Sunday, May 23, 2010

Week 39: Insane Baby Waiting

I swear my hospital bag is chuckling at me every time I open the back door to my car. If it could speak I am pretty sure it would ask me why the hell it has to sit in the suffocating heat for weeks while I pretend that I am going to have a baby, when in reality this baby is never coming out. It would have made more sense for me to actually throw away the contents of that bag since none of those clothes will fit me or the baby next year when she is surgically removed from me and comes out a one year old.

Yes, these are the thoughts I am having. I am going insane with waiting.

I am feeling drained by the constant strategy sessions about what I would do if I went into labor right now. Where to take the boys? Who can drive me that doesn't have too nice of a car that if I had to give birth in it I would be financially incapable of taking care of things? That neighbor across the street with the amazing Mercedes is out of the question, despite her many friendly offers. If I don't think I'm going to make it to the hospital in time for an epidural, is it possible for me to just have a flask of whiskey that I can chug on the drive to numb the pain? Do they still knock women out completely anywhere and if so is it near me? Can I get my epidural now? Why did we decide to move 45 minutes from my hospital for the birth of our third child? Not smart.

I can't shave my legs any more. Every night in the shower I painfully (due to my inability to contort my body properly) shave my legs in case I go into labor and have to expose numerous strangers to all of my personal areas. I do realize that my potentially stubbly legs will be drastically overshadowed by other disgusting things involved in giving birth to a baby, but I'm trying to control what I can. But now, I give up and will have to subject several nurses and my doctor to leg stubble, or perhaps long soft hairs if this continues for much longer.

Sleep is very challenging. Every time I move, the baby shifts and it feels like my entire stomach is going to explode with the extreme stretching of my skin. I have zero stretch marks thus far, but I am pretty sure that these will appear in the next week as a result of me doing something wild like turning over in bed. Alex has also developed heightened anxiety sleeping next to me, which makes peaceful sleep even more difficult. He's always been a restless and somewhat neurotic sleeper but now when I move he jumps up in bed with his hands stretched out to me, "What's wrong?!?" Ummm....I'm 39 weeks pregnant, tired and basically angry. You need to stop scaring the shit out of me every time I move, that's what's wrong. Man, I am so cranky.

I spent 30 minutes this morning debating whether a trip to WalMart was worth it if I had to go by myself with the boys. On one hand, the physical strain and emotional stress of a trip to somewhere like WalMart with Aiden and Cole could send me into labor and this whole thing would be over. On the other hand, it sounds inconvenient and painful to have to deal with Aiden, Cole, WalMart and labor together. I'm not into being Natalie Portman in that movie where she delivers her baby in the WalMart. Possibly a trip to Target?

These are my conclusions about my current situation though.

1. God surely is making me this miserable so that inevitably when this baby arrives I will feel such relief that I am no longer pregnant, and no longer have to have a huge event looming over me at all times, that I will be able to have slightly more patience with a newborn....for at least a few days.

2. This is the last time I have to do this. Even if I am never able to have sex again, I will not be pregnant again.

3. One way or another this will be over soon. No one's ever carried a baby for a year or anything, right?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Week 38: Baby Waiting

It could be any day now....and that's driving me nuts. I am officially uncomfortable, cranky and ready to get this child out of me. I feel like every moment is my last before I will have to drop everything, including my 2 and 4 year olds and rush to the hospital in an effort to get there in time to have an epidural. Must make it in time for the epidural!

Everyone says that I should be relaxing and enjoying the last few days before the baby arrives. These people are clearly not 38 weeks pregnant with their third child. These are the things I find myself doing and thinking:

I really want a big glass of red wine and/or a delicious margarita on the rocks without feeling guilty or genuine fear about my unborn child's health...primarily because a special needs child due to alcohol consumption would be way too much for me to handle since I can barely keep it together with my allegedly "normal" children now.

I wish my stomach weren't so huge that I have difficulty doing pretty much everything. Walking, sleeping, eating, and basically anything else, other than sitting in a carefully orchestrated position on the bed or couch, surrounded by mass quantities of pillows, is extremely challenging. Even wiping is becoming an annoyance and to me that's just unacceptable. What do extremely obese people do to maintain hygiene? This is tricky and potentially disgusting.

Why doesn't my husband feel more sympathy and gratitude for my discomfort? I need a lot of positive reinforcement that I am an amazing person for doing this a third time and not completely freaking out on anyone....especially from the person that got to have sex, maintain his normal life and body and then gets to just get a new, potentially very cute child. Shouldn't I be receiving some sort of daily speech or trophy about my awesomeness? Maybe he's working on a really long letter detailing this? Perhaps he is having a bust constructed to display in our front yard with a description of the things I have had to endure to bear his children?

How can so many strangers feel ok telling me I look huge? Also, who is lying to me...because I get a lot of, "you look so cute comments." Am I freakishly large, or cute. No one is both.

Did my water just break or am I starting to pee my pants again? Of course, just pee. Thank goodness for Poise protection pads and a new found talent to find a restroom in any public location.

