The Little Things

Everyone knows that being a stay at home parent is tough.  It is often a thankless job that has horrible pay and little to no vacation.  If anyone ever had a job with these benefits they would immediately start looking for a new one.! My first job out of college I worked 60+ hours a week, rarely got any appreciation from my clients let alone my supervisors, got depressed if I calculated my salary to an hourly rate, but at least I got ok, flexible vacation.  Fast forward to today, and now I think that job was a cake walk!!!  I know that I’m not the first (and certainly not the last) to write/complain/vent about my choice to stay at home, but I’m going to anyway.

The last two weeks or so has been super hard on me.  On top of a demanding 2 year old, I’ve been having severe pubic bone pain and sometimes your normal back pain.  If you’ve never had pubic bone pain while pregnant (lucky you!) or don’t know what I’m talking about you can read about it here.  I’ve gotten a maternity belt to help, but at the end of the day I’m always in pain.  And to top it all off, my husband had friends visiting from London and Australia.  Ordinarily I wouldn’t care and would actually encourage him to have fun with the boys, but like I said it has been hard caring for Oliver.  My husband would usually do the night time bath and put him to sleep, which is super helpful because it’s hard for me to hunch over the bath and lift him, etc.  But having to do that for most of the week took it’s toll on me, and of course no ounce of gratitude from my husband who strolled in at 2am most nights.

So last night I was feeling a bit down because again I was left with night duties (husband had his normal Thursday night soccer game) and Oliver was just extra cranky/terrible twos.  But when we were in his room he wanted to cuddle.  That hasn’t happened in ages.  It’s normally peace out mom when all mom wants is an extra second of cuddles at drop off for preschool or randomly during the day.  But we cuddled and suddenly he was asleep on my shoulder.  This hasn’t happened in at least a year (maybe more?)!!!  If I didn’t have to pee so badly I would have relished that moment for an extra 5 minutes (who knows, probably all night).  It was such a sweet moment; one that I really needed.  I needed that reminder of why I stay at home; to have these moments where my son can be extra affectionate and seeks comfort from me.  I needed that moment because these moments will happen less frequently and then one day will just completely stop–he’ll stop asking for cuddles, he won’t give you kisses on demand, he won’t randomly tell you, “I love you” every hour.  So no matter how hard and tired and annoyed I get, I have to remember that it is all worth it in the end for these small jewels–these sweet moments.

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Baby Girl 3D/4D Ultrasound

3d4d_ultrasoundI forgot to mention that I got an extra ultrasound a few weeks ago to check on cervical length and just because UCSF wanted their own peeps to do a scan.  This was the best 3D/4D picture we could get during our session.  This baby girl was covering her face with her arms, and at one point her feet, for pretty much the entire time.  We had to jiggle her in there for a bit to see if she would move, and this is what she gave us.  Already stubborn like her dad!

She’s looking more and more like a chubby little baby.  Also like her brother when he was first born.  Very amazing!  What’s not amazing is that she needs a name!!!

TWO!

toddler_mutant_ninja_turtleI have a two year old!  WTF?!  I swear he was just a baby last week, and now here we are at age TWO!!!  It’s amazing how fast time goes by.  I mean every parent tells you that it goes by so quickly, but Oliver’s 2nd birthday really slapped me in the face several times with this reality.  He is genuinely a little boy who loves to run around, climb (good lord the climbing!), and is talking more and more.  We have our terrible two’s moments (the tantrums, the no’s, the mini-teen), but for the most part he is a happy little boy who loves puzzles and reading, when he can’t climb of course.  It’s just amazing how much he has grown in the last 6 months, let alone year!  Seriously, where did the time go?!

first_day_preschoolOn top of that, Oliver started preschool this week (part-time, 3 days a week).  It has been rougher on me than it is on him I think (although today was the first time he cried at drop off).  He had an ok first day (didn’t eat much breakfast and didn’t nap), but has since thrived at the school.  It validated our decision to send him to school, even though two is crazy young.  But the teachers report he loves the activities and the environment alone is forcing him to socialize with his peers.  This was truly important to me.  As much as I miss being with him every day and our play dates with friends, I think having the consistency of school and navigating the social intricacies of that environment will help Oliver out in the long run.  He comes home very happy, which is great!  Added bonus is he already knows two Spanish words, at least words I also know (he’s attending a Spanish immersion preschool).

As I mentioned earlier, it has been hard on me.  I was an emotional wreck the first day of school (even though the above picture would say otherwise).  I managed to hold it together until after we dropped him off, and then I weeped in the car as my husband laughed/consoled me.  Two years of my life was devoted to him, and now I have to let go a little.  I know it’s for the best, but I think it’s just hard to let go because I am losing my baby.  But as my husband reminded me on that first day, it will be good for him and good for me to get rest during the last trimester.  It has been getting more and more exhausting caring for a very active boy when the new baby is incredibly high up, making it difficult to breathe sometimes.  Ugh, I’m tearing up just typing this!!!  He’s TWO!

Doula

So I have managed to secure a doula, all for the price of free!!!  This is great, especially since we live in San Francisco where the average rate for a doula is a $1,000.  Yes, you read that right–$1,000!!!  And because I’m a SAHM, our budget is very limited especially with the out-of-pocket cost for this pregnancy.  There’s no way we could fit a doula in our already tight budget.

