Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The road to labor is paved with false contractions

Last night I was kept awake from annoying and ineffective contractions. I lost count after 19 of them, having gotten up to pee four times. The contractions seemed to keep Max up as well. He is such an active little guy. It makes me wonder what I have in store when he is born. Here is a small clip of my abdominal morphing from the Bebe in me bele.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Why at the Y

Last week I had to get in the pool during swim lessons for Sam. Essentially, the instructor shows me how to do what she does so that I don't swim with Sam and un-do what he has learned. I plopped my pregnant self in the pool and we had a great lesson. At the end, I lifted Sam up out of the pool and was about to attempt climbing out of the side myself when I realized that I am 8 1/2 months pregnant. Yeah, that's not happening. So I climbed up the metal ladder and it literally creaked under my weight. I was feeling extremely self conscious as my suit clung to my belly, showcasing my new outie belly button. We quickly made our way to the locker room where I changed Sam into dry clothes. There were a few other women changing as well, so I was trying to be as discreet as possible. I peeled my wet suit off when Sam exclaimed, "Mommy! Look at your huge boobies!"

Laughter erupted in the locker room and a few heads even turned. Thanks to some ill-placed mirrors, my swollen pregnant-boobs were on display for all to see.

"Yep. Look at 'em. Mommy is pregnant, Honey. They get big like that."

When I slipped out of my bottoms, I was just waiting for Sam to yell out, "Mommy! Look at your huge ass!"


A friend of mine teaches spin classes at the local YMCA where Sam goes for swim lessons. One day we waited outside the spin room so we could say hi. The students trickled out and we walked in for our greeting. My friend is also pregnant and we see the same obstetrician. During our short conversation, I mentioned our doctor's name and a straggling student immediately spoke up, "You need to get rid of him right away. He is awful."

"Really?" I replied. "I love him!"

"Yeah, you love him at first. He seems great. But then he Baker Acted me for no good reason at all!" She retorted.

What does one possibly say to a comment like that?

Hilarious. Simply hilarious.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Service check

I had an ultrasound yesterday to have my "fluids checked." At the end of my pregnancy with Sam, my amniotic fluid ran a bit low so the doctor wanted to check things out. I guess I was due for a service anyway, and I'm very thankful that I didn't need a radiator flush. Come to think of it, I don't think they even do that before giving birth these days. The docs let the whole fam damily in to watch and let women shit all over themselves whilst pushing like a damn cow.

Butt, I digress. Ahem.

I bared my gleaming white belly for the ultrasound tech and she lubed me up with warm jelly before she got to work. I watched with subdued excitement as I saw Max's profile appear on the screen. Content in my quiet reverie, the tech blurts out, "Wow! That's a big head!" She continues taking measurements of Max when she asks, "Do you have gestational diabetes?"

"No," I reply.

She laughed and shook her head, "You don't even want me to tell you how big your baby is measuring right now."

I lifted my head and gave her a look that said a thousand words, some of which were, "What the hell!? Don't laugh at me and freaking tell me the size of this kid!"

She said, "He is measuring between 6 1/2 and 7 pounds. That puts him at 37 weeks."

"I'm only 33 weeks."

"Yeah, I know. You're going to have a huge baby."

She did the measurements three more times to ensure the accuracy before printing off the pictures and softening her tone a bit, "I'll fax these over to the doctor right away."

Ok, I'm not the best at math but I did some quick addition in my head and I am looking at a 10-pounder by the time my c-section rolls around. Yes, c-section. I've never been happier about having major abdominal surgery. My babies come out of the sunroof! Whee!

I spoke with the nurse today at my OB's office and she said, "The doctor said there is no reason for alarm. You have a c-section planned already so we'll stay on that course. Again, there is no reason for alarm."

Pfft. Easy for him to say. He doesn't have to carry this thing. I've already gone pee three times in the 20 minutes it has taken me to type this post. My belly button is already popped out and I'm still having Braxton-Hicks contractions every hour on the hour. (No, I am not at risk for pre-term labor - I've been checked recently. I just have an over-achiever for a uterus, which will be robbed of the grand finale and doesn't even know it.)

