I’m Going to Explode, and Other Tales of Woe

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Currently I’m not quite yet six months pregnant, and appear to have swallowed a school bus. Or at least all the children contained therein. Thus far, I’ve been told I appear to be stretching the limits of the spandex of my yoga pants, and asked by more than one person if I’m sure I’m not carrying a litter, or at the least, triplets. This raises the age-old question of why people seem to leave all their tact behind when addressing pregnant women. It seems like a dangerous thing to do. At my best, I’m only moderately stable. During pregnancy, my sanity is entirely up for debate. I’m like a tossed coin, constantly in the air, and there’s really no way to judge what side I might land on. The nice, pleasant reasonable side, or the…less pleasant, reasonable side. I try not to be too touchy about my size, as I am aware that there is something rather comical about all my lumbering lumps and bumps. But still…

Another delightful aspect of the whole I-swallowed-a-busload-of-kids phenomenon is the frequent and excessive need to visit the ladies’ room – everywhere I go. I have grave concerns about my bladder. By necessity, my errands are now planned around when I will be irresistably compelled to visit the facilities, how long I can last between visits, and which places have the best (read: cleanest), most convenient bathrooms. I think things like, “I don’t really have to go yet, but there’s a nice clean bathroom right here, and if I use this one, I can go to this place next, and if I’m quick there, I can make it out and to the next place with more desirable facilities before I explode and die.” It’s very sad.

The notorious “they” says that you’re not supposed to sleep on your back while pregnant. “They” could really save their breath. Every time you get so uncomfortable sleeping on your side, because your shoulder aches, your arm is asleep, your knees hurt and hips are being crushed, that you roll onto your back (you know, accidentally, ’cause you’re asleep) the pressure of the bowling ball now resting on the 13 drops in your bladder wakes you up, forcing you to traverse the dark, cold hell hall yet again.

Speaking of sleeping, there is another little-known fun-time trick your body pulls during this special time. Drool. What is up with all the drool? And why does nobody tell you about all this? I was seriously concerned during my first pregnancy when all of a sudden I couldn’t fall asleep without turning into a big old slobbery mess. Like all the other prenatal party tricks, it just comes on earlier and harder with each successive pregnancy. None of my research (obsessive Googling) has ever turned out any cause for this excessive drool-making. Why, you might ask, don’t you just close your mouth to hold in this river of drool? A wonderful idea, except I would suffocate due to the fact I can’t breathe through my nose, thanks to chronic pregnancy boogers. Apparently, pregnant bodies make a lot of mucous, and really don’t discriminate between mucous-making areas of the body, so…boogers. So the mouth stays open, the drool pours out, and I carry on snoring like the dead. Gorgeous.

Regarding the afore-mentioned yoga pants. I’m still carrying on teaching a few classes a week. I’m not sure if the students are just being kind, but they haven’t yet taken to outright laughing at me. I laugh at myself, but they remain politely silent. I feel certain I look like a one-person comedy routine, especially when I attempt something ridiculous, like balancing my enormous girth on my arms. Or touch my toes. Yet, I persist. And I shall as long as I can manage to drag myself to teach.

Being pregnant isn’t all bad. Sometimes people go out of their way to be nice to pregnant ladies. For example, last week when I almost fell out (that’s what we do down here) at the Full Moon because I got too hungry, they gave me a free piece of pie. Chocolate pie.

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Posted in Children, Eating of the Food | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Making Space

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We recently moved Alex into Morgan’s room, to make a space for #3 when she gets here. This nearly sent me into a state. With Morgan it was so easy. It was like we just had all these handy little slots for her to just drop right into. One empty bedroom, waiting for an occupant. Drop. One empty car seat, waiting for a passenger. Drop. Everything fit neatly into my nice little puzzle. This time we had no easy, empty spaces waiting, so we have to rearrange the puzzle.

The original plan was to move Alex and Morgan into Patrick’s and my room, and for us to take Morgan’s room (her room has the half-bath – it’s a long story). This didn’t happen for several reasons. One is that the windows in our room are so terrible that our room is about 30 degrees colder than the rest of the house, and about ten degrees colder than it is outside. When you’re a grownup who sleeps under a big old down blanket, this is actually not such a bad thing. Warm and cozy in bed, cool and frosty out of bed. When you’re a little person, however, it’s a little too cool. This is not a problem in summer, but unfortunately, it can’t be summer all the time.

The other reason is that I have issues. Change is not good for me. I can only deal with so much at a time, and frankly, the unexpected circumstances I find myself in are about all I can handle right now. It’s better for my fragile mental health to take things one step at a time. First step: get Alex out of her room and into Morgan’s/

I initially felt really bad. I mean, we were taking Alex’s personal, private space away from her! Now she has nowhere to go to escape her sister. In the future it will probably make sense to have the two youngest room together (or find a house with about a million bedrooms so everybody can have their own room), but it just didn’t seem fair to me to force anybody to share a room with the newborn baby. I mean, really, if you don’t have to wake up every two hours to eat or provide food, I think you should get to sleep. Yes, this does include my husband. No reason for him to get up, he doesn’t have the boobs. He can sleep now, and get up later, when she just wants to chill at three in the morning and I have reached maximum sleep-deprivation capacity.

So here I am, feeling major guilt, when I start to think. This is a kid who, since she could talk, has wanted somebody to sleep in the room with her. Who, since Morgan was born, has been asking when they could sleep together. Who really doesn’t care to be alone, ever. Perhaps I was borrowing worry? As if I didn’t have enough to worry about. So I started to let go of some of that guilt.

