Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Monday, February 18, 2013

mean girls

The weather has been sunny and beautiful in Lewiston and I've been taking full advantage by trying to walk this baby out. Last weekend, I told my father-in-law that I would either a) walk until I went into labor and returned home with a baby in my arms or b) died trying. Well, both turned out to be empty threats and five miles later, I could scarcely hobble up the stairs.

Never one to give up (or learn from past mistakes), I decided to try the same plan this weekend. So, Joe and I loaded up the kids and their bikes in the minivan and headed down to the Levee for some walking and bike riding. Sam took off like a shot, now being the expert cyclist a 4 year old boy is...but ND was quite terrified she might fall into the river next to the path and cautiously and painfully slowly pedaled along beside her large mama.

Eventually, we made it to the playground to catch our collective breath.

While I was watching Sam ride laps around the playground, an 8 year old girl approached me.

Girl #1: Whoa. Your baby is huge. Like, REALLY huge.
Me: Um, yeah. I guess he is.
Girl #1 (calls over to her friends): Hey, guys! Come over here! Look at her belly! It's HUGE.
Two more 8-year old girls walk over.

Girl #2: When is your baby due?
Me: Well....he was due last week.
Girl #2: Are you SURE you only have one baby in there?
Me: Yes.
Girl #3: 'Cause my mom had twins, which means there are TWO babies.
Me: Oh?
Girl #3: And she wasn't even close to as big as you are.
All three girls: WOW!

What I wanted to say was "Shut the hell up."
But, realizing I was 31 and not, in fact, 8 years old, I made myself smile politely and walk away, just walk away.

Who needs the verbal abuse of a bunch of precocious 8 year olds anyway?
In other pregnancy news, we are at almost 41 weeks and made the difficult decision to cancel my induction today.

I stopped our priest in the hall at Mass yesterday and asked him if he knew any special prayers to induce labor. I was a bit disappointed when his prayer did not include the words "get this baby out", but rather mentioned "We ask you grant us patience as we wait for Your Holy and perfect timing..."

And so we wait....
Until 42 weeks.
Then I will have no qualms about induction.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

stuff my kid says

We've been playing a lot of Guess Who? at our house lately. If you're not familiar with the game, it's sort of like 20 Questions where each player tries to guess the other player's mystery person through process of elimination.

It sounds pretty basic...unless you're two years old.

Natalie Doris has a hard time with the game. Loves the game, but doesn't really understand how to come up with questions to ask her brother. Her favorite question is "Is your's a girl with a pink hat and glasses?" (That's Claire, for your information, who happens to be her favorite person on the board).

So, when I usually join her team and we come up with questions together so Sam doesn't pull his hair out in frustration.

Unfortunately, Sam feels a bit left out with this arrangement and often wants me to play on his team as well. Finally, after an afternoon of playing Guess Who?, we decided that when Joe got home, Joe could help ND and I could finally be on Sam's team.

Everyone was fine with this arrangment...except Natalie Doris. She's a mama's girl.

She was about to throw a huge fit when I heard Sam talking sweetly to her:
"ND--You'll like having Dad on your team 'cause Dad is so much smarter than Mom."


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

natural labor induction

We have been hanging out in pregnancy purgatory far too long. We have had a few more false starts and I honestly feel like if my body could just get a little push over the edge, labor would really get going. Thursday, I lost my mucus plug and was dilated to a 3cm. Yesterday, a 5cm. Still no baby. So, I've been seduced by the promise of natural labor induction. Here's a few things people have sworn got their labor started. I share them here with the disclaimer that NONE of them have been successful for me.

