I failed miserably at trying to blog out my pregnancy with baby #3. Now that I’m nearing the end, I wanted to get some thoughts out there to commemorate this time in our lives. I hope to get in a few more before baby’s born.
I decided shortly after I found out that I was pregnant that I didn’t want to find out the baby’s gender. I had a very strong feeling from the beginning that this baby was a (third) boy. I imagined disappointment washing over me at hearing the ultrasound tech tell us it was a boy. I just didn’t want the guilt attached to feeling upset over a healthy baby. I rationalized that if I waited until the moment we met face to face for the first time, my heart would melt as his little hand grasped my finger… and I couldn’t possibly be disappointed then.
As time went on, I started to think about my mom who passed away when I was pregnant with my first child. It was difficult to come to terms with the idea that I may never again have a mother/daughter relationship in my life. I started to fear disappointment in the delivery room even as I looked at his precious little face. I felt so guilty and selfish.
After sharing this struggle with a good friend- who was, at the time, pregnant with her third boy- she urged me to find out the gender at my ultrasound so I could “grieve” not having the little girl I wanted so much. She told me how she really had a hard time dealing with it when she got the news that her third was another boy. She told me that having time before the birth to mentally and emotionally prepare really helped her and that she thought it would really help me too.
Well, since patience is a discipline that eludes me- it wasn’t a hard sell. I convinced my husband that night that I needed to find out. Luckily, he’s so easy-going he didn’t need much of a push to change his mind (even though he had been pretty excited about that “delivery room moment“ up to that night).
So, the big day came. I thought I would be a nervous wreck. But I was completely calm and ready to hear what I already knew… another boy. As the ultrasound tech rolled the lubricated wand across my belly she caught a glimpse of three lines between the baby’s legs.
“See those three lines?“ she asked. “That COULD mean that it’s a girl.”
My eyes instantly welled up with tears, but I quickly pushed back any emotion… she stressed “could” very emphatically. I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
After looking at all the organs and taking the appropriate measurements, she checked the gender-determining area again. She said, “It looks like it’s probably a girl.”
Probably?? What kind of remark is that? I asked if the baby was in an awkward position, making it hard to see for sure. And she said, “oh no, I have a very clear shot. A more bold person would say it was definitely a girl– but I’m not that bold.”
I didn’t have the emotional energy to expend on words like “could” and “probably.” If it really was a girl, I needed to know for sure.
I didn’t expect this at all. I told my husband ahead of time that if they said it was a girl they would have to whip out the smelling salts, because I was completely sure it was a boy.
I still kept looking for the penis. It had to be there, I was sure of it.
I continued to grill the ultrasound tech, “Can you give me a percentage of how sure you are it’s a girl?”
“No,” was her only reply.
“Well, do you think I can go out and start buying dresses?” I continued.
As poker faced as a person can be, she responded, “At 19 weeks, I don’t think anyone can be certain enough to plan for either gender.”
So that was it. We left and I felt like I still didn’t know for sure. I wanted so much to be excited, but I just couldn’t let myself.
Not only was uncertainty killing my enthusiasm, but also the feeling that it was just too good to be true. It’s silly, I know, but I couldn’t help but think it’s not fair that I would have a girl and that it didn’t happen for my friend I mentioned earlier- and other friends as well- who so wanted a girl too.. Why me?
Funny thing is, I remember when I was so sure it was a boy, I thought about all the women I knew who had girls and would think to myself “why them and not me?“
But in spite of guilt and uncertainty, I went ahead and planned for a girl. With much hesitation and not nearly the excitement I imagined I would feel. I hated that feeling. I just wanted to be as excited as I always imagined I would be.
As time went on, I talked to others who had girls and also had the same ultrasound tech. Turns out she was equally as ambiguous with them. So I went ahead and painted the room, holding my breath and cringing as I rolled the pink paint over the blue.
I recently had another ultrasound at 33 weeks- with a different tech. The one who scanned my boys and who I was hoping we would get with this baby. She said she is 99.9% sure it’s a girl!! So, I FINALLY feel like it’s safe to let go of the uncertainty… for the most part. I still don’t think I will truly believe it till I see her. And I think I’ll always feel just a little guilty… and a lot grateful and humbled.
Our house was a rental before we bought it (CHEAP), and it was dis.gust.ing. We remodeled most of the house, including a full bath on the first floor. The upstairs bathroom has been put on hold until we can afford to do it “right.”
