a mood adjustment from a bunch of preschoolers

I’ve been feeling pretty cruddy lately. Not emotionally (thank you, Lexapro!), but physically. This pregnancy thing gets really hard at the end, and I’m sure it doesn’t help that I’m of “advanced maternal age” (pffft). It’s just standard stuff: my hips, lower back, shoulders, and belly muscles ache all the time. My guess is that it’s the same issues that every woman probably feels at 36 (holy crap, y’all, THIRTY-SIX!!) weeks pregnant.

Yesterday was hard. I needed to work, and even though I’m working from home, I had a hard time focusing because of my discomfort. I managed to do the work that needed to be done, but nothing beyond that. Which stinks, because I really love it when I can lose myself in my work.

Eventually, I realized it was getting close to 5:00, so I changed out of my maternity yoga pants for maternity jeans, and actually put on a bra (I know, my standards are super-high these days) to head over to daycare to pick up Catie.

Catie is going to be transitioning over to the pre-K class at the end of this month, and since her teacher was out today, they let her spend the day in the pre-K class as sort of a practice round.

When I got there, I was suddenly surrounded by a half-dozen little girls who were throwing question after question at me.

“Catie says you’re having a baby!”
Yes, we sure are.

“Is it a boy or a girl?”
A girl.

“What are you going to name it?”
Oh, we haven’t decided yet.

“Could you name her Sally?”
Um, probably not, but Sally is a very pretty name!

“Is the baby in your tummy RIGHT NOW???”
Yep, that’s where she’ll be until she’s born.

“Is she sleeping or awake?”
I don’t know, she’s not kicking right this minute, so she might be asleep.

“Can I feel?”

“Oooh, can I feel too?” “Can I?” “Can I?”

Next thing you know, I’m surrounded by about a half dozen four year-olds who all have their hands on my belly. It was very weird and very funny at the same time. I felt sort of like one of those Buddha statues that people rub for good luck.

“So where is the baby in there?”
Well, you see this little bump right here? That’s her tushie.

**Entire crowd of four year-olds falls over laughing. Note: when in doubt, go for the butt jokes. It kills with that crowd.**

“Hey, Catie’s mom? Can I have a hug?”
Of course you can have a hug!

“Oooh, can I have a hug too?” “Can I?” “Can I?”

So, yeah, I was the rockstar of the daycare pre-K class. That was pretty awesome.


Other random daycare anecdote #1:

Last night, Catie was telling me about a conversation at daycare.
“Miss Germaine [note: that’s the pre-K teacher] said that little kids don’t drink coffee, and I said, well I drink coffee every day!!”

So today I had to find Miss Germaine and explain that Catie’s version of “coffee” is actually caffeine-free Diet Coke, and she is allowed to have a teeny-tiny cup of it as a special treat, maybe once a week, certainly NOT every day. (This all started because she refers to Diet Coke as “Mommy’s Coffee,” which… well, it IS my coffee, since it’s the only source of caffeine that I drink.) I just didn’t want her to think I was the World’s Worst Mother, but she laughed and said that she figured that Catie must have been referring to something else.

Four year-olds, man. Freaking impossible.


Other random daycare anecdote #2:

This morning, when I took Catie in to drop her off, one of the little girls who asked for a hug yesterday marched up to me and said, “I had a dream that you had your baby today.”

I said, “Well, I hope your dream was wrong, because she isn’t supposed to come quite yet!”

And now I’m totally freaked out that there’s some creepy psychic four year-old who knows when I’m going to go into labor.

On the plus side, though, it has totally motivated me to hurry up and pack my suitcase for the hospital. So there’s that.

Want to help name Baby 2.0?

I cannot believe I’m doing this, because I am typically in the camp of You Do Not Discuss Baby Names Before the Kid Is Born. After all, who wants unsolicited feedback, right? I don’t want to hear “Oh, I knew a girl named [whatever] and she was a horrible bitch!” Who needs that kind of aggravation? Plus, I’m a little suspicious of jinxing anything – what if we decide on a name and then SURPRISE! It’s a boy?

