Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Never Ending Labor

*Thanks for the post title, Stacey Red!*

We went to the hospital at about 12:45. We came home again at about 4. Good fucking times. I'd been nauseous all morning, but after lunch it got severe. And I'd been rocking the chills and the sweats since last night. Didn't sleep much either. Lots of pain. So suddenly it seemed urgent that we go. The awesome nurse and my doc said I'd be able to tell. And I thought I could.

But when I got to the hospital the contractions seemed to stall a bit again. New Guy was doing great on the fetal monitor. They measured my amniotic fluid and that also looked great. The doc who did the measurements on the ultrasound asked how far apart the contractions were. According to the monitor (and to me) they were still about 10 minutes apart. She asked when they started. I told her Saturday afternoon. She looked at me and said, "I always feel so bad when it drags on like this." I told her it hasn't been a picnic. I seriously had no idea one could have pretty regular contractions for days on end, especially with a second pregnancy. But there is some progress. I'm at a solid 4cm dilated now. I'm headed in the right direction. Sometimes the contractions are stronger, sometimes they are weaker. And overnight they seem to get way further apart. The weird thing is I have a bit of a fever. But nothing else except for the nausea is going on, so they don't think it's anything serious. I got a fancy anti-nausea prescription and I just took the first pill, so hopefully that won't be a problem for much longer.

The really nice news is as soon as we walked in we saw our nurse from Sunday. And she was our nurse for the main part of the the visit. As soon as we were alone in the room with her we told her that my Doc thought we made the right choice on Sunday and as much as we were ready for this to be over we totally agreed. It was so nice to have a friendly face there. Another nurse handled our discharge papers (my wonderful doctor told them to send me home-no crazy talk about breaking my water) and we told her how much we loved her colleague. She got a postcard thing for us, like a compliment card and said we could fill it out for the nurse. It's already in the mail.

I wonder how many times we will visit our lovely labor and delivery department before New Guy makes his grand entrance. Anyone want to place bets? Anyone as bored of this as I am? Anyone as grumpy and uncomfortable?  

Z hasn't been able to spend a lot of time with T over the last few days. So as soon as we got home they went for a walk. T took his baby. 

A couple of days ago my folks to T to the playground. He had a blast.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Quicky Update

New Guy stayed in until Monday and my doc is back at work. And for once I feel certain about my decision making, coming home yesterday was the right thing. New Guy clearly isn't ready quite yet, but if we'd stayed in the hospital he would be born by now. And there is a good chance his birth would have needed to be forced because clearly my body wasn't ready to go into active labor on its own. 

Yesterday afternoon into evening my contractions got pretty hot and heavy for a while, but by about 9pm they slowed way down. I was able to sleep better than I have in a long time, waking about 6 or 7 times from contractions. This morning I felt delightfully rested. And the contractions started coming again, but they weren't as hard or regular as they had been on Sunday. It was such a relief to see my doc at the appointment. They had me on the fetal monitor and New Guy looks great. He did a quick exam and said I'm about 3 1/2-4cm dilated and 80% effaced, which is terrific news. I'm progressing from 3cm yesterday. 

Z and I were mum about the nurses who may or may not have had a little talk with us at the hospital. We told him we decided that we didn't want my water broken and he said it was the right choice. He said when I went into active labor it was going to go really fast, so I'd have to hightail it to the hospital. But our place is less than a 10 minute drive away, so I'm not really worried about getting there. I told him the hospital said I didn't need to call in advance because I'd already been there, but he told me they were nuts. He said if I didn't call him when I was on my way he might miss the birth, he really doesn't think my body is going to fool around. 

And he told me to go home and rest. He said there wasn't anything I could do to make it go faster, and all the things I would do (take long walks, etc.) were a waste of my energy that I needed to store up because labor is hard work. We have an appointment on Thursday, but he said he doubts he'll see me then. He thinks it's going to be tonight or tomorrow. We'll see if he's right. I asked if it was normal for the contractions to start more than 2 days early for the second kid. He sort of shrugged and said, "It can happen." I love his laid back attitude about this whole baby birthing endeavor. 

Z was able to go in and teach his first class of the semester. I took a nap this afternoon. I'm feeling pretty crummy right now, just in pain and tired and super grumpy. But I am still happy. It's nice to have no regrets with the decisions we've made concerning this birth. Now all I have to do is actually have the damn kid! 

T is deeply in love with his grandparents. It has been so great to have them here this week. 

Big smooch from Grandma. 

One of my favorite parts of how they interact with him is how silly they are. T gets up every morning and jumps on his Grandpa to wake him. Right after this was taken Grandma jumped right on T, so they made a crazy T sandwich. 

Our dear friend was in town all weekend. Watching me labor for 2 days didn't make for the most fun trip, but we always feel better about life when he visits. And T loves it when his Uncle Kevin reads to him.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Labor But No Delivery

Turns out a lot of moms out there have no idea what it is like to go into labor on their own, moms who were induced, moms with scheduled c-sections, moms with major complications that lead to preemies. I was induced with T, so this is my first time waiting, waiting, waiting for the labor to start. Yesterday afternoon my contractions started to get more regular. At about 6 we began to time them. I called the doctor at 9 when they were 10 minutes apart and about 30 seconds long. Doc F and I decided that I'd head to the hospital when I felt like it. Maybe I'd be able to get some sleep overnight at my place, if they started being more frequent I'd go on in.

At about 5am I was up for good. At 5:30 I asked Z to shower and mom drove us in at about 6:30. T was up so we were able to give him huge goodbye hugs and kisses. They hooked me up to a fetal monitor at the hospital and New Guy was clearly doing very well. I could also see my contractions, which made me feel better. One the more charming side effects of my anxiety disorder is I'm convinced people think I'm a liar. So on my due date I actually was concerned the doctors/nurses/Z/my family would think I was making my labor pain up. Pretty crazy. And sort of sad that I pointed out the contractions on the monitor to Z. Along with a, "See! See! I really am in labor!" Um, he hadn't doubted me for a second. Because a) I actually don't lie much and b) I'm 85 years pregnant. Yes, so far to go in the getting well department.

Eventually a doc came to see what was going on with my cervix and it was 3cm dilated. At that point the contractions were between 5 and 7 minutes apart and about 40-60 seconds long. Things were progressing. The doc went to call Doc F and ask what she wanted to do.

I really didn't want to go home. Leaving the hospital as a heavily pregnant woman is akin to taking a walk of shame to me. The idea that I don't know my body well enough to make a good decision about when to go for delivery just feels humiliating. And if I'm all settled in I don't want to go home and have to do another stressful ride to the hospital later. I wanted a one trip situation.

