Repregnant. Is that a word?

In light of my recent re-impregnation and the fact that it is getting to be winter and I’m going to be losing my mind, I think I’d like to start blogging in earnest.

Of course, I say that, and then I’ll drop off for another few months. But anyway, I would LIKE to start blogging in earnest. Tonight, I would.

I found out in September that my second postpartum period was not just late, but not arriving at all. I had ONE postpartum menstrual cycle, and that one cycle was not ending in the way many do, in a period (although does that mean that I had TWO cycles, if I had a period and then the second period never came? I mean I would have had to have had a cycle in order to have gotten that first period… ANYway), and I’m pregnant again. We had been discussing having a second child, and that must have done it. That’s how it happened the first time. Just start to talk about it.

I am happy for it, it’s just a little soon. Bubbah will be about 16 months when this baby’s estimated due date is.

Honestly, I am happy about it. No really, I am. It’s daunting, the dreaded “Two Under Two.” My mom had THREE under two, and no one but my disengaged father to help her (no help). I can do it. I have plenty of help.

In May, Husbeast, Bubbah, our two cats and I have moved in with our friends into a rental house. They are two adults and three kids between the ages of 7 and 13, and two more cats. The house is full of activity and cats, every day. There are many delicious home cooked meals. We have a nice sized yard. Kidsitting comes easy.

We don’t all always get along, but it’s overall a positive thing. I think it’s important that I have all this company around during the winter, when I’m usually such an emo sloth.

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I am 15 weeks, 5 days, (14 hours, 15 minutes, 3 seconds) pregnant today.

Yes, we are finding out the sex of the baby. No, we don’t have a preference. No, we don’t have names. And this will be the last bairn of this clutch. Husbeast is planning a vasectomy as soon as we know that this baby will thrive. That sounds awful, but basically, that’s my argument against him getting one, like, tomorrow. Such is his excitement at the prospect of never impregnating me ever again. So, we are only having two, no matter the genitals Goddess assigns this next child.

Bubbah is a prince amongst babies. He will be 10 months on the 29th, and we are so proud to know him. I’ll get more into his development and supreme awesomeness in another post. Possibly a 10-month post when he’s 10 months.

Or, you know, I might not post again for another year. That could happen, too.

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Belly Blues

Today I tried to do some yoga.

On and off, I used to practice Bikram yoga, in a 105-degree, carpeted room. I dripped sweat until I, my sparse clothing, and the towel on my yoga mat was soggy. I could literally wring out a sizeable amount of water after each class.

I was focused and attentive to my body. I went to class well-hydrated, well-rested, and committed to giving the class as long as it would take. 90 minutes, every class. Because Bikram yoga focuses on the same 26 poses every class, I thrilled to see the changes and progress I made over time.

I tried to do these same 26 poses today, just in my bedroom. Swap was watching Julian and I was going to have some me-time.

First thing I noticed was that the beginning Standing Deep Breathing seemed to take forever. It always did seem to drag for me, but it occurred to me at this point that I was already rushing it. I was already feeling guilty about doing something not-Julian-related. Something that takes an hour and a half to do.

I felt good about my Half Moon pose. Deep, standing sidebends which try your center of gravity. I always did get praise from my teachers on that one (I ignored my back fat getting caught in the pinching bend of my body). Then after bending deeply backwards, you have to fold yourself forward, in half. Your belly to your thighs, your fingers under the backs of your heels, your forearms behind your calves… and while I never was able to do this very well, today there was just no way to even almost fudge it. My belly is just too big. That sucked.

Then Awkward Pose. It really is called that. I did OK at it. It’s basically sitting in an imaginary chair, in three different ways. It’s difficult as hell, but I was able to tough it out.

Eagle Pose, I was never able to do well. Eagle is that pose they often show yogis doing where their arms are twisted and their legs are twisted and they’re standing on one foot. I was getting better at it at one point, but I was never good. Today, I just felt ridiculous.

Then, Standing Head to Knee pose came. I like the balancing poses. They challenge me to focus, and they were always my favorite.  Lift your knee, let your foot hang. Leaving your leg where it is, bend down (still on one foot) to lace your fingers of both hands together across the sole of your dangling foot. Extend your leg in front of you, touch your nose to your knee. Like this.

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I couldn’t even get a grip on my foot, let alone lace my fingers. My belly was in the way. Again. Couldn’t even pretend.

I don’t know what I’m sadder about. The fact that I’m chubbier than I’ve ever been, or that I’m actually sad about being fat after having a baby. How cliché.

I mean, I KNOW I deserve some slack. I know that most people gain weight during pregnancy and it takes time for it to come back off. But it is hard as hell for me to get up the gumption to work of 30lbs, as I’ve done before. 60lbs just makes me feel like giving up.

Where am I ever going to find that energy?

