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I received an email night before last from my OB- she said that the San Francisco hospital has pulled through for Boo and I and we are on!

Wednesday, October 24th, it is!

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When the tremendous feeling of relief faded a bit – and it's no exaggeration to say "relief" with the intense pressure I've been feeling, coupled his cripplingly vigorous kicks (both of which make me scared that I'll burst or he'll come right out with one of those one-placed jabs).

 

And when the relief faded a bit, I thought, man, how cool is this? I'm going to have one child born in Oakland, one in Alameda and one in San Francisco! The heart of the Bay Area. And for Boo, how fitting to be born in the hospital that provided such excellent genetic counseling and the CVS for him.

 

It all feels right, feels good, feels like it's as it should be.

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My friends have showered us with stuff – the material things that make it all easier. Mari loaned us her Moses basket, Anne her Arm's Reach – and toys, jumper – even breast friend (heh heh- remember that?!). Katie, her swing, loads of nursing wear, car seat, more.

 

It's all coming together.

 

He's got a couple of baskets of clothes now, a place to be comfortable and you know what? I think that's enough.

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In a good mood – so relieved, a mountain off of my shoulders – I want to celebrate these last few days of having just two kids. Celebrate the imminent arrival of Boo. Celebrate Halloween too, my very favorite holiday.

 

So we got started with the pumpkins:

She thought it was exciting: paper! tape! pumpkins! ooooooooooooh, yeah!

 

A couple of pumpkins: one for Micah, one for Moxie and I.

He loved the materials, loved the thought of eating the seeds, making something from the innards. He's such an interesting boy. I'll bet every mom thinks that about her boy.

She watches him, I tell you

My heart swelled.

Pumpkins, done! Seeds, ready-set to bake.

Micah wondered if those pumpkins are going to scare people or make them smile.

 

What do you think?

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Thanks for all the love you've been sending our way – I'm sure it has something to do with San Francisco creating an opening for us, for thinking working out so beautifully.

xoxox

 

Don't forget – giveaways still going on – Conny Wenk's 2013 Calendar and "Moxie" Keychain.

Plus the Blog Hop.

and…

You might be wondering what will happen with the rest of the giveaways and hops, since I"ll be in the hospital? Were you wondering? Well, I'm going to set up what I can via auto-post. Some things might be drawn out later – like the giveaways – but they will happen.

 

Cross my heart.

 

We're PBS junkies (- Romney has us worried), mostly with our cooking shows. We love Jacques and Julia, love just Julia, tasting everything. Love Nick Stellino and his walking fingers. Little Man was without question imbued with more of the sauce of PBS cooking than he was with any kind of kid show.

 

So he's 4 now, he's a fine sous chef. He has his own little knife, he chops and prepares things. Enjoys creating garnishes, adding taragon to his eggs. You know, typical 4-year-old stuff.

So of course she is interested.

 

She likes her some Pepin too. She'll cook a little bit, roast up some things, use the little pots and pans and enjoy the 'sameness' of what she's doing, what Little Man (or Pepin) is doing

 

Till she's had enough and then, you know, just falls asleep.

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Belly nearly-fully ripe now, I can feel Boo getting ready, set to come out, join his brother and sister. He moves more when I know he can hear them – like when we are in the tub together. I know he can't wait to meet them.

 

I look at them. These two are such a team.

They get along so well. They are tight.

 

So much love between them, real and deep and true.

 

There is a casual acceptance of who the other is: Moxie with her massive messes

 

Micah's willingness to help clean up after her. And his Little Teacher self, needing/wanting to have a student:

 

They have a dynamic between them. A give and take, an ebb and flow. I see them move from take-grab-cry-push to other moments of pure tenderness

I feel a deep, abiding happiness in my heart. For this connection between them, for a sibling love that will hopefully transcend what the future may hold  – and help them through whatever life brings them

******

I think of Boo, coming so soon. This small third person, joining him

And her

I find myself treasuring these last few days, weeks, of having only two kids. Just in the same way that it seems that most parents of an only child savour those last moments of having only one.