So, I don't want to get anyone in trouble here. Not that I think my doc or Doc F or anyone at the hospital is aware that I blog. Or that they would check out said blog if they found out about it. But just in case, let's just call the rest of this post hypothetical.

Let's say that two nurses slipped into the room and closed the door behind them. And let's say that they told me they were worried I wasn't going to be getting all the info I needed. They said the resident would be coming back to tell me Doc F wanted to break my water. But if my water was broken and I didn't progress I'd have to have pitocin, I'd be induced with no reason. And I was still carrying really high, so if my water was broken there'd be a risk for a prolapsed umbilical cord which would mean an immediate c-section. They said it was my decision and it was my right to go home and do the early stages of labor there where I could eat (if I stayed no more food and I was starving) and try to be comfortable. But if I stayed I'd be strapped to an uncomfortable hospital bed because of the fetal monitor and the antibiotic IV (no matter when I go into active labor I'll get that IV because I'm Strep Positive) and the birth would run the risk of becoming unnecessarily medicalized. I asked what they would do if they were me, and they told me they'd go home until the contractions were so intense that I couldn't read (what I was doing when they came in) or hold a conversation. Or when the contractions were 5 minutes apart and a minute long. Or if my water broke. Or if I started bleeding.

I looked at Z and said, "Can I be honest with you? Doc F was my doctor and she delivered my son and it was sort of a disaster." They told me they knew and that was why they were there to talk to me. Oh good lord, I was THAT patient. The one with the reputation and history. I told them I was so embarrassed that the folks at the hospital knew, but they said not to worry and pointed out that I might not go into active labor until tomorrow and if that was the case Doc A would deliver me. They said they knew him and that he always had the patient's best interests at heart and that he wouldn't break my water in this situation. And suddenly it didn't seem so shameful to go back home. In fact, it seemed like a really healthy choice. Yup, I want an epidural, but I don't want this whole business medicalized before that if it doesn't have to be. I don't want to get myself in a situation where I need to be induced or I suddenly need a c-section. And I don't want to be tied to a hospital bed before I need to be.

I told the ladies that I knew they didn't need to come talk to me, I knew they were sticking out there necks for no reason and I appreciated it so much. I brought up the nurse who knew something was wrong the first time around. She still works at the hospital, but wasn't on duty. Even though I was supposed to be out of delivery two hours after T was born she kept me there for five, fending off the docs who wanted the room while trying so hard to get me help. It wasn't her fault that no one would listen. And I knew I wasn't supposed to say anything to the resident about the little visit from the nurses. They could get in real trouble. The hospital I go to is a bit on the shabby side. After delivery there aren't single rooms like the hospital across town. There isn't a natural birthing center. But I don't give a shit. The nurses are incredible. I couldn't feel luckier to have them, or more grateful for their care.

The resident clearly wasn't crazy about the idea of me going home. She talked a lot about the risks of me not making it back in time. But even though I think of all doctors as authority figures and it was really hard for me I told her I was sure about my decision. So here I am in my own bed after gorging myself on food from my own kitchen and getting to play with my sweet son for a bit. The contractions aren't speeding up, they aren't slowing down. I'm going to take a nap. And then maybe a bath. And if I'm still home tonight we're getting take out pizza, which means mozzarella sticks for me! Much better than being chained to a hospital bed. And if I need to go in tonight and be delivered by Doc F, well I'm doing it on my own fucking terms, thank you very much.

With T I packed a diaper bag to the gills to take to the hospital. With New Guy it's part of a Babies R Us bag roughly the size of my small cat. 

Thought I'd document the grumpy lady in the mirror who I noticed after realizing I was in labor yesterday afternoon. 

The only fresh veggie Mr. Picky-pants will eat. 

Chowing like he means it.  

It is way better to be near this kid than it is to be in the hospital. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Change of Plans

Sunday the 28th is my due date. Throughout the pregnancy I was absolutely sure I'd have New Guy well before then. Partially because classes start on the 29th for Z, and it would be beyond inconvenient for us to have the kid after the semester began. Partially because I just convinced myself he'd come early. But as of yesterday I really don't want to go into labor before Monday.

Last week when I made the appointment for yesterday the receptionist told me my doc (Doc A) was on vacation this week, but not to worry, he wasn't traveling, he'd be available to deliver me. I was totally cool with that. But yesterday the doc (Doc B, who we really like) told us she wasn't aware that our doc was planning on delivering anyone this week. And then she told us that she'd been on call for the first part of the week and the doc that delivered T (Doc F) would be on call until Monday. And then I started to cry. She knew about my experience with Doc F, which was why she told us about the on call situation. She also said she'd call Doc A and ask what his plans were. She figured she just might have been out of the loop and he was planning to come in for my delivery. She said she'd call me later and let me know.

Doc A really is an amazing medical professional. Doc B has recently finished her residency. She's about Z and my age and it is clear that she looks up to him as well. The other doc we see in the practice (Doc C, she's part time and doesn't have hospital privileges, so no chance of her delivering) is another younger woman who we like a great deal. She's the one that gave us the news about the miscarriage so gently. And she also thinks highly of our doc. The fact that his colleagues both respect and admire him only makes us love him more. They have both told us how much they have learned from him, he obviously loves medicine and sharing his knowledge. On top of that he actually cares about his patients on a personal level. He is the real deal through and through. I was pretty sure he'd come through for me.

And when Doc B called last night she said his plan was to do what he could to deliver me. If I go into labor this weekend I'll call the after hours number and speak to Doc F. She will call my doc and hopefully he'll be ready to go. Doc B made it clear that nothing is 100%, and I totally know that. I also appreciate that my doc is on vacation and he is really going above and beyond for me. And Doc F is a colleague to the other docs, they all know about my experience, I feel like a turd for putting everyone in a difficult position. I'm sure that Doc F has been a great doc for hundreds of women, but sometimes people fuck up, and she did with me. But just the thought of talking to her makes me break out in the cold sweats. Should I have left the practice altogether? Z and my folks think not. Last night when I was freaking out a bit they pointed out if I went to another practice it would have been a shot in the dark. I changed to my doc because he helped me when I was at my most vulnerable. He made me feel listened to at a point in my life when I was truly terrified and he got me help.