(Which really, would not be a huge deal, because we had a boy name picked out ages ago. It would require some pretty fast redecorating on our part because the nursery is currently pink, but otherwise, not a huge deal.)

But the thing is, with the name for this little girl? Dave and I are at an impasse here, so I’m rounding up outside help. So I figure we can let the Internet help us decide.

Here’s the story about the two names we’re trying to decide between:

1.) Lucy. My grandmother’s name was Lucile, so there’s a family connection there, and I think the name Lucy is adorable. Dave likes it too, but he has a negative association with it, because his ex-wife has a baby that she also named Lucy. (Which, um, have I ever mentioned that Dave is divorced? Quick sum-up: they were married for 6 months, divorced in 2002, no kids together, she lives in Seattle, and they don’t stay in touch at all, but they occasionally hear about each other via in-laws… or ex-in-laws, as the case may be.)

Anyway, Dave likes the name except for that association with his ex. I say that my dead grandmother trumps his ex-wife.

2.) Leah. This is Dave’s suggestion for a compromise name. It was my great aunt’s name, so it still has a family connection. To be fair, I think that Leah is a beautiful name. It’s very simple and classic, nothing too crazy. (I hate trendy names or things with weird spellings.) So I don’t have any objection to Leah at all.

Dave even suggested Leah Lucille as her full name, so my grandmother’s name is still in there, but as a middle name instead of a first name.

But here’s the problem: ever since I found out we were having a girl, back in November? I’ve just had this gut feeling that this little girl’s name is Lucy. And we’ve considered a few other perfectly lovely, nice names. But none of them feel like her to me, if that makes any sense at all.

So what say you, Internet? Help us figure this out so we don’t have a huge fight in the hospital when it’s time to fill out her birth certificate!

[poll id=”2″]

P.S. Feel free to add a comment about why you picked whichever name. Especially if you’re agreeing with me, I’ll take all the backup I can get.

P.S.S. I put that third option there just for kicks, but, um, don’t place any money on me actually listening to what y’all might pick out. Heh.

in the not-too-distant future

I had a dream last night that Baby 2.0 had been born. (And no, she didn’t have a name in my dream either. I was hoping for a sign, but alas.) The main thing I remember about the dream was holding her on my shoulder, her tiny face on my neck, and patting her tiny padded diaper butt, and I woke up feeling like, “Oh, hell yes. I want that. NOW.”

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have many happy memories of the newborn days with Catie; my brain seems to only remember the exhaustion and the tears. But then suddenly I’ll remember a tiny moment like this:


And I absolutely cannot wait to do it all over again. Which is particularly weird since I’m pretty sure I got puked on just a few minutes after that picture was taken.


Semi-related: my sister had to be in Raleigh for a work meeting this morning, so she came over last night and spent the night with us. Catie was super-excited, as Tracy is pretty much one of her favorite people on the planet.

The night before, I told Catie about Tracy’s visit, and explained that yes, Tracy is coming, but it’s only for one night and then she has to leave in the morning and go back to Charlotte. I was hoping that if I warned Catie in advance that this would be a quick visit, that it would prevent any meltdowns.

Catie: But I’ll be sad when Tracy leaves.

Me: I know you will, Catie-Bug. But you know what? Tracy will be back again soon. When Baby Sister is born, and Mommy & Daddy go to the hospital, Tracy is going to come to our house to take care of you!

Catie: (looking worried) Forever?

Which, OMG. She’s been talking up the whole Baby Sister thing, I had no idea that there were underlying fears that once the new baby arrived, we wouldn’t be her Mommy & Daddy anymore.

We had a very long talk about how I will always be her Mommy, and how Daddy will always be her Daddy, and all this means is that now we’ll be the Mommy and Daddy of two little girls instead of just one. She buried her face in my neck and hugged me for a long time, so I think she got the message.

What’s funny is that I’ve been trying to lay off on talking about the new baby with Catie for the most part, and I usually wait for her to bring it up, because I don’t want to overwhelm her with baby-baby-baby all the time. But now I’m realizing that approach might not be the best, and maybe I do need to start talking with her more about what things will be like after the baby is here, and emphasizing how this is going to be a good change for our family.