The upstairs toilet has been the most repulsive sight in the house. We’ve lived here for 3 years, and I’ve only used it once …squatting and hovering like I was in a public restroom. Even throughout my pregnancy with my second child I refused to use it. When I got up in the middle of the night (as pregos so often do), I opted to fumble my gigantic butt down the stairs to do my business rather than walk across the hall and use the “yucky potty“ (as my son calls it).
No amount of cleaning or disinfecting has been able to remove the grime or stains ..or cross my OCD threshold. The nauseating appearance combined with knowing that the house was a rental (and NOT knowing whose tush has touched the toilet), keeps me from thinking of it as anything other than public property.
So now that I’m pregnant again, my sweet husband surprised me with a new toilet for the upstairs bathroom!
I did a happy dance in the living room when he showed me (the box containing) my Valentine’s Day can!
The best gift a pregnant girl could get!
My mom spent the last two months of her life in a hospital, and for those two months I spent every day by her side. She passed away shortly before I hit the 20 week mark of my first pregnancy.
Needless to say, there aren’t many pictures of me in my first trimester (or my second trimester) when I was pregnant with baby #1.
[That son’s first year was subsequently (overly) documented in a scrapbook the width of an encyclopedia].
In an effort to make up for the less-than-perfect circumstances surrounding my first pregnancy, I was very determined to create an entire scrapbook dedicated to my second pregnancy. I wanted to have a book that would show me growing into a maternity shirt and growing out of a “regular” shirt …along with a monthly detailed record of my weight gain, baby’s heart rate, and any sentiments I thought might be appropriate to share.
I was very diligent every month and it was looking fantastic!
…but I never made it past the fourth month.
[My second son’s first year was subsequently under-documented].
So now I have a third go at it.
…and I have zero pictures of my first trimester.
But better late than never, right? We got the camera out the other day and hubby snapped a few pics of me at 16 weeks.
I am obviously not the type of woman who could ever hide a pregnancy for long. At three months, I look six months. At 6 months, people start asking how many days I have left. And 9 months, for the most part, eludes me… I don’t think my body was made to carry babies that long. Both of my guys came early. I can only assume they ran out of room.
From what I hear, those last couple weeks suck, so I’ll count myself lucky.
I have an addiction to obsessions.
I tend to obsess over -say, blogging- for a few months then move on to another obsession (like maybe scrapbooking) for a few months, which then gives way to the next obsession, and so on until the cycle repeats itself.
Of all my obsessions, none have caused such parental negligence on my part as blogging.
This being my first post in nearly a year, I haven’t caught blog-mania again just yet. But if this does become my next fixation, I intend to maintain some level of self control and try to keep from neglecting my kids.
I plan to keep my posts short and sweet…
I plan to refrain from commenting on other blogs for the sole purpose of trying to reel in more comments on my own blog….
I will not force myself to comment on another blogger’s post -even if I really like it- if my comment would be repetitive. Oh why can’t blog comment sections have a “like” button?…
The motivating force behind the desire to write publicly this time around is to keep myself accountable. I want to remember not to forget to record the thoughts and feelings of my third pregnancy.
With my second pregnancy, I saved e-mails between myself and a pregnant friend. Those e-mails contain all of my pregnancy cravings, aversions, joys, frustrations, and hormonally charged quirks. I want to use this blog to record all of those same things. I want to look back and be able to say that this baby didn’t get shafted just because I was busier, more exhausted, and lacked the self-discipline to write regularly in a baby book.
I can be a good mom to a third child. Even if it means neglecting the other two a little….
So, I decided that enough was enough. My pre-pregnancy jeans have been leaving button and zipper shaped patterns on my FUPA (Fat Upper Pelvic Area) for 10 months. The ‘ol muffin top has been spilling out far too long. If I want another pregnancy, I need to get rid of the remains of the previous pregnancy first.
First step. Find out how much I weigh.
I have always depended on the scale to keep me inspired. During a workout-obsessed, super body-conscious time in my life, Hubby challenged me to give up weighing myself for Lent. I gained 5 lbs.
That was after only 40 days. I haven’t weighed myself in nearly a year. Yikes. If I don’t regularly check my progress, I lose my drive. I start eating icing like soup…by the spoonfuls, I stop using a bowl for ice cream, and dinnertime? Portion control, shmortion control.
So, if I am going to be at all successful, I gotta keep tabs on those three digits that will define my self worth in the months to come.