A couple years ago, I ran 4 miles one day. Just did it, because I ran one and two, and felt like I had another in me. And then another. That was the peak of my own physical fitness, and now it’s so far away. I know what it feels like to be able to run, and I miss it.

I have to try. I need to be healthy for Julian. I want to be a healthy role model. I want to run with him, after him, play with him, race him. I don’t want to just sit and watch. It’s important to me.

I can’t just feel sorry for myself. I have to actually move. And stop eating ice cream and pizza all the time. Dammit.

12 Weeks Ago, Today

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I expected a calm birth, but I howled like an animal.

I expected a normal birth, but was confronted by back labor and a true emergency.

I expected a home birth, but we landed in a hospital.

I expected to be able to keep my placenta for encapsulation, but it was tossed by the hospital.

I expected to exclusively breastfeed, but instead have issues, and need to suppliment.

I never could have expected the reality of what my whole experience was about to be.

I never could have expected it was going to take so long, or hurt so much, or change so many things. I never expected the episiotomy or the bloodshot eyes. I never expected I would be unable to sleep next to my husband the first night after becoming parents.

I couldn’t have.

But our son is amazing. He smiled – like, for reallyreal, fully smiled – at two and a half weeks old. Today, he laughs and he’s soft and adorable. He loves to be sung to, read to, spoken to. He loves to take baths with us, and loves to be carried in a moby wrap. He sleeps best when it’s noisy, and has his father’s tan complexion, instead of my pale, burn-prone skin.

He’s a little person. A little human tamagotchi, I told his father the other day. Because he grows and changes and develops in ways that are visible and exciting. Every week, he’s changing. He’s honing a personality. Becoming his own person.

And he’s changing me, every day. Carving off little pieces of me, to do it. It’s the most difficult thing, to try and be good at mothering, and be good to myself. Is it even possible?

He’s already not tiny anymore. He’s still only about fifteen pounds, but that’s almost twice his original size. It does really get away from you, if you let it.

I love this little babyman. Some days are hard, and others are sheer agony, but I never forget that this boy is amazing. I am lucky every day that I get to be home and raise this little guy. I’m in love with my family. 

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Patience, Anticipation, Appreciation

I’m trying very hard to fully appreciate how I’m living right now.

I sleep when I want, I wake up when I want, I eat when I want, I go out when I want…

No need to rush things. I slept until noon yesterday. It was no big deal, because it just wasn’t. Getting out to go to the grocery store was easy. I took a shower, I got dressed, I ran downstairs. We went grocery shopping, we came home. No big deal.

Things are still easy, and I know I’m not fully appreciating that. I’m spending too much time hoping that my baby comes soon.

I’m 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant right now, and honestly, I feel pretty good. Besides the heartburn and the constant peeing, I don’t have very many complaints. My mobility problems are few. I mean, I do miss riding my bicycle, but it’s also January. I don’t do stairs very well, but I have an elevator in my apartment building. It does take effort to get to my feet from a laying-down position, but I can do it. It is annoying to drop things on the floor, but it’s not ridiculously difficult to pick things up. I’ve seen people who are as pregnant as I am right now having a much harder time of it than I am. I’m probably jinxing myself in some terrible way right now, but heck. I don’t care. I give pregnancy 4 out of 5 stars. It’s truly been the coolest thing, but this peeing all the goddamn time thing is for the birds.

I don’t want to sound too much like a nutter, but it’s been an amazing adventure, observing myself go through all these emotional and physical changes. I remember being too scared to tell anyone, because what if I miscarried? I remember turning 23 weeks pregnant and just the feeling that labor now wouldn’t be a miscarriage as much as preterm labor, because some babies survive being born at 23 weeks. And every week after that has been just this buildup of confidence. More and more, our baby is becoming stronger and better-suited to be born. He used to be floating in a bubble, and now he’s scrunched up in a tight balloon. I remember before it was even summer and January was SO. FAR. AWAY. And now it’s here, and any day, we will be a family.

Every single change, new symptom, and evolution of these past few months has been fascinating to me. It’s really hard to remember how common and pedestrian having babies truly is when you’re in the midst of it, yourself. For me? It’s been the most noteworthy thing in the world. I feel like the luckiest gal in history, to get to do this. I know that this couldn’t possibly be true, but it’s a feeling. I could never have known. How on earth do you describe to someone how it feels to be headbutted in the cervix? How do you describe a contraction? Hell, let’s go back further. How do you describe to someone what it feels like, just to lay in bed at ANY point in pregnancy, even before the first kick and before you hear the heartbeat for the first time, and just know that your pelvic region/abdomen is occupied by a person? These are experiences that change you.

I want this baby to come. He can come when he’s ready, and I’m not trying to kick him out or anything, I just wish it to be sooner. The anticipation is a killer. I am terrified of it, and I am exulted by it. But mostly, I just feel ready to confront it. Not that I’m sure I’m ready for it, but I feel ready to face it. I’ve spent the last 30+ weeks of my life growing accustomed to the fact that the book of the last 32 years has already been written. A new book is just beginning. A baby is being born, parents are being born. I really am excited.