Even better – so far, it’s worked like a dream. The two beds fit in one room perfectly. All the toys have been moved into the playroom-that-used-to-be-the-dining-room (I mean, we never ate in it, so why not make it useful – and I can yell at them to keep toys there instead of destroying the rest of the house, which, come to think of it, really only consists of our room, the living room and the kitchen…) so the mess is pretty minimal. Books are little problematic. They have a lot of them, and don’t really have a good place to put them, so they end up strewn across the floor regularly, but it could be worse. Bedtimes are working out just fine. Morgan goes to bed a little earlier than Alex, so she’s usually asleep when Alex goes in to go to bed, so they’re not keeping each other up, and when they’re both still awake at bedtime they still think it’s like an awesome slumber party. Neither of them will use the bathroom that is actually attached to their room. They both still get up and traverse down the hall to the big bathroom. One so she can turn the lights all the way up and leave them to blind me during one of my ninety-five trips every night, and the other because she insists on having an escort to the bathroom. Ridiculous.

We now have an open space for a baby bed in the now-vacant bedroom, and I can breathe a little easier – sometimes. Mostly, I just want to go through my house and get rid of everything I see. I can’t stand clutter, and stress makes me want to have every surface in my house totally cleared of all items. Right now, it’s all I can do to not grab a huge garbage bag and go on a rampage.

I wish there was a beautiful conclusion I could write about how everything is great now, and I’m totally ready and all my misgivings are gone now that we have a room (mostly) cleared out. There’s not. I’m still scared and stressed. I still have about a million things to do to be even remotely ready. I can, however, write about the things I know, and they are as follows:

The baby will come, whether I am ready or not. And she will not care if her room is perfect, or if everything is organized and clutter-free. She will care that she has food, and a place to rest her precious little head, and love. And she will.

I can only do what I can do. It’s about the journey, not the destination. As long as I can keep breathing, I’m ok. And just like in yoga, when I can’t breathe long and deep, I know I need to take a rest. So I take a nap.

This is not my first time on this particular tilt-a-whirl. I have done this before. I know how to change a diaper (couldn’t say that the first time around!). I know how to walk and rock a crying baby. I know how to feed a baby.

Thanks to my two precious babies, #3′s sisters, I know how to love them like nothing else in this world. I got this.

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Posted in Children, Philosophisizing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Am I Dying – Or Only Pregnant?

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I thought I had a brain tumor. Or some other horrible disease. My yoga practice was my first clue that something was seriously amiss. I would go to do my practice (when I could actually drag my exhausted self out of bed and to my mat at 5am), and within 15 minutes of sun salutations, I was sweaty and out of breath. Totally out of breath. Like, I had to stop and rest so I could breathe. How, I wondered, had I gone from being in the best shape I’d been in in ten years to not being able to make it through my warm-up – in a couple of weeks?

I kept having all these weird symptoms. Symptoms that I had only ever had in the past while I was pregnant. Still, I was clueless. I blamed the symptoms on my new birth control prescription. Which I took. Every day. In October, I gave away all my maternity clothes, and my much-loved, much-used breast pump to my cousin (in Texas), who was expecting her first baby. After all, I was done having children, as I would proclaim to everyone who would listen. I had plans, and they did not include being pregnant and having another baby. Ever. This was about the time I began to suspect I was dying of some unnamed ailment. I was not dying, and the universe has a brilliant sense of irony, I soon learned.

The month goes by, and the week after, and, out of curiosity, or maybe boredom, who knows, I decided to take a test. After all, I just happened to have one in the bathroom, so why not? The results were shocking, to say the least. That was a very, very long day. There was a lot of crying, and it am politically incorrect to say it was not tears of joy.

So here I was. Pregnant. No insurance. When I quit my full-time job to stay home with the kids during the day and teach yoga part time, I just didn’t feel that we could afford it. No job, really. When I left my job, our monthly income went down by almost half. My, what a pickle. And now we were going to add another person to our family. Fortunately, Patrick was able to add me to his insurance, to be effective at the first of the year, so I just had to make it through two months of being pregnant and uninsured. When I finally returned to the kindly fold of Blue Cross’ umbrella, I called to make my first OB appointment. I talked to the nurse. I asked her, “Do you have people who often turn up pregnant after changing prescriptions?” “Not really,” she replied blithely. “You just may be part of that .1% they’re not effective for all the time.” Oh. Ok. Well, that is really good to know. Now.

After we calmed down and stopped freaking out and crying, we realized that, we can do this. Honestly, adding one more person won’t really be that big a financial hardship. I mean, after all, for the first year or so I make all the food. There are some adjustments that will have to be made, and the Civics are definitely not big enough to hold all of us, but we can do it. We have had many unexpected shitstorms roadblocks come up over the years, and we have weathered them all, not always with the utmost grace and dignity, but we’ve always come out the other side in tact. And stronger and wiser ( I hope).

Three kids. Three. My mother and sister could tell you a very amusing story about when I was a very small child and they tried to divide a bag of 9 Hershey’s Kisses into three equal parts to be shared among my sister, her friend and myself. This upset me, and I spent the majority of what I can only assume became a very long car ride screaming “I DON’T WANT THREE!!!” Obviously this was because I wanted more than three because it was chocolate and I am no fool, but you can see the amusement factor here.

So McCarty #3 is going to be a girl. We’ve started making space for her, in our home and in our hearts. When I get a little (read: full-blown panic attack) freaked out, I keep reminding myself that the human heart has an endless capacity for love, and this sweet girl will be just as loved as her two big sisters. The rest can work itself out.

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Posted in Children, Husband/Wife Stuff | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments