It’s taken me quite a while to come to terms with this, but I think it really must be said: I really don’t like being pregnant.
Of course that in no way reflects on the fact that I love my children, born and unborn with all my heart and soul. It’s just… pregnancy is complicated and challenging and it makes me feel very much out of control of my own body. There are moments of blissful awe and amazing strength, but for the most part, I’m just not a fan.
It starts with exhaustion and nausea, in the middle you’re just in the early parts of the discomfort and constant kicks to your most vital organs, including your bladder. If you’re lucky, you don’t have much trouble with pain in your back and hips, but that’s pretty much unavoidable by the third trimester. Plus the swelling, the heartburn, glucose testing, constant peeing in a cup for analysis, and several rounds of donating blood for routine tests. Don’t forget the giving up medium rare steaks, sushi, and cutting back on your beloved coffee. AND, that doesn’t even cover the stresses of finding the right care provider, taking extra birth classes, registering for a mountain of crap essential baby gear, becoming an object of shock and awe at your baby shower, and picking a freaking name. At least the second time around, I get to skip over a few things.
It’s just a struggle for me. I don’t have to like it though, and that’s the best part. I still get to have totally amazing babies and children in my life, because at least I am lucky enough to be able to carry and deliver a child into the world. For that I’m really am grateful, despite all the complaining.
I guess that means its all worth it.

Dear Oliver

A few things you’re up to lately:

Late night pillow fights. You vs. the nest of pillows I’ve propped around myself to help me sleep comfortably. Kicks and punches and wiggles galore.
Bed time heart burn. One of these days I’ll finally remember to take Tums before brushing my teeth. It’s inevitable.
Hiding from your sister. Every time you’re kicking and she comes to put her hands on my belly, you’re suddenly shy.
Snuggling right up against my bladder. I feel like I’m living in one of those commercials for ‘leaky pipes’ and can’t wander too far from the restrooms.
Enjoying the warm weather. At least, I hope you are because it’s not really my favorite time of year to be growing a baby. Guess we should have thought of that before hand.
Getting everyone excited to meet you. You’re getting bigger. I’m getting bigger. It’s all happening so fast, I don’t have time for denial. Soon we will meet face to face and start to figure each other out. Until then, my dear boy, just keep on doing your thing.

A thousand thousand moments

I’m still not writing nearly enough but sleep, oh precious sleep, has become far more important. It’s been an absolutely astounding month (six weeks?). Nora has weaned, and became a much better sleeper. For a few nights anyway. Then we got her own bed set up, and my goodness, she continues to amaze me. She even slept a solid 9 hours of sleep once! Just once though and every week or so she’s up two or three times until I join her in her tiny bed, or she finds her way into our room and snuggles with us. It’s working though.

Every day with her is magical. Toddlerhood is so full of wonder, and often frustration, and we work through all those moments and knit them all together into a day, a week, a month, a whole life. It’s exhausting, and just perfect. Part of me wonders how we’ll manage to find the time and energy and room in our hearts for a new baby, but everyone pretty much agrees that no matter how much you can’t imagine it, it always happens. I’m pretty inclined to believe them.

2014-04-30 22.37.46 We just found out that Nora is going to be the big sister to a little brother, and we’re planning on naming him Oliver Bernard when he makes his appearance and proves the ultrasound tech right. We’ve begun to purge our house of baby girl things (except those with some special memories) and assemble things of a less pink and purple hue. The only really big deal thing we need to figure out is cloth diapers. We know that’s the route we want to take this time around, but we need to start stocking up and figuring ‘all that stuff’ out. Nora doesn’t seem particularly inclined to potty train any time soon, so no real plans to switch her over. But all of this is still very much up in the air and could change tomorrow.

Everything else seems like we’ve got it covered from the first time around, although I’m just waiting to be proven wrong. But even if I am wrong, I’ve gained a sense of myself as a mother and a whole lot of confidence that I can make decent choices and manage not to screw things up too terribly either way. And Nora, my gosh. I know this whole big sister thing is a totally obscure concept for a two year old, but from all the pictures and stories and other examples she’s seen, she seems to be gleaning the idea that a tiny person is coming and will need lots of love and comfort from all of us. Really, what else could I hope for?

Tomorrow we’ll all be going down to Indianapolis for her (hopefully) very last visit to the orthopedic specialist to confirm she has indeed completely recovered from her hip dysplasia and we can move past that whole chapter in our lives. I think that one trial of motherhood has made me acutely aware of all the things I will not be able to control over the coming years, both with her and her brother. I wish I could say that it has also taught me how to handle them with grace, but that remains to be seen. Until then we just love and give and hope and relish each and every moment.

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