I don’t trust my home scale. If I stand on it three times in a row, it will spit out three different numbers. The scale at the gyno, the one that weighed me throughout my pregnancy, could give me an accurate reading. Plus, it could compare what I weigh now with how much I weighed pre-second-pregnancy. That would motivate me, I’m sure. It made me want to schedule a pap smear yesterday.
But instead, I went to the gym. I relied on that scale faithfully back when I was in fully obsessed workout and weigh-myself-daily mode. So off to the gym I went to push the little black thingy too far to the right…and get inspired.
I had not been to the gym in four and a half years. They had added on and changed things around a bit, so when the nice lady offered to give me a *quick* tour, I agreed. I really didn’t want a tour though. I was so ready to let the scale in the locker room present me with my motivating moment of truth, then climb on the treadmill and self-loathingly run the fat off of my thighs.
As the tour began, I was shown a new therapy pool, yawn….an additional aerobic room, okay…An additional locker room, huh. Wonder if it has a scale too…
But wait, let’s not get too hasty…
A café with fruit smoothies and WiFi, eh? Two hours of child care?
This place is awesome! I’m so here everyday.
An hour into my *quick* tour, and I was ready to burst. Finally my new card was scanned and I was buzzed through the doors as an official member.
Into the locker room I dashed. Without missing a beat I spun the corner to the area beside the bathroom stalls to where the scale stood. Well, where the scale used to stand four years ago, that is. I ran around the locker room like a perverted peeping tom looking for the scale. Not in there. So I did the same seemingly perverted jog around the new locker room. No scale there either. Mother effer.
I ran out to the front desk and asked the nice lady who gave me the tour where the scale might be. She directed me to the workout center where I was informed that the scale was broke and would be back in a few days. Mother effer.
Well, might as well work out while I’m here, right?
I hopped on one of the brand new treadmills. It was fancy. Fully equipped with a touch screen and all sorts of confusing buttons. Maybe if I would have opted for the *long* tour, I would have learned how to use it.
The “Manual Start” seemed easy and familiar enough, so I pressed that button and it started me out at a slowwww pace of 1.0. I pushed the “up” arrow to speed up a bit. Push arrow..1.1, push arrow…1.2, push arrow…1.3.
This isn’t working.
So I pushed the “up” arrow and held it in. It quickly flew through the speed levels all the way to “10,” but the tread was still moving at a 1.3 pace.
Then I let go of the arrow.
That did the trick!! The pace instantly sped up to “10,” forcing me to grasp the sides of the treadmill with a white knuckle grip while my legs tried to keep up with the floor moving at 20 mph beneath me.
I continued to hold onto the side rail with one hand while I held in the “down” arrow with the other until it reached speed level “4.5.”
I walked briskly for a few minutes, wondering if anyone noticed and feeling like a fat dork. I thought I should make it look like I meant to use the treadmill for a run, so I sped up a little and started to jog.
I lasted three minutes.
Running is not at all like riding a bike. You forget. You forget how to breath, your muscles lose stamina, and you just can‘t pick it up again after almost five years. I used to be a fairly avid runner. Then I got pregnant and have not deliberately increased my heart rate for 20+ minutes since.
I spent 23 minutes on the treadmill yesterday, and still didn‘t increase my heart rate for 20 minutes straight. I had a five minute warm up, a three minute run, and a fifteen minute cool down.
…Maybe I’ll do better when they get the scale back in.
Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. The birthday celebration, however, was really more for the three year old than the 33 yr old.
I took Sam to pick out a gift for his daddy, then to pick up balloons, (which were more for Sam’s enjoyment than daddy’s), and then to pick up the chocolate cake with chocolate icing (which was a little more for my enjoyment than for my husband’s).
Unfortunately, this was not the first birthday that my husband was not the center of attention on his special day. My poor husband has a history of not-so-happy birthdays…
13th – He was hit by a MACK truck. Yes, you read that right. A semi ran him over, he was caught up in the wheels, and he was nearly road kill. On his birthday. Miraculously, he’s fine now. Other than the scars on his legs, you would never know it happened. Praise the Lord.
20th – This was the first birthday I celebrated with him as my new boyfriend. I went to my BFF’s sister’s wedding and showed up late to his party, super drunk and with a cheesecake that gave everyone diarrhea.
