Born at home on July 27th
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?
It was a pretty uneventful three day weekend. We celebrated the 4th with our friends on Thursday evening with good food (Ruby ate three cupcakes), adult conversation, and fireworks. I think we meant to do something fun and/or productive on the actual holiday but we didn't for whatever reason.
Saturday I got together with friends and tried the Wallace Station Deli for the first time-YUM! Afterwards we went on a photo tour of the abandoned Old Crow Distillery in Frankfort, KY.
The tour, lead by those who bought the property with the goal of reestablishing the site as a new distillery, was interesting but most of the time I was lagging behind the group taking photos. The whole thing was basically a texture photographers wet dream.
In baby news, still no indication that he/she will be here in the very near future. LOTS of movement but that's about it. I choose not to be checked as far as dilation goes so I have no idea what is going on up in there. Fuck. I can't believe that it's week 39 already.
I'm ready, not because I am physically taxed or anything, but I am ready as far as just wanting things to be done so I can stop worrying about the WHEN and all of the other logistical things surrounding birth (where will Ruby be when it all goes down, if my doula will be able to attend my birth).
In general I am somewhat anxious about how things will go this time around. I'm not sure how likely it is that I'll have a wham-bam-thank-you-mam quick (but very intense) birth again and I'm trying to not get caught up in the idea that some second deliveries are faster than the first. I feel like if I do then I won't be mentally prepared to handle it if things last longer. But at the same time I don't want to be all gloom and doom, oh my god I'm going to be in labor for 48 hours ohthehumanity!! because, you know, self-fulfilling prophecy and all that.
So I am hoping for the best but preparing for the worst while also remaining optimistic that things will go as smoothly the second time around. Two words. Mind. Fuck. Or these two: Over Thinking. But that's just how I roll, my friends, I can't help myself! If I really calm down and get out of my head, I do fully trust my body to know what to do and sooner rather than later I'll be doped up on those amazing endorphins that got me through the first time around.
Or rather, I do. So this is happening...
Yep, I am pregnant with baby number two. Almost 38 weeks to be exact. If you know about my pregnancy you're my husband, my child, my midwife, my doula, my massage therapist, an observant co-worker, good friend, or family member. I have told random people as I've seen them out and about if the topic presents itself but haven't felt the need to make a huge deal of it on FB or really in general. (please don't feel offended about just finding out, its nothing personal) I've been keeping things on the DL for a smattering of reasons: I didn't/don't want people to treat me differently, (I am certainly capable of lifting those boxes, etc. thank you), I just like to do things my own way without judgment from others (helping build giant play sets, doing boudoir sessions, eating copious amounts of sashimi and soft cheeses, etc), but mostly I like that the experience is a private(ish) thing between Heath, Ruby, and I.
So why have I decided to come out of the closet now? At this point I basically don't care anymore, I'm kind of in the home stretch and officially on maternity leave, plus I feel like by not being able to talk about my pregnancy and what I've been feeling about it that I've held myself back when it comes to this blog which is ultimately a diary of my life, my thoughts and feelings. Sure, I could do this in private, and I have been, but for whatever reason I am driven to share words with whomever should happen to stop by my little place on the Web. (Perhaps this is the storyteller in me that my great-grandma tried to force out of me as I was growing up but I denied ever existed?)
That being said, things are going great. Although I did have "morning" sickness this time around (I didn't with Ruby) but once December and January passed things were all good. Emotionally I haven't had to deal with the anxiety like I did the first time around (thank god) but I was feeling more depressed for a while so I opted to take Wellbutrin which has seemed to help (along with the end of that ridiculously long winter, more sun, and getting my energy back at the end of Jan). I've been spoiling myself with massage on a regular basis (weekly at this point), a splurge, most definitely, but totally worth it.
