Belly shadow at the beach

Mr. E giving his sister a kiss

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My water broke on this day with my last pregnancy; 37w5d.  I’ve been waiting for this day with silly anticipation, knowing the likelihood of a repeat was slim, and yet I feel a little let down today.

The upswing though, since my last post is that a visit to a chiropractor using the Webster method was successful in getting the baby to flip, she’s now vertex. My body continues to prepare for birth  – I have menstrual like cramps daily, which are likely softening my cervix and the Braxton Hick…well they are pretty much constant at this point.

And so we wait.

Yesterday I had my birth plan appointment with my midwife. This is standard procedure for her at all 36 week appointments. A came with me and we didn’t have childcare for Mr. E, so he was in tow as well (always fun…). It was an unusually busy day there, so we had to wait a little while – but not too bad. When Mr. E comes with me, we’ve learned to check my blood pressure at the end, so A can take him out of the room, otherwise hysterics ensue.

In this vain, we went ahead and did the birth plan before my midwife did the regular check up stuff. We talk about atmosphere, who will be attending the birth, positions I want to labor in, our expectations immediately following the birth (i.e. skin to skin, letting the cord pulsate till it stops, refusal of interventions, etc.). I was in a dreamy place as I envisioned birthing again– the only part of pregnancy I like. Seriously, some days when it’s really awful, I think about how amazingly empowering it is to give birth and how much I am looking forward to it.

When we were done talking A took Mr. E out while my BP was checked, all fine. They came back in to hear the baby’s heart, which has become something he really likes to witness. And then the midwife was feeling for baby’s positioning. She was head down at my last appointment – 34 weeks. I asked is she could tell how far down the head was and that is when she began to think the baby had changed positions.

It was about 4:15 and the ultra sound tech, who  is only in office on Wednesdays, was wrapping up with her final patient. So we were rushed back into the waiting room to wait for her. But not before being told one of the back up Obs is really wonderful at performing external versions and that I’d have one next week if baby was not head down.

A very quick ultra sound confirmed that baby is transverse. This is better than being breach, she is closer to getting into position, but we are running out of time. I will be 37 weeks on Sunday. My midwife has always told me she like to see babies head down by 36 weeks- 37 at the latest, so that they can be helped into position, if they haven’t done it themselves. And, let’s not forget my water broke at 37 weeks last time, which has created a certain amount of anxiety for me about going early again this time.

Once home I began reading about external versions and it does not sound pleasant. There are some risks involved, but trying every last effort to avoid a c-section is my plan. The version itself could lead to an emergency c-section, but if I end up there, then I’ll know I did everything I could.

My doula’s (and good friend) husband is a chiropractor and has been very successful at helping babies into position, so I am also going to get in to see him- hopefully tomorrow. Am also reading up on spinningbabies.com. And I could use all your “get the eff head down baby” thoughts that you send my way.

Wouldn’t a c-section just be the cherry on top of this horrible pregnancy?

It’s my “due month.”  Holy crap…and I am so ready!

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write about how wonderful things have been lately.

  • Mr. E seems to have gotten over his sleep issues and has returned to his big boy bed, although he still wakes up some nights- requiring assistance from one of his moms.
  • We’ve made some progress on him being more independent, for example until a month ago he’d whine and cry to be carried up and down the stairs. A simple sticker chart eradicated this need.
  • He’s very excited about the baby: kisses my belly and sings to her a lot.
  • A and I took an over night trip and I left him for the first time; we all survived (it was heaven).
  • I’ve been feeling pretty good (more good days than bad).
  • Potty training has been kicked up a notch and we’ve made the switch to full time underwear except for nap and bed time. Mostly this has been highly successful.

But today, I don’t feel fit to be in the company of other humans and I have entered the “getting this effing baby out of me” stage. My body hurts so much. The skin on belly is stretching, my pelvis aches, I am jabbed in the ribs all day and night long, my hands and feet are swollen, Mr. E wanted to be held all day and when he wasn’t being held he was trying to jump on me, I had to watch my two nephews today and I just didn’t have the patience for them, and potty use was at an all time low today, which meant potty clean up was at an all time high.

It was just a horrible day and the physical discomforts made it harder. I know it’s too early to wish labor upon myself. And I do want her to stay in until 37 weeks, at least, but after that, I have no shame at wishing her out.

Eeek!

Dare I say my hormones are a bit more in check than the last time I posted?  I feel as though the black cloud of this pregnancy has lifted and I am finally getting excited to give birth again and to bring a new baby into our family.

Mr. E is absorbing the information about the baby and becoming a big brother.  He’ll casually bring up concepts from the books we’re reading about babies, pregnancy, and becoming a big brother.  He is very proud to show me his belly, and tell me, there’s a baby growing in here.  He points to my expanding belly and tells me, the baby is still growing, then points to my breasts and informs me, there’s the milk.  He dresses and undresses, and changes his baby doll’s diaper.  He points to every baby we see and says, baby came out of mommy’s belly. He tells me he’s excited to meet his sister.  