 

It's not about not looking forward to meeting the new little person that is on his way; it's just about this moment – enjoying it, delighting in what is, in this here and now.

 

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Fabulous deal alert! Starting October 11th, Tea Collection is offering new markdown items at up to 25% off! Stock up on comfortable and durable clothes for the holidays. There are so many cute options and Tea Collection outfits make the perfect gift for both children and parents! Don't miss your chance to take advantage of these amazing deals from Tea Collection! Offer is only valid while supplies last. Happy Shopping!

We all went to Kaiser to see my OBGYN for (what we thought would be) the last ultrasound. My One True Darling, too. It involved a lot, getting there – both cars still being fixed (but will they ever be done? really?) and the big huge truck doing cranky things on the road.

 

But we finally arrived and Mikey got to see the kids in action in the waiting room. That was fun – for me – to see him watching the kids and watch a slowing growing gratitude that the kids can't literally climb the walls or fly. Almost, but not quite.

 

My OB did the ultrasound and. Boo is breech.

Oh, Boo.

Boooooooooo.

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This sucks in every way imaginable – yes, we have a c-section scheduled for his actual due date (- Halloween!) but that is for the risk of uterine rupture. My hope is and has been that he'd come earlier and we could have a nice natural birth in the hospital.

 

I don't know. I just don't want to go through everything I went through in trying to turn Micah (- headstands in water, walking 4 billion miles, light stuff, moxibustion, acupuncture, inversion – which is awful and painful – and weird poses while watching TV). But I don't want to be this awful mother who doesn't do enough. And I don't want another c-section – oh God, healing from one of those things while potentially caring for my two little people?! Ugh.

 

If you are the praying sort, pray for me and pray for Boo to go ahead and turn in the next few weeks. And if you are not the praying sort, would you give me some nice visualizations of a great, low-key, easy-to-recover-from birth?

Thanks. Needing me some mojo, I do.

* Afternote * My friend Miriam sent me this link to Spinning Babies – this looks hopeful. Any and all other advice, links, information, tips (other than drinking special spin sauce) would be very well received by this Mama over here.

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Moving on – a reminder of stuff coming up:

  • October: Month with Moxie: Down syndrome Awareness Month
  • Mondays: Giveaways every Monday for the month of October
  • Friday: Weekend Down syndrome Blog Hop – for the month of October

and –

a word from Tea Collection –

How awesome is Modern Family the TV show?! It turns out that the actress that plays Lily, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, is a huge Tea Collection fan! She traveled the red carpet at Sunday night's 2012 Emmy Awards in Tea's custom-made dress with iconic wrap neckline and playful bubble skirt. Now your little citizen can shine in this limited-edition, special occasion dress. Don't miss out on this beautiful dress and be sure to tune in tonight, September 26th at 9:00pm ET for the return of the fourth season of Modern Family!

 

Some women just look gorgeous while pregnant.

You know the type: their taut limbs and firm behinds scream, I DO YOGA DAILY, HAHAHA!!

Their bellies are perfectly soccer-ball round, faces glow. Their hair? Mervelously arranged in a loose, “I don’t care but I’m still stunning” way. And you – with sweat clinging to your slightly greasy hair, your butt hanging out of the casings of your pre-maternity underwear, your belly wildly distended and your limbs flapping tribute to the Stars and Stripes, why you are torn between wanting to roll your eyes at that lady or find an incancantation spell that will slip you into her (fragrant) skin.

Or maybe it’s not you. Maybe it’s just me.

*****

I’ll tell you this: I don’t feel gorgeous while pregnant. I don’t feel gorgeous while I’m a nursing Mama either. I feel big and fleshy, like those Venus of Willendorf dolls.

Oh sure, objectively speaking, I know all the bits about how I’m basically a sacred earth-mother-goddess now – my body is creating another human being, after all! And then (post-birth), my body will be nurturing and sustaining a tiny baby into near-self subsistence!

But frankly, I’m too hormonal to be objective. I just want to look good. I want to feel good. I want to not cry – as I literally do sometimes – when I look in the mirror or look at photos of myself right here, right now.