I've had the usual doubts that I assume most sane people have when embarking on a journey such as this. There's been lots of "what the hell were we thinking" mostly when dealing with Ruby's terrible threes moments. There was, and still is, stress when it comes to the cost of two kids in daycare (ffffuuuuuuuck!) and unresolved future plans around that. I've felt guilt for having a healthy pregnancy while my SIL and brother lost their first child (we were only 6 weeks apart) and I've been dealing with issues of identity and this whole mom thing, an ongoing challenge in my life.
Ruby is excited to have a brother or a sister (we don't know the sex) but I had to explain to her that there is no "brother AND sister" only "brother OR sister" after several people at her daycare asked me if I was having twins. She was very disappointed by that conversation. All in all I think she will handle being a big sister quite swimmingly, as long as the green-eyed monster doesn't emerge when her favorite-st person EVER, grandpa, holds the baby.
Only a few weeks now, give or take. The next few weeks or however long I have will be spent getting stuff done (major, major nesting going on at this point), relaxing, sleeping, enjoying our time alone with Ruby, and trying to squeeze in time with friends and for just Heath and I. Okay, little one, I think we're going to be shooting more for 'later' rather than 'sooner'...
At 3.5, here are some things going on in Ruby's world:
I was very proud of her when we went out for sushi one night. She had miso soup, eel roll, pickled ginger, soy sauce, and even some salmon sashimi. And I didn't even have to beg her to just please for the love of god try it!!, she did it all on her own. I think eating with the chopsticks and the funny spoon may have played a part in that. Other than that night her eating habits are really hit or miss. Unfortunately, her favorite restaurant is "Old McDonalds" (Ugh. We are working on that) She also likes "Barrel Cracker", which she frequents with the grandparents, and Indian food.
Her sleeping habits have changed. A nap is no longer a guarantee but they still happen, for the most part. Instead of nap time we call it quiet time though. She doesn't have to sleep as long as she stays in her room and is quiet she is free to play, color, read, whatever. Most of the time she ends up falling asleep. On days she doesn't sleep an early, or at the very least, easy bedtime is all but guaranteed. In the morning she usually doesn't sleep past 8 any longer which really sucks and our attempts at subliminally telling her to sleep until 10 have so far been unsuccessful. We've also found her asleep in random places such as on a massive pile of books on the floor in the corner and right behind her bedroom door. In both cases she had her pillow, a blanket, and had been reading.
We've backed off on the screen time quite a bit. There was basically none for the first two years then we realized how glorious it was to just throw on Dinosaur Train and be able to run off and do something, anything in peace. However, the tv (and iPad) just turned Ruby into an even more of a whiny little punk. She's much better behaved when tv isn't involved and listening to her as she's off playing in her room is adorable and hilarious. She still watches stuff, but it's usually only an episode or two of something on the weekends.
She's more into being naked now. Not all the time but like whenever she gets out of the shower she doesn't want to put clothes on. And when we went outside to play this past weekend she asked if she could play in the pool with no clothes (and then she asked if she could pee in the grass). I don't particularly care, I'm more concerned with her not being ashamed about her body in the future. Oh yes, and sunburn.
Heath and I rarely exchange gifts, on any occasion really. I don't know how we got into that habit but this year, it being our ten year anniversary and all, I decided to break tradition. I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to get him so when the opportunity to book a boudoir session, complete with hair and make-up, with Seriously Sabrina Photography presented itself I said, "Fuck it. YOLO, right?" and went ahead and booked it after a little encouragement from a friend.
The session was just around the corner, like less than a week away, when I booked it so I had to very quickly find and order some lingerie and then have it rush delivered to ensure timely arrival. I basically only had one shot at it so if what I chose didn't work, well, I'd totally be SOL. Thankfully everything worked out quite well and I happened to find the perfect shoes collecting dust in my closet. (unfortunately Ruby wrangling and Tar.get-ting are not all that conducive to 7" blue suede platform heels. Who would've thought??)
