Back in the day my aunt Mary received a little Japanese robe from a pen pal. Here's a picture of me in it when I was probably about two years old:
The robe came back into my possession after Ruby was born and I've been waiting for the day when she fit into it. Obviously I may have waited a little too long in the length department! I meant to take pictures of her in it in the spring. Didn't happen. I meant to take pictures of her in it during the summer but then I was pregnant in the summer and that meant it felt about a hundred degree outside at all times. I finally got around to taking photos of her in it a couple of weekends ago. Because we are fortunate enough to have such a cool place nearby we went to the Yuko-En Friendship Garden in Georgetown. At first she was not too thrilled with the idea but she eventually warmed up to it. After I bribed her with a granola bar.
Gees. It's been over a month since my last post. I didn't mean for that to happen. It just did, despite the fact that I've been composing posts in my head on and off. Things have been busy. Mostly with baby wrangling, which with Jasper basically means feeding (every two hours), changing (practically every hour), sleeping, and repeat.
We pulled Ruby from her daycare (because the newborn fees were cost prohibitive to my goal of returning to work) and she's been home with me for the past two weeks. It's been the most time I've spent with her since she was a newborn and honestly, I was kind of dreading it. Thankfully, it hasn't been nearly as bad as I thought it would be but the experience has driven home the fact that I am not meant to be a stay at home mom. It's just not in my DNA. Seriously, mad props stay-at-home ladies (and gents).
We've done a myriad of things over the last month or so. Since Ruby's home I have to make more of a point to get her out of the house and doing something. Otherwise there are idle hands and they most certainly make mischief. There was a trip to the library for Little Leonardos:
There was our trip to the Crave festival which lead to an attempt to re-create the best cookie ever. Chocolate chip bacon with maple cream in the middle. It was a tasty, tasty fail:
Then there was that time I spent re-fashioning this dress-a favorite of what had been Ruby's-into a polo shirt for Jasper. It took more than a week to get it done simply because I didn't get the chance to do it all in one chunk. But hey, it got done...and then I forgot about it in the closet and by the time I tried it on my chunky little guy it was basically a belly shirt. Whatever. It's still cute and if I ever come across the dress again I'll try again.
There have been those times when Jasper does what I call a Sonic Spit-up where he somehow spits up and gets it everywhere. Not limited to his face or my cleavage:
And then he wore this onesie and I was almost all like, "I can't even." because it is so dang cute. Sad face that it's a three month onesie, this was only the second time he'd worn it, and it was pretty much too small already!
We've done other things that are worthy of their own post, a.k.a. I took a lot of cute pictures, so hopefully I'll get those documented on here soon. And I know I still need to get the second part of Jasper's birth story up too! Blarg!
Yesterday, as I picked up Jasper he settled into the most perfect snuggle position on my shoulder. I realized, as I sat there rubbing his back and smelling his little head, that I don't snuggle him very often. This isn't intentional. Usually I am feeding him or I'm feeding him again or changing him or trying to get him to calm down. If it's not him I'm trying not to completely ignore Ruby, make at least some physical form of contact with Heath, or keep the house from entering Level Chaos in the cleanliness department. Last, but not least, I am trying to take just a little bit of time to myself. Snuggling takes a back burner.
In perhaps a more inspirational post I'd end by saying something along the lines of make sure that you are taking the time to snuggle because they grow up so fast, dont'cha know. But you probably already know that and feel guilty that you don't do it more. No guilt trips here! Just do the best you can!
Recently another blogger that I follow, Authentically Emmie (via Brittany, Herself) wrote out her list of things she wished she had the confidence to do. Here's my list because, unless you want a post all about the joys of breastfeeding a newborn with a bottomless pit for a stomach (just a hint, it's not awesome), this is all I have right now!
1. Get a new job. I've been with Target for almost 17 years now. I like my job, I'm really, really good at it, I work with awesome people, and I get paid a nice hourly rate-I know, I know, sounds just *awful*, right?-but is it really what I want to do with the rest of my life? I really wish that I could be content with my job but hours are sketchy (some weeks I may get 30 hours, some weeks I'll get 10) and I don't feel like I'm contributing much to anything other than a big fat bonus into a CEO's wallet. A HUGE part of it, of course, is a comfort zone thing. I'm comfortable where I'm at, I'm good at what I do and I've been doing it forever! The thought of a new job is a little terrifying!
2. Join Roller Derby Lite. My time in full-fledged roller derby was kind of a flop. Long story short I fell multiple times during a practice, broke my tailbone, and cried. It really hurt! I think RDL is more my speed but I'm still afraid of hurting myself. (I have been more afraid of physical injury like broken bones, etc. ever since I broke my ankle in 2011). But still, I love to skate and I think it would be a lot of fun.
