(TCBTB)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

21 actual reasons I've cried today.


21 Actual Reasons I Have Cried Today:

1. Because it started thundering right after I finally fell asleep in the middle of the night. AGAIN.

2. Because Rowan fell back asleep after the storm with her hands clutched over her ears, which was endearing and precious and adorable.

3. Because, before J.J. and Rowan left to go on a breakfast date together, I had already scrubbed the shower, wiped down the bathroom walls, cleaned the toilet, dusted all three bedrooms, and Swiffered the whole upstairs. By 8:30. On three hours' sleep. Which was not how I needed to be expending my limited energy.

4. Because I was crying about #3, which was a ridiculous thing to cry about.

5. Because around 11:30, I really missed J.J. and Rowan, who were still out having fun together.




6. Because when they got home, Rowan gave me two special "notes" that she had written to me, and they were adorable.

7. Because I woke Rowan up from her nap by snuggling in her bed with her, and she was so little and so big all at the same time, and we don't have very many "snuggle naps" together left before the baby comes.




8. Because I hit a major nesting spurt this weekend, but I'm not attending to any of the right things. Like, the baby clothes are in seventeen different locations, and what did I do with all the baby blankets?, and we still have snow pants lingering in the front closet instead of bathing suits, and I haven't done anything to update the nursery like I wanted to...but, oh yes, those lunch boxes look fucking SPIFFY all lined up in their drawer, right under the freshly-cleaned spice racks. Also, the fronts of my kitchen cabinets have now been thoroughly wiped down. BECAUSE THAT'S ESSENTIAL. (False.)

9. Because Rowan was watching videos on my phone from her dance recital last weekend, and her little face was just bursting with pride.

10. Because the fun henna tattoo I got on my belly a couple weeks ago (yes, before Beyoncé did it, ugh follower) is fading, revealing new stretch marks that have sprouted in the meantime.

11. Because I took the pretty knobs off the nursery dresser and replaced them with the original ones, and it made me remember when I ordered those pretty knobs for baby Rowan, and when I stabbed myself with the screwdriver while I was installing them, and oh my god that was so long ago but that was also just yesterday and CRY CRY CRY.

12. Because I read through the post I linked in #11 about impaling myself with a screwdriver, and I cannot - CANNOT - figure out what angle the pictures of the upstairs doors was taken from. Every time I think I understand, I realize that I must be wrong, because the hall closet doors aren't pictured. WHICH DOORS ARE THOSE? WHERE IS THE HALL CLOSET? WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING?




13. Because I wanted to go out to dinner with J.J. and his mom and Rowie, but I finally had a burst of non-misguided nesting, which basically meant I was schlepping stuff from the second floor down to the basement and back up to the kitchen and out to the car and up and down the stairs a few thousand more times, which resulted in one long continuous Braxton-Hicks contraction, which rendered me motionless on the couch.

14. Because I snapped at Rowan when she was stalling during bedtime, which made her cry, but I yelled anyway because my belly was still hurting so badly from overdoing it today.

15. Because then I laid with her in her bed before she went to sleep, and she made me tell her the story I tell her every single night - "about when I was a baby and I first came out" - and she threw her arm around my neck and sighed, "I love you. Even more than you love me."




16. Because I remembered that this is Rowan's last week of preschool with her immensely beloved teacher, and I'm just so sad that she has to move on from that relationship. ...And that I can't drop her off at school two mornings a week for the next three loooong months.

17. Because I told J.J. he could have the last of the rice last night, neglecting the fact that I had leftover Thai food for tonight that I fully intended to eat with ONLY THAT RICE. So I ate cereal. And cried.

18. Because I was just folding laundry and the floor kept squeaking in the same place every time I stepped on it and it was fucking annoying.

19. Because I should be [doing bills, writing the article I meant to finish last week, sorting out a rental car payment dispute, scheduling an oil change, catching up on other blog posts I've been trying to write, working on the sudden flood of Etsy orders that just came in which is awesome but oh shit], and instead, I'm...crying.

20. Because, oh god, is this what postpartum is going to be like again? Allllll the unnecessary crying? Starting next Friday, which is horrifyingly close but also like seven thousand days from now?

