Friday, January 31, 2014

No Baby Pics Yet

So I just realized I started this post half way through the template so everything will be out of  order. But Im too lazy to do anything about it right now. Because everything takes me forever and maybe I will have Shane teach me some short cuts sometime when I am feeling patient enough to actually learn something new.

I thought I came up with a cunning plan and was so excited to Share it with Shane. Once the new baby is here and I'm tied to the couch with a little suckling pig, keeping Malachi out of trouble is going to be really hard. So I thought we'll just assign each of the kids a day they are responsible for taking care of him. Kateri will still have him at night, but someone else will be in charge of him at meal times, bath time, diaper changing times, stair climbing times. And then Shane will be home on the weekends. Shane asked if I would put Pippin in charge of Malachi. I thought no, that wouldn't really work. And then what about the day the big kids have music lessons and outside classes? I looked at Shane and saw the errors in my thinking. And I saw the root of the problem. We don't have enough kids!

I got up early, or at least before the other sleepy heads did, so I could participate in the  7QTs. Even  if it is a little late. So I was surprised when I sat down in what is supposed to be the formal dining room but without a table and chairs makes a great wrestling room. Because who thinks kids should be fed and watered over a carpet on a regular basis- not me. Anyway,  I was surprised when I heard a slight humming coming from somewhere. The down stairs is pretty open and there is the stair gate to open so its not really possible to sneak unnoticed  to the downstairs. And all the bedrooms are upstairs. But there was definitely a slight musical humming emitting from what I could only imagine to be the crawl space. Finally I placed the sound as being generated through the floor vent next to me. Which is great, because it is Kateri humming so Malachi, whom I guess she is trying to keep asleep longer, in her bedroom three rooms and a flight of stairs away. So I guess that intercom system I thought  could come in handy for dinner time is already in place. Maybe the kids and I will play with it and see what carries best from what vantage point and if there is one that no sound can get to and that is where the baby will nap.

I'm starting to compile a list of things to read while I assist in the demanding growing process of a little person who will require 24hr sustenance causing me to physically tied to a cozy spot, hopefully with snacks and refreshments within reach. And would welcome any recommendations on pretty much any subject. Unless there is math involved. I don't do numbers well especially postpartum. I assume at some point I'll get bored and want something to stimulate my brain. Just because its a germane topic, I was thinking of this book. Not because we need convincing or instruction- though I guess its not that kind of book so don't say I said it was- but because I'm interested in hearing other people's stories and thoughts. I'm also interested in the instruction part too, it is such a fascinating process when all goes well and I like knowing things about me and any information I do come across makes me more amazed. I was talking a girl I met who worked at a fertility clinic. And she said when women came in they were always surprised when they started learning about the whole process. Really? So what are all the educational classes in schools for then? If you are going to teach about bodies, why isn't it at least the really awe-inspiring stuff? I don't know what they do teach as my mom pulled me out of those classes. And I actually don't remember ever not knowing where babies came from so its not like we were uneducated. We just never got that unnatural and forced separation of pro-creative acts and babies. Ok obviously I have lots of thoughts on the subject of fertility as it really is. But Im open to any interesting topics so recommend away.

But it really is going to happen. Just maybe not too soon. That means maybe I a can go to all my scheduled midwife appointments. I am always sad at the end because I don't want the appointments to stop. And the first thought, maybe sometimes second, when I see those two blue lines is "Now I can go see my midwives!!" I don't know. Shane might be getting suspicious as to my motivations. But he really likes them too. I won't see the OB again since the stitches are out. But she did ask if I  would send a letter and let her know how things go with the birth.

When I asked my midwife what all these shenanigans would mean long term she said  when you get pregnant again we'll just schedule you for a stitch early on when its less of hassle. I had stopped listening after the 'when'. No 'in the event of' or 'if you do. Just a  'when'. Like she knew something I don't. Or she figures we're just really good at it so of course its happening. Or we're just crazy. But in the event that she is right I will get to see the OB again.

We decided to tempt fate and rescheduled our previously cancelled social get together for this weekend.. So I have been expecting a re-visitation from the stomach flu all week. So far so good. We'll see how the next few hours go. Fortunately, Shane decided he wants to do some of the cooking so I might get more of the room/bathroom/baby is coming set up done. I did get the bed prepared, though I've never actually given birth or labored long in the bed. Regardless, making it once, covering it with a plastic sheet, then making it again does make for a quick sheet change. Not that I like the somewhat wrinkly sound of the plastic, its just nice to be able to peel the layers off and have a fresh bed. But, given that I 'could' have three more weeks I'll be doing it again. Or maybe in lieu of a virus, I'll give birth instead.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Still Prepping. And Pregnant.