Wondering how I found my free doula?  I contacted the local trainer for DONA International.  They are the international governing body who certifies doulas around the world.  Part of becoming a DONA certified doula is attending three births after you are done with your coursework.  Usually, these doulas-in-training have a hard time charging for their services initially because they aren’t certified and don’t have any births under their belts.  So most, not all, are willing to offer their help for free as long as you are ok with someone with little to no experience.

I managed to find one who also happens to be a massage therapist by trade!  Score!!!  She said she would be able to help my husband do some massage techniques to help with the pain of labor.  We definitely lucked out with this find, and I’m so grateful.

You must be wondering why I want a doula to attend my birth after having said I am by no means a crunchy mom in my previous post.  So there are two reasons I’ve decided to find a doula.

First, I’m worried that we will be in the lurch if I go into labor and can’t find someone to watch my son, even if it’s for a few hours.  So rather than having me left alone in the hospital, it would be nice to have a doula there to help me if my husband has to be away to make sure our son has some where safe to go for a bit.  Right now my parents are planning on coming out from the East Coast for my due date, but any parent knows labor is never on a schedule.  So it is nice to have that extra piece of mind.

Lastly, I think we would benefit from the extra support to have a vaginal delivery.  Like I said previously, I would like to have a successful VBAC.  I want to make sure that I recover quickly so that I can immediately return to being a mother to my son and new baby.  If the doula can give both my husband and I that extra push and confidence to achieve VBAC, then why not have her there?  She knows my story, and knows that above all else I want a healthy baby.  And contrary to popular belief, doulas aren’t necessarily there to push natural child birthing.  This doula was very sympathetic and open to epidurals, and never pushing any of her agenda or what she thinks birthing should be like.  So I’m very happy with that and I feel like she knows what is important to us and our birth.  I’m hoping that her skills and knowledge will help us.

So yay for free doulas!!!  🙂

VBAC

So today my OB and I decided that I make a good candidate for VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).  I’m actually a bit nervous about VBAC.  I know that the risk of uterine rupture is very low, but it still exists.  The hospital where I am delivering at also has a very low uterine rupture rate, which is a bit relieving.  I have always been a firm believer of doing what is best for the baby, which some of the most ardent natural birthers attribute to me going down the road of c-section with my first child.  I don’t regret the decision to do the c-section.  My OB at the time was very supportive of me having a vaginal birth.  But we clearly saw that my son was going into distress–there was no hiding that.  I did what I had to do as a mother to have a healthy baby.  I’m prepared to do the same with this baby girl.  But I do hope that I will have a successful VBAC.

It’s A Girl!

God I haven’t updated in FOREVER!  Here are my excuses:

  1. We went on vacation for 3 weeks; and though I had access to the interwebs, I was just too busy.
  2. Pregnancy the second time around is just sooooo incredibly tiring.
  3. Did I mention I’m tired all the time?

Anyhoo, we have been back home for a few weeks now and are back in a groove.  And we also found out that this new monster is a GIRL!!!  We are thrilled and happy to have one of each, but I am also a bit scared about a girl.  The first time around I knew that I wanted a boy first, and thankfully that happened.  This time around I wasn’t as opinionated.  And now that we know, I’m kind of scared about a girl mostly because I’ve never been a girly girl.  I am also terrified of puberty 13 years down the road.  I was a terrible teenager, and I know that this little princess will be too (karma right?).

So hoorah for baby girls right?!  And with that I hope to update more frequently with recipes, photos, etc.

Sonogram #1

sonogramSo I went in for my first OB appointment for this pregnancy.  I know it is very very late, even my doctor said so.  But scheduling prevented us from seeing her the previous week; trust me, I want to go in as soon as possible.  Everything was normal, and I’m actually 9 weeks 4 days instead of 9 weeks (which they based on my last period).  I didn’t hear the heartbeat, but that’s because she said it was too early (which I remember happening with my first too).

This pregnancy is different than my first for so many reasons.  I guess the good and bad thing is I have an incredibly active and happy 19 month old.  It’s bad because I feel like I’m neglecting him in a small way because I feel so incredibly exhausted and nauseous.  If I had a choice, I would lay on the couch or bed all day.  But it’s good that my son makes me get up and attack the world, albeit at 75% some days.  I’m not sure if it is him or this pregnancy in general, but I don’t feel as nauseous as when I was pregnant with him.  There are some days where smells overwhelm me, but not as often or as horribly when I was pregnant with him.  But it makes me wonder if I am actually pregnant sometimes or if I’m about to miscarry because I don’t feel pregnant like I was before.  I can’t tell if my son distracts me from my pregnancy woes or if this pregnancy is just different or maybe this pregnancy isn’t to be?  Who knows.

Another huge difference is I don’t feel quite as excited (maybe emotional) as I did with the first.  I think I’m more concerned about how to balance life with two kids around, which parts of me feels like I’m neglecting this new child because there’s no excitement surrounding their impending growth and arrival.  And perhaps the excitement isn’t there because my husband didn’t come with me to the first appointment.  He worked from home while he watched our son, so I was at the office on my own.  We could have gotten a babysitter or brought the kid with us, but we decided against it.  If there was any excitement to be had, I had no one to share it with (even though I do like my OB, it would be really awkward getting super excited with her).

We haven’t told anyone about the pregnancy, although I have a feeling a few of our friends are surmising the possibility that I am with child.  I did tell a good friend from back home and my brother, and both are incredibly excited.  Then we tell my parents Saturday morning.  I go back to the doctor again in two weeks, we check the new baby progress, and hopefully around May we can let the cat out of the bag.  Until then, mum is still the word since the likelihood of a miscarriage is still high.