I haven’t had the time or even really the desire to flesh out any great thoughts lately. So in a lieu of a more meaningful post, I’m just going to share some random glimpses into our life lately. I might start doing this more often, actually, even when it’s not 7 Quick Takes Friday. It’s fun and brainless.
I’ve started nursing Mary Elizabeth again. We had to quickly call our nursing relationship quits when I was faced with the threat of preterm labor and was put on bed rest at 29 weeks. But not a day went by when my sweet girl didn’t ask for a “little bit of mama’s milk.” It was heartrending to have to turn her down over and over again. She’d try to be brave, but sometimes tears would begin to pool in her earthy eyes until the tears overflowed and silently trailed down her face. Other times she’d just completely lose it, and I’d be tempted to break down, too.
When we hit the important (and miraculous!) 37-week milestone and she asked for mama’s milk, I decided to oblige. She’s been nursing a few times a day ever since. There’s nothing but colostrum slowly leaking out, but she doesn’t seem to mind.
The other day her teeth got in the way, and I said, “Ouch! You have to be careful. You bit me.”
“No bite you,” she said, “I just drinkin’.”
I then asked her what it tasted like. “Ummmmm,” she said. Then her eyes grew wide. “Strawberry milk!”
It seems mama’s milk is still the sweet stuff for my little girl even if it’s not really milk at all anymore.
Madeline was recently reading aloud to me when she came to word that she thought she should know, but she was having trouble saying it. “Hold on, Mommy,” she said. “I have to organize my brain file.”
I totally get that. I’ve been so distracted by the weirdness of this pregnancy that my mind feels completely discombulated, and I sometimes feel like I just need to declutter it and get things organized so I can think straight again!
My husband was putting Rachel to sleep and asked her if he was her favorite daddy.
She replied, “You’re my favorite man.”
After a brief pause, she added, “But don’t tell Pop or Papa.”
I think her granddads will understand her slight favoritism.
You’d think that since over two months ago we were told birth was imminent we’d have several solid names selected for this baby. Not so. My husband and I are having such a hard time coming up with the right moniker, especially when it comes to boy names. We thought we had a boy name we liked, but then we both decided last week it wasn’t a good fit. We have a few girl names we like but nothing that seems perfect. We may just have to see this little one to help us decide.
I’ve been waking up around 3 or 4 a.m. every day either having contractions, dealing with diarrhea, and/or feeling nauseous. I can’t get back to sleep and always end up feeling fine by the time breakfast rolls around. While I’ve enjoyed the quiet mornings of solitude, I crash in the afternoon because I’m so exhausted. Then I start to panic, thinking of how I’m going to handle a nocturnal nursling, homeschooling, and tending to the needs of all these little ones, especially when they’re acting as cranky as I am.
Then I take a deep breath and pray for God’s grace because without it, there’s no way I’ll be able to make it through a long, exhausting day in the trenches.
I don’t think I’ve shared one single photo of my pregnancy bump. (I’ve always been shy about having my pregnant form photographed.) However, this photo has become a favorite of mine. Madeline captured the precious moment during my final week of bed rest just before 36 weeks. I’m napping with my two “babies.” Sweet Mary Elizabeth fell asleep resting on top of her little brother or sister while using my swollen belly as a pillow.
Now we wait. My husband’s work schedule is really bad this week, so there’s a chance he’d miss the birth if I went into labor. This pregnancy has certainly taught me to relinquish control, to trust, and to be patient.
I had a voicemail message from a friend recently where she said something like, “I’m Facebook stalking you and haven’t seen any blog updates or anything, and I’m a crazy, paranoid friend worrying that you had the baby.”
For any other paranoid, FB, Twitter, and/or Google+ (I actually haven’t posted any updates over there yet, but its format is definitely growing on me) stalkers, I have not had the baby. I am still gestating. I have a sweet, stubborn baby in utero who has been deeply engaged in the pelvic region resting on a thin cervix for over a month now.
I had an appointment on Monday, and my midwife told me she really believes that keeping off my feet has kept me from having this baby early; however, she also said that at 36 weeks (only a week from tomorrow by her records) I can resume my normal activity. Woo-hoo! I know being sidelined has been good for not only the baby but for me as well, but I have to admit I’m getting incredibly antsy and even achy from being so sedentary. I’m so grateful I’ve never had to experience the hospital bed rest thing and am eager to be active again.
The irony of being thrust into limbo and hearing that the baby could arrive “any day now” for weeks and weeks is that I still don’t have anything prepared for the little one. The infant car seat is still in the attic in need of a good scrub down. We have not attached our co-sleeper to our bed. I have no hospital bag packed, no newborn diapers purchased. I kind of lost the whole “nesting instinct” when I was worried that the baby might come way too early. Or maybe it’s just pure denial that we’re about to have four kids 6 and under in our home. I imagine I might be pining for bed rest – or any rest at all – in a few weeks.
Sorry to be stuck on the baby thing. You get kind of consumed by the little life wiggling around inside of you, tap dancing on your cervix, when you’re sentenced with being still. You also really, really begin to notice just how often you have to pee. (Five times, on average, on any given night. Several times every hour during the day. A frequent question around here is, “Mommy, are you going potty again?”)
But anyway, a friend of mine was recently telling me that the must-have for every new mom now is the Mamaroo. I’ve never been into massive must-have lists for baby registries or expectant parents. The only items I’d add to my own personal must-have list are a chic nursing cover (mainly for nursing during Mass), my Ergo baby carrier, and my Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump (an absolute necessity for someone like me who has an overabundant milk supply and sometimes needs to pump just before nursing my wee ones so they will not gag on a gushing geyser of milk).
Still, the Mamaroo intrigued me since I know I’ll need a little help and can’t carry and hold my infant all day unless I want my other littles to feel sorely neglected. I rarely used the bouncy seat I registered for with my first except it did come in handy as a little high chair. I never got a real swing – just a travel one, and it was helpful with my second who had awful reflux and needed to be upright all of the time. But these are getting very old and noisy (I think the motors are dying on them), so I was wondering if the Mamaroo might be worth the investment. It looks very space-agey and boasts five different motions: car ride, kangaroo, tree swing, rock-a-bye, and ocean wave. However, it’s pricey, too.
So anyone have any feedback on the Mamaroo? I’m not sure I’m hip enough of a mama to make the splurge on such a trendy item.
Okay, it’s time for a random, fun post. As regular readers know, we’re not finding out the gender of this fourth baby, who is thankfully still staying put although intermittent contractions continue. A lot of family members and friends have their own predictions, but I thought it might be fun to see what you guys are thinking.
I have one uncle who supposedly has a perfect record of guessing babies’ genders. All he has to do is gaze into the eyes of a pregnant woman, and then he just gets a feeling about what the sex of unborn baby is. So when I was around six months pregnant, he stared into my eyes for just a few seconds and then said, “Got it.”
He won’t tell me his prediction because “you want it to be a surprise.” He’s that sure of himself. Hilarious. He’s told my mom his guess (who is amazingly keeping it a secret; she’s terrible with surprises because she just gets so excited) as well as his wife and kids.
I have one friend who’s convinced I’m having a boy this time, another who says it’s most definitely a girl. My older brother thinks it’s a boy. One of Dave’s aunts thinks it’s a boy, too. Rae guesses boy. Madeline goes back and forth. When we ask 2-year-old Mary Elizabeth what we’re having, she wisely says, “A baby.” When we probe further and ask if she thinks it’s a baby girl or a baby boy, she says, “Baby girl.”
What about my own prediction? Well, I had an interesting dream about giving birth the night following my pre-term labor hospitalization. (I definitely had labor on my mind at that point.) Read more