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Update: 37 Weeks and Not Yet Ready

I’m 37 weeks now, which sounds and seems INSANE, and it’s time for another update. There’s so much happening around here! Let’s make this easy. Bullet-point easy:

  • I’m feeling really, really good so far. I think I look HUGE, but I feel fantastic. So far, no hemorrhoid flare-ups. The nausea is FINALLY gone. I’m tired, but not overly so. Still sleeping pretty well at night. No swelling. Sometimes achy, but it comes and goes. I’m good! And it’s amazing. Earlier in this pregnancy, I was miserable. Now? Not so much. And fingers are crossed that this continues right up until delivery day…
  • I had another prenatal appointment today. My blood pressure has been mostly really great (around 105/65). Until today. Today, it was 130/70. That’s not that high and my doctor seemed un-phased by it, but it’s got me feeling pretty down. I remember my last pregnancy and the high BP numbers and the multiple NSTs and twice weekly appointments and growth ultrasounds and tears and stress and worry… We’re in the home stretch of this pregnancy now, much later than I was when my BP first went in the crapper while pregnant with Skittle, so I’m feeling fairly confident that this won’t get out of control. But still. I really just want everything to go smoothly. Just this once. Guess we’ll just wait and see what next week brings.
  • I’m starting to worry that, after this baby comes and especially after my mom goes home (she’ll be with us for five weeks, starting on Sept 30), I’m going to feel very isolated and alone on a day-to-day basis. I don’t have a lot of local friends, and even less since my mother’s group kind of fell apart and Lillian ended our friendship. And it will be cold/flu season, which means even less opportunities to see the friends we do have because it seems someone is always sick. So I’ll be at home all day with three kids and no adult conversation and possibly trapped there for weeks on end because of all the germs…that sounds like a desperately lonely place to be in. And I’m not sure what to do about it. ­čśŽ
  • I’m not quite ready for this boy to arrive yet! Hospital bags are packed and I’m making progress on the nursery, but it’s not DONE. And I really want it done before he gets here! And I want to make some truffles to put in the freezer, finish some party decorations for Cupcake’s 5th birthday (in November) so that I don’t have to complete them after Poppy’s arrival, stock up on a few more baby boy clothes, prep the diaper bag, crochet several more baby hats (I’m going a little crazy with that!), and fit in a few more nights out with friends. I’m planning for him to arrive a week or two after my due date, which of course means he’ll be coming early, right?! Really hoping that’s not so!
  • Because this pregnancy has seemed to drag, I’ve been expecting to feel very ready for it to be over. For this baby to be here. So far, that’s not the case. Instead, I’m feeling a little sad that this time is coming to an end. I’m excited to meet our son, but sad that this magical, mystical, mysterious, precious experience is nearly over. We plan to try for one more baby after this one, but my child-bearing years are drawing to a close. I don’t have many (or maybe any?) times that lay ahead where I will get to relive this. That’s a relief, on one hand, and very, very bittersweet on the other.
  • I’m also feeling that I’m still struggling a bit with the thought of having a boy. Remember this post? I thought most of those feelings had passed. And maybe they had, but now they are returning as we get closer and closer to delivery day. Does this make me an awful person and an awful mother? I fear it does. I’m ashamed and embarrassed to feel this way. It’s very hard to admit that I do, even on this blog. Or especially on this blog. I’m now clinging to the hope that, should we be so lucky to have a fourth child, it will be a girl. But if it’s not? I fear I’ll want to try for a 5th. Or a 6th. Or a 7th. Until I get just one more baby girl. Which is ridiculous, I know. And I hate feeling like that. Feeling like we HAVE to have another baby in order for me to be happy and our family to be complete. Even more, I hate feeling like any baby — this one or the next or the next — is not enough. Because he is! This baby is enough. More than enough. A miracle. A gift. A dream come true in a multitude of ways. I owe him better than my heart is giving right now, and I hate that. I hate me…and yet this is honest. Maybe more honest than I’ve ever been. This probably deserves its own post rather than a simple bullet point, but I just feel like I have to say this right now or maybe I never will. I love this baby — and that’s a plain and simple truth too — but I’m scared I don’t or won’t love him enough. I’m scared that this mixed bag of feelings will make the bonding more difficult, that I won’t bond as quickly, as deeply, or as fiercely. I’m scared that my ingrained, cultural, stereotypical ideas of what it means to be a man will keep me from giving this sweet child all my affection and the freedom to feel his emotions as he should. And I’m scared that this is just the perfect storm for some form of postpartum depression to find its way into my life after Poppy arrives, especially if he ends up being a difficult baby or I begin to feel as isolated and lonely as I fear I will. Please don’t think I’m a horrible person. Or maybe you should, because that’s what I deserve. But my great hope is that a natural birth and some prolonged skin-to-skin contact will make me more bonded to this baby boy than I ever imagined possible….that I will feel my undying love for him instantly in the very depths of my soul and all of these fears will be washed away with the tears I will surely cry. I pray for that every day.
  • On a much happier note, we spent our recent holiday weekend on a beach getaway on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. It was positively lovely. We spent time exploring the beach every day. I crocheted on the deck of our rental house while the girls napped. We drove into the mountains, took a little hike and met some wild deer. We also fed some domesticated deer, and smelled some yak breath, and got slobbered on by bison, and more. (That was all at a game farm — don’t think we have wild bison and yak roaming around here!) We relaxed, and ate too much, and laughed, and played, and snuggled, just the four of us. It felt like the grand finale to being a family of four…a sweet, happy ending. A perfect ending. I couldn’t have asked for much more.

