Friday, April 30, 2010

Baby update

So we had our 39 week appointment this morning. The appointment at which we were all pretty confident we'd find our girl lying sideways and start scheduling a repeat c-section. Not so much. Guess who's kiddo went all conformist on us at the last second? Even the doctor was surprised. He says there's a 99% chance she'll stay that way now, but I'm not so convinced. Either way though, we're waiting for nature now. If we do have a c-section, it'll be a last-minute surprise.

I was given the choice between a VBAC and a repeat c-section. At the time, I chose to try to have her the old-fashioned way because all things considered it's better for all of us. I'm a firm believer that the baby comes when it's ready. I also felt like Eli was pretty drugged up after he was born, and that's a rough way to start life. From what I hear, recovery is easier if you don't have surgery, and breastfeeding is also easier (labor triggers production...). I never felt upset that I had a c-section the first time, but did feel like I hadn't quite earned my stripes the way someone who talks about 27 hours of labor did.

And yet, today when he said that she was head down and we could wait for her to come naturally, my heart dropped. I'll admit that I was disappointed, so much so that I may have cried on the way home. Waiting sucks. I had put it in my mind that by early next week we'd have this little girl and could start on the new chapter. I also now have to re-prepare myself for labor, which I wasn't so sure about in the first place. I know logically that women have been doing this for thousands of years, but I also know that pride is an issue for me and it's a lot easier to sit back and wait than be surprised that your pain tolerance isn't as high as you thought it was. Plus, Eli was almost 9 pounds and there's a good chance this one will be bigger.

Like I said, I believe that babies cook as long as they need to and it's not my place to push it. I'm also eternally grateful that she's strong and healthy. But my patience is running thin. I can't sleep. I've developed carpal tunnel and pitting edema, both sexy side effects of pregnancy. It's hot and I'm outgrowing my maternity clothes. I'm really big. This week at Target I was recognized by a stranger and then identified as "that girl I was telling you about." I'm tired of the comments, since I can't ever think quick enough to respond the way I want to. Not twins, another week or so, yep still pregnant, not triplets, thanks for asking, please go away now. I can't get up from the couch and there's nothing good on tv. I can't bend over to pick up the house, but I desperately need to be doing something. I clean, and then the next day I clean again, and then again. And now I'm getting the "are you in labor yet?" phone calls. Can you tell my sense of humor's shot? I have a feeling that this little girl will likely go past her due date, which again, logically I'm good with. On the other hand, four days after her due date there are five well-meaning and excited relatives scheduled to arrive. And if she's not here yet, that means five well-meaning and excited sets of eyes staring down at me willing my water to break.

Gah! I think I'm done ranting now. There's laundry to fold and dishes to do and babies to cook.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Shrink the shrink

We are *edgy* in the Chiconky household these days. It's part of C and I's schtick that we are not always the lovey-dovey sticky sweet couple. We tend to drive each other crazy at least as often as we don't. This gets significantly more pronounced when we're under stress. So yeah. It's been awesome the last couple of days.

I don't want to sound like we bicker all the time (although it's been known to happen). Everytime the shit has really hit the fan, and it has a few times, we have responded in a way that still makes me proud when I think back on it. And C is amazing when I'm not. It's the leading up to that's torture.

Also adding to the tension is that I've been off work all week, and I'm not doing well without a daily structure. I had big plans for what I wanted to accomplish, and the number of checks on my list is few. Tomorrow is our appointment where we'll find out which end Little Miss thinks is up, and therefore whether we'll be going old-school or zipper. So yeah, again, we're *edgy*.

On the up-side and totally unrelated except that I don't want to be all whiny-pregnanty, we got our first CSA box today. I'm so excited! I only knew what about half of the veggies were, but I'm excited to try to cook the other half. We also got two pints of fresh strawberries, which are supposed to be phenomenal around here, and a single orange. I loved that. The "family box" came with one lonely orange. Eli and I shared it. It was delicious. Tomorrow I'm eyeing the snap peas or the cilantro. Or maybe the beets. Or the collard greens. The possibilities!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Splurge and baby update

Friday was supposed to be my last day before the baby, but a series of unfortunate events meant that, despite my best efforts, they wouldn't let me in the fence. Since I couldn't get in the fence, I couldn't work, and so was faced with a whole day of unplanned leisure time. I decided that if I *had* to take the day off, I'd use it well. Since I can't reach them anymore, my toes were sorely in need of some attention. Not anymore...