Good news. The stitches were able to be removed in the OB's office. And the baby did not fall out right afterward.(not sure if that goes in the good news department or just news). The Dr explained that in late term cerclages where there are already changes to the cervix before placement i.e. dilation or thinning, which mine was, there is a 20% of going into labor within 24-48 hrs. Silly me forgot to ask what the percentages are for 3 days, 4 days etc. But like I said I am prepared to go another 5 months.

Shane stayed late this morning and was able to accompany me to the appointment. I packed the diaper bag, just in case, and the car seat was/is always there. And I washed AND blow dried my hair before we went. So I felt ready. We discussed names on the way in. Still not completely settled. Maybe once we see her the name will be more clear. And just to be clear, she is still a girl. I asked the technician to take a quick peak, as we don't even have a single boys name so I wanted to make sure we were still working in the right area.

There was a little work in finding the stitches. Which came with additional pressure and pinching. I felt like I should have gotten a baby out of the whole thing, but she stayed put. Really put. We were never able to get a really good view of her head or one particular head measurement the entire pregnancy because she likes to stay nestled down low. I guess she is shy.

The Dr asked if I'd like to take the stitches home. I said I was done with them, but thanks for the offer. However I did say yes to the stretchy Velcro band that held the baby monitor on for the non-stress test afterward. I knew the kids would have fun tying each other up with that. I was surprised at how much there was to the stitches. More like a ribbon than a thread. But they did the trick, so that's good. And now they are gone. So that is also good. She said no scar tissue that was obvious. Which is a relief to me. Even if its not for sure and there is some hiding. And I was only 1-2 cm dilated.  I see the midwives again next week, or sooner if labor starts. It's kind of a weird feeling to feel normal now and like we're just waiting like we would have been without the stitches. Shane went to work and will be late like a normal night and I'll wash more laundry. And pay Kateri to clean my room and bathroom. Because she's really good, I can't bend over, and I have some cash.

So the two names we've been playing with are Adele. And Sophia.  Maybe Sophia Adele.  Adele was Shane's Great Aunt. Sophia is also my nieces name, but being 17 yrs apart, its almost like last generation. And seriously, when you are from a family of 100 cousins, I don't even know how many second cousins, all with good taste in names, there is bound to be some overlap somewhere. We tried to consider some eastern girl names, the boy names are generally nicer, but after nixing anything with an X or a Z, or starting with a U, there weren't any left. Except Sophia. So here we are. But we are still open to any awesome suggestions so now's your chance to Name That Baby. All entries will be looked at. Some, like Udoxia, might get giggled at. Sorry. Just can't picture that one. I know. No imagination.

OK. Off to wash more towels and my bed sheets.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I'm Having A Baby!

I had my midwife check up this week. And we discussed stitch removal. I called the OB to schedule and she suggested a day next week that was not good for me- kids schedules and all that- so she suggested a different day as she does not want me to go too far into week 37 with them in. And so we negotiated. For tomorrow. That is, if it is a simple snip and remove in the office procedure. Potentially, it would be,  "umm where did that thread get to? We're going to need that nasty tool again and some heavy sedatives. Either way, that would be in less than 24 hrs!

Now I know it doesn't mean anything and through my vast canvassing of other internet stories I fully realize labor could be anywhere from 24 hours to 5 months away. I also came across some horror stories about stitches and scar tissue and it causing getting stuck at various points in the whole dilating process and 18 hour labors. Or going into labor pre-stitch removal and tearing and all kinds of unpleasantness. I'm really glad we only have a little time for that to be a problem.  I am also hoping the OB will be able to tell me what I might be dealing with so I can mentally prepare. Or just tell her schedule me for a C-section now!  But the knowledge that we have reached the much hoped for and anticipated 37 week mark has made it so much more real. That. I. Am. Going. To. Have. A. Baby.

I stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home, which is conveniently situated two blocks from the midwives'. To stock up on some food stuffs. I was a little panicked when I realized I also did not have any newborn diapers. So I stopped at the regular store to get those. And then I went back because I realized I needed diapers for Malachi as well. Poor guy. He's already being displaced. I was antsy as I was waiting for the second checkout. Because, hello? I'm having a baby.