21. Because nine months pregnant.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

nocturnal mission impossible.

Somehow I forgot.

I forgot that, as a parent, you are not to even think, let alone speak, about the times when sleep is going well. You shall be punished. Swiftly. Harshly.

Similarly, it is not advised to ever wonder, to yourself or aloud, "how bad" it could be when you have two kids waking you up at night instead of just one.

The following events occurred last night and are true to the best of my recollection, which is spotty at this point, given both my advanced stage of pregnancy and almost complete lack of sleep last night.


********************

SETTING: Midwestern suburban household. Monday night.

7:45 P.M.
I close my three-year-old's bedroom door, calling, "Good night! I love you, sweet girl!" "I love you, too, Mommy!" she responds. 

9:00 P.M.
I bitterly ascend the stairs to remind spawn that she actually does need to sleep at night, not just bounce around and sing (scream) every song she knows. I help her rearrange her stuffed friends, which are scattered all over her bed (she has about thirty [dozen] stuffed friends in her bed). I lay with her for a few minutes, savoring her sweet bath smell and snuggles. I crawl out of bed with massive effort (exhausted + super preggo = hard to get out bed, mentally and physically) when it becomes clear she's not going to fall asleep with me in the bed.

10:15 P.M.
I'm jolted awake from an accidental couch nap to the sound of gurgling snot and crying. Waddle upstairs, wipe a nose, bid daughter good night again. Close the windows and turn on the air conditioning, just in case her frequent wakings are due to allergies or being too hot. Go pee, as my body now requires me to do the second it has produced urine molecules. Collapse into my own bed...and lay there, wiiiide awake.

11:15 P.M.
Finally drift back off to sleep.

11:30 P.M.
Jolt awake to the sound of gurgling snot and crying. Waddle into daughter's bedroom, wipe her nose, go pee, collapse back into my own bed.

12:15 A.M.
Have now read everything there is to read on the internet, weathered a round of Internal Fetal Parkour, and am finally drifting back off to sleep.

12:20 A.M.
LEGS. RESTLESS LEGS. LEGS ARE ON FIRE AND MUST BE MOVED CONSTANTLY. Legs are too hot; body is too cold. Legs must be stretched; legs must be shifted. Legs legs legs legs the whole world is now my legs and their incomprehensible demands.

12:45 A.M.
Consider cutting off legs, but finally drift back off to sleep while contemplating which cutting device to use.

12:47 A.M.
Jolt awake to the sound of gurgling snot and crying. Waddle into daughter's bedroom, wipe her nose, go pee, collapse back into my own bed.

12:52 A.M.
Why isn't there more stuff to read on the internet? Why isn't anyone posting new pictures or updating their statuses? I need something to read! WAKE UP EVERYONE AND UPDATE YOUR INTERNETS!

1 A.M. OR SOME SHIT, I DON'T KNOW
Finally drift back off to sleep.

2:10 A.M.
Jolt awake to the sound of my name. "Mama! I can't find Hayjack!" Fucking Hayjack, her little stuffed cat slash extra appendage as of late. Waddle into daughter's bedroom, locate Hayjack literally (LITERALLY) right next to her arm, wipe her nose for good measure, go pee, collapse back into my own bed, actually fall asleep again immediately.

3:15 A.M.
Jolt awake to the sound of crying. "Mama! I had a bad dream!" Apparently, in her dream, "a boy who wasn't a little baby but wasn't a grown-up" pulled out Hayjack's eye and was tugging on a thread from Hayjack, unraveling him (a frequent nightmare of hers). Comfort daughter, tuck her back in, go pee, climb into bed.

3:33 A.M.
Trying to sleep, but unable to due to the sensation of a nearly full-size baby stretching luxuriously in my abdomen, hands on my rectum, head on my cervix, feet under my ribs. Roll over with great effort and grunting and notice flashes of lightning coming from outside. Fuuuuuuck, a thunderstorm? Now? Are you kidding me? Check my weather app, which indicates 0% chance of rain but a 70% chance of thunderstorms. Thunder starts rumbling. Wait for daughter to cry out in fear - she hates thunder these days - but somehow, she's already back asleep after her nightmare, and she stays asleep.