But I do not want to deal with Doc F, especially when I'm in labor. And I hate the idea of interrupting my doc's vacation. Hence, I'm cool with keeping this baby in until Monday. No more complaining. It's only 3 days away. And one of our best friends in the entire world is visiting us to get away from the hurricane this weekend. I can't wait to spend time with him. I'll be surrounded by people I love and who love me. My folks are here, Z will be home, friends will be in and out, and of course there will be T. It will be a great weekend. So what if I'm a tad bit uncomfortable? And if labor does start Z will have my back for sure. If Doc F delivers New Guy I'm sure she'll be a hell of a lot more careful than last time.

Last Christmas Mom and Dad gave T these awesome Star Wars sheets for his big boy bed. We didn't have room to get them home then, so they brought them up and we got them on the bed the day they arrived. And no, we aren't putting toddler safety rails on the bed. T doesn't move that much in his sleep. And my mom said she just threw some pillows on the floor for us when we were little and we lived. Yes, he did fall out the first night. But it didn't tame his enthusiasm for the bed and it hasn't happened since.

T was suitably impressed. You can't really see, but his t-shirt has a big X-wing on it.

I told Z I was buying a bookcase for T's room and he had this made almost immediately. It's the first furniture he's built specifically for T that T will be able to use into adulthood and I absolutely love it.

He was able to source some waney-edge boards that came out of a tree sequentially. 

The room is really starting to come together. Z tried doing green/yellow trees on this wall, but we don't like it. One of the millions of things I've learned from him is it's only paint and we can always re-do it. So he got some chalkboard paint and the current plan is to do the whole wall with that. Then he's going to paint white silhouettes of trees on it. If we hate it we'll figure something else out.

On my parents first full day here we went grocery shopping. After we loaded the trunk Dad grabbed T and threw him in there, too. Then he closed the door. He opened it half a minute later and T was cracking up. "Again!", he shouted.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Two Unrelated Things On My Mind Today

Tomorrow afternoon my parents arrive to help out with the baby I'm starting to believe is never coming out of my uterus. So today is the last full day we have as a family of three. This makes me pretty melancholy. I don't mean to sound ungrateful. I fully understand how lucky we are that my folks will drop their lives for weeks on end to help us out. T absolutely adores them both, and having them here is going to help smooth the transition for him from being the center of our lives to being a big brother. My mom has trouble sitting still, she'll be cleaning, cooking, and running errands like a wild woman. I'll be even more spoiled rotten than usual. There is not a single part of me that wishes they weren't coming. But it always saddens me when a chapter of our life ends. I wish I was a glass-half-full gal. I'd be able to focus on the beginning in front of us. And I know the change is going to make me all of our lives richer. Hell, I want this baby as much as I've ever wanted anything.

Just before T was born I felt the same exact way. I mourned the loss of Z and my relationship as non-parents. The responsibility we were undertaking seemed completely overwhelming. Last night as we were bathing T he was cracking us up with his adorableness. The thought that it was our second to last bath as a family of three kept intruding on my enjoyment of him. It's the moments when my participation in our life is hindered by the sadness that accompanies my emotional problems that really frustrate the hell out of me. As much as my shrink insists there are upsides to being excruciatingly over sensitive, anxious, pessimistic, and insecure I'd much rather not be a crazy person. Even if it made me a less empathetic individual. I mean really, how far is an abundance of empathy going to get me in this world? I'd kind of rather enjoy my current kid while being super excited about my kid on the way and not give a shit that the door is closing on one phase of life and opening on another.

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So who knows when New Guy will choose to make his appearance. Today would be nice. It's my favorite Aunt's birthday. I'd love to have the baby share that day with her. His due date is my best friend's son's birthday. That would be pretty awesome as well. I've talked about how healing September 3rd would be (please god, don't make me wait that long). I'm trying to be more roll with the flow and have a "he'll get here when he gets here" attitude.

But here's the thing. I'm fucking terrified. As T's birth was sort of a shit show I should have listened to Z and taken a birth class or prepared in some way for this time. But I did what I usually do and ignored the thing that scares me the most. In my brain I think if I don't acknowledge something I wont' have to deal with it. Can you believe that line of thinking regularly backfires on me? Now that the labor part of things is imminent I am out of my god damned mind with fear. What was I thinking? I'm going into this situation as blind as I was was T. There are a few things that will make this time better, Z and I will both speak up if we feel like something is wrong, and we both completely trust my doctor to do right by me. But the pain part? When it was time to push with T I told everyone in the room I simply couldn't do it. It hurt that bad. The pressure was so intense, I've just never experienced pain so acute before. I don't do well with pain, even the little stuff. And this is in no way little. So I've known it is coming for nine months. What is my strategy? To not have a strategy. To probably beg for an epidural the minute I get to the hospital. To walk the line between not making a huge fool of myself and completely freaking out in front of a bunch of strangers. Hell, I am freaking out here and labor hasn't even started. Freaking. Out. Also, I'm an idiot. Wish me luck.

T fell and cut of the inside of his mouth today. He loves the idea of having his picture taken (execution- a bit harder, he doesn't get the "hold still" part yet) and I was trying to cheer him up.  

He'd recovered at this point, but then climbed on the chair, started crying, and called "Mama! Boy bonked mouth!" It's been a refrain all morning. 

But I think he'll live. Distracting him is pretty easy.

The melancholy part of the post had me looking at old photos of T. Wasn't he just this size? What the hell happened? His round baby face just slays me. God, I miss him.

Think I've posted this one before. It's one of my all time favorites of my two guys.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Emotional Pregnancy Garbage

The physical changes during pregnancy are completely overwhelming. But they are so in your face that it is easy to write and talk about them. The emotional changes are a bit more tricky and, of course, unique to each person. Successfully capturing the emotional toll of pregnancy has been alluding me. I've tried to write this post several times, and I've really struggled to get it right.

During T's pregnancy my state of mind really bothered me because I had no idea what would happen when the baby came. I felt no connection to him. The only thing that comforted me in the "am I fit to be a mother?" department was I knew despite my reservations I did not want to lose the baby. I knew a miscarriage would be devastating, so on some level that meant I must want the baby. Several friends had warned me that I might not bond with him immediately, and judging from my prenatal feelings I was sure that would be the case. It was a delight to fall deeply and immediately in love with him.

When I got pregnant last summer it didn't bother me at all that I felt no connection to the baby, I knew I would when he or she got here. To find out there had been two embryos and that I'd lost them both was even more devastating than I anticipated. So in a really straightforward and predictable way this pregnancy has been difficult emotionally. I've wanted this baby so intensely, but the experience with the miscarriage has meant I've lived in fear that something terrible is going to happen. Other moms who have had miscarriages have told me the fear passes when the baby quickens, but that hasn't been the case for me. I'm scared I will hemorrhage, he will be stillborn, I'm slowly leaking amniotic fluid and don't know it, and a million other things each more far fetched than the last. I don't know if my fear comes from my anxiety disorder or not, but it has been my constant companion. I still don't feel bonded to the new guy. But that doesn't bother me at all. I will fall in love with him. Even if I don't immediately I trust that I will eventually. 