Which is good because the other thing I did was buy these:

These are officially the only shoes in all of Target that would fit my swollen-ass feet, and so will be the only shoes I'll be wearing until the little one makes her big appearance. I've never owned rubber flip-flops before, but I'm loving the colors. And at 2.50 a pop, If I never put them back on, no big deal.
Speaking of the little one's big debut, I had my 38 week appointment yesterday. I mentioned that I hadn't felt her move as much as usual and was treated to a serious scolding about waiting until my appointment to get it checked out. Cue heart dropping worry. Then he couldn't find her heartbeat and pulled in the ultrasound to "cheat a little." Worrying more now. Turns out he couldn't find her heartbeat because the little booger isn't where she's supposed to be. Technically she's in a "transverse lie" which means that her head's on one side and her feet the other, but she moves around quite a bit. In fact, her head moved up about six inches while he was doing the ultrasound. Generally babies get into position around 37 weeks and then don't move significantly, so now we're talking about a repeat c-section. We'll check again next week, but if she hasn't moved down we're scheduling a surgery. If I go into labor before then, we'll likely head directly to the OR. So Little Miss may be making her appearance a little sooner than expected.
Because she wasn't moving much, he also hooked me up to the monitors for a non-stress test. She was sleepy, but moved enough that he felt okay and gave us the thumb's up to go. Now I've got instructions to pay closer attention to her movements and to go straight to the hospital if she doesn't pass the kick count. So far so good.
C reminded me that we had a similar issue with Eli (except we didn't know that he was breech) so I'm not too worried. And to be honest, I'm not too upset about going with what my mom calls the "zipper method" again. This does mean though that I won't be able to try VBAC if we go for a third (although given the history he/she will likely be just as stubborn as her brother and sister).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Some days...

Some days I come home and wonder if it was all a weird, peanut-butter-and-jelly-with-a-side-of-milkshake dinner induced dream. Like today. A little context... This is the last week that I'll be working, and as such my workload, and motivation, have dwindled a bit. This has left me with quite a bit of free time, so I've been spending a good chunk of the day just hanging out on the living unit. This is generally one of the highlights of the week because you can just sit and chat and get to know someone. It's also a people watcher's dream, so even when they're not talking to me it's a good time. Also, most of the women on the unit I work on are seriously and severely mentally ill. Think "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" combined with "A Beautiful Mind."

So today. Generally the women are pretty happy when the clinicians just hang out and are eager to have a more casual conversation. We get all the good unit gossip, people tell us about their families, and we get a chance to just shoot the shit. All in all, pretty light-hearted and easy going. But today. Today the planets must have aligned wrong or something because oh. dear. Lord. First a woman came up to ask me a question about policy. Easy stuff. That conversation, before my very eyes, turned into what a horrible mother I was for subjecting my child to "murderers and rapists and convicts" and accused me of molesting my children. I got whiplash from how quickly we got there. Needless to say, I left that conversation as soon as humanly possible and moved on.

Then I started to talking to another woman who had been having a pretty rough time yesterday. Yesterday, it was all about how great I was, thanks for listening to me, on and on and on. Today, I'm a racist Satan worshipper who was spoiled as a child and whose brain has been taken over. Turns out when I roll my eyes to the left I'm being controlled by Satan, and when I roll them to the right I'm being controlled by God (apparently I roll my eyes a lot. It's become a "thing" and I spend a significant amount of time talking about it). She apologized for having to be the one to tell me, but it turns out that there's no chance for redemption and I'll be burning in hell. So I've got that going for me.

Other interesting things I learned today:
*Herpes and sexual arousal feel the same and are often mistaken for the other
*Sex and/or hula hooping will help ensure that you don't end up in a wheelchair. But only if done between the ages of 20 and 53
*We're all microchipped and being monitored by the American government
*Bones can be created by drinking water, but too much water and they'll get too soft.
*White people eat cat organs

To top it all off, I actually said to a co-worker "San Diego? I didn't know you were from Florida!"

And didn't realize my mistake until I got home.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Full Term!

I'm 37 weeks pregnant today. No belly pics, since the day was spent cleaning house and running errands, but we do have diapers and we brought the cradle in. Now we wait...