3. Wear the clothes I really want to wear. Not just pin them on my Pinterest board. Sure, most of what I usually admire when window shopping are pin-up style, boob-tastic dresses which are completely unrealistic for my life (dealing with kids, Tgt requires red/khaki) but still, there has got to be some sort of compromise between the dresses and the yoga pants/t-shirts that I feel like I am constantly wearing now. Oh, Stacey and Clinton, I wish you were still in business!
4. Move to a new city. For whatever reason I have been really, really wanting to move lately. Quite a few friends of mine have recently moved to new places and I've been a little envious of the fact that they get to go somewhere new and start over. I guess it feels like a bit of a challenge, too, something that will get Heath and I out of our comfort zones. And hopefully Heath into a better job. Of course this could just be a case of "the grass is greener".
5. Get a large tattoo. I have three tattoos but they are small and inconspicuous. I want something BRIGHT, BIG, and BOLD. I have a few ideas up on my Pinterest board but I have yet to make a decision as to what that bright, big, and bold design would be.
6. Pose naked for a drawing class. The thought of being so comfortable with my body that I could stand completely nude in front of total strangers while they sketch me is totally foreign to me. But dammit, I really want to be that comfortable with myself!
7. Write this blog the way I really want to. I have been blogging on a semi-consistant basis since about 2006. Mostly it's just been fluffy, a record of "what I did today" blah blah blah. The thing I feel most compelled to write about right now is, shocker, being a mom, but more specifically about my journey to accepting myself as "mom". So why don't I? Apparently because I am 36 and deep down I still care what people think. Also, I don't consider myself that strong of a writer (so if you've told me that you like my writing style-thank you!) and wonder if I could ever be organized enough when putting my thoughts on the subject out there and not be totally all over the place and confusing.
I'm sure I'll come up with more things as I think on the topic but since I'd rather this post didn't get lost in the abyss of my drafts box, I'm just going to go ahead and publish it. I'd love to hear what you'd put on YOUR list!
On Friday, 07/25/14 I was just over the 41 week mark. Heath and I went to the OB for another ultrasound to see how things were going since we were nearing the kind of universally agreed upon deadline for baby growing of 42 weeks. I was excited because I would get confirmation that indeed everything was going well, it was another chance to see him/her, and maybe find out the sex. Squeee! We'd (meaning ME) had wanted to know at the 20-week scan but someone wasn't cooperating. Heath was content to wait but I really, really, really (really, really, really) wanted to know.
During the appointment the tech took measurements and started making comments about how big the baby was going to be. Just what everyone wants to hear. I figured that he/she'd be larger than Ruby, she was pretty small, but I still wasn't expecting the tech to say that he/she was clocking in at around 11 pounds. In my head I was like, ffuuuuuck! but I also know that these measurements are not the most accurate ever (they were off by 2 pounds with Ruby). Besides that everything else was looking good; heart rate, amniotic levels, breathing rate etc.
I asked if they could tell the sex, and, since Heath didn't want to know he stood facing the corner while she searched. I knew before she typed the words on the screen. It was quite obvious that it was a B-O-Y. I cried, in a good way. I instantly wanted to tell Heath and share the excitement with him but I only bugged him about it once and then I stopped. I just had to make sure that I kept switching back and forth between "he" and "she" in our conversations! (Do I regret finding out ahead of time? Absolutely not. Knowing did not take away from my birth experience)
After the tech left the doctor came in and went over the results. He asked if I had the gestational diabeetus, because apparently most of the time women do not have as much amniotic fluid as I did that late in the game unless they are diabetic. I insisted that I did NOT but he brought it up again several times, which was frustrating.
Did you know that if you previously gave birth to a child that was only 6.12, that there is no way that you can give birth to a child nearing or exceeding 11 pounds? Apparently that is the case, as the doc insisted that he didn't think it was physically possible for me to do so. I know this is bs because my mom had a 11.7-er and I know other people who are much more petite than myself that have given birth to large babies. Way to be encouraging, dude. Gees.
So because of the (supposed) size he didn't think that I was a candidate for a home birth or even a vaginal birth. It was recommend that I have a c-section, sometime in the next few days. For the next 10 minutes the doctor went on to describe the reasons WHY I should have a c-section: Increased risk of shoulder distocia (shoulders getting stuck behind the pubic bone during delivery) which could lead to a difficult delivery, nerve damage, broken clavicle, death of the baby or death of me. I don't think Heath and I said anything the whole time, we were just kind of like, "Whaaaaa....?' It definitely wasn't what we expected to hear.
Even though I knew that I am was perfectly capable of giving birth to a large child (that is kind of what my body was designed to do after all) when someone tells you, "you or your baby could DIE!" I don't know, I freaked out a little. The next day was spent stressing, talking things over with our midwife and doula, reading a lot of research, and trying to listen to my instincts instead of just being scared shitless. I absolutely did not want to have a c-section, for many reasons; being given antibiotics during the procedure, longer recovery time, being separated from the baby after birth, the fact that the baby would not be exposed to helpful bacteria from the birth canal, etc. For me a c-section was just the exact opposite of everything that I hoped my birthing experience would be.