All that emotional garbage feels pretty normal. The frightening part about this and the other pregnancies is how isolated they make me feel. It is very similar to how I felt when I was in the middle of my breakdown. My limited comfort in my own skin has been removed. I've never been good at sharing, the truth is I really resent it when someone else is relying on my internal organs. My body no longer belongs to me, and I feel very stingy about it. The only control I have it how the rest of the world interacts with me. I don't like to be touched by anyone and the feeling intensifies as the day progresses. In the morning I seek Z out for our hugs, but by the evening I actually shrink away from being touched.

I hate it. Because if I am comfortable with the person I adore physical affection. And with Z it is more like a necessity. A basic part of what makes me me is gone. But the thing that scares the shit out of me is I don't feel like a stranger. This is what life was like when I was rockin' that borderline personality disorder. I feel like that girl. And let me tell you what, things were pretty bleak then. Thankfully, it isn't all the time, and it isn't anywhere as severe as it was. Every morning I wake up in decent shape and my emotional state deteriorates throughout the day. By the time I go to bed I feel like I'm becoming that person I used to despise. In the morning she's gone, and if this transition to postnatal is anything like last time she'll be gone for good after I get the hang of breastfeeding again. Except what does gone for good mean? Gone unless we decide to have a third? Gone until I relapse? That's my biggest fear, especially now that I'm a mom.  

I don't have the ability to describe how awful life was in the middle of my breakdown. When I got better, but I was still so close chronologically to the events that nearly destroyed my marriage, I would get the cold sweats every time I thought about how things had been. How could that have been me? How do I make sure I never ever go back there? The longer I've been better the less I think about it, but it is always there. I will never be free of the fear that I'll suffer a clinical depression because if it happens there is nothing I can do to prevent it. Mental illness isn't something you can control or completely prevent. The only thing you can do is manage it. I do not believe it will ever be as bad as it was. I don't believe I'll regress into a borderline personality disorder again because we know better. We would get me help and we would never let it get to the point where I would be so desperate.

I do wish that pregnancy didn't bring me so close to who I used to be. But the absolute truth is it's temporary and it's completely worth it. I love being T's mom. And I can't wait to be a mother to New Guy. 


Today was overwhelmingly humid, and little man's curls were going crazy. As a stick straight hair gal I was green with envy. 

I was doing some hardcore cleaning in the kitchen (nesting, nesting, nesting) when I heard the dulcimer. I'm still not sure how he got the thing on his lap, but I advised Z to put it somewhere T couldn't reach it in the future.

My boys clinking glasses and saying "Cheers!" Z and I have a million little unobserved traditions like the frequency with which we toast each other. The thing is, they are observed now. And T wants to take part. It's pretty damn cool.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Battle of Wills

I don't have a lot of intrest in being friends with T right now. When he doesn't need constant monitoring I do want to be pals, when he grows up and the day to day parenting is done with I dearly hope we will be close friends, and the best parts of my day are when we have enormous amounts of fun together. But I am in charge of teaching him to make his way through this world as a kind and responsible member of society. Friendship is a sacred thing, and it's very much a two way street. It makes me nervous when parents talk about the friendships they have with their kids. How can a two year old participate in that reciprocal relationship? And frankly, I feel like the parent-child relationship, while different from friendship, is every bit as rich and fulfilling. I can't be his friend right now, I need to be his mom. All that said, I really don't want to be his adversary either. I absolutely do not want to engage in a battle of wills with him. It's something I've observed parents do since I babysat back in high school. And it confounded me then. Isn't the parent in charge? How is the kid ever going to respect them if they let themselves get so caught up in a situation that they obviously care about who is "winning"? Kids are going to push back, shouldn't firm boundaries be set, and if the kid crosses the line previously discussed repercussions be handed out?

When I was a babysitter I cared about the kids, but my emotional investment wasn't huge. I calmly made the rules and if the kids didn't follow them I calmly dealt with it by following through with what I said would happen if they didn't listen. And I shamelessly told the parents everything. Easy right? What could be the problem with your own kid?

Again, what an idiot I was. No one can get under your skin like your kid. Particularly when you are the one spending the most time with them. Particularly when you are trying to teach them right from wrong, how to be safe and how to treat others. We are in the middle of transitioning T to his big boy bed. He's actually doing much better at night than he is during nap time. It is taking him longer to wind down and fall asleep, but a big boy bed is a pretty exciting thing so it totally makes sense. 

Z has been the last one in with him at bedtime. He sings songs, gives T sips of water, and down T goes. His first night in the bed was Sunday, it took him over an hour to fall asleep, and last night he was asleep in 5 minutes. Um, the intense jealousy I feel when Z sets up parameters that encourage T to succeed while I am stupid enough to lay down a really rigid set of rules that no two year old could resist disobeying shall be explored in a post sometime in the near future. I've been doing most naps. And yup, my poor judgement insured that T and I would be tangled in an epic and hugely frustrating battle of the wills.

We have a video monitor. I told him I was watching him and if he got off the bed he would have to go back to his crib. He made it clear that he didn't want to go back into the crib, but it has been impossible for him to resist testing me to see if I'm looking. He hangs off the bed, feet dangling near the stool he uses to climb in, eventually lowering himself on to the ground. Then he hops back into bed in the hopes that I've missed it, gives it a few seconds, and the cycle begins again. I set up the rules, so I'm left with no choice but to go in and tell him to cut it out, the next time I SWEAR he is going in the crib. I went in three times yesterday and he finally did fall asleep. Even though I realized I was causing the problem today I was stupid enough to again warn him I'd be watching. After the third time I did what neither of us really wanted and put him in the crib. 

Needless to say it wasn't a popular choice. He sobbed hysterically, he begged me for his big boy bed. But I'd backed myself into a corner. Yes, he needs to figure out how to sleep in his bed. No, it really isn't the end of the world if he gets out of it as he is settling down. But for some reason I decided he needed to do this nap thing perfectly. I put an enormous amount of pressure on him and basically set him up to fail. It wouldn't help matters at all if I suddenly didn't follow through with what I told him. He had to go in to his crib today. And it sounds like he has fallen asleep. But tomorrow I'm not saying a damn word about watching him. Even then it might take a while for the damage to undo itself when it comes to him horsing around at nap time. And next time I need to remember that my two year old isn't going to be perfect. And if I set up expectations that he should be it's just going to lead to frustration for both of us.

