Friday, March 28, 2008

Sneak preview

We saw Maxwell today in 3D. Does that make him an I-Max? (rimshot!) For the first part of the ultrasound, he had his arms crossed over his face and his legs up in front of his arms. After some deft maneuvering and LOTS of prodding by the ultrasound tech, he moved and gave us a small glimpse of his adorable face. I absolutely can't wait to meet this little man. Makes 10 weeks seem like an eternity.

Enjoy the pictures of our sweet baby boy!


Long fingers!

Look at those cheeks!

Such a sweet face.

Gulping down some delicious amniotic fluid.

Rubbing his eye.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My preschooler

Sam's first day of preschool was last week, but because of this, I haven't gotten around to posting about it yet.

He looks like such a big boy. He didn't even cry as I left.

He was even smiling.

As for me, I balled once I hit the car. And I headed here directly after I left.

Pedicures do wonders.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

[Titleless from sleeplessness]

Twenty one weeks I've suffered from this insufferable rib pain. Twenty one weeks since I could lay on my left side. Twenty one weeks since I've had decent sleep or worn an under wire bra. Twenty one pillows on the floor and twenty one used tissues from the nights I spend crying because I just want to fucking sleep.

I'm feel broken. My house is a mess and I hired a maid today.

Amusing irony? The book on the right of my nightstand is titled "Falling Awake."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Samuel's Baptism

Samuel was baptized on March 9th. It was a beautiful ceremony and the weather couldn't be better. He was so good during the ceremony and he did great when the Priest poured the chilly water on his head. We had prepped him for that part and when you asked him what happens when he gets baptized, he would say, "Splash!" and wipe his hands down his head. Here are some pictures from our special day!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Reality. Check.

Sometimes I have a difficult time grasping my reality. I have a hard time believing that I’m almost 33 years old, a wife and a mother. I signed Sam up for preschool for which he starts on Tuesday. I can’t believe I have a kid who is going to go to preschool. I feel as though I’m “breaking the seal” on his stay-at-home status. I am now going to drop him off at a place and trust the care of strangers for 6 hours a week. I will not be privy to each look, nuance of his moods or new discoveries during those 6 hours. I will pick him up each day, wanting a complete play-by-play from his teachers, but I know I won’t get it. Even if they tried, they won’t pay attention to him the way I do. They won’t revel in his amazing-ness and quietly smile when they see him interact with other kids. They won’t overflow with pride when he uses his manners or listens to the teachers. I am giving up a certain amount of control during his day and there will now be parts of his life that I’ll miss, because I won’t be there. I know this school will be good for him, and for me. It just seems to have happened so fast. This brings me back to my sobering reality that I’m not 25 anymore. Between then and now, life has happened, and it seems I’ve been so busy watching with shocked bewilderment, mouth gaping wide and eyes unblinking, that the time has flown by at record speeds.

In my teens and twenties, I always had a “vision” of what my life would be. I would get married at age X, have kids at age Y. I’d have job ABC and live a life contrived from what I thought was ideal.

My life is really nothing like I had fantasized it would be.

As I got older, people around me started getting married and having kids. I’d watch from a distance and in my mind, my contrived life would become even more set in my mind. I’d pick and choose from what I observed what I wanted for my life, and what I swore I wouldn’t become. I never wanted to become a “mom” with the rounded features and the mini-van. I wanted to maintain some semblance of cool. I was so afraid of losing myself. I wanted to always have opinions and a sharp mind and not get lost in laundry and grocery lists. I wanted to thoroughly enjoy my pregnancies and “revel in the miracle that grows inside me.” I wanted to keep an ordered house, volunteer in the community and be balanced and put-together.

And now here I am. I’m in my thirties, I’m married and I’m a mother. I of course have learned that it doesn’t matter what you “think” your life to be; it is what it is. I’m not saying that we don’t have control or a say in the way we shape our own lives, but the fairy tale is just that. I’ve learned that the things that I thought mattered when I was a kid really don’t. I did become a “mom” in every sense of the word; rounded features and all. I have lost a part of myself in my son, and he will carry that part of me with him forever. I still have opinions, but they are about different things. I don’t really enjoy my pregnancies, as they are difficult and not at all what I imagined them to be (it is the outcome that I look forward to!). I have succumbed to the toys and the household disarray that is having kids. I don’t have time to shave my legs, much less volunteer in the community, and I rarely feel balanced and put together. I am still in awe that I will have two boys and no girls. I always imagined having a daughter of my own. Sometimes I nag my husband (something I swore I’d never do) and even though I thought my thirties would bring clarity and confidence that my twenties lacked, I still sometimes feel lost and directionless.