31 weeks pregnant. Massive Mama.

*****

A Mother’s Boutique sent me an Annee Matthew Bamboo Drawstring Hoodie to review. I was excited and yet a little nervous about it because on the site, the fit of the hoodie looks like it’s for those Slim-Hipped Yoga Moms. And the stripes are horizontal which everyone in the 80‘s said makes us look bigger. Like I need to look bigger, thank you very much.

The actual hoodie though – when I received it, was baby-skin soft. Luxurious. I mean, LUXURIOUS. This bamboo stuff feels like the finest, softest cloth, it just rubs right and somehow the texture of that automatically made me feel *that* much better.

Then I slipped it on. Went and looked at myself and.. fell in love. Not with myself silly; with the hoodie!

The fit does flatter – even if I’m a wide-hipped celto-teutonic peasant breed and no slim-hipped taut Yoga-Mom. I look as good I possibly can in this. And more, when I fiddled with the top part, it’s clear to see that nursing in this is going to be breeze – it just slips right over to the side and you can pop your boob discreetly out.

IN A HOODIE!! How cool is that?!

The colour is also really handy. Grey/black basically goes with everything and with stripes being trendy, you don’t even have to bother really with matching the bottoms. Oh, and clearly “they” were wrong about horizontal stripes making you look bigger. Those 80’s… guess you can’t trust a decade that also told you big frosted hair was rad.

A Mother’s Boutique – and Annee Matthew –  I owe you a personal note of thanks. I really needed something that made me feel good, and made me feel as if I’m looking good. Thank you.

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As a token of their singular awesomeness, they will also give away one of the same right here, right now:

 To enter, just follow the Rafflecopter (1. Mandatory: visit A Mother’s Boutique and leave a comment here on which item you like best. Extra entry: “like” A Mother’s Boutique on facebook).

Winner selected randomly on Sept. 7th, Winner announced on Sept. 8th. A new winner will be selected if original winner does not respond in 3 days.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’d rather go straight to the source and not chance a giveaway, you can buy yours – or similar hoodies or awesome shirts and other items on their sites:

Annee Matthew: http://www.anneematthew.net/bamboohoodie.html

A Mother’s Boutique: http://www.mothersboutique.com/bamboohoodie.html – A Mother’s Boutique is where you can find the ENTIRE  Annee Matthew collection of maternity and  nursing wear: http://www.mothersboutique.com/anneematthew.html (check out my fave: the “Milk Factory” tee!! )

The title is intended to off put. If you are a guy or not into birthing and all that, you'll have a better time reading another post. How about Mad Max Land? You might like that more.

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This is a different pregnancy than my other pregnancies. It's different as I'm sure all pregnancies are different from one another – babies are clearly unique little beings right from the get-go. Boo moves differently than my other two did. My bladder, for example? His favorite stomping ground! That little guy is a mover, on par with in-utero Moxie.

 

My body is different. It's bigger, it's older, it's more stretched out, perhaps. With this pregnancy, I've felt intense pain in my lady parts. INTENSE, excruciating pain. My OB says it's normal (right along with that incontinence!), it's normal, normal, normal – have more than one kid? It's all more painful and just… blah. I guess maybe I'm sort of comforted knowing I'm "normal", but then again, I'm not because I just want this pain to go away and I'd like to sneeze without holding my parts like a 3 year old that needs to go pee.

 

As my friend Meredith says, "oh, the indignity".

The pain – it gets awful at night, so bad I can barely move to turn in bed. I prop myself up with a million pillows, one under my back, one between my legs, another under a thrust out leg, more wedged around just so I don't slip or anything. And don't you know it – and as soon as I'm finally sort of comfortable, I have to go to the bathroom and so, painfully, slowly, I extract myself from my nest, turn the pregnant "3-pointer" and crawl off on down the loft bed. On repeat. All night.