I want to do right by him so badly. And again and again I fuck up. The only option is to try and be aware of it, pick myself up, dust off and do better tomorrow. I still believe setting firm paramaters is important in a lot of parenting situations, but I need to do a much better job of differentiating between situations like keeping him away from a hot stove, or grabbing a sharp knife compared to the big transitions like big boy beds or potty training, where extra stress is only going to make the situation worse. God, I hate the days I feel like a shit mom.

In other news, my cervix is still tightly shut.

The bummer is we had an awesome morning playing with play doh before the nap time debacle. He thought it was important to use a hammer and chisel to beat the play doh into submission.  

I made some play doh tools, which he seemed to enjoy using as much as his toy ones. 

He asked to have his "ear muffins" on. I love how safety conscious he is.

Sleepy guy chewing on grilled cheese. 

Less than a minute later he is out. Yup, dude was that tired and I managed to screw up nap time anyway...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Are You Guys Bored of My Pregnancy Yet? Because I Sure Am.

Did you read this post, in which I discussed some of the more unpleasant aspects of pregnancy? It's a real charmer. I wrote it less than three weeks ago. Oh, how some things change in that short amount of time. I briefly mentioned I didn't have stretch marks on my belly. Well, I didn't then. Pregnancy is supposed to be 40 weeks long and I didn't get the stretch marks until I was almost at 38 weeks. Of my second full term pregnancy. Now I know it is a petty thing to be upset about, but are you fucking kidding me? And they are getting bigger every day. It's almost like I can watch them spreading. Just another reminder that there are new humiliations around every corner when you are growing human beings inside your body.

My due date is August 28th. But I don't let facts get in the way of what I decide is reality. Somehow I got it in my head that there was no way I was carrying this baby for 40 weeks. T was 6 days early, second babies tend to come even earlier, so we'd have this kid out and about by mid August. The thing is T was induced. I have no idea how much longer I would have carried him if preeclampsia wasn't part of the picture. The 28th is a really inconvenient week to have a kid. Classes start for Z on the 29th. The other professors in his program have stuff going on in their lives as well and can't be expected to cover for him. That's the other reason I want to have this kid like yesterday. Z would be able to be a bit more relaxed and actually spend time in the hospital with us without being worried about what was going on at work.

A couple of days ago I waddled into T's room on the way to the shower to tell Z something while he was dressing T for the day. He looked up at me and said, "Jesus, you are carrying that kid high." I informed him he wasn't helping and flounced right out of the room. Well, I would have flounced if I hadn't been humungous and unwieldy. Z was just speaking the truth, though. I've carried both boys extremely high and New Guy hasn't dropped at all. When I go into the doctor's office this afternoon I've decided to not try and delude myself. He'll check my cervix. And he'll tell me it hasn't opened at all. I'm starting to have a horrible feeling New Guy isn't going to show his face until September.

Many months ago I remember writing it would be cool if New Guy arrived on September 3rd, our 11th wedding anniversary. Because we found out about the miscarriage on our 10th anniversary. Please, let me reiterate, don't ever make doctor's appointments on your wedding anniversary. You probably won't get bad news, but why take the risk? If you do find out something awful it'll really color that day in the future. Just don't do it. As nice as it would be to have a wonderful new memory on that day, I would sincerely like to punch the me of several months ago in the face for suggesting it.

So yes, still pregnant. Super grumpy.

T has insisted on sleeping with so many stuffed animals there is barely room for him. But it seems like the transition is complete. He's in his new room full time. 

This was our big present for his 2nd birthday. It'll go into his room during the winter. And the purple will match his sheets! Z didn't make it, we got it at an open studio event in our neighborhood in the spring. Support local artists! 

Today I was sitting in our yard and it was really cool to look around from his point of view. It seems much more jungle-like if you are under 3 feet tall. 

Prepping for Z to use the router. I love how his safety gear squishes his sweet face.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The First Successful Diet of My Life Started at Week 28 of Pregnancy

Among the most loaded issues during pregnancy is diet and weight gain. The mixed messages you receive from different sources are completely overwhelming. Your friends tell you horror stories of gaining 80 lbs, but then magically losing them all in 3 months due to the wonders of breastfeeding. Other friends struggle with putting on weight and not being able to take it off postpartum. Still other friends looked smugly perfect, all belly while carrying the baby and seemingly back to normal in a matter of weeks. The pamphlets at the doctor's office talk about healthy eating and stress that you shouldn't indulge in whatever you want. The pregnancy books instruct you to never ever diet during pregnancy. So what the hell are you supposed to do? Because on top of all the different stories you are getting from the universe at large your own body can't decide what it wants.

I love food. A lot. Like almost as much as I love Z and T. Um, my relationship with it might not be the healthiest in the world. It was perplexing to have food become my enemy during the first half of my pregnancy. I was nauseous all the time, strangely eating took the edge off the nausea, but I couldn't think of anything that was palatable enough to eat. Suddenly one of the most pleasurable parts of my life turned into something to dread. And then at about 20 weeks that phase was mostly over. Food tasted great and as time went on started to taste even better. My body told me it wanted carbs, lots and lots of carbs. And sweet stuff. And salty stuff. And carbs. Failing the first glucose screen, which is the test for gestational diabetes, should not have been a shock.

Here's how my fabulous doc explained it to Z and me: every pregnant woman in the world has gestational diabetes. The placenta sucks the nutritional value of food right into your blood stream, not just the sugars, but the fats, and the proteins, and the vitamins, everything. It's part of the parasitic relationship that is gestation. Back when women didn't have access to unlimited amounts of food it undoubtedly saved the lives of many fetuses. Now that many of us in first world countries can eat whatever we want whenever we want it, the gestational diabetes can quickly get out of control and create a negative health impact on the fetus and the mom.

We were on vacation for two weeks starting the day I found out about my failed glucose test so the 3 hour screen (the next step) was put off until I got back. The nurse told me I needed to immediately cut out sugar and refined carbs and limit whole grains. So at about 28 weeks I found myself on a diet. Um, diets haven't worked so well for me in the past.

It's not that I wasn't raised in a home that modeled good eating. Mom made our lunches which included a sandwich, small bag of chips, piece of fruit, and dessert. The vast majority of the time we ate dinner as a family and there was usually meat, potatoes, a veg, and always a glass of milk. I sucked at rebelling in general, but food came to symbolize the promise of making my own adult decisions. And I demonstrated really poor judgement that was a pretty big indicator of how I'd handle being a grown up for the first decade or so.