So that’s it for me! For now. But I’ll be back with more updates soon (I’m sure?) and a letter to Poppy (I hope). Hoping the start of September is being good to all of you! And tell me, who is excited for fall? And who’s sad for summer to end?!?! It’s surely a mix of both here, though I do love me some pumpkin spice lattes, warm sweaters, candy corn, and changing leaves…

And now I’ll leave you with a few photos from our little weekend getaway:

So many deer in the mountains!

So many deer in the mountains!

Cupcake and Honey, stopping to enjoy the view on our mountain hike

Cupcake and Honey, stopping to enjoy the view on our mountain hike

Gorgeous view from the mountaintop!

Gorgeous view from the mountaintop!

Oooo, those eyelashes! I'm slightly obsessed with photographing them.

Oooo, those eyelashes! I’m slightly obsessed with photographing them.

Lady in Red...

Lady in Red…

Hello, Mr. Yak.

Hello, Mr. Yak.

The view from our back deck...see the lighthouse in the distance?

The view from our back deck…see the lighthouse in the distance?

Crocheting with a view

Crocheting with a view

One of Cupcake's favorite parts of the trip...finding and burying treasure on the beach.

One of Cupcake’s favorite parts of the trip…finding and burying treasure on the beach.

My sweet little family, our puppy Junebug included.

My sweet little family, our puppy Junebug included.

Cupcake adored her walk with Junebug on the beach.

Cupcake adored her walk with Junebug on the beach.

morning sunrise

morning sunrise

The view from our front porch...see the hot air balloon?

The view from our front porch…see the hot air balloon?

a crane, at low tide

a crane, at low tide

Honey...calf-deep at

Honey…calf-deep at “low tide”

One of many hand-in-hand walks Skittle and Honey took on the beach

One of many hand-in-hand walks Skittle and Honey took on the beach

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Merry Christmas — Even if it’s Not Totally PC to Say That

Just a little post to wish all of you a Merry Christmas.

I know the whole holiday season can be so hard, and the very pinnacle of pain is probably reached on Christmas Day itself. The holidays are different since having a child, but even now, I am finding this one a little hard to get through. It feels like someone is missing, our home feels empty, and I don’t know that things will be any different by this time next year.

And yet, I know — I know — that this season is much more difficult if you are still trying to bring home your first baby. Honey and I first started trying to build a family just before Christmas 2008. By Christmas 2009, with still no baby in sight and several rounds of failed Clomid cycles already under my belt, I was feeling lost, defeated, and desperate. I felt hopeless. There was a deep ache in my heart the whole month of December and as I looked towards the New Year. Please know that I remember what that is like. I remember.

Today and tomorrow, I hold you all close to my heart as we go through this day together. May you find some peace and comfort in knowing you are not alone, you are thought of fondly, and you are loved.

And now, something to make you smile (I hope)…

IMG_3587

And here, my Christmas wish for all of us…

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Let your heart be light.

From now on,

our troubles will be out of sight.

(source)

Photo Challenge: Cosy

We love nothing more than comfort around here. Sweats. Coffee. Mac and cheese. The thermostat cranked up. We like to be warm and cozy (as we spell it on this side of the Pond). But really, the one who covets all things cozy is our sweet Shih tzu-Maltese doggie, whom I’ll call Junebug (one of the many nicknames we use in this house):

On the left there, you have Junebug on the pile of pillows where she likes to hide when she’s had enough of the hugs and hard pats from my daughter. And on the right, she is wrapped in her favorite blanket, which also happens to be my favorite blanket (which I recently mentioned here).┬á Isn’t she sweet? Don’t you just want to snuggle up with her? I do! And I do it often!

Photo Challenge: Balance

Ever since I realized that the cause of my erratic basal body temperatures is probably stress, I have been making an effort to add some balance back to my life. This is not easy for me. I am not the type of person who sits still. I am on the go all the time. If I complete my “to do” list for the day, I move on to my list for tomorrow. If I can’t find something to do, I create something. And even when I watch the tube, I am always working on a project, whether it is this blog or my scrapbooks or dividing up vitamins into my pill box. But, while it feels good to be efficient and to accomplish a lot, it often leaves me frazzled, overwhelmed, and stressed out. Because there is never any break, never any down time, never any period of recovery or feeling like there is an end to anything.

So a couple weeks ago, I decided this needed to change. I started sitting down just to read, or watch TV, or spend time with my family — and nothing else. No working on chores, completing projects, or checking off lists. Just enjoying a moment of peace and of balance. And during these moments, which I try to carve out two or three times a day, this is what it usually looks like for me:

My favorite blanket, a mug of something hot (decaf coffee before ovulation, cocoa afterwards), a good book (trashy or thought-provoking, depending on my mood), the remote control (so I can most likely watch Friends, which still makes me laugh my a** off), and our sweet, cuddly dog. That’s all I need to give me some balance and restore me so that I am ready to go on.