3:47 A.M.
Realize I forgot to tally up how many preschool forms were returned and mark down who still needs to turn one in, which was my job. Remind self of all the scary things the baby will almost definitely be diagnosed with, whether at birth or in two months or in twenty years. Wonder if daughter is still breathing, considering the thunder didn't wake her up. Mull over the seventy-four things I intend to complete before the baby is born, like raise the crib mattress and decide whether we can really handle a second child. Remember how awkward I was the other day with that neighbor I don't really know, and also how awkward I was in every social situation since age two.

4:15 A.M.
Finally drift back off to sleep.

6:26 A.M.
There's the thunder I was waiting for. Daughter wails. Waddle into her bedroom, find her still laying in bed with her hands over her ears and her eyes squeezed shut. Wipe her nose, climb into her bed, and soothe her fears about how the electricity from the lightning can't "electro-cate" us while we're in the house and how we'd be able to float away from the lightning if we ever "lose our gravity."

6:30 A.M.
Alarm goes off in the other room.


/SCENE

********************

And you know what the scary part is? A night like this will seem heavenly and restful during the first couple months postpartum. HAHAHAHAHAHA CRAP WHAT HAVE WE DONE ONLY TWO AND A HALF WEEKS TO GO WHAT HAVE WE DOOOOONNNNNNNNE





Monday, May 8, 2017

IT HAS ARRIVED!

No...the baby has not arrived. Just its precursor: the pre-baby, end-of-third-trimester official raging bitchiness.


Trying to escape via land kayak. Best of luck.

Please hold J.J. and Rowan in your thoughts as we navigate these tumultuous times. Recent infractions on their parts have included: putting a dirty glass on the counter instead of in the dishwasher; moving the hand soap to the (clearly wrong) side of the sink; wanting to cuddle with an inflated helium balloon during nap; heating up the worst-smelling sauce EVER on some chicken & quinoa; leaving tiny stupid Shopkins on the polka-dot rug where they blend in and then stab my foot; wanting another Band-Aid for another nonexistent boo-boo; and distributing forms into the wrong tote bags when filling in for me as the parent volunteer at preschool. Doesn't matter which of them committed which crime; my responses were all equally - um - whatever the word is that I'm trying to think of but that won't come because pregnancy brain fog has descended and words are hard now.


Poor, poor souls

I actually had planned to write up a lovely post this lovely afternoon about our lovely babymoon vacation to lovely Naples, a post full of lovely pictures and lovely memories and lovely gratitude. But no. The bitchiness is pouring out. You guys. I'm only 35 weeks along. I could potentially have TWO MONTHS of this left, if I leave my body and the baby to their own devices. Oh, in case you're wondering, in terms of a birth plan? I'm currently vacillating among the following options:

   (1) a planned c-section at 39 weeks (June 2nd)
   (2) a vaginal delivery anytime between now and, you know, June FREAKING 23rd, which would be two weeks past my due date
   (3) a home c-section performed this afternoon by me because screw this
   (4) a spontaneous bellybutton birth

The bellybutton birth is an option I was unaware of until this pregnancy, when my sweet fetus decided to lodge himself firmly against the interior of my belly skin. Rowan was a lot more...internal? I don't know; I just definitely never looked down in horror and wondered if she was going to LITERALLY bust through my bellybutton. I spent last night on my back on the couch with an ice pack over my bellybutton (the special ice pack I got after my boob biopsy, which I also meant to write a post about), trying to convince an unborn child to calm down already and retreat back inside. It sort of worked, or at least I fell asleep after awhile and was no longer aware of the pain.

