Over Halfway There

I’m in my 22nd week of pregnancy now. We’re over halfway there! We had the baby’s anatomy scan about two weeks ago and it went pretty well. The baby was not being all that cooperative – as I had thought, the kid prefers to tuck himself deep into my pelvis, hence the hip and leg pain I’ve been having for a while now. It took some work on the ultrasound tech’s part to find out the gender because our baby’s little pretzel legs kept getting in the way, but about halfway through we saw undeniable evidence that this one is a boy.

Jack totally called it a few days prior when he said, “I want it to be a girl, but I think it will be a boy.”

I had mixed feelings upon learning the gender, to be honest. I love having a boy already and it seems like boys are a bit easier to raise (with lower-pitched voices). At the same time, my boy is very attached to me and I know girls tend to be more attached to their dads – it would be nice to have someone in the house not obsessed with me (we also have three animals that are males and all gravitate to me)! There are no guarantees, of course. Who knows, maybe this kid will think I’m boring as hell.

Anyway, I’ve gotten used to the idea of having another boy now and all is well on that front.

So, with that, we’ve stopped disagreeing about girl names and turned our focus to boys names. We have two picked out that are tied for first place but I keep hearing one of them pop up all over the place so I don’t know that we’ll go with it. I can’t quite cross it off the list, though.

Last night I dreamed about the baby and saw his face. Unfortunately that didn’t help sway my opinion of either name. Bah! (Maybe I should put the baby’s name up to the a vote – ha!) Hopefully it will all become clear when the little dude joins us in the outside world.

David finally felt the baby move over the weekend! He’s been moving around for weeks but the kicks were inconsistent and I think maybe the placenta is toward my back or something. The kid is getting stronger, though, and loves to be active right at bedtime. Maybe that’s why I continue to suffer from fatigue, headaches, and SERIOUS pregnancy brain!

Because of the fatigue, headaches, pregnancy brain, and overall less patience with the world around me, I’m in hibernation mode. I’ve been making dumb mistakes and forgetting a lot of things, which is super frustrating to me. I’m an administrative assistant, so the fact that I can’t trust myself and must triple-check my work is screwing with my self-esteem! But at least I’m flighty enough to only worry about it for five minutes at a time…

That’s the latest on this pregnancy business. Any questions?

Getting My Ass Kicked

I’m completely sapped of energy.

I’m nauseous.

I’m dizzy.

I can’t breathe.

I’m having heart palpitations.

My brain is totally on the fritz.

After two years of slogging through Jack’s cancer treatment and enduring an exhaustion that I had thought could never be matched, let alone surpassed, I’m being brought to my knees by a fetus.

Yup, I’m pregnant. And thus far, it’s a pretty brutal pregnancy. The mere act of sweeping up leftover pine needles from our Christmas tree nearly caused me to pass out recently.

What.the.fuck!

I don’t know why it’s different this time around. Perhaps it’s due to my age – it’s been over eight years since I was this pregnant with Jack. Maybe it’s genetics – David is cantankerous and maybe his baby is, too! It could be that I have a lot on my plate already, and caring for Jack while trying to cope with pregnancy symptoms is dealing me an extra walloping. Maybe it’s all of those things combined.

In any case, I didn’t expect pregnancy to be so rough on me. I miscalculated. I wasn’t sick at all while pregnant with Jack – just hungry all the time and a little extra sleepy. My sister’s pregnancies with my niece and nephew were pretty easier on her, as well, so I figured I’d be the same. Alas, no.

When does my life ever go as planned?

Along the same vein – we had planned on waiting to tell Jack until I reached the second trimester but that plan went out the window when he broke out in tears one morning because he felt alone and ignored. I apologize profusely and told him that I was working on building a baby and it’s taking a lot out of me. His whole demeanor changed immediately. He found it a little strange to think of me as pregnant, but he also seemed to understand (probably from going through this with his step-mom) that this baby business is hard work. Since then he’s been rubbing my belly daily and telling me that we’re going to need a lot of stuff “if this baby thing works out.” He has also warned me that sometimes babies are annoying – they smack their lips while eating, for instance.

Jack is amazing. I couldn’t ask for a better sibling for this baby.

David, too, is amazing. He is doing EVERYTHING while I am tucked away in our bed. I have felt horribly guilty the whole time and he’s just like, pshaw, go back to bed and let me take care of my baby mama.

So, if the copious pregnancy symptoms are any indication and this baby thing does, indeed, work out, our new addition is expected August 29th.

Fingers crossed that the whole feeling like death thing doesn’t go on for the next seven months. In the mean time, I’ll be sucking down ginger ale, chewing on ginger candy, and stuffing my face with saltines. Maybe I’ll get to keep my girlish figure longer!

New Parent Transition

I remember being a new parent.  I remember how it feels to worry that any little decision will irrevocably harm the precious new life you are now fully in charge of.  I remember the frenzy Jack’s cry created in me, the overwhelming urge to OMGFIXITNOW.  I recall hovering nearby whenever anyone else held Jack in case he needed me.  It all felt like a weird dream and the role change was so jarring that I could hardly remember what I did prior to having Jack.

Ewokmama and newborn Jackonaut

I visited a co-worker and her newborn baby Sunday.  She and her baby are trying to figure out breastfeeding and she didn’t feel comfortable going to her midwife with her questions.  I gave her some tips but mostly I just tried to be reassuring.  I think one of the most important things to hear as a new parent is that you are doing everything as you should be!  At one point she asked me incredulously if I really wanted to go through all of it again.  I laughed and said it’s taken me three and a half years to be ready to do it again (and I’m not even quite ready now).  I do recall being in her place and wondering why in the hell anyone had a second child.  I doubt there is anything so humbling as becoming a parent and realizing that all of the things you filled your life with pre-baby are now completely unimportant and alien.

I liked sitting on the other side of the fence and realizing how much has changed in my outlook since Jack was born.  There are so many things that being a new parent taught me, and I really think things will be a little less overwhelming that second time around because:

  • When I have that second child, I will already be a mom.  I will have to stretch my identity a bit to “mom of two” but the much larger non-mom–>mom shift has already happened.
  • I now know that babies cry, as opposed to I am screwing something up and making my baby cry.
  • I know that when you’re in the trenches it seems like you’ll never get out, but that things will change in an hour, a day, or a week.  Change is constant and with each change, you learn to handle things with a little bit more grace.
  • I am quite aware that things always seem worse when hormones are involved and things get better once the hormones calm down.
  • I am confident that the baby knows even less than I do!

I have a lot of parents reading my blog who are removed enough from that newborn period to have figured a lot of this out, as well.  Some of you have second (or more) children and may have some things to add – please comment and let me know what conclusions you have come to about your journey into parenthood! I can’t think of a day that has gone by since Jack came into my life that I didn’t think about what becoming a parent is all about.