There was a coke machine in my high school and I spent 4 years having a can of coke during first period. Which started at 7:50am. I think I pretty much ate the lunch mom packed because I sucked at lying and she'd ask about the damn apple. But I remember being on a theater trip either my sophomore or junior year and visiting a food court with no adult supervision for dinner. I got an ice cream sundae, you know, because I could. College wasn't any better in terms of food choices. By my last year breakfast was that good old can of coke, a huge NYC bagel with tons of butter from the place around the corner from my northern Manhattan apartment scarfed down between cigarettes on the drive up to Bronxville. God, it was delicious. And lunch for almost every day of the four years I was at Sarah Lawrence was fried eggs, bacon (extra crispy), and cheddar cheese on a bagel. I'm nothing if not a creature of habit. And holy shit, I can't think of a better lunch. The thing is when I graduated I was about 120lbs. There were never any repercussions for eating like total shit. You know, until there were. By that time I'd been eating crap for so long I refused to acknowledge there could be a correlation between what I ate and what I weighed. Then I started on high doses of antidepressants and rapidly put on another 50lbs. In my mid to late 20s I became overweight for the first time in my life.

I took no action about my weight except to complain about it constantly. And to use it as further proof that I was completely worthless. Adding to the problem, during my 20s I started working in the food industry and Z and I developed a love of fine food together. Going to restaurants we couldn't afford became one of the highlights of our relationship as everything else about it was falling apart.

When I started coming off the antidepressants I did lose about 20lbs. But I was older and my metabolism had changed and I needed to actually do something about the other 30lbs plus the extra I'd put on before the drugs. Again I did nothing. Expect complain about how I looked.

So why the boring history of my food issues? Well, I figure a lot of you ladies have them as well. If you aren't the best about taking care of your body and you get pregnant it feels like a shitty time to try and get yourself on track health-wise. But I am living proof that it is possible. In fact, when a doctor tells you to modify your diet because if you don't you are putting the health of your baby at risk the it becomes achievable. Now that I know I actually do possess the willpower to not eat potato chips when everyone else at the table is having them I feel like continuing with this healthy eating thing might just be possible after the baby finally arrives.

And I did pass the second glucose screen. But my doctor told me to continue to stick to the modified diet for the remainder of the pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, it's been a bummer. I crave carbs all the time. Right now I could really go for a soft serve twist cone, or a Butterfinger Blizzard, or just a really excellent piece of bread covered in half an inch of butter. I'll settle for a bowl of glamourous Weetabix. And my doc did tell me I could have one serving of ice cream a week. Friday is my lucky day. I look forward to it all week long. Listen, I've flat out made terrible nutritional choices for my whole adult life. And who the hell knows if I'll be able to continue to motivate after New Guy comes. But if this situation happens to you I can tell you it is a hell of a lot easier to make the right choice for the safety of your child than it is to make the right choice for yourself. If I can diet during pregnancy anyone can.


T's Aunt sent the awesome doll for his birthday, and our friends gave him the stroller. He loves pushing that baby around our house. 

Drawing while waiting for dinner during our family date night. 

T charmed our waitress so thoroughly that she arranged this surprise for him. The crazy kid wouldn't take a single bite! He's incredibly suspicious of new foods and we can't seem to convince him that ice cream rocks. Z, who isn't crazy about dessert, took one for the team and ate it. Full disclosure: I had 2 bites. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Birthday

T turned two yesterday, and it was awesome. A friend who I absolutely idolize spent the night on Friday and she brought her sweet dog, who T fell deeply in love with. We had a small BBQ for T Saturday evening, just the folks we are very close to here in town. I've never been the type to have a million friends. I enjoy developing more intimate relationships with a few folks I really enjoy. Z and I call 'em "our people". And it is amazing that we have kind of found a group of our people in just two years here in Syracuse. Last night I was feeling particularly happy and grateful for our imperfect perfect life.

The imperfect stuff is always going to be there. When I was younger I didn't understand that. I wanted Z to never mess up. While it's unacceptable to be dicks to each other without trying to correct that behavior, I would ride him for every single mistake, from the big stuff to how he ordered cold cuts at the deli counter. I still have a long way to go, but I've loosened up quite a bit with him. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to be less exacting with my expectations of myself. High expectations along with an anxiety disorder is a stupid, destructive combination that guarantees I'm perpetually furious with myself. And I almost let my failure ruin T's day.

Z made an amazing chainsaw out of wood for T's birthday.
Notice the serious emphasis on safety!

Z has a wide ranging skill set that enables him to make fantastic stuff for T all the time. As I type this he is at the shop at work making a bookcase that is going to go in T's new big boy room. I can do some stuff with my hands, but I have a difficult time motivating because my expectations are too high to meet. I'm convinced nothing I do is good enough, so I don't start. Watching NCIS reruns and surfing the web is much safer than messing up on a crocheted hat or enameled piece for his wall. It's one of the things I despise most about myself.

I have to convince myself not to make "making" a competition between Z and me. Just because he does something for T it does not mean I need to do something as well. And as Z often tells me, spending all day with him is its own kind of gift. But I decided it was really important to me to contribute something to his second birthday. So I made him a Star Wars themed cake. And I wasn't really happy with any of it. The devils food cake recipe I used is off the hook delicious, but it isn't very firm and is therefore difficult to ice. The buttercream is literally the best I've ever tasted, but when it comes to baking I feel the true creativity is in recipe development and any fool that can read and execute a set of instructions, so the fact it tasted good didn't score any points with me. Decorating does requie skill and practice, but I didn't hot knife the cake, so the icing job was full of pock marks. I've forgotten how to properly use piping tips for boarders, so I did a lame star thing around the edge. I had decorated Star Wars fondant cut outs to use (don't get me started on the imperfections in those), but never came up with a firm plan on how to use them. I used a completely arbitrary color for the royal icing to write on the cake. Lettering on cakes is not my strong suit. But I looked up a Star Wars font and tried to use it. So the cake was done, which was great. All I could see when I looked at it were my mistakes, which wasn't great, but was completely normal. 

Notice anything wrong? 

Yup, I left out the "H" in birthday. When I realized it I totally fell apart. I was so disgusted with myself I wanted to punch it and just throw the mess away. I had spent hours on this cake. I was unhappy with it, but before discovering the mistake I was willing to try and bite my tongue rather than tell every guest who came over exactly what was wrong and explain that it was a really lame effort for someone who was actually given money in exchange for baking in the past. I tried to articulate to Z how worthless this mistake made me feel. How it made me never want to try again. Because every time I do try I only prove to myself that I can't do things properly. 