It's possible I overdid it yesterday, contributing to my intense discomfort all evening. I went for a walk Sunday morning (while J.J. and Rowan were at a 5k Fun Run that was, in part, benefitting my nephew, and so I felt like a guilty crap aunt for not being there, especially when I then felt motivated enough around 11 a.m. to take a walk). The walk felt so good that I ended up jogging about a half mile of it. I do not advise a random jog when you're nearly nine months pregnant and have not jogged in...nearly nine months. Especially when you then have to volunteer at (another) Fun Run until 6 p.m. - AKA, be on your feet and active for the rest of the day. It was not my smartest move, hence the couch and the ice pack and the whining. Oh, and the exhaustion, which led to the bitchiness, which led to the intense guilt, which led to the overcompensating, which was cut short when I couldn't even get my shoes on, which led to the hormonal tears.

(Please feel free to print this post and distribute it as birth control for the masses.)

Anyway. I don't even really have anything of value to say right now, except that I forgot about this stage of pregnancy - the last month, where I'm just. over. it. Props to the designer(s) behind pregnancy for structuring it like this so that by the time labor and delivery roll around, I'll be ready to extract the baby by any means necessary. I'm thrilled that he's been in there cooking long enough that everything should be about ready to go by now - just adding some fat layers to both of us at this point, but the major structures and functions should be in order. We're damn lucky to have gotten to this point. And even though the next stage is the stage I've been dreading...the newborn/postpartum recovery stage, which was my hardest time with Rowan...I just want to not have someone's knee knocking my snacks off my belly shelf from the inside anymore. #rude. Also I want to be able to eat snacks without feeling full after two crackers because my stomach has been relocated to somewhere in my ribs.

It's now three o'clock and I haven't woken Rowan up from her nap yet, which means I just doomed us to a night where she won't go to sleep before ten o'clock, because did you know she's officially not really needing naps anymore? Because the best time to grow out of naps is right before your baby sibling arrives? Hmm, let's see, can I find anything ELSE to complain about before this post ends?!


We're pretty much either in "exchanging flowers
and squeezy hugs" mode or "exchanging hateful
words that we both instantly regret" mode lately.

No. No more complaining. Time to just end it (uh, the post, I mean). Here, have some photos of a baby plotting to escape via bellybutton. The first one was taken in Florida at 32 weeks, 5 days, and I promise I'll share a much happier post about that amazing trip soon. You know...right after this wave of cray-cray passes. So like March of 2018-ish.










Friday, April 14, 2017

good news, bad news, best news.

Oh girl. Can I just say.

I am all OVER the damn place these past couple weeks.

First of all, I've been feeling so good lately, pregnancy-wise. A few weeks ago, the weather turned enough for me to get off my butt and start moving. I'd been experiencing a ton of aches and pains, which was frustrating because that didn't start for me during my first pregnancy until the last couple months. This time, my second trimester was littered with pains, swelling, and general discomfort. But! I started taking a walk every day - two miles, up and down the main street in my neighborhood - and doing some general strength training and stretching. I swear it's made all the difference. Much less swelling, no more pregnancy waddle, and I just feel like myself again. Plus, I downloaded the S-Town podcast and told myself I was only allowed to listen to it while I was walking, so I had good motivation to keep moving. (Can we chat about S-Town? I was intrigued, then devastated, then impatient, then underwhelmed...TOO MANY FEELS.) So happy to be feeling good in my body again.




Second - believe it or not, we are making a babymoon happen! I mentioned awhile back how much I wanted to get away with J.J. and Rowan before this baby comes, and just really enjoy our little family before it changes forever. The change is a good change, I'm fully aware, but it's still a change! Either way, it didn't seem like a real getaway would be possible between work schedules and finances and, you know, the fact that I'm on a bit of a deadline (i.e., giving birth). I still couldn't stop thinking about it, though.

AND THEN. My surrogate family, the family I grew up baby-sitting for, generously offered up their vacation home in Florida for us to use! Ahhhhhhhh!!! So we're off in just a couple days. I'm still kind of in shock that this is actually going to work - and I'm, like, jumping out of my skin with excitement. So is Rowan, who's never been on a plane or to the ocean before. She started asking all day every day when we were leaving for our trip, so I made her a calendar to help her understand. She snatched it from me and ran up to her bedroom, where she spent about twenty minutes taping it to her door:



I can't wait for her to experience it all! And for the three of us to just spend some quality time together. I am beyond lucky to have such kind and wonderful friends who are making this vacation possible, including the ones who helped me figure out logistics, are lending us things like car seat travel covers and toddler headphones, and are house-sitting for us. Three cheers for the village! 