Despite the enormous differences in what I imagined and what is, I am beyond happy. Whenever I pictured my future self, the feeling of happiness and balance was so surface. My legs might not be smooth, but my kid makes me laugh and my husband loves me. I am thrilled at the idea of having soccer games in the back yard with my sons. I might have a little extra padding on me but I’ve realized what is really important in life, and most of the things on my list from when I was young don’t really matter.

Time is flying by at alarming rates. I occasionally want to stop standing on the sideline of life. I’ll close my gaping mouth, blink a few times, take a deep breath and get in the game.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Give anxiety its due

One of my many pregnancy mantras this go-round has been, "I don't remember being this emotional when I was pregnant with Sam." Another, less kind one is, "I'm a fucking wreck."

Yesterday when I woke up and looked at the birth countdown clock, and it read 93 days, my heart pounded a little harder. It seems that the closer I get to delivery, the more anxious I get. I couldn't figure out for the life of me why, until the answer that is so glaringly obvious slapped me upside the face:

When I delivered Sam I had 37 hours of labor followed by an emergency c-section followed by preeclampisa followed by a relapse of preeclampsia. All of this netted me 8 days in the hospital and what Rob and I lovingly call "post-traumatic birth disorder." (I'm big on the disorder-talk these days, huh?)

So it is only natural that I'm a bit nervous of having a repeat performance.

I don't know why it has taken 7 months of pregnancy for this revelation. This whole time I've been beating myself up for being so anxiety-ridden and short tempered. I've not understood why I've been freaking out at every test; holding my breath until the results come back. See, a c-section wasn't even on my radar screen last time. Preeclampsia wasn't even in the realm of possibility for me seeing as how I have such naturally low blood pressure. And since both of those possibilities, remote as they seemed, came to fruition I subconsciously adopted the philosophy, "Hope for the best but prepare for the worst." This, coupled with the infertility shit that kick started this whole mess, has led to nail-biting, gut-wrenching anxiety.

I just want this baby born. On time and healthy.

That being said, my glucose tolerance screening test results came back normal. (Sigh of relief.)

92 days to go.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Pregnant misfit

Attention Deficit Disorder. Social Anxiety Disorder. Bi-polar Disorder. Eating Disorder.

These are all symptoms of pregnancy that the books don't tell you about. I am suffering from each one; sometimes all at once. I can't seem to focus on one task long enough to finish it or have one complete thought come out of my mouth (or on paper). I am constantly out of breath these days. It has nothing to do with the sheer size of my belly, or pregnancy-induced asthma. No! It is the actual speed at which my brain is working that is revving up my breathing and causing smoke to literally puff from my ears. I have so damn much to say but I can't get it all out!

Sample dialogue in my head:

"Max is coming in 94 days."
"Did you remember to switch the laundry to the dryer?"
"My God, I'm hungry."
"What was that noise? Where is Sam?"
"Should I make a cheese tray for Sam's baptism party"
"What should I wear to the baptism party?"
"Could I use the same outfit for Colleen's wedding? Will I even want to go considering I'll be 6 days away from delivering and will likely take up two seats and that is head-count for her people and that means more money!"
"When is it dinner time?"
"Is my face swollen?"
"I wonder if my blood pressure is rising. Please don't let me get preeclampsia again."
"I have to go through Max's clothes."
"Have I said I'm hungry?"

Please, let me stop there. Mind you, these thoughts all happen in a span of, say, 5 seconds. I could really go on forever with this kind of nonsense.

The social anxiety disorder is heightened in me as well. I'm not normally a person who embarrasses easily. Hell, with my dry sense of humor and often ill-timed jokes, I can't afford to be! But once my uterus swells, I turn 40 shades of crimson at the smallest mishaps. Sam seems to be fascinated with deepening cleavage and while I hold him, he finds it amusing to stretch the collar of my shirt 12 inches from my chest while he plunges his chubby fist in between my boobs. This happened to me the other day in the grocery store line and I was mortified beyond belief. Especially when Sam followed it up with a jubilant "Boobies!"

The Bi-polar disorder goes without saying. I'm sure Rob would gladly attest to my severe mood swings, but I probably threatened to cut him if he complains about me, all while lovingly holding his hand while he drives the car.

Eating disorder? Hell yeah! First I start off hating everything but mashed potatoes and now I can't shove food in my mouth fast enough. Where is the chocolate? Salami sandwich, anyone? Oooh, peanut butter! Diet coke?

See, this is where the ADD kicks in again and I have no idea where I was going with this post. I can't wrap up smoothly to save my life. Oh well, it's snack time anyway.