Z listened. He pointed out I could fix the lettering after the royal icing dried. Can I have a "Duh?" I was so focused on my failure that it's like I stopped operating within reality. And that, that my friends, is my anxiety disorder in a nutshell. As usual Z got me through it. I fixed the cake, still wasn't crazy about it, but I didn't obsess about it. I was able to move forward and enjoy the day with my son (thankfully he was napping during my freak out). As crazy as I know I was being, it is amazing to realize how far I've come. Back in 2005 I would have wanted to cancel the party or humiliate myself by explaining to every person who came over exactly what was wrong with the cake. I was the queen of making people uncomfortable. And I still have that charming ability, but it has gotten so much better. As much as this is a self absorbed post about me, the great thing is in real life I didn't hijack the day and make it about my shortcomings. Instead it was all about T. 
 He didn't give a crap that it wasn't perfect.

T lovin' on his favorite (and most amazingly patient) pal Jack.

 Tuning up his awesome personalized new guitar with a handmade strap from our wonderful friends. He is one lucky duck who was loved hard by so many people yesterday.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Boring Lesson on Being Strep Positive

Hey non-preggers people, you might find this pretty dull! Just trying to be friendly and give you a heads up!

Today I went in for my 37 week 5 day visit. First of all, my cervix is still closed. Phooey. Last week I had my Strep B swab, and just like with T's pregnancy I'm positive. So what is Strep B anyway? Here's a really great article from the American Pregnancy Association. If there is a nifty article than why am I still writing about it? Because my doctor, who I adore, explained it in a really cool and helpful way.

Some background: I'm a huge pussy. Big surprise, I know. I hate and dread pain and can't handle it at all. Therefore I'm a huge fan of the epidural. I really admire those  ladies who go the natural route. As long as there aren't extenuating circumstances that put the mom and babe at risk I think home birth ladies are kick ass. But that isn't me. I need drugs. All that said, I don't love the idea of a lot of medical intervention when it isn't needed. Being induced is evil and beyond painful. You NEED an epidural faster because you are  immediately in the thick of huge contractions. Your body doesn't have time to warm up. And sometimes the epidural can slow down the contractions, so more induction drugs are given, so the epidural needs to be turned up, and on and on and on. That didn't happen with me. T came quickly, but my body was not warmed up and I tore horribly even after having an episiotomy. But, I had preeclampsia. My blood pressure was worrisomely high. My doctor waited as long as she felt was safe before inducing, and I made it to 39 weeks, which was pretty good. She was not inducing for convenience, but for my health and safety. Yes, I have big problems with her and how I was treated, but they have nothing to do with her decision to induce. And yet, I made it clear to my current doctor that I'd like to avoid it at all costs this time around.

Part of the medical intervention crap was being hooked up to an IV drip. I wanted to avoid that (until epidural time), and I wanted to avoid antibiotics. I had tons of IV antibiotics with T because I was Strep Positive and because of the D&C to remove the left behind placenta 5 days after his birth. And in my humble opinion that is why we got a nasty and painful case of thrush. Um yeah, I really don't want to go there again.

But here is what my doctor told me about Group B Strep that changed my mind. He said about 25% of all woman carry it in their "natural flora" (Z loved that turn of phrase and has been using it nonstop since). He said it wasn't weird, it wasn't bad, it just was part of some ladies. He also said it comes and goes. If you've tested positive in the past you will always be a carrier. And if you test negative at 36 weeks there is no guarantee you won't be positive when you give birth. That said, the risk to the baby is low unless your water broke ages before you deliver or you go into labor before you're full term. But if the baby gets it, well there is a good chance he'll get really sick. Or die. And the antibiotics make that low risk much much smaller.

I'm not a big risk gal. Suddenly the thrush thing didn't seem like a big deal. He said if I tested negative they would only give me the antibiotics if I asked. I told him to tell me when to ask and I'd do it. I trust him completely. Turns out it's a moot point. I'm positive so I'll be getting the drugs. The sucky thing is you need to stay in the hospital for 48 hours after the baby is born so they can make sure he doesn't have it. But, whatever, I can deal. And now I know if we go for a third that I'm a carrier. And I'll probably request the antibiotics during the delivery no matter what.

Yes, I know antibiotics are massively overprescribed in this country. I try to avoid them at all costs under normal circumstances. I also try to only buy meat and dairy for my family that is free from antibiotics. I know that a lot of people will find my doctor's recommendation suspect. If it's a pretty low risk why bother with antibiotics? But minimizing a real risk to my son during childbirth is worth it to me. Also, having a doctor who takes the time to explain his reasoning makes a huge difference. My doc the first time around explained nothing about the positive test (among many other things). And I was too intimidated to ask her.

The difference I feel with this pregnancy, the way my doctor will take all the time in the world to explain my smallest question, has changed my expectations when it comes to medical professionals permanently. I trust him, I am grateful for his wisdom, when he tells me stuff that makes sense I'll basically follow him to the end of the world. And now that I've experienced someone like him I'll always expect that level of excellence.
Purple sheets! Boba Fett Lamp! 

Cuddling with Daddy.

Hard to see what is going on here, but he was so unbelievably excited during the fight at Jabba's place on Tatooine in Return of the Jedi.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mood Swing Whiplash and A Little Humble Pie

Good mood alert! It's currently 71 glorious degrees and rainy. I actually almost feel cool. One of the few good things about the third trimester is food tastes amazing. As I was eating a nectarine a few minutes ago I was thinking it was the best nectarine I had ever put in my mouth. God, I adore food. But the really good news? That would be the call I received from T's pediatrician letting me know that his lead level was only 3.5! It needs to be under 5 to be considered normal, so he more than qualifies. Woo fucking hoo! I am so incredibly relieved. And happy.

So clearly I overreacted to the great lead paint scare of '11. But we are going forward with contacting the Lead Abatement folks. And in a way I'm really glad this happened. It is an issue we needed to deal with that got lost in the craziness of the last two years. We will be able to find out how much lead is actually in the house, and we will hopefully be able to take steps to correct the problem. And the doctor was totally cool with retesting him in a year if a lot of lead is found in the house. Bottom line is T is perfectly fine. Which is the real reason I'm a happy camper today. The other stuff is just the cherry on top. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

T and I ventured out in rain to pick out sheets for his big boy bed. We ended up at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and they didn't have a real kids section. But they did have cheap bright colored sheets for college kids. I told T he could pick out the color. The first thing he did was point and say, "Pink!" Yup, he wanted pink. And this was neon pink. I sort of had a headache just looking at it. Now Z and I pride ourselves on our progressive thinking when it comes to gender roles. T loves to play with dolls, he loves to play with tools, he loves to play with kitchen stuff, he loves to play with trucks. We are naturally introducing him to stuff that we love (tools, kitchen stuff), but we are trying not to direct him toward traditional boy stuff. He gets to choose what he likes. 