"What's your name?"

These two clicked immediately

Pretty awesome, eh Kid?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

We've already failed him

In one last final WTF, C found this sheet from the old school in his car last night.
How could we have been so lax in our son's education?! -2 people! This is just unacceptable. And 6 and 9? Those are two of the easiest numbers, right? I'm thinking of getting him a tutor before this gets out of hand. Seriously, I'm tempted to go back to the old school just to yell at them again. Who grades a 3 year old?
Especially this 3 year old, who apparently cannot be left alone with a brand new jar of bath colors and a full tub of nice, clean water.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Catching up

Look who got his big-boy bed (finally)! All the hard work dedicated to craigslist finally paid off and we scored this awesome captain's bed for the kid. Today I went to put his clothes in the drawers, and he had put one single toy in each one. The kid apparently can't handle an empty drawer. I know the feeling. He loves the new bed and looks so grown-up in it I can't stand it. He also refuses to keep his pajamas on and so is usually buck-nekkid in there, but that's another story.

By the weekend we still had a shit-ton of Easter eggs left and so I made C two plates of deviled eggs. This is the face of a contented man.

Today marks 9 months pregnant, which for those keeping score at home, means that we will likely have a baby girl within a month. This freaks me out tremendously. On top of that, according to the doctor she's in perfect position, which means she'll be coming into the world the old-fashioned way (I had a c-section with Eli because he was breech). I love the idea of a natural childbirth, but there was a part of me that was hoping we'd *have* to schedule another c-section. So now we wait. And I freak out. And we wait some more. I'm not sure if it's worse because I've already done it the other way, but I'm scared to death that a) I won't know that I'm in labor or b) will know that I'm in labor and totally wuss out. I am assured that I'll know when I start having contractions, but I'm not so sure, and I've heard enough "pregnant woman wets pants, rushes to hospital" stories to not be sure I'll even know if my water breaks. Oh the crazy that is coming on. Just wait.

I also started teaching Eli the fine art of self-portraiture. Obviously we've got room to grow. I'm not sure if you can tell in this picture, but he and I have matching toenails. He insisted that he wanted pink, just like Mommy. C, as you can guess, was thrilled but acted very excited when Eli showed them off. Also, he is in fact wearing underwear in this picture. I have some standards.

I'm nesting like crazy but not in the typical, clean the house, fold the laundry sort of way. I cleaned the kitchen and both bathrooms today with the toxic chemical cleaner (rather than my hippy, all natural stuff) and then went to the store and stocked up on frozen food and meat. So we're all set. I alternate between cursing my husband and crying tears of gratitude that he hasn't left my crazy ass. He's a good man. Speaking of crazy, The Crazy was tested to the extreme this week when not one but both of our cars required significant, and therefore expensive, unplanned repairs. Seriously, we've been to five separate mechanics in the last 10 days. I'm taking it as a sign of progress that my head hasn't exploded.

Finally, I spent some time looking at my archives today and it reminded me how happy I am that I've kept up on this blog. I'd forgotten a lot of the things I wrote about, and I can't believe how much Eli's changed in just a year and a half. Check this one and this one out. Can you believe that hair?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sweet ones

Eli is a Snickerdoodle. Not in a cutesy, make everyone want to puke kind of nickname way, but a cookie that is all his and will always remind me of when he was born. See, I'd never had a snickerdoodle before. There are some things that I don't stray from. Soup is almost alway chicken noodle. Cookies are of the chocolate chip/peanut butter/macadamia nut (if I'm feeling frisky) variety. I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Kid, and afterwards all I wanted was a strawberry lemonade from Red Robin (trust me, it's that good). However, my cravings were thwarted by misinformed nurses and I had to wait. So that night, after not eating for close to 24 hours, having a baby and major surgery, and being on massive amounts of painkillers, I was thrilled when the hospital tray arrived. I didn't care one bit that the only thing on it that I had ever eaten was milk. Even though I can't stomach the idea of tuna in everyday life, that sandwich will remain one of the best I've ever had. And the cookie. Oh the cookie. Manna from heaven. Cinnamon-sugary manna.

The next day a friend came to visit. I was awkward, as only a new mom with staples in her gut, leaky everythings, and the yet-undiscovered knowledge that she could shower can be. He brought a violet (which I promptly killed despite my best intentions) and cookies. Snickerdoodle cookies. Over the next week, every cookie I encountered, and there were many, was a snickerdoodle. I took it as a sign and I've since made a point of having a snickerdoodle with Eli every year sometime during the week of his birthday.