Of course, when it came down to it though the most important thing was the health of the baby. Since my amniotic fluid levels were good and he was overall still very healthy we decided to wait (even though the doc was willing to come in the next day, on a Saturday, to do the procedure). If the weekend had passed and nothing happened we'd do the c-section on Monday or Tuesday but even that deadline created stress for both Heath and I. Eventually we decided to ditch the Mon/Tues deadline and just stick with our original plan of a home birth unless I actually did make it to 42 weeks with no action. Of course, thankfully, we ended up not having to wait that long.
To be continued...
Well, it's been just over a week since Jasper burst into the world. Like after Ruby was born it feels like he's always been a part of the family. There's been and will be more adjustments for sure but for the most part things have been pretty smooth. He is a pretty chill baby. He really only cries for a few reasons:
1. He is about to have an ass-'splosion.
2. He's naked.
3. He's hungry.
He sleeps pretty well, maybe a bit too well. I often have to wake him up to feed him or to roust him while I am feeding him so that he'll get enough to eat. Not that I am complaining. I value sleep too much and am happy to get 3 hours in a row at night. Speaking of sleep, now that I am no longer hugely pregnant, ohmygosh, sleeping is SO much more comfy. I can lay on my stomach again, my hips don't hurt, I can roll over with ease. It. Is. GLORIOUS!
The biggest adjustment for me has been the fact that Jasper is a HE. The first time I changed his diaper and was faced with his penis and tiny balls I was like, Uuummmm, Holy crap! what do I do with these?? You'd think that I was handling a stick of dynamite that could explode at any moment as I wiped him off. I've been peed on, peed at, and shat at more times in this past week than ever before in my life. Most of this has taken place at the changing table but yesterday during book club I was holding him and out of nowhere he just started peeing all over me. I have no idea how it escaped through diaper and clothing. Of course I'd brought spare clothes for him but didn't think that I'd need some for myself!
Of course, a major difference this time around is of course having Ruby to take care of as well. People ask how she's doing with Jasper all the time and I'd love to say, "Oh, yeah, she's doing so great!" But we've had some issues. Her listening, which we didn't think could get any worse, has, she's a little rough with him at times, and she's decided that peeing in the corner of her room is the cool thing to do. I know things will get better and thankfully I've found the patience to deal and my shit has not slid off my cracker just yet. It's not all bad though, she is eager to help, and basically does almost everything that I ask her to do when it comes to getting things for him and handing me things when I'm stuck on the couch feeding him. I think she likes him but he's far too inactive for her taste.
Heath goes back to work on Thursday which sucks mainly because its been nice spending time together. Because Ruby is in daycare I'm not worried about handling two on my own. Not so sure how I'll fare in two weeks when Heath goes to GenCon in Indianapolis but we'll just hope for the best.
I don't even need to say it, do I? Nope. Still, no kidlette, and nothing in the way of any kind of regular and productive contractions. And trust me, I've tried pretty much everything, and then some other not-so-conventional things to get things going.
Thankfully, feeling pretty good, although I don't know how much more stretching my belly can take (it's been surprisingly resilient!). It's hard as a rock most of the time. I poke it a lot because I am constantly amazed at just how hard it is. (that's what she said) I did start having some swelling yesterday. Ugh. Cankles are just not cool. And I will be quite happy when I don't have old lady hips at night anymore.
BUT I am trying to be patient and just go with the flow. Ruby was 3 days late and was only 6lbs, 12oz. So maybe the kid just needs some more time to cook. Sometimes I wonder if I have some kind of mental block in place that's delaying birth, but as much as I believe in a mind/body connection I know that eventually my body would get to the point and it would be like, "Let's do this thing!"
For the hell of it, my predictions for this one:
Girl (real scientific on this one-because the Chinese birth chart said so and it was correct for Ruby)
7 lbs, 6 oz.
I am still with child. Silly me, I really thought I'd go early this time around. Shows what I know! Ah well. Now I'm just basically trying to keep myself occupied and not let myself get into stressed out mode, which I'm only succeeding at about 50% of the time. Things I'm trying to avoid: "haven't you had that baby yet??" and "what are you doing about childcare?"
Ugh. Let's seriously NOT talk about that.
This morning my car decided to not start while I was at the store but thankfully a good samaritan jumped me (well, the car) and I was on my way within five minutes. After that was a trip to the auto store where turn around was also quick, much quicker than I thought it would be. Battery tested and replaced within 30 minutes. Hell yes.
Now I'm getting a mani/pedi, something I usually don't do for myself. But hey, I'm 40w2d pregnant so I figured what the hell. Also, I had my toes painted green when I delivered Ruby (Heath called them my Hulk toes) so I figured I'd continue the tradition, this time with purple and green.
And you had best believe that this whole time I have been willing my water to break, possible public humiliation be damned! We'll just ignore the fact that most of the time labor does not actually begin this way. It happened with Ruby so it can happen again, right?