completely ostracize me. Not only that, but I have very specific, unwavering opinions on child-rearing, and, in my mind, anything different from what I believe is borderline child abuse. So its hard to be part of a community where you constantly want to throttle people for doing cruel things to their children.

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is, I went to a well-known, absolutely hideous online community (Abybay Entercay otday omcay) to see how far long I am. Isn't that terrible, that I don't even know how far along I am? So I went there, because my friend, Dr. Google, said they had a pregnancy calendar.

When I got there, someone else was already logged in. The person's name was Ditra, and she had two children listed - a boy born in July 2007, and a girl born in 2005. I didn't poke around much after that because I have an overdeveloped sense of decency. I just logged this person out and went about checking the pregnancy calendar. (In retrospect, I wish I wuld have done some more digging. It's my damn computer after all.)

But this concerns me. I know that one of four things happened, and all are so farfetched that I can't even believe it.

Scenario One: My friend visited us in February and while she was here, she used my computer. Her name is not Ditra, but she and I both have July 2007 babies, and she has a 2005 baby. This is hard for me to believe, but she could have somehow gotten someone's log-in information (legit or otherwise) and logged in on my computer.

Scenario Two: The same friend created a completely new profile with kids that don't exist and logged in using that. You hear about that sometimes, crazy people doing stuff like that. The kids had completely different names than my friend's, and were of different genders, but I guess you never know.

I don't think either Scenario One or Two are possible, because that was two months ago. Since she's been here, I've cleared cookies and temporary internet files, which means that information should have been cleared. And not only that, but my friend is not crazy. She would never do something like that - I mean, at least I hope not, but honestly. She has 3 little kids, ages 3 and under. She doesn't have time to mess around with that kind of thing, even if she wanted to.

Scenario Three: My computer was in for repair in March, because I'm an idiot and screwed it all up. The computer repair guy took the computer home over the weekend to fix it, because I needed it stat. (I didn't, technically. But I felt like I did.) I remember the guy mentioning his son, who was a year and a half old. He said that because I had told him I was a "mommy blogger" and that my little two were (then) nineteen months and six months. That puts the time frame correct - July babies are now a little over a year and a half old. So my thinking is maybe his wife logged on using my computer...? But why would she? (Or maybe I guess the guy could have done it too, being all creepy.)

This is just really unlikely to me. It doesn't make sense, and I am of the opinion that if something doesn't make sense, it probably isn't true.

Scenario Four: Someone sat outside my house and used my wireless internet to hack into my computer and go to a heinous mainstream baby website.

That's not likely either, because my internet is secure and I have an alert system to tell me when people are trying to get on my network. You would have to know I have wireless, because this is the middle of nowhere and it's unlikely anyone would drive around here in BFE looking for a network, when you can go three miles down the road and use the library's wifi for free. Then the person would have to hack through my passwords and get into my computer, and why would you do that just to go on a stupid website? If you were going to go to the trouble, wouldn't you steal credit card info and stuff?

I'm not sure why, but the whole thing leaves me feeling really uncomfortable.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ultrasound Pictures.

It sure has grown. The past few weeks, since I found out, have just flown by. Even though I feel like hell (but starting to feel better) and each day seems to drag on, it really is going by like lighting. I can't believe I'm almost in the second trimester already. I can feel a tiny little baby bump really low in my belly, but you can't tell that I'm pregnant and I don't need to wear looser clothes. I have lost about five pounds since I found out, but I'm not worried. I always do that.