I did have a dream early in my pregnancy that Max will weigh 9 pounds 3 ounces at birth. Granted, my motherly instinct thus far is crap. My pregnancy intuition has been dead wrong at every turn, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Anyone care to venture a guess at his size when he is born? The winner gets an all-expense paid trip to Aruba and 10K in spending money! Kidding! Guess anyway!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Motherhood: A healthy dose of guilt sprinkled with some insecurity

There are days, more often than not recently, that I feel like I’m falling apart as a mother. I look around and realize that I’m not living up to the insane expectations I set for myself when I became pregnant with Sam. Now that I’m pregnant with Max, I have a whole new set of expectation that go along with that and I’m sinking while trying to stay afloat in the sea of motherhood. I have 7 weeks until Max is born and I have such a vast spectrum of emotions that I can’t decide which I feel strongest. Lately, I’ve felt that I can’t wait to get this pregnancy over with so I can move on from the extreme mood swings, the bone-crushing exhaustion and get back to being the (more) patient and (more) put-together mom I was last year. It is only then that I realize that the culmination of this pregnancy ends with a squirming and needy infant, whom I know nothing about but, naturally, have formed expectations for in addition to the ones I have made for myself.

And for Sam.

I’m thinking that Max will be like his brother in most ways, or completely opposite. Sam will either be the loving, doting big brother – anxious to help me with the baby and be patient and understanding when he has to come second for a short while or he’ll be jealous of Max and act out in defiance at this new intruder. As for me? I’ll be more confident and knowledgeable and much more calm because I’ve done this before, right?

Wrong. It is all wrong.

I really have no idea what the hell is about to happen. I just know that I’m so overwhelmed with choices and judgements and expectations that, on the really bad days, I border on apathy toward the whole fucking thing, this… Motherhood.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my family. I love them with every fiber of my being. I love being a mom. I just can’t stand the work. The uncertainty and the second-guessing is awful. Since I became pregnant with Sam, the choices and judgments started:

· You went to an infertility clinic to get pregnant? Couldn’t you just relax enough to conceive? Stress can cause infertility, you know.
· How much weight have you gained?
· Do you know that drink has caffeine?
· Are you going breastfeed?
· You had a c-section. I’ve heard that is easier than natural childbirth.
· You had a hotdog for lunch?
· You need to take it easy.
· You need to exercise.
· You took medicine for that migraine? I didn’t take anything when I was pregnant; it wasn’t worth the risk for me.
· You had a glass of wine?!

And on it goes. And it hasn’t stopped since. Sam is two and a half and I’m up to my ears in the shit:

· Is Sam potty trained yet?
· Does he participate in any extra-curricular activities like gym or story time?
· Does he still use a pacifier?
· Do you let him watch TV while he eats his meals?
· He goes to preschool? Isn’t he young for that?
· Does he know his ABCs and count to 20?
· Why is he so shy and what are you doing to foster more self-confidence in him?
· Do you ever spank your child?

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard from mothers of grown children, “We didn’t have that when we were raising our kids! You moms have it so easy these days!” This comment can reference things ranging from video monitors to temporal thermometers, travel systems and preschool for 2 year olds. There are SO many choices today that I can’t make up my mind about a damn one and I end up standing with thumb up my ass wondering if I’m some how screwing up my kid because he watches TV (something I didn’t want until he was age 5. How laughable that seems to me now.) Our generation is so hell bent on raising kids that are better, faster, smarter than those that came before them that all cartoons have to be educational, babies in diapers are starting “school” and moms have to be well-balanced super women (working or stay-at-home) and do it all with a smile.

Well, I call bullshit.

Fact is, I haven’t washed my hair since Saturday. My carpet hasn’t been vacuumed in at least a month and we’re having frozen pizza for dinner tonight. I am EXHAUSTED with the number of choices I have to make in a day and the guilt that follows ANY choice I make because the latest research suggests otherwise, no matter what you choose. I do want to stay at home full time to raise my kids, but I don’t love every minute of it. I look at my son and think of what a blessed miracle he is but I often feel like a failure as a mother, mainly because I’m not overflowing with happiness and glee every minute of every day. I resent the sacrifices that I’ve had to make only because society thinks I should be automatically happy because being a “Mom” makes me so. There are days that I wake up and wonder what my day will bring, not because I haven’t planned it out, but because my toddler and his moods often dictate the kind of day we’ll have. There are days when I look at Sam and think he is made of pure sugar and I could just eat him up. And then there are days that I wonder, “What the hell happened to me?”

Does anyone else feel this way? Am I alone with these feelings? Is anyone else on this ride with me - feeling the ups and downs and wanting to get off only to stand in line and ride again?