So I am deeply ashamed and kind of confused to say I didn't want to get him hot pink sheets. I can try to justify it by saying he has never gravitated toward pink. Or that I've always sort of had a problem with pink. It's a charged color when it comes to gender. But the bottom line is I didn't want him to have the damn sheets. We talked about blue, we talked about green, and then he saw the purple. If T does have a favorite color at this point it has got to be purple. He wanted those sheets fiercely. He wanted to hold them on the way to the register. He fell asleep holding them in the car. Yup, for some reason I was totally fine with the purple. Maybe because he has a history with it, maybe I'm justifying again.

Z and I tend to feel very self-satisfied with our liberal parenting ideas (for the record he wanted to know why I didn't just get the hot pink sheets), and frankly with the way we run our marriage. Why just this very morning on FB I poked some gentle fun at the grad students he is teaching this summer who were shocked that I don't make his lunch for him. I hold tight to the idea that no tradition or person is going to dictate my role as a wife. And yet, I've realized there are tons of things I do in our marriage that would be considered traditional wifely duties. Hello, I'm a stay at home mom. I also do almost all the cooking (and I don't consider sandwich making for lunch cooking), except for grilling. Z grills. Z takes out the trash, Z snow blows the driveway, Z mows the lawn. I could go on all day. 

I'm fine with the choices we've made and how we divide responsibility, though. We take on the tasks we don't mind doing. I love cooking. When Z cooks I inevitably take the knife right out of his hand and do it "the right way". I'm a little insufferable. I don't grill because the grill scares me. I just have no desire. And the stuff we both hate? We either don't do it (it's frightening how infrequently the toilets in this house are cleaned) or we share (the dishes...grudgingly). I'm grateful that none of the jobs fall to either of us because they are "supposed to" be men's or women's work. Like ironing. Ha. I don't iron my cloths, so why the hell would I iron Z's? If he wants his shirts pressed he does it himself. We approach our relationship and our parenting as a team. There is no leader, we are equals. And that is exactly how I like it. 

So what was my problem with the pink sheets?

He was desperately trying to open them.

Passed out. Yes, he's still rear facing. I know he turns 2 on Saturday, but it's indisputably safer. And I don't think it's doing him any psychic damage. 

Swinging with Daddy last night. 

He didn't want out of the swing, he just wanted to hang there while Z mowed the lawn. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Worrying Through the Bitter End

Wanna hear something nice about the middle of pregnancy? You don't have to take your pants off at the OBs office from the end of the first trimester until you are around your 36th week. Unless something weird happens. Even during the big ultrasound they do to make sure the baby is developing normally you only loosen your pants to your hips. For the rest of the visits they just put a microphone thingy on your belly to listen to the heartbeat and assure you the baby is in awesome shape. Which I find a bit shady. I'd love to get a glimpse on the old ultrasound, but if things are normal you don't see the baby from that major ultrasound visit until the day he is born. For the last month of my pregnancy with T I got to see him via ultrasound twice a week because of the preeclampsia. Bed rest sucked. Seeing that my guy was in good shape with my own eyes rocked. But even during those ultrasounds your pants stay on. They come off so the good doctors can check what is going on with your cervix. It is open? Is it thinning? Is the mucus plug in place? Sadly, the answers were No. No. Yes. for me. Seems like New Guy wants to cook a little longer.

My boobs have been getting that achy feeling which means they are getting ready to make some serious milk. They are also flooding my body with even more hormones. Which is causing me to reflect on the last two years with T. We haven't adhered to a strict philosophy when it comes to raising him. We just have gone with our guts and have tried to respond to what he seems to need. No one in the house was sleeping? I bought some books and decided to go with sleep training. He wasn't ready to give up nursing at 12 months (and neither was I...)? We kept on trucking. He started pushing boundaries? We started counting to 3 and doing time outs. He can't handle having has nap or bedtime changed? We make sure he is in his crib by 1pm and we start the bedtime routine by 7:45pm even when it's inconvenient to our plans. It's a mix of granola crunchy stuff and old fashioned stuff. Our granola crunchy friends are secretly horrified we used Cry It Out on him. Our old fashioned friends are secretly horrified I nursed him so long. The cool think about being a parent is the longer you do it the less you care what other people think. You do what's best for your kid. And you realize you don't know what is best for those kids in your friends families even though you might be secretly judging choices they make. I think it might be called growing the fuck up.

As much as I'm ready for the pregnancy to be over I've been trying to warn my doc that I'm probably not going to do really well with this whole delivery thing. One visit I tell him I'm scared to go into labor myself because I was induced last time. He tells me he is going to take care of me and he knows I can handle it. The next visit I tell him I need him to be super sure my placenta is all out of my uterus after delivery. He tells me he is going to take all the time we need to make sure it's all out. When he said that to me I just felt my whole body relax. It was exactly what I wanted to hear. During this last visit as he was getting ready to leave I blurted out, "I've never been away from my son overnight before. When I go into the hospital it'll be the first time." He could tell I was trying not to cry. He told me I was a good mom. I really hit the jackpot with him.

Out of all the stuff I'm scared of the being away from T is the biggest thing. Don't get me wrong, getting all the placenta out is a super close second. But when it comes to being away from him for long periods I'm definitely on the granola crunchy side of things. I also know he'll be completely fine. He doesn't need me around every morning or even every day. I need him. It's always interesting to discover when I'm motivated by my own selfishness rather than T's needs. Another thing I need to work on.

My brave boy showing off his bandaid after the blood draw. He wasn't really crazy about the info bracelet on the other wrist, but he didn't want it taken off either. We should get the lead level results soon. And I didn't end up even going to the lab with them. Z thought it would be better for us all if I just stayed at home and cried on the sofa.

T and Z jammin' on their guitars.  

T goes crazy when he solos. He looks like Slash laying on his back with the guitar held over him. He's major hard core.

T has been really hard on the awesome table Z made for our living room. So we are replacing it with a kid's table for the time being. The top of the table is made from wood taken from a tree cut down on the grounds of the Reynolda House Museum of Art. Z's mom worked there for more than 20 years. 

And the legs are made from saplings cut down by the father-in-law of a friend.