I've been thinking that I want the new baby to have something similar, but trying to decide a flavor seemed contrived. But I gave it my all and the answer came to me after yoga last week. The exact moment was when I realized that I'd had three cupcakes that day. Seriously, I've had more cupcakes in the last two months than I have the entire rest of my life. I've had so many that I dream about cupcakes. I'm thinking that it's a sign. Turns out this one's not so much a cookie girl as a cupcake girl. I can handle that. Now I just need to figure out what flavor...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Yeah. Thanks. Or something.

Here's the thing. I'm short. Not like TLC special short, but shorter than average. And the thing with short pregnant people is that the baby has nowhere to go but out. I've been lucky this pregnancy that it's mostly belly (as opposed to the last one that was just a hot mess all around) but the belly is big. On top of that, Eli was almost 9 pounds, which leads me to believe that this baby is also on the *healthy* side. So I'm no stranger to comments about my size. For example

Are you having twins?
Nope, just the one.
Are you sure?
Pretty sure
But you're so big!


You look about ready to pop!
Almost, just a couple months left
No way! Are you sure?
Pretty sure
But you're so big!

See the theme here?

So take that comment magnet and then plop it right in the middle of 4000 women who haven't seen a pregnant woman in months or even years. Add to that some questionable social skills and tact, and you have my day.

DAMN! I didn't know you could be ten months pregnant!
Are you having twins? (Seriously, I get this one all. the. time. from everyone)
That must be a BIG baby!
How can you even walk?
Are you sure it's not twins?
Are you STILL pregnant?
Are you having a baby? (not always the brightest questions, admittedly)
And the always awesome "Guess we know what you were doing!"

And on and on and on. I would guess that at least 150 people comment on my belly everyday. Most are of the "Damn! That's a big bitch!" variety but there's a good sampling of "ahhs!" and "God bless you"s for balance. And I can now say belly in at least three languages. But still. I know I'm big. I know I'm outgrowing my maternity clothes. I'm pretty sure that it's not twins. So thanks universe. I get it. We can move on now.

*I know I'll miss this when it's over, so my intentions are partly to vent and partly to memorialize. I lead a weird life, and this is one of the benefits.

*Also, when I was pregnant I think one person total ever touched my belly uninvited. This time around, people are touching me left and right (although not inmates, just staff and strangers). That is some weird shit, and if I get much more irritated someone may end up with a stump. What the fuck is that? I don't go petting you just for the hell of it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What now?

So today I snapped. Driving home, I caught myself saying something to Eli that went against my values as a parent and as a psychologist. But I'm stuck here and I'm not sure what to do. So like any good modern mom I'm turning to you all and hoping someone else has a better answer than I do.

For months Eli has come home from school talking about how no one played with him, "So and so isn't my friend," "He wants to take all my toys" and any number of other preschooler slights and injustices. This isn't part of the overall telling of his day, it's the ONLY thing he talks about. At first I thought it was the other school, since I'd seen kids mistreating each other with little or no teacher intervention. But now he's doing it at the new school, even though I'll have seen him playing well with other kids literally minutes earlier. Yesterday one of his teachers heard him talking about a boy who hurt his feelings and was quick to reiterate, to Eli, that sometimes kids have a hard time remembering to use "nice words" but that they can still be our friends and then pointed out all the fun things they'd done that day.

I know that Eli got a lot of comfort and validation from me when he talked about how mean the other kids were, and that's not something that I want to withold, if it's actually happening. But now I think that maybe it's not, or it's being exaggerated. So today I told Eli I only wanted to hear about the fun things that happened at school. Totally invalidating and one step closer to Stepfordness. But he couldn't do it and that scared me. I don't want him to focus only on the negatives. I want him to see the big picture and to celebrate the good parts at least as much as he focuses on the bad parts.

I'm stuck. I don't know how to encourage more of the positive focus without completely shutting him down if he has a hard day. The other weird part is that he never does this about the older kids that play in front of our house, and they do ignore him sometimes. Again, this makes me think that it has something to do with my reaction rather than what's really going on.

Thoughts? Anyone with kids in daycare have a similar experience?