*****

Meanwhile: my belly. I am HUGE. I think I now resemble the offspring of a whale who mated with a slug. I am HUGE. I saw photos of myself the other day and just sobbed. I'm so big that I wonder how on earth I'm going to grow more?! I mean, I have about TWO WHOLE MORE MONTHS!

 

After that sob fest (and believe me: it was a sob fest: I was lying down, crying the big huge heaving kind of sobs, My One True Darling was desperately trying to think of the "right" thing to say, but really, I don't think it's possible for a guy to know what the right thing to say is in moments like that), I made a commitment to myself to put more energy into self-care. I went to pre-natal yoga. It's bliss over there, a room full of women with round bellies and just as hormonal as me. Awesome!

 

Signed myself up for my very first pre-natal massage. I will get my toenails down, hair too while I'm at it. I have got to do this; I have TWO WHOLE MORE MONTHS. I'm going to go bat-shit crazy with hormones and depression if I don't act now to take care of me.

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Moving brisking right along, come 7 o'clock and there is a whole lot of this at our place:

Wild children. Beached Mama. Inner dread of putting the kids in their bath, brushing teeth and putting them to bed. It's one of those horrible catch-22's. I dread it so I procrastinate. Then finally, I have no choice but by that time, I'm even more tired plus they're tired (tired kids! fun!) and it's just a ball of whack. Nights are good when Mikey's around to help, or better yet, just do it all and let me go to bed.

****

Having kids makes it harder but it's also direct encouragement.

I really like my kids.

I enjoy their company.

Watching them play and stuff… makes me so happy.

 

Reminds me that it's all worth it. 9 months of roller coaster discomfort in exchange for a little person.

Yeah, yeah. I can do it.

I can do it.

Two more months.

 

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I am now 22 weeks pregnant. This is my belly-Boo, somewhere in there, all half-baked:

Yes – somewhere in there.
Here he is!

The little caveman. So cute, isn't he?
We went in for the long ultra-sound last week, in which they measured oh, just about everything they could get their beam upon. His head, bones, lips. Shoe size!

(he'll take "newborn" when the time comes, thank you!)

 

Everything is as it "should" be and he's progressing firmly on the path of a typically developing baby boy.
He moves a lot. I enjoy it.

In fact, I think I am enjoying this pregnancy in a way I never got to with my first two – this time, with Micah I was planning my wedding and was wondering how in the hell I was going to get a maternity wedding dress (- I ended up getting a regular dress from H&M – $32). This time with Moxie, I was making myself sick with anxiety and fear over her Down syndrome diagnosis.

With Boo, I'm just enjoying him, his movement. Chasing the other two all day – plus the fact that I'm 39 now, not exactly a spring chicken – exhausts me but at the same time, I look at the kids I have and I'm deeply delighted that they will get Boo and Boo will get them.

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In terms of size.

My belly has expanded considerably in the way of inches. I feel like I easily look as big around as I did when I was 7 months pregnant with Micah

 
He was in there!

Speaking of being pregnant with Micah. I gained 90 pounds when I was pregnant with him. Yes! 90! This was a stunning combination of quitting my 20-year pack-a-day smoking habit and being full-force in big time LOVE. I'd eat with Mikey, we'd stare at each other for hours with sophomoric grins, cuddle, eat more…sleep… watch some Antiques Roadshow…eat…sleep… grin…eat…eat…eat…eat..eat. (In fact, Micah's middle name Alaisdair comes from Antiques Roadshow).

I didn't mind it at all, gaining the weight. I was happy – thrilled even – to have finally quit smoking. I was happy to be gaining and not be worried – with my history with eating disorders, it felt good to just relax into something that was drenched in joy.

I lost 70 of those pounds, then gained 20 with Moxie. It took for-ever to lose Moxie's 20, but I did. I started this adventure with Boo 20 pounds heavier than I had at the start of all my babies.

Mindful of my being 39 and how how hard it was to lose the poundage, I am watching it more carefully now. Not as much – or any – Antiques Roadshow.

So tell me: how did you stay in a good weight range during your pregnancy? Any recipes on filling low-cal, no-chemical foods for me?

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