I mean, we have the “I’m a Big Sister Now” book, and several of her friends have younger siblings, so I guess I took it for granted that she understood how the whole transition would work. But my guess is that four year-olds aren’t really capable of internalizing quite so well.

If any moms out there want to throw some advice for how to walk a four year-old through this process, feel free to throw it my way.

warning signs

Funny that right after I wrote that last post about feeling all relaxed and chilled out, I started feeling… off. Nothing related to anxiety or anything like that. Just, pain. I don’t know how to describe it, but it was like a combination of occasional contractions (which feel sort of like my entire torso is made of concrete; so, um, OUCH), and also sharp stabbing pains in my lower abdomen.

And I’m also having some of the, ah, digestive issues (cough*the runs*cough) that I had when I was pregnant with Catie. It’s not as bad this time, and it started way earlier in my pregnancy with Catie, but still. It’s not fun. No one knows why this happens to me, either. I’m just a Pregnancy Anomaly. Maybe I’m allergic to the third trimester, who knows.

So, I’ve been pretty miserable for the past few days. I’ve had several moments where I’ve wondered how bad it needed to be before I went to the hospital. But there was no discernible pattern to any of the pain I was having, so I knew I wasn’t in labor. I had an OB appointment today, and I figured that I could just ride it out until then. And Dave has been taking over most of the child-care duties in the evening so I can take it easy, which has helped.

I saw my OB today, and I feel about a thousand times better now that I have a diagnosis:
* The stabbing pain is most likely round ligament pain, which for some reason I never had with Catie, but I feel better knowing that it’s normal. Even though it hurts like hell.

* The most probable cause of the Braxton-Hicks contractions is dehydration because of the intestinal issues I’ve been having. I’ve been trying to drink a lot of water, but my doctor suggested that I also need some energy drinks (like a Gatorade-type thing) to keep my electrolytes in check. I love Vitamin Water, so that’s easy enough.

* She said to try to monitor how often I’m having contractions. I told her that typically I’ve been having two or three an hour. She said she’s ok with that, but if I have six or more, I need to be off of my feet immediately and downing fluids. If they still don’t stop, I need to head to the hospital.

* She also said that if I went into labor right now (at 34 weeks), they probably wouldn’t do any major interventions to stop it because Baby 2.0 seems to be developing fine and all that, but she’d prefer if I waited at least another 2 or 3 weeks until I’m officially full-term. I agreed with her wholeheartedly. Even as uncomfortable as I am, I’m in no huge rush to serve this kid her eviction notice. I would really love to avoid the NICU if at all possible.

I’ve decided I’m most likely going to be working from home for the remainder of my pregnancy. It’s not really an issue with my job at all; they don’t care where I work as long as I meet my deadlines. And I’m fortunate to have a really awesome manager who has little kids himself, so he’s very understanding about pregnancy-related stuff.

I probably could still continue to go into the office, but my fear is that if I start having contractions and need to get off of my feet, it’ll be easier if I’m already at home and close to my bed. That’s actually how I’ve been working most of this week – in bed with my laptop on a TV tray over my belly. And I’ve been oddly more productive than you’d think.

So, that’s where things are now. No imminent baby arrivals at this point, but all signs definitely point to the fact that I should be taking it easier than I have been. I’ll be working on that.

Baby 2.0 Prep

Lately, I’ve been feeling like maybe the Lexapro is finally starting to kick in. Everything in my life is starting to feel calmer and more relaxed. Sort of like, OK, I know this baby is coming and it’s going to bring chaos into our lives (because that’s what babies do), but we’ll just put on our seat belts and go along for the ride. It feels manageable, where it absolutely did not feel that way a month ago. So that’s good.

And since I’m feeling calmer, I’m starting to focus more on what needs to be done before this kid arrives. I realize, of course, since this isn’t my first baby, that I don’t need to do that much. It’s funny, I had this ridiculously long to-do list before Catie was born, and this time, it’s more like:

* The infant car seat needs to be installed.
* Wash some newborn-size clothes.
* Have some burp cloths, bibs, and receiving blankets on hand, in case she’s a puker.