I worked the day of the session and afterwards went over the Hilton over at Lexington Green. I am sure the guy at the front desk wondered what the heck was going on when I walked by the desk carrying blue heels and a bright red tulle skirt. I was nervous, being that I rarely flaunt myself in sexy lingerie in front of Heath, let alone complete strangers and a camera, but I already knew the make-up artist and everyone else involved was super cool. By the time my turn came (there were other women getting pictures done as well. I was the only one getting them done for anniversary purposes, most were doing them for wedding gifts for their future hubbies, and I was probably a good 10 years older than most of the other girls) I was standing out in the room in my corset like it something that I did all the time. Did I mention that there were mimosas?
Getting my make-up done was strange only because I never really wear make-up, only a bit of mascara and lipstick every once in a blue moon. This time I was wearing everything AND for the first time, fake lashes, which I instantly loved, loved, loved and want to wear every day if only I could apply them. (I have tried once since and it was an epic fail) My hair, sigh, I wish it could look like that ALL the time. CURSE not winning the lottery and having my own personal stylist on hand each morning!
Okay, so I may or may not have Googled "boudoir photo poses" and stuff like that beforehand, so that I'd be a rock star in front of the camera. (by "stuff like that" I mean I practiced in front of the mirror in the bedroom, door locked) I'd have my POT LEDOM moment and hit all my angles correctly and wouldn't Tyra be oh so proud of me?! I'm fiercely real, bitch! *snap-snap-snap*
Hahahahaha. No. Instead as soon as I stepped up to the curtain I forgot all that I'd practiced and I felt like such a DORK and immediatly began my crazy uncomfortable laughter thing that I do along with making crazy faces. Thankfully, Sabrina was good at directing me and reassuring me that even though it might feel strange, "trust me, it looks amazing!" In the end the shoot turned out to be a ton of fun. I still felt like a dork but it was fun :)
I left the session feeling pa-retty dang good about myself and on a crazy adrenaline rush that ended about 10 minutes afterwards. All of the sudden I was crazy ass hungry and friggin' exhausted! I drove straight to McD's, wolfed down a cheeseburger, and then picked up Ruby from daycare. When she saw me in my make up she asked who painted my lips and eyes, lol. Which made me realize, Shit! How am I going to explain the make up and hair when I get home?? There was no way that I was taking off my makeup or getting rid of my curls right away so I ended up telling Heath that I had been a model for my friend Laura who works for Mary Kay. Which is not totally a lie because Laura was the one who did my makeup that day! Woot!
Okay, so here are a few photos from the session:
The session was done back in March and our anniversary was May 22. It was hard to have to sit on these for so long. I was DYING to give them to him because I knew 1. That he'd totally friggin' love them, and 2. He would definitely NOT be expecting this as my gift since this is something that was most definitely out of my box. I may or may not have told him, "You are going to frickin' LOVE your anniversary gift" which btw inadvertently put the pressure on him to get me an equally as awesome gift. As excited as I was to give them to him when the moment finally came I became nervous. Silly, because he's certainly seen me more naked than this, not to mention giving birth which is pretty much the end all, be all of seeing your significant other in a raw, unfiltered way and these were so, SO much more flattering than all that business. (trust me, I have photographic evidence of that as well)
Not to get too detailed (you're welcome) but we'll just say that he liked them very much. Even though these were meant as a gift to him truthfully the session was a gift to myself as well. Everyone deserves to get pampered every once in a while! And even though it's odd for me to see myself in photos like this I am SO happy that I went outside of my comfort zone and did it in the first place. I really didn't think I'd ever have the balls to do something like this. As a bonus now I have these photos to look back on in the future and be all like, "Daaaamn, I was smokin'!" And hopefully when Ruby comes across them accidentally way, way far into the future she'll think the same thing and not be traumatized by them. ;)
Outfits: This corset, with black ruffled undies, fishnets, and my favorite heels. For the second outfit I wanted to do something along the line of superheros. The outfit wasn't ideal but I'm pleased with it considering I was literally getting everything together less than a week before the shoot. [Heath's t-shirt, heels (similar; mine were $7 from target :), skirt]
In celebration of our ten year anniversary I'd originally wanted to go back to Hawaii, the most amazing place ever. Alas, things came up and we decided that it was better that we be responsible adults and all that boring stuff. Instead, Heath's parents watched Ruby and this past Saturday we went to see X-Men: Days of Future Past (which was awesome) and to Belle Notte for dinner where I ate way too much bread.