1. Walking. Deanna came over (again, with the promise I'd be having a baby soon. Unfortunately, she leaves this evening and there is no baby in sight) and has been great encouragement whenever my mood hits rock bottom. Every day, we've been walking miles.Saturday night, Teenie came over after she put her boys to bed and drank wine with Deanna and Joe while I did laps around the living room.  Sunday, we walked 5 miles and got some good contractions going. But, whenever I stop, so do they. Still, no labor.
2. Telling your baby you've had enough. Well, I've been doing this for about a month now, but Sunday morning, I really did start to lose my grip on sanity. I got insanely (although I don't think entirely irrationally) angry at Joe that I was still pregnant and had to have a little cry-fest and a nice, quiet hot shower to regain my composure. Good thing my ever-patient husband took it all in stride and gave me a hug after I threw my little temper tantrum. Bad didn't get the message that his mom is bordering on a mental break down and he should GET OUT SOON!
3. Castor oil. I knew this wouldn't work. There is no way it should work and several smart people have discouraged me from trying it. But, a girl has her limits and I got suckered into the idea after reading several birth stories where women went into labor immediately after drinking it. One woman swore she drank it, pooped for 2 hours, and then had her baby 25 minutes after she finished pooping. I heard "25 minutes!" and ran home to drink a castor oil smoothie. It led to some intense contractions...OF MY COLON and after a miserable afternoon of diarrhea, I still was not in labor.
Other things we've tried:
4. Divine intervention. I went to church Sunday and blatantly asked every person I saw to pray that this baby would get out that day. Apparently, I need to be a better Catholic because I didn't get the answer I want on those prayers.
5. Nipple stimulation. I've been watching movies in the evenings with my breast pumped strapped to my chest. Now all I have is sore nipples.
6. Ice cream. Three people told me they went into labor after eating at Dairy Queen or Baskin Robbins. All I've gotten is fat.
7. Spicy food. Same as the above.
8. Resetting my craniosacral pulse. My chiropractor did this and while I was skeptical, I'd probably follow her through fire since she DID get my baby to flip around. She stuck her fingers in my ears and did some magic chiropractor thing I don't understand and I felt amazing afterwards. But, no baby.
9. Stripping membranes. Did this twice. Again, no baby.

I'm still pregnant.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Happy 3rd birthday, Natalie Doris!

Dear Natalie Doris,
Happy third birthday, Pudge-girl! Three years ago, we were surprised to welcome a daughter into our family and we've never been the same since.

 You continue to be fiercely independent, strong willed and opinionated, which keeps your Dad and me on our toes and our patience always at its limits. But, you are growing every day and this year, we've been blessed to experience more of your joyful grins, laughter, and good times. This year, we've seen you master three major milestones: sleeping through the night (in a big girl bed!), potty-training (you decided it was time and did it, mastering it within a week), and giving up the binky in the daytime (that's probably been the hardest).

Without the binky ever-present in your mouth, you never stop talking. It's interesting to hear your thoughts about everything and anything. You love to sing songs and bring back tidbits of conversation from your teachers all the time. Dad and I sometimes wonder if our tidbits of conversation are making it back to them and try to watch what we say a little more carefully.

You are quite the girly girl and love everything pink, purple or sparkly. You like pretty shoes, necklaces, and "beautiful" dresses. You love brushing your Ninang's hair to make it look pretty. We try not to pigeon-hole you into gender stereotypes, but the way you giggle and clap when you read "Shoe-La-La" makes it hard not to.

You are still a Mama's girl, but this year, you've branched out a bit (probably because your mom has not been such a fun mom this year of endless pregnancy) and love spending time with Lala, Ninang, Kate and Glory, Aunt Teenie, and Grandma Dori...Dad, too, sometimes. You like to talk on the phone and love spending the night at Lala's house.

This year, you are most looking forward to becoming a big sister. You and Sam talk about being a big sister and big brother to our new baby at least daily. You've practiced holding your dolls, covering them, snuggling them, giving them binkies, singing them songs, strapping them into the swing, putting them in the car seat ad infinitum. You are very loving, if not very gentle. I think you're going to make a great big sister. Lampie will be lucky to have you.

Here's to a great year ahead. You add sass and adventure to our family every day and we wouldn't want it any other way.

Love, Mom and Dad

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

waiting...mostly impatiently

Dear Lampie,

Could you get here already?

Your mama is miserable.
My face is puffy.
My fingers are swollen.
My ankles are cankles.

I am terrifyingly hungry.
I fear I will soon outweigh your father.
I am down to three extra large maternity shirts to wear.
They barely cover my belly.

I have new stretch marks.
Thank you.
The millions of stretch marks I already had from your older siblings weren't enough, were they?

Dad and I live in a constant state of readiness for your arrival.
The bags are packed.
He texts me three or four times a day to see if I've gone into labor.
(Somehow, he doesn't trust that I will indeed CALL him if my water breaks).

Life is good out here on the outside.

The laundry is done; the nursery is ready.
We want to see your little face
And our arms long to snuggle you.