Why do people, including individuals I don't know at all at the grocery store, feel it is ok to ask me if I have lost my mucous plug? This is not only personal, very disgusting, information about my cervix, but weird that anyone other than my doctor cares. How boring is your life if you are asking the pregnant woman in the checkout line about the mucous lining keeping her baby in her body? Ask me when I'm due, ask me what I'm having and then read a People magazine until it is your turn to pay for her produce like a normal person.

What will it be like to sleep on my stomach again? To shave my legs without pulling a muscle or skipping large portions of my leg entirely? To eat an adult portioned meal and not feel like I am going to die from the immense stomach pressure.

Will my 2 year old recognize me without this cumbersome bulge in my belly? I'm pretty sure he doesn't even remember having a Mom that can move or let him sit on her lap. Has he been scarred during this time that he got a raw deal when everyone else's Mommy can play with them, pick them up and not pee their pants....and his Mommy can't do any of those things.

How the hell am I going to fill a summer with no scheduled activities, a 4 year old, a 2 year old and a newborn? Oh and no sleep. I'm scared for me, my children and for my husband.

So, I know I should be cuddling with my boys and cherishing this final time when it is just them, particularly my soon-to-be middle child instead of baby, but I really am just ready to move past the pregnancy and get on with the newborn. And yes, I do know it's easier with them in me rather than outside of me, but I'm ready for a new kind of difficult that involves me being able to move.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Am I Really Having Another Baby?

Monday night I started having contractions. Not the small, potentially false labor kind but more like the strong and uncomfortable variety. I timed them and as they went from 15 minutes to 10 minutes apart I felt a strong sense of panic. I was not concerned about labor (I actually have fantastic and semi-enjoyable labors with my first two so I am not scared about that part) or about the baby being too early (I was only 36 weeks and one day,) but all of a sudden I realized I could actually be having a baby.

I do understand that I discovered the news that I would be having a baby after I peed on that $10 stick way back in September, but at that point it feels a long way away. (I did cry at that point too though.) As I sat on the couch trying to enjoy Dancing with The Stars (which is tough to do anyway) I realized everything was about to change again and I just am not ready for that. Not that anyone probably ever is.

My favorite part of every day is approximately 7 pm. At this point I am usually putting the kids to bed or they are already there. I can sit and eat dinner in peace with my husband. We can watch our mindless shows and make extremely witty (usually mine) remarks about the people on tv or tell stories about the day that usually involve marveling at the amazing things our children do and say. (I should note that marveling at them is something that I am best at once they are asleep.) We discuss Alex's job and I get to participate in a conversation that can disect and solve problems and situations that 99.9% of the time do not involve bodily functions, tantrums or me exploding with rage or tears over a seemingly small event. I feel like a person, a woman with a brain and it is awesome. I cherish this time, this wrapping up of the day....this time for me.

Unfortunately with the arrival of baby number three I know that this time will be sucked away from me. I will be exhausted from waking up multiple times in the night and will have moments when I can't speak without crying. I know that I will barely be able to finish my dinner before I will have to turn into a feeding machine again for someone else's nourishment. Alex and I will mostly be doing everything in a divide and conquer manner without any witty or complex discussions because that's the only way to survive. There will be extra people in our house which I will cherish and love desperately for helping us, but I will crave nothing more than to have the privacy and comfort of my own immediate family's routine. I will attempt to watch a tv show on our dvr but it will take me hours to watch a 30 minute show due to the interruption of a crying child or a brain too sleep deprived to follow a simple sitcom plot. I will be trapped with a nursing baby and be unable to get up to search for the remote and be forced to watch whatever is on PBS at 2 am...which is usually not good.

I will also have to struggle with a body that is still not my own even though the child that was occupying so much space inside of me has departed. She will leave flabby skin and leaking boobs. She will have left new marks of skin discoloration that I can not explain and feel obsessed with finding the right cream to remove them. I will bleed much longer than a normal period would last which is just mean. And I will I will be too small for my maternity clothes and too big for my old clothes...but too broke and discouraged to buy new ones for this hopefully transitional period.

I realize that overall the time period of being trapped with the newborn will be short and next year at this time she will probably be running away from me instead of being permanently attached to me, but right now I fear the next few months. I fear what I will feel like and how I will function. Everyone says that adding the third is easier than adding the second, but I feel that I was lied to before about the impact of even having one child so who knows what it will be like for me. I do however have that amazing perspective that no matter how horrific I feel or how chaotic life is, it will get better. I also know that I will most likely be desperately in love with this child like I am my first two so she'll probably make me pretty damn happy at moments too.

I am excited to meet my daughter. It's still strange to say daughter. (God, I hope she doesn't have a penis. I'm not taking down the pink in her room even if she does turn out to actually be a boy.) There is nothing like the feeling of finally being able to meet the person that has been moving and kicking inside me. Will she have hair? What color will her eyes be? Will she have my husband's amazing eye lashes and dark skin? I can't wait for that. I hope that I remember to be excited about that at 3 am during week two of adjusting to life with her around....ok, I am in fact positive that I will not feel grateful or excited about that at all at that time, but maybe I will remember that eventually I will be putting her to bed at 7 too. It's just going to take a little time.