Buuuut then came the bad part of this week (which has a happy-ish ending, thankfully). I noticed a lump in my breast a few nights ago, one that I remember feeling a few weeks ago and writing off as a pregnancy thing - clogged milk duct, probably. I let my OB know, and we scheduled a breast ultrasound for this morning, just to make sure everything was okay. I honestly wasn't thinking much of it, considering how pregnancy messes with your boobs, and the lump felt pretty similar to clogged milk ducts that I'd had while breastfeeding Rowan. 

Yeah, but it's hard not to get freaked out when you're sitting in an overheated waiting room in the cancer center, surrounded by women in ill-fitting gowns. My gown, btw, was AWESOME. Big enough to accommodate my 32-week-pregnant belly, but just a taaaad bit too big for my chest (which is enormous, relative to its normal state...like we're 'bout to bust into a B-cup over here, people, watch out!...but still a lifelong registered member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee). I fumbled with it constantly and was relieved when they called me back and I could just take it off.

The ultrasound was painless, quick, and no big deal. I refrained from asking them to move the wand lower so I could peek at Baby Boy...but I was tempted. The doctor was actually one the very sweetest parents I've had the pleasure of knowing from my former job, which was wonderful. I know some people prefer not to know their medical staff outside of the hospital setting, but I love it. I chose my OB partially for that reason, and I've coincidentally ended up with other doctors I knew from work - my dermatologist, a urologist, Rowan's pediatrician, a shoulder specialist - in the past. I like having that personal connection.

Anyway. Ultrasound was easy, but bad news/good news: it's not a clogged milk duct. It's a mass. A benign mass, most likely - like, 99% chance that it's benign, just a fibroadenoma. Fibroadenomas are super common in younger women (WHICH I AM, despite my "elderly multigravida" medical status), and they're often brought on by extreme hormone level changes. Like, you know, pregnancy. The doctor seemed wholly unconcerned, in the most reassuring way possible, and let me know that I had the choice of either watching it over the next four to six months, or doing a needle biopsy to rule out the 1% chance that it's cancerous. A lot of times, these masses will shrink or disappear once hormone levels return to normal, so waiting is a perfectly reasonable option.

Because I'm me, though, I went ahead and scheduled the biopsy. I know myself - anything that will contribute to peace of mind is a good thing. Especially when I'm staring down the barrel of impending labor, delivery, and postpartum stuff. While I was reviewing my options with the doctor, I really felt totally fine, besides being annoyed that it wasn't just a clogged duct. We talked specifics about the mass, she caught me up on how her kids are doing, I changed out of my sexy gown, we scheduled the biopsy for the week after we get back from Florida, and I walked back through the cancer center to the parking lot.

Annnnd then I kind of lost it a little bit. In my head, I understood that everything is really fine. This seems to be a pretty classic fibroadenoma, which is seriously not a big deal. Lots of women have fibroadenomas and don't even realize it. I, however, am very good at finding the teeniest, tiniest possibility that the worst-case scenario is upon me. What if it's actually not a benign mass? Then I made the mistake of considering Rowan in all of this, and I came unglued. For about five minutes while I drove home from the hospital, that is. 



Amazingly, you know what brought me back? Dr. Google. You should NEVER EVER Google medical stuff, right? Anytime you do, you're going to find out that it's pretty much cancer or pre-cancer or actually you're already dead, idiot, didn't you realize? But this time, the Internet consensus was clear: fibroadenomas are no. big. deal. (Ahem, just like the DOCTOR said, who is the person I should REALLY be listening to.) I'm still going to get the biopsy, but I'm not going to let all of this ruin our vacation. Or even my day.



We're celebrating Easter this weekend with a couple egg hunts, some brunch, and compulsively re-packing and weighing the bag we need to check to make sure it doesn't exceed the airline's weight limits. Happy Friday to all of you, and may your weather be warm, your candy be Easter-tastic, and your masses be benign.


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