25th – Like this year’s b-day, his 25th was actually more for the kids than for him. Not our kids. Hubby and I helped out with our church’s Youth Group and the kids adored him. So, thanks to me, his celebration was a gathering of 13 year olds, and he was the main attraction. They were thoroughly amused to adorn him in “Over the Hill” garb and point out his fresh strands of grey hair. They also thought he was 30.
26th– He spent this birthday delivering the eulogy at his grandmother’s funeral.
27th-28th – We both went back to school, and his birthday was right before/during finals week. Did we even celebrate?
29th – I had been spending the past month, days and nights, in the hospital at my mom‘s bedside. I got him a few silly gifts from the hospital gift shop. Then in an attempt to give him something he would appreciate, I took myself, pregnant belly and all, to the beer distributor to get him a case of Guiness. Maybe it would help him forget that he would miss another month of watching his baby grow inside me.
31st – He gave me a gift instead:
32nd- I invited his parents over to celebrate. I spent an outrageous amount of money on a cake that was supposed to be fantastically de-lish. Instead, it was so disgusting I doubt the dog would have eaten it. We ended up throwing it out.
33rd – This year, his birthday was not entirely his own, true. But instead of the focus being taken away from him, it was enhanced by a three year old’s enthusiasm to celebrate. And I think he had a nice day…
In addition to his new ipod touch,
hubby got a card with a hand drawn picture of a “jelwee fish” in it, a thoughtfully chosen box of candy, an eagerly sung rendition of “Happy Birthday,” and help blowing out candles. Plus, the chance to share the thoughtfully selected gift.
Once you are a parent, birthdays are celebrated more for the children than for yourself. But maybe that’s okay…maybe it’s even better. As long as you still get a new ipod, that is.
Happy Birthday Daddy!
He sat in a circle of preschoolers on a brightly colored number “7” carpet square. He looked so cute and so content as he listened intently to a woman dressed as Mother Goose tell stories and nursery rhymes. It was preschool open house week and we were sitting in, observing for the day.
I was in rare obsessive-compulsive mom form. I was determined to walk away equipped with a list of skills that he should have mastered before school starts in the fall. He still doesn’t use a proper pencil hold…will that be an issue? What about the names of coins, he still thinks everything is called a penny. What about…
I wanted to find out how I’ll know that he will be ready for preschool. When in reality, I should have been concerning myself with how I’ll know that I will be ready for preschool.
There he was, my three year old looking so at home in that classroom. A classroom full of four year olds. Four. I remember being four myself! And this time next year he will be four and a half!
Ugh, I’m SO not ready.
He made a little friend immediately. Sitting to his left was a little boy who also had a little baby brother. That was all it took for them to strike up a conversation and for each of them to find a new friend.
To his right was “B,” a little girl who has been one of his favorite friends since last year. He loves his playdates with B so much that he imagines playing with her even when she‘s not around. When we hear him “talking to himself“ in his room, we know the answer to “What are you doing Sam?”… will usually be “Oh, just playing with B.”
He was equally happy to sit next to his new friend and his old friend, his male friend and his female friend. Because at three, he only sees friends. He was asked to choose a picture from the story board, and he picked the big, pink castle with the princess. Because at three, he doesn’t see one picture as more gender appropriate than another, he only sees the biggest picture on the story board.
A one year age difference means nothing in the adult world. But in preschool world, a whole new social perspective emerges between age three and age four.
A few months ago, Sam had to have one of his two front teeth pulled due to an A-typical growth pattern. Of course it had to be one of the front teeth, right? So far, it doesn’t seem to bother him. Truth be told, it bothers me much more. And so far, none of the kids in his three year old circle of friends seem to notice, or care.
A little four year old boy at the preschool noticed Sam’s missing tooth though. He didn’t say anything directly to Sam, and Sam didn’t hear (or just didn’t care) when the little boy started talking about how HE had more teeth.
I realized at that moment that at age four, kids think on a different level than they do at age three, in more than just the academic sense. I realized at that moment that it doesn’t matter as much if Sam has a proper pencil hold or some other arbitrary preschool readiness skill. (I never got my list anyway).
I realized that it might be starting sooner than I thought it would. Soon, insensitive words will chip away at my son’s self esteem, and I will really have to step up as a parent. I will have to help him work through anger and hurt feelings. I will have to get over my own hurt and anger felt on his behalf. I will have to find the right words to teach him the importance of inward beauty and the value of character.
I realized that I need to be prepared for preschool.
And I am SO not ready.