That’s really about it. And I’ve done all that stuff, so now I get to chill out and focus on the other non-essential stuff. Dave painted the baby’s room and set up the crib (even though she’ll be in the Pack ‘n’ Play in our room for at least the first several weeks). I got a new, super-cute diaper bag from my sister. I’m thinking about what type of bottles I want to buy, since our old ones were before that whole BPA thing was a known issue, and I’ve since thrown them all out. I have some cute wall stickers to put up in her room. But it all feels like bonus stuff at this point, nothing urgent or mandatory.

Of course, nevermind the fact that this this poor kid doesn’t even have a name yet, because Dave and I can’t make up our minds, but I’m not really stressed about that. Either we’ll figure it out when she gets here, or I’ll wait until Dave isn’t paying attention and put down the name that I want on her birth certificate. (Ha! Just kidding, Dave!) (Mostly.)

And it’s weird, I have had a sneaking suspicion throughout this entire pregnancy that this baby might come a little bit early. I don’t know why, but way back when I was first given my May 31st due date, I thought, “Nope, it’ll be sooner than that.” Of course, I don’t want her to come dangerously early or anything, but this is just a weird gut feeling I’ve had all along. Catie was born a week early (her due date was February 2nd, she showed up on January 27th), so I have no real basis to think that anything different would happen this time around. But for some reason, I can’t get that thought out of my head.

So, you know, if I’m looking at this kid showing up within the next month, instead of six weeks from now? At least it’s nice to know that I feel somewhat prepared.

a much needed day out

This past Saturday, we did something we haven’t done in a long time: went on a fun outing. I know, it’s pathetic, but I’ve been feeling so awful lately and I just haven’t been up for it.

The story is, there’s a church near our house that we drive past every day. They have an annual Spring Fling, and we saw them setting up the rides and whatnot last week. Catie saw it too, and was all, “Oooh, we go see that???” So I looked it up and found out that it was open to the public, and better yet, the entire event was free (apparently it’s the church’s way of giving back to the community), so I said that heck yeah, we’d go.

So, on Saturday, Dave, Catie, and I trooped off to the festival and met up with our former neighbor and her daughter (who is Catie’s age) while we were there.

The girls LOVED it.

This is when I said, "everybody say, CHICKEN HEAD!"

Tip for getting genuine smiles from preschool-aged kids? Yell, “Everybody say, CHICKEN HEAD!!!” It cracked them up.

Oh, and the best part of the whole day? They had pony rides.

This was probably the high point of her entire week.

There’s probably nothing that Catie loves right now more than horses and unicorns, so the presence of actual, live ponies? Made her freaking year.

After that, Catie and her friend Morgan jumped themselves silly in the bounce houses, and when they hit the point of exhaustion that both of them were crying and throwing tantrums? We headed over to the free food area. After some hamburgers, hot dogs, and cotton candy, all was right with the world again.

So, yes, I probably over-did it, because I completely exhausted my pregnant self by being on my feet for over two hours, but it was totally worth it. We’ve been needing a Fun Day around here. We need to work on making them happen more often.

pass the kleenex

For the last few months, I’ve had this really embarrassing issue: I cry at all of my OB appointments.

I guess it’s no big secret that I’ve been dealing with some pretty heavy-duty anxiety issues lately. My doctor’s office is aware of that too. So now, every time one of the doctors walks in and asks how I’m doing, I just lose it. And I hate, hate, HATE crying in front of people. But I can never seem to hold it together.

I think it’s the waiting room that gets to me the most. I sign in for my appointment, and then I have to sit there, surrounded by a bunch of glowing, happy pregnant women, and I feel like I’m… failing. Badly. Like I’m the worst pregnant lady who ever lived, and I don’t deserve this baby, and blah-blah-negative-thoughts-spinning-in-my-head-blah.

Logically, I know that’s bullshit. I know that I’m not the first (or even the millionth) woman to deal with anxiety during pregnancy. But logic is not my strong suit these days. I’m a walking ball of hormones and overactive tear ducts, apparently.

Sometimes I wonder what on earth my doctors have written down about me in my chart. But I think I’m probably better off not knowing.