Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hi! I'm still here and I'm still pregnant. Right now I'm enjoying a peaceful and quiet couple hours to myself while Tim, his mom, and the kids are out shopping. On another day I might have been inclined to go myself -- Target is 40 minutes away and not something I take for granted -- but this morning what I wanted most was some alone time. Besides we've been to Target every weekend the last month, and I've seen everything they have. Tim was a little hesitant for them all to leave me, but I was like, "It'll be fine here, don't you worry about me."

As soon as they left, I made myself decent and went for a walk. We're back to nice cool temperatures again, and I enjoyed the fresh air. Once I got back I started a load of laundry and then sat down to look through my photos of the past couple weeks and start this post. I miss my blog, but it's so hard to make it a priority anymore. Once Tim and I started watching Breaking Bad, that cut into blogging time in a huge way. We are now a couple episodes into season 4 and as of two days ago we are now paying Netflix customers. I never thought I could enjoy a show about a guy who manufactures meth and gets himself and everyone he knows into all kinds of trouble, but each episode gives me so much to think about. Tim too. He recently updated his insurance policy, and I know that show had something to do with it. It sounds morbid, and it is, but it's also very interesting. It also reinforces the notion that our choices have consequences, not just for ourselves but for everyone around us. Even  -- no, especially -- the people we love, the people we never intended to hurt. Everything has a ripple effect. I have no stomach for shows that have a lot of violence just for its own sake. Like Sons of Anarchy. From what little I ever saw of that show, it just seemed to glorify violence. Breaking Bad has plenty of violence, but also shows the people who inflict it having to suffer. Once we're done with Breaking Bad, we'll see. Will we get ourselves hooked on another series, or will we be done with Netflix?

So, what have we been up to? Tim's parents got here a couple days before Thanksgiving, and then Tim Sr left the following Monday. Carolyn will be here until the 14th. Really hoping there's a baby by then. While they were both here we had a nice Thanksgiving dinner, and then the next day we put up the Christmas tree and all the Christmas decorations. Tim and I also went out to dinner and shopping by ourselves that Saturday night, and it was fun. A delicious dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant and then the outlets by ourselves .. doesn't get any better than that. My back and my feet were KILLING me by the time we got back in the car to head home, but it had been a nice escape. Productive too.
Delaney and Grandma have since graduated to a 500-piece puzzle that has been on that desk for days. I've even taken a turn at it a couple different times, and nearly set my eyeballs on fire in the effort. Couldn't we have had a more gradual progression, maybe with a 100-piece puzzle first?
Tim Sr took this photo of us right before we left for dinner. I look like such a Duggar.
Another thing that happened while they were both here is that three lucky children found out they were the winners of a Disney cruise with Grandma and Grandpa in February! These kids don't even know how good they have it. I am so happy for them. They are going to have a blast. Tim's sister Kathy and her family will go too, so it will be good that they have a little help and aren't completely on their own with our kids.

A little pregnancy update:

Today I am 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. If I am still pregnant after tomorrow, this will be my longest pregnancy. I had Annie at 39 weeks 4 days. This is already my second-longest. I feel like I will be pregnant forever. I remember back when I was still hoping to get pregnant, and I had a recurring dream in which I was 9 months pregnant, due anytime, but labor never started. After awhile I realized it had all been a dream, and I had never been pregnant. A dream within a dream. That's exactly how I feel, like this has all been a dream and I'm going to wake up anytime. To have an actual baby come out of me? I can't even imagine it. Everyone around me seems convinced it will happen any minute. So surreal. I am due Wednesday. Part of me knows this to be true, but part of me is in disbelief.

Tim and I went to see the midwife in Charleston yesterday. For the last time. Meaning that whether or not I've had the baby by Friday the 11th, we are not doing that drive again. It is just too long to be in the car. She'll have to understand. I had to stop for the bathroom on the way there, and there is nowhere to stop until you get to Charleston. On the way back, as we were driving down the long stretch of absolutely nothing that exists between here and Charleston, I REALLY needed to go even though I had already gone before I left her house. Tim set the cruise control to 67 while the speed limit was 60. He did not notice when the speed limit changed to 50 until the police car he passed turned around to follow us. I ended up needing to wait even longer for the bathroom while we were pulled over, AND then he got an $80 ticket. My big belly did not help our cause. This trip already cost us half a tank of gas, and now $80 on top of it! As well as a flaw on Tim's formerly perfect driving record. Nope, I am not leaving this zipcode again until after I've had a baby. I told him on the way home, "I can't have you driving the speed limit and making this trip even longer." Of course, it was one thing when he thought he was going just 7 miles over the speed limit -- he's not in the habit of going 17 miles over. That was completely an accident. But oh well. No more driving to Charleston for us.
Tim apparently snapped this picture of me at Joanne's. I must have been contracting for my belly to be making that weird shape.
The midwife visit itself was pleasant enough. Joanne (the midwife) and Stephanie (the apprentice) are both convinced that the baby will come very soon. Stephanie, while examining my belly, saw that the baby's head was very low, but wouldn't go so far as to say "engaged" because that's something that usually only happens for first-time moms before labor. For moms of second babies or more, the head doesn't typically engage until the baby is coming. Last week they checked my cervix at my request (cervical checks are not routine for them as they are for most obstetricians and nurse-midwives in hospital settings. This hands-off approach is a big part of why I go to them and not the OBs right down the street from me.). But I wanted one because I was curious as to where I was starting out. They appeared thunderstruck at me actually wanting a cervical check, but were happy for the educational opportunity. They each checked me and discussed their conclusion together. I was 1.5 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I felt satisfied that some change had taken place. I will not ask to be checked again at least until I think I'm in labor, and then I'll have a basis for comparison. Joanne's opinion just from looking at me yesterday was that last week I was not ready at all, but this week I am. I think my complaints of pelvic pain and particularly pubic bone pain probably enforced that. Ligaments are loosening so bones can separate and baby can make his way out. It's really amazing the way nature works. There's so much more to a body than meets the eye.

Here's a picture of me from last week:
And yesterday:
I took the second picture either right before or right after we went to the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the naval hospital. Later on I saw a picture Tim had taken of the kids with me in the background, my belly sticking out like a giant boob. I'm a little embarrassed knowing that I went around and ran into so many people I knew, so exposed. It's just so big and round and ripe, and that bellybutton in 3D, it's almost indecent. I can almost understand why maternity tops in the past were just tents. I kind of wish I could hide it all under a tent sometimes.

I was a little nervous about whether the kids would get to go to this event, since I'd already told them about it. I spent a few days hoping I would either have the baby before or after, so that Tim and Carolyn could at least take them. There aren't that many things to do around here, even at Christmastime, so it's a big deal when there's something taking place right down the road that advertises bounce houses, a petting zoo, hot chocolate, cookies, and Santa, all for free. But we all made it and the kids had a good time.
The bouncey was a free-for-all for the first hour or so we were there, until someone thought, 'Uh-oh -- SAFETY!' And then two Navy guys were stationed there to limit the number of kids on it and make sure nobody perched on the edge the way the girls are doing here. What was the big deal? We were at a hospital already.
These kids seem to have no awareness or concern about a baby coming. Timmy has had a lot of emotional outbursts that Carolyn and my neighbor think is a sign he knows what's coming and that it means change for him. I don't know.. four-year-olds cry a lot for no reason too. I have to admit, my mind is kind of blown when I think of my baby being a big brother. I'm still the one getting him dressed in the morning and at night, putting him down for his naps and tucking him in at night. The two of us have been cracking up together at Mo Willems books (the Pigeon books -- hilarious!) and then we have a silly ritual that when I described it to Tim, he said, "That doesn't sound creepy at all." It consists of me telling Timmy in mock seriousness, "Close your eyes .. close your mouth .. Shhhh!!.. Time to go to sleep!.. Stay down!" as his giggles rise to a crescendo. He's been the baby the longest, and I have loved every moment. I don't want anything to change between us.

This is a really happy time for our family, getting ready for a new baby and then Christmas. It is joyful, hopeful, suspenseful and a little bit maddening right now, at least for me. I have to keep reminding myself to try to make the most of these last days of us the way we are, because everything will change soon enough. I started out this year trying to cope with the very real possibility there would be no more kiddos for us, and now I'm looking at any day getting to hold the newest one in my arms. I get impatient, especially when I'm feeling exhausted and my back is aching, to just get this over with. At the same time, this is a very easy time for me with Tim and his mom here, and I've been able to take a lot of breaks. Especially today! That's a real luxury. Not to mention sleep, I get a lot of sleep, and we all know that newborns are adorable, cuddly little sleep thieves. Just writing that makes me think -- eek -- I'm not ready. But I am, I think. Soon..


  1. I am so so excited for you! I clearly remember reading your 'done' post and thinking how sad you sounded! And, now you're almost there! I'll admit that I am a little jealous too bc I do think we've decided we are 'done' and I don't think my mind is ready for that! You look so adorable with your little belly! Can't wait to hear the news soon!

    1. Aw, thanks, Jodi. I hope to be posting the happy news soon. I think this little one hears all the ruckus his siblings make, and he's afraid to come out.