On Sunday we drove up to Cincinnati for a quick one night get away. We started off by going to IKEA to pick up a few things that we needed for the house. We pulled into the parking lot just after the store opened and we were all like, "We'll just grab what we need and get in and be out in a couple of hours".
We wandered for a bit but then focused on our main purpose in going up- to check out this giant desk/office set-up that they have online. It's pricey so we wanted to see it in person before sinking our tax return into it. Well, they didn't have it set up as it appeared on the website, just its individual pieces. Sigh. We were 2 hours in at this point and both Heath and I were frustrated because we'd hoped that the whole process would have been as simple as us finding the display, poking around it a bit, and decided yes or no. But the prospect of leaving with absolutely nothing in which to cross things off the massive to-do list we have was not cool with both of us so we sucked it up and moved on. We ended up not getting the unit, or rather the bits and pieces that make up the unit, and just getting the desks we needed.
Another thing we bought was a small couch for downstairs, the goal being that we hang out more downstairs working on our hobbies rather than zoning out in front of the TV watching (fill in tv show of your choice) for hours on end. When we got to the aisle and bin where it was located we whipped out the tape measure and found that, alas, the package was a couple inches longer than what my CR-V would hold. I wasn't too sure about getting it but Heath was in "make it work" mode so we went ahead and bought it anyway.
Getting everything into my car was quite the adventure. There was a lot of shoving, removing couch from packaging, more shoving, moving forward of the seats, even more shoving, cursing the fact that we'd forgot to bring bungee cords or twine (why does IKEA not sell these things?), some more shoving and different angling of things and finally we got the dang trunk to latch enough that the trunk light didn't pop on when we started the car. Sure, I couldn't see out of any windows except the windshield and the two front ones, but that's what mirrors are for, right? I found the whole situation quite amusing but when we got into the car Heath said it smelled like, "IKEA and Fail" lol. Four hours, FOUR, after we'd walked in the door we pulled out of the parking lot. Gotta love the great time-suck that is IKEA.
Our next stop was MadTree Brewing where we spent the next couple of hours sampling beer, talking, and eating yummy food truck pizza. Then we finally headed towards downtown Cinci. We checked into our hotel, chilled for a bit and then went out to experience some food at the Taste of Cincinnati. The clear winner of what we tried was the deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was basically like eating a donut that had pb&j in the middle, covered with powdered sugar. WIN all the way.
Afterwards we wandered over to 21C Hotel Museum to check out the gallery. I am not the biggest fan of contemporary art but I at least try to give it the benefit of the doubt, trying to look past the bs to find some appreciation for what it took to make it or something. Heath however is not a fan and I wish I could have made a video montage of his eye rolling and whatnot as we wandered through the gallery.
He was even skeptical of the floor thingy (see how I use those technical artist terms?) which I just thought was cool and fun even though it surely represented overpopulation or something like that.
Monday morning we slept in (hells yes), had lunch, and then drove back to Lexington, hoping all the while that the trunk would stay latched. Thankfully it did and while we waited for the return of our child (who was not pleased that we had the audacity to come home again and take her away from her grandparents) we unloaded everything. And guess what? We even got all the stuff put together that night. Every single bit. A couch, desks and file cabinets? (glancing at the play set outside) Psssh! It's nothing.
Yesterday was mine and Heath's ten year wedding anniversary. Instead of mushy sentiment (okay, there may be some at the end of the post) here are ten random bits of trivia about our wedding day and photos of course. (all photos by Melanie Mauer)