I don’t think we’ll ever really be ready, it seems a lot harder to set up the baby’s stuff with a curious two year old around to get into everything, but really what do itty bitty babies, needs but love and snuggles and some clothes? It’ll all happen one way or another.

We have noticed some struggles with Mr. E, mostly around sleep.  He’s been amazing at going to bed on his own pretty much from day one.  But in the last few weeks he’s started to get out of bed as soon as we tuck him in.  The first time it happened I assumed he was having insomnia and let him get up.  He hung out for a bit and when he started to show signs of tiredness I put him to bed.  Same thing the next night…

Now I am not one to get into regular power struggles with a two year old.  I pick my battles and if getting out of bed is what he really needs, then so be it, but not every night.  We seem to be getting this under control, but it usually involves me going into his room after A has put him to bed (because he’s gotten up), and laying down the law, so to speak.  So far it’s worked and he stays in bed and goes to sleep.

Today, for the first time ever he refused to nap.  We tried and tried and tried to get him to go down and it was not happening. So, in picking our battles we conceded and gave up the precious nap, knowing he’d need to go to bed earlier than usual.  I can’t even think about him dropping his nap, not now, not with the baby’s arrival a mere two months away.  But I also refuse to fight him day after day.  He had “quiet time” instead of a nap today and that at least gave us a little down time.

I mentioned to A that maybe some of this sleep control stuff has to do with the arrival of his sister?  Maybe this is how his feelings are playing out?  I don’t know…but it’s all very strange behavior for him.  Any insight from those of you who’ve gone before us, is gratefully accepted.

I am reduced to bullets:

  • Hormones are worse this pregnancy.
  • Already having a child makes bringing another child home so much harder.
  • I am worried about leaving Mr. E while we are at the hospital.
  • I wish we could afford a home birth.
  • A might not spend the nights at the hospital with me.
  • He may need her at home more than I’ll need her there.
  • His needs precede mine.
  • We want what’s best for him, but it’s hard to think about being  there alone.
  • The “H1N1 no children visitors ban” has been lifted, so Mr. E will be able to visit.
  • I am terrified that when he comes to visit he’ll freak out seeing me in the medical setting (currently he becomes hysterical when my midwife takes my blood pressure).
  • I am scared he will have a hard time when it’s time to leave and I won’t be going with him.
  • I feel like I am screwing up his world.
  • I am tired and weepy all the time.
  • Oh, and emotional.

I have officially entered the stage in pregnancy where my body hurts and mostly all I can do about it is cry.  Although I am going to going to see if visiting a chiropractor will help.  And for the record, the second time around is so much harder than the first, you know, cause there’s a toddler demanding what little energy you’ve got.

In the months that led up to Mr. E’s second birthday he became increasing challenging- nothing out of the norm, it was all very much developmentally appropriate and I would have been worried if he wasn’t testing us, after all it’s his job.

As a stay at home mom, I needed to find some coping skills fast.  I felt frustrated with how much time we spent struggling and fantasized about going back to work. It took me a while to figure out I needed to reconsider how I related to him, to question why I responded as I did, and reconsider my reactions to his behavior.

The more I listened to him, and his seemingly absurd tantrums, the less we struggled.  Literally getting down on his level, eye to eye, helped to even the power struggles.  Repeating back the feelings he expressed helped him to see I was in tune with what he was experiencing, and letting him occasionally win deepened his trust in me.

We still have our moments and there are plenty of things that are non-negotiable, but over all my new approach has resulted in fewer tantrum on his part and far less frustration on mine.  I say “no” less often, and try to work a way to accommodate his wishes.  For example, the other day his toy dinosaur wanted to drink from my water glass.  Not wanting to go down that road, I asked if the dinosaur might prefer his own bowl of water, to which Mr. E excited exclaimed YES!  It was an easy solution providing a yes instead of a no, which would have resulted in a struggle, me moving my drink and not being able to drink from it, and him crying.  Some days I feel like I get the parenting game, and it feels damn good!

Mr. E will miss the cut off to enter preschool in the fall by one month!  I have mixed feelings about it.  Part of me is not ready for him to go, but as I see him grow and learn through the groups we attend, I am almost certain that he’d thrive if he were able to go in September.

The school we are looking at is in our town, a private alternative school, offering preschool- 5th grade.  They are a bit alternative in their approach to education and they  and heavy on teaching sustainable living. The buildings are green, recycling and composting are incorporated daily, and there’s even a greenhouse! They also collect more green from the parents than the surrounding preschools.

Overall we know this is the best school for Mr. E and our values.  We also know other two mom families who’ve been very happy with the school and their acceptance and inclusion of their families.  Unlike the other schools they offer a January admittance, which would allow Mr. E to start just as he turns three instead of having to wait until September when he’s 3.8.

I am not sure how we are at the point where we’re already thinking about preschool.  Time really does fly.  I love this school so much, that I am already dreaming of sending him there for elementary school.  I should start playing the lottery.

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