Then Kateri set up the kitchen to make a cake. Because she felt it was time. And when it's Kateri time it IS going to happen. Not having the energy to go through why making a cake while someone is having  a baby might not be the best timing, I got her a box of lemon cake mix and let all the kids go at it. I thought they did a nice job, aside from the arguing over who got to frost which section and you used .000005 oz more frosting than I did, and taking up pretty much the whole day. Which was actually ok because then they were busy and I could focus on having a baby.

And writing down all the other things I forgot to get at the store. Like energy shots. Which were a big benefit last time. Like 3 months ago. When I last had a baby.

Malachi ended up only having a 15 min nap the day of my appointment. Which did allow him to get to bed at 9:30. But made for a fussy afternoon. I don't do well with fussy, and having a baby. So I was a little out of sorts. Then Shane texted saying he'd be late. I texted back saying I didn't think that was a great idea because, I AM HAVING A BABY!

He didn't respond. Mostly because it was only in my head that I sent it. But I was thinking it. All the while I was making two pork tenderloins and lots of green beans for dinner. I figured making two would be good as leftovers would be useful and I would be hungry after I had the baby.

I am looking forward to  finally have room to eat a normal sized meal, and lie on my stomach, and not waddle or be bursting obscenely out of my stretched way too far non maternity clothes. I have been wearing maternity shirts- I have two- and I got one of those belly bands to cover the gap and keep my tummy warm. But my wardrobe is still very limited given that I am reluctant to invest time shopping and money in something I won't be using after I have the baby.

Though there are some new nursing bras I want to look into, as that department is even less stocked than my maternity section. Meaning there isn't anything there at all. Which makes for really easy nursing. But doesn't help in the decently attired or how are these pads going to stay in situations. I actually have lots of leftover pads that are not expired, since I just had a baby.

I remembered to fill up my car with gas and have the second carseat all ready in the event I ever leave my house again. Speaking of cars,  Shane presented me with some new car options that, aside from using up the kids' college tuitions, seem attractive and don't require a grappling hook for climbing into  or a football field for turning around. Because guess what? We won't all fit in the current car once I have the baby.

Friday, January 24, 2014

7 Quick Takes Attmept Deux

We'll see how this goes. Being the luddite that astounds Shane on a daily basis, I fully expect my trying to be tricky and actually trying to use the 7QT template will not work and there will just be signs and symbols that might be taken for strong language on the blog. Until Shane gets home and I show him and he gets a good laugh then hits the secret key and it all makes sense again and I still won't know what I did/didn't do.
Strong language could be appropriate- it has its place-for this week. I thought we were doing better in the baby sleeping somewhere other than my face department. And we were. Then we got hit with the stomach flu. At 1am, of course. Kateri came knocking on our door saying Muffin was crying and would not be happy. And then he barfed. A lot. All over Kateri and the carpet. I was no too surprised as Audrey had had a visit from the vomit fairy a few hours earlier. Fortunately it was on the bathroom floor and much easier to clean. Aside from being 8 months pregnant and not able to bend over at all. I was only a little in the blast radius but of course I had to take him so we had a little vomit cuddle while we waited for the shower to warm up. After all three of us were cleaned enough to make it through the rest of night and Shane had heroically scrubbed the carpet, I decided I would rather spare the mattresses and made a bed on Kateri's floor with blankets and towels for Muffin and me. He actually slept soundly the rest of the night, as did I, and that was the extent of his illness.
We brought it on ourselves by planning on having company this weekend. Which happened, oh three years ago when I tried to get out of my turtle shell for a couple weekends in a row and scheduled TWO social get together. Which were cancelled and I retreated. So I'm wondering what the lesson I'm supposed to learn here is.
We still are not completely settled on a name yet. I am definitely at that part of the pregnancy where you are tricked into thinking labor would be sooo much easier than this. But I know better this time. Besides, we've worked so hard to keep her in as long as we have we might as well stick out the fattening up stage. Her. Not me. I'll be 36 weeks on Sunday and we discuss stitch removal at my next appointment so labor does feel imminent. Though I'll probably go late anyway. Which will get me a little more use of the maternity shirts I finally bought last week to cover my WHOLE belly (you are welcome, world).
In the theme of coming out of my shell, I registered for a womens day of reflection hosted by our parish and focusing on the parable of the prodigal son. So given there are no more instances of illness I'll be getting up early, for a Saturday, and leaving Shane home with the kids. Actually, it wilt be just the boys. Audrey is coming with me and Kateri is helping Grandma serve a tea.
The kids have had lessons in losing pets these past couple weeks. Two weekends in a row we lost a rabbit. Still don't know why but we are prepared to lose another this weekend, if the pattern holds. But Kateri reported to me yesterday, "No one is really sad or anything, but I think the other bunnies are going to die soon". Turns out they were just basking in the sunlight and were up and running a little later. But it does seem like they are adjusting more quickly to each loss. Anyone looking for a large outdoor rabbit cage?
Feel free to offer any name suggestions. Adele is still the only one in the running but somehow doesn't 'feel' like the one. Plus we need a middle name too.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Moving Muffin Out Of The Bed- The Sleep Saga Continues

I am fully prepared for this to be part one of part 389. Or something like that. I'm still working on ways to make space for Cupcake. Which means moving Muffin. The crib has not been a sure thing and he has never slept all night in it, so putting him farther than three inches from me is not really a help. Much less in another bed in another room. But I am hoping this is the week we make some real progress towards that end. And thanks to my in-laws who very generously offered to keep ALL the kids for TWO nights, ( more on that later)I think we might  have some good momentum. Which is good, because even with an uninterrupted night of sleep I still fell asleep during the movie. I thought for sure the bullets and intensity of the situation would keep me up, but no. A cozy dark room. No one making bear sounds....zzz.  But I finally did keep myself awake and enjoyed, if that can be said, seeing Lone Survivor. Not like the pregnancy hormones needed any encouraging in the drama department. I also wanted to see it with Shane to preview it in the event he took the boys to see it. We both agreed they could handle it. Other than some, ok maybe lots, of language it was a good telling of a true story. And really, when people are shooting at  you, your comrade is injured, or dead, and your ride home is AWOL, I think some strong language really sums up your situation. So I think they are going tonight.

And I will be setting things in place for Malachi's night. In Kateri's bed. Which she is really excited about.At Grandma's, he slept in his crib in a room with Audrey and Kateri. Until he woke up and they put him in their bed, or if it was late enough, took him to Grandma and she got him back to sleep. Mom was not there and he survived. The girls, aside from now having real experience of a mom's night and wanting naps, were also able to give feedback on ways they might improve problems they saw. Namely, the crib creaks and they suspect the noise disturbs his sleep (and theirs) and he needs the mattress to be softer. It gives me high hopes for putting him in Kateri's bed tonight. I finally hit on a plan for bottles without treks to the kitchen or wasting milk. I took one of the kids' insulated lunch bags and put a freezer pack in it with a full bottle of milk. No it's, not rocket science, but anything that provides everyone with more sleep and makes life less stressful is ground breaking in my book. Which is what I am all about these days.

It was also really nice to not be tripping over the crib at night or having to finagle my way around the bed rail, mid-leg cramp at 3am. All-in-all I feel very hopeful about future nights. But we will see how tonight goes.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

33.4 Weeks

I had another midwife appointment this week. It was so lovely driving alone to the birth center. They were pretty busy but I didn't mind waiting, though it might have been nice to  take a nap on the bed while I waited. Everything is good, baby grew a lot the past two weeks, cervix is very soft and she suspects there would be some dilation to report if there were no stitches so everything it doing its job. We'll discuss stitch removal next appointment and then we'll wait.

I am excited/can't believe we are this close/panicked because Malachi is still crazy sleeping/looking forward to not having to heft my belly around the bed rail in the middle of the night when I get a Charlie horse. Which I have only had to do twice so far because I followed this one easy trick.*

But first, back to our sleep problems Because lately that is my most pressing issue. I can't really show what it looks like because a flash going off around a should be sleeping baby would be ridiculous. So here is and "artist's" rendition of most of our nights. No matter when they actually start, this sequence, with little variation happens.

At some  point we are all in  bed. Malachi wakes up ( generally anytime between1am and 4am, and calls for Mama I snuggle him and try to cozy him back to sleep. If he has any bottle left I give it to him. He finishes it, then starts his routine of bashing and thrashing around the bed with his very weighty and hard head as I perform various defensive manuevers. Most nights I promise myself I will not sleep with him again without protective gear and as I don't have any I fully expect to wake up with a broken jaw or nose one of these mornings.

The snuggling just results in closer quarters in which to launch his cranial assaults and after a head, neck, chest assault, I shake Shane and ask him to get a refill. He takes the bottle and promptly goes back to sleep. Shane, not Malachi. I wait a bit, the thrashing continues. So I take the bottle, shake Shane again and tell him not to let Malachi crawl off the bed, and head down stairs to fill the bottle. I come back. He drinks the bottle, Malachi, not Shane, and then begins the head thrashing routine. This time with soundtrack. Of farm animal noises. First Uff Uff (dog) Then Mow. Then Boooo.(cow) Snort. Scary Bear growl. Tractor noises. And some animals that apparently didn't make it to the boat in time because I've never heard them before.

To be fair, most nights Shane does wake up and gets a bottle. But if he doesn't he doesn't even remember me asking him to. And no matter how it plays out no one is rested in the morning. I tried putting Malachi in a crib in our room but that just made for extra effort on my part to extract him when the 'Mama's started. And I don't need any heavy lifting at this point. So he is back in the bed. And despite his nights, his naps generally are short, non-existent, or so late I can't let him sleep more than 30 min. So no nap times for Mama. Which is ok because I have this fabulous trait where unless I am really sick, napping gives me a headache. And after a bout of pregnancy insomnia last week, which just preceded the nighttime gymnastics routine, I don't want to risk messing with sleep schedules.

I'm feeling desperate as we approach the due date but really don't know what else to try. I thought of getting a new bed and setting up camp in the bonus room and letting the boys tough it out. We could use a new bed and once everyone is finally settled, baby and I can move back in, bringing a new mattress with us. I could sleep somewhere else for the duration of the pregnancy and get Malachi used to not having Mama there, but it is kind of a two person job so I'd have to have one of the other kids risk life and limb to sleep in there and help out.

Honestly I'm so tired I don't know if I can even think properly to problem solve our issues.  Maybe I just need to accept that none of our kids need sleep and I should plan on being under slept for the foreseeable future. I don't know how other families manage. I seriously want to gag myself and vomit  from envy when other moms talk about their 4 year old napping, or 'we put the kids to bed at 7:30, then its our time to visit and catch up on each other's day. Some days Shane is just getting home 7:00. Is our schedule just too erratic to support normal sleep patterns? Is it genetic? Does it need some tough love to make it resemble anything normal? Is there a normal? Who am I?

I don't like the 'cry it out' method of bed weaning but am open to any and all other offers of advice. Even if its just a "Yes. Sounds like you have young children. You don't get hot coffee, any length of a shower, trips to the bathroom alone, a full meal in one sitting, or sleep. That's how it is."

But then Malachi does his scary bear routine, which once you are really afraid he quickly turns into a gentle uff uff and my heart melts. I just wish he wouldn't do it at 3am.

*One easy trick. The other night I was giggling in bed as I told Shane a tip a neighbor share to help with leg cramps. Place a bar of soap under your bottom sheet near your feet, and you won't get cramps. She did, and didn't have any, after having cramps with previous pregnancies. He laughed and we looked it up on my phone and sure enough it was on the internet so it must be true. Isn't that silly? So did you put a bar of soap under the sheet? Yes. My leg is still sore from the other night, despite the calcium-magnesium I've been taking since last pregnancy so I don't care if its placebo or what I'll try anything. And it worked. For a week. But I'm totally game for another placebo effect if anyone has other recommendations.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Attempting a Version of 7 Quick Takes

(Just typing the title has taken 5 minutes and I lost it once. The Post Title. So don't expect anything clever, wordy, or properly spelled. Explanation to follow.)

1. Malachi is still working hard to keep the title "world's worst sleeper."

2.And succeeding with aplomb.

3.Yesterday he decided he was not a baby anymore and skipped his nap. Entirely.

4. But he made sure everyone was aware that he was not operating with a full tank.

5. He finally tried to take a nap. At 6pm. So Kateri whisked him upstairs for a quick bath and he was able to make it until 8:10, when Shane decided to take him for a short drive so he would not know he was being put to bed.

6. Then he woke up at 10:30 and after many unsuccessful attempts to soothe him back to sleep, I finally gave up and let him play with the newly washed baby girl clothes while I folded laundry in the semi-dark.

7. He finally settled down at his usual bedtime of 2am. ( Seriously that has been our bedtime the past week).Only to wake up at 8:45am and then scrape by on a 1-hour nap.

8. After a year of this routine I am really, really, tired. But I'm sure you guessed that.

9. Its my first attempt. Give me a break.