I have an amazing partner in my husband, and he’s been a great sport through it all. He’s been more than loving, and is always reminding me of his support in ways that make me proud to be with him. I hate to brag, but sometimes, I can’t help it. I just can’t possibly fully anticipate the change in our relationship and our lives which is about to occur. Our old lives will be gone, and replaced by completely new lives. Our old identities will be altered and compounded and neither of us will be the same ever again. We will be parents. Any day now.

So, I think I’m going to write a list of things that I expect to see or that I hope to see come out of Swap and I being parents to this kid. I think it will be interesting to see what the reality turns out to be in the end.

  1. Swap and I intend to cloth diaper. We are pretty well set up in that department, and while the task seems somewhat daunting, I think that it will be worth it in lack of ecological guilt and the money we save.
  2. I intend to breastfeed. A lot. Everywhere. All over the place.
  3. We really want to give elimination communication a shot. It does make sense to me to, if you can find a rhythm, try catching pees and poos in the toilet.
  4. Swap and I want to try to teach him a few signs so that he might learn to communicate before he’s verbal. Perhaps the words “eat” and “more” and “up” for example.
  5. Swap and I intend to co-sleep with him. My biggest reasons for me wanting to sleep with our son this way is because I believe and hope that there will be more feedings and less crying, translating to more sleep for everyone.
  6. We have both expressed a desire to keep having fun, and to show this child a world that is fun, and to try like hell not to get caught up in a grind. We have been told that raising children can be lots of fun. Swap and I like fun.
  7. I live so near a beach and parks and other parents and their kids, I want like crazy to get out and involved this spring and summer. Before the pregnancy knocked me over with the brutal exhaustion, I was walking 3mi several times a week. We have a baby carrier already, and I am imagining us being out with him, walking, often.
  8. I get sad in the wintertime. I hear that mothers get sad after the baby comes. I get less sad in the wintertimes that I also happen to have a significant project or distraction (hello, baby!). I also intend to eat my placenta (in capsule pill form), which should help with my mood (and milk and whatnot). Right now, I feel very optimistic about parenthood, and it’s very difficult for me to imagine that after the baby is born I will have a breakdown about it… I just hope to remember how great I feel about it today. I hope that my optimism, with other factors, all add up to a cozy, blissful “4th trimester.”
  9. I want to be my own kind of mom. Meaning, I want to be the kind of mom that I will be, naturally. Organically. I don’t want to be the kind of parent that I think I should be because someone told me I should. Moms can be mean to each other. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life trying to learn to live life the way I like it, ignoring what others might have to say about it, and I just really hope that it translates over into the kind of parent I can be.
  10. I don’t want to be a domineering partner in parenthood. I don’t want to be over-anxious about the kind of parent my husband will be, or whether he can handle our son alone. I hope to support and not hinder his process of becoming a parent, as I am sure that he will support and nurture me.

Most of all, though, I just hope that I can continue to appreciate every step of this ever evolving process. All the lovely things, and all the difficult things. I want to remember that when I’m having a hard time with him, he may also be having a hard time with me. This family, will be my new hobby. The one hobby to tie together all my other hobbies. My umbrella hobby. I want to embrace my new job as mom. I feel like all my life, all that time I spent hoping for a job where being animated, dorky, creative, cheerful and patient would really pay off, and this is what it was. Who knew?

Home Stretch

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I’m full of so many thoughts, apprehensive and hopeful. I am anxious and grateful. I feel wildly intimidated, but I feel ready.

I told a friend the other day that most of the time, I am disbelieving that I finally get to experience this beautiful and magical thing. But sometimes, I just can’t believe that I could let this happen.

I’m not surprised at myself. That last bit sounds exactly like the me that I have been. But I’m not all her anymore. Parts of me still are. Most of me still is. Continue reading

Somersaults

Kick, roll, jab…

Tumble, turn, flip…

What are you doing in there?

I wish I could help make you more comfortable.  Is it better when I bring my knees up? Do you have more space now? Is it better on my side? On my back?

You are so, so strong, and you’re so small. Less than a foot long, they say. But you are so alive and active. Your mama is so proud of you, already. I am so proud and amazed that I can barely ever sleep, even if I could sleep through your gymnastics.

Of course, night time is your most favorite time to wiggle like this.

I am anxious to see your face, with my widow’s peak and your papa’s cleft chin, but I’m getting to know you, starting now.

You are a prince. You are a gentle man in miniature. You are full of the same proverbial “piss and vinegar” your grampa always said I was full of. You are restless, like your papa. And like your mama in the sense that you will not be ignored.

For these next few, brief months, I am holding you as close as I ever will again as long as we live. I intend to relish every moment and somersault.